Promising (or expecting!) the world?

Here at Lawgistics we feel quite sorry for the Audi Garage in Watford that was recently presented with a restaurant bill for £714.61.

A customer whose car was damaged whilst on their forecourt was offered a meal to compensate them for the inconvenience whilst the car was being repaired.

The customer decided she had free license to spend what she liked by spending an extortionate amount on a meal for two. We all know that consumers can sometimes expect the world but this is also a very harsh reminder of how careful dealers have to be with the promises they make to their consumers.

So should Audi have paid the bill in full or even half of it as they have promised? We think not!

Definition of meal- “an occasion when food is eaten, or the food that is eaten on such an occasion”

We would advise that Audi should certainly not pay for the four glasses of champagne, two bottles of wine, six cocktails and a sloe gin that the consumer is reported to have ordered. Alcohol and drinks are not included in the definition of a meal.

If you want to go above and beyond for your customers (and we think Audi have!) then that’s fine but remember that just because a consumer expects something doesn’t mean you have to provide it! 

The watch word is “reasonableness”.

So be careful next time you promise to do something for a consumer. Make sure you set clear terms and conditions to any offer and make sure everything is in writing. It always helps when dealing with consumers who decide to behave unreasonably.

Be careful not to promise the world or the world might beat a path to your door!

Unfair or unreasonable customer expectations or demands, take a look at our 'Legal Rights Explained' booklet or Members contact the Legal Helpline.


Authors: Stephanie Ball

Published: 12 May 2015


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