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Thread: Legal types - pecuniary advantage?

  1. #1
    Journeyman
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    Legal types - pecuniary advantage?

    A question for the legal hive mind.

    A franchised motor dealer quotes a customer on a new vehicle. The customer has a “fleet” so gets decent discount terms, which are agreed by the manufacturer. The terms on this occasion come to 5 figures, so a not insubstantial amount. These terms are included in the quote.

    On most occasions, an invoice is given to the customer with the terms/discount shown. These extra terms are then paid by the manufacturer to the franchised dealer.

    On some occasions the invoice will not show the discount and the terms are paid back directly by the manufacturer, to the customer.

    It is the sales manager’s responsibility to check where the terms are to be paid.

    On this occasion (you’ve probably guessed), the discount was shown on the invoice, which was paid in full by the customer. The terms were then subsequently paid back to the customer NOT the franchised dealer, by the manufacturer - effectively a double discount.

    The customer is refusing to pay this money back to the franchised dealer, basically saying it was their mistake, not his. However, wording it to say “the invoice was paid in full, what money we got back is irrelevant as what’s on the invoice is what was owed”.

    I know there will be paid for legal advice taken but wondered with this little amount of information (I don’t have the full stack myself) what people’s thoughts were? Is this pecuniary advantage? Or something else? Or just gross negligence/misconduct by the sales manager? The customer has “apparently” admitted (to the offending sales manager) that they knew there was a mistake but haven’t worded it that way in any recorded correspondence...
    Last edited by Paddy!; 13th March 2019 at 23:57. Reason: Clarity

  2. #2
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    The write up is a bit confusing so hard to make any determination.

    Your very last sentence is telling. An admission is worthless if there is no paperwork or evidence.

  3. #3
    I think the customer will have to check the contract for the term "errors and omissions excepted". I presume it will be contained in there somewhere.

    It was clearly an error made by either the franchise dealer or the manufacturer.

    The customer knew about it and has been unjustly enriched.

  4. #4
    Craftsman Tifa's Avatar
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    I think the motor trade (dealer) should pick up the tab for not making their transactions 100% transparent.
    It's an absolute mystery to 99% of their customers as to what actually goes on behind the scenes.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kungfupanda View Post
    It was clearly an error made by either the franchise dealer or the manufacturer.
    It was DEFINITELY an error by the franchise dealer. Thanks for the reply.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tifa View Post
    I think the motor trade (dealer) should pick up the tab for not making their transactions 100% transparent.
    It's an absolute mystery to 99% of their customers as to what actually goes on behind the scenes.
    FWIW the customer has had these discount terms for years and is aware of how they are to be paid to them, they do as said, run a "fleet" for their business. So the transaction process in their case, is not a mystery.

  6. #6
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paddy! View Post
    A question for the legal hive mind.

    A franchised motor dealer quotes a customer on a new vehicle. The customer has a “fleet” so gets decent discount terms, which are agreed by the manufacturer. The terms on this occasion come to 5 figures, so a not insubstantial amount. These terms are included in the quote.

    On most occasions, an invoice is given to the customer with the terms/discount shown. These extra terms are then paid by the manufacturer to the franchised dealer.

    On some occasions the invoice will not show the discount and the terms are paid back directly by the manufacturer, to the customer.

    It is the sales manager’s responsibility to check where the terms are to be paid.

    On this occasion (you’ve probably guessed), the discount was shown on the invoice, which was paid in full by the customer. The terms were then subsequently paid back to the customer NOT the franchised dealer, by the manufacturer - effectively a double discount.

    The customer is refusing to pay this money back to the franchised dealer, basically saying it was their mistake, not his. However, wording it to say “the invoice was paid in full, what money we got back is irrelevant as what’s on the invoice is what was owed”.

    I know there will be paid for legal advice taken but wondered with this little amount of information (I don’t have the full stack myself) what people’s thoughts were? Is this pecuniary advantage? Or something else? Or just gross negligence/misconduct by the sales manager? The customer has “apparently” admitted (to the offending sales manager) that they knew there was a mistake but haven’t worded it that way in any recorded correspondence...
    I would think that it is a matter between the Dealer and the Manufacturer. If the manufacturer received wrong info from the dealer and on that basis paid the Customer then the dealer has little comeback with the customer.
    Last edited by redmonaco; 14th March 2019 at 11:19.

  7. #7
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    Obviously I don't know how much business the buyer gives to the motor dealer but if I were the dealer i would be telling the buyer he needs to find a new dealer! Not the kind of person I would want as a client.

  8. #8
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald Genta View Post
    Obviously I don't know how much business the buyer gives to the motor dealer but if I were the dealer i would be telling the buyer he needs to find a new dealer! Not the kind of person I would want as a client.

    My thoughts exactly! Both parties know what was intended and anyone trying to profit from a clerical error is a chancer and not someone I'd want to deal with again.

  9. #9
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    As above.

    I donít see how you could honestly look someone in the eyes having knowingly tried to stiff them (assuming this is an honest mistake on the original invoice).

    If the dealer gets into formal dispute with the buyer rather than just calling them out on it, the buyer will, one assumes, look to find another supplier as the relationship will have been soured anyway.


    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app

  10. #10
    Craftsman
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    Is the customer not cutting off his nose to spite his face?

    If he has a long standing relationship with the dealer and has benefited greatly from discounts over the years, surely the dealer should let it be known to the customer that there will be no possibility of trading and/or future discounts unless he stops acting the boll*cks.

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