MOTORHOME DILEMMA – WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
THE FOLLOWING STORY IS TRUE…
You are a journalist working on a national television show which often deals with consumer issues.
You speak to a police officer who’s having problems with a company which supplies motorhomes. He’s paid out more than £40,000 on a wonderful vehicle but it turns out to be a complete lemon. The money took his life savings – a silver wedding anniversary present for him and his wife. It was a dream purchase.
It leaks, it’s mouldy, it’s not fit for purpose and he doesn’t want it in this state. But the company refuses to resolve the issue, insisting that repeated repairs are the answer.
He’s at the end of his tether, it’s causing arguments with his wife and he just wants his money back or a brand new vehicle. The company won’t budge – court action looms.
As a last resort, he contacts you – a journalist.
You listen, ask him to send in copies of paperwork and photographs to verify his story. It all checks out.
But you know from experience that chasing this could take weeks of writing, fending off lawyers, talking to lawyers, and that’s before you’ve filmed a shot. All of that takes money and time.
So you want a firm commitment that if you take up this case – he’ll agree to be interviewed and filmed.
He says to you ‘I’m my own man, no one will force me to do anything’.
You proceed and take up the case. Letters, e-mails fly around. Many talks take place with the retailer of the motorhome. It tries to fob you off with talk of it being the manufacturer’s problem. But you know that under the Sale of Goods Act, the responsibility lies with the retailer.
Eventually, some weeks later, the company contacts you to say the matter is resolved, they’ve backed down. But you need to contact the police officer, your interviewee. You know that this is a situation that would not have come about had it not been for your intervention.
But you feel that there’s something to this deal that you won’t like – what could it be?
The police officer doesn’t contact you. You leave several messages but none are returned. Eventually, you catch him by surprise and he’s forced to talk to you. He confirms what you suspect – he’s been told he’ll get his new motorhome if he calls you off and refuses to cooperate.
So what happens next?
Consider this – what would you do if you were that journalist? what about that police officer? What about that motorhome company? How would you try to deal with this dilemma? Do let me know…..if I get enough comments – I’ll let you know what actually happened next week!