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“I purchased a car through the autotrader website about...”

Written on: 07/05/2011

I purchased a car through the autotrader website about 6 months ago and found it to be quite easy. However, when I came to sell the car via autotrader 6 months later I had an absolute nightmare experience!!!


Basically, I advertised the car (Toyota Avensis 2006, 40k miles) with them for 6 weeks (£35 x 2 consecutive ads). I took a lot of time to ensure I followed all of the advice on their website in terms of how to market the car. During the 6 weeks it was advertised I did not receive 1 phone call from a potential buyer. However, I did receive 15 calls from agents offering to sell my car + 5 emails from scammers.

After the first 3 weeks it was advertised I decided to send 2 seperate emails to their customer services and sales departments explaining how dissapointed I was with the whole experience. I did not even get so much as an acknowledgement back! However, each time my advert ended (i.e. after 3 weeks) I receieved a call from a sales person trying to convince me to relist the advert. Each time they said I was "just unlucky this time around and that 70% of cars sell first time around". However, after speaking to various friends and family I found that most of them had has a similar experience and I doubt very much that the "70%" stat is true.

OK - so maybe I was unlucky, who knows? However, if it really was just bad luck then autotrader should be confident enough to re-list my advert for free (or with a huge discount), but no, they insist on charging a price close to the original listing fee and then they try to upsell you to include colour backgrounds, bigger pictures, featured ads etc... claiming it will increase the chances of a sale next time around. Furthermore, to not even reply to customer complaint emails shows that they do not take the views of their customers seriously. In today's retail market this is unacceptable.

To be honest, autotrader could have easily tunred my bad experience into a good one. For example: the sales agent who calls to convince you of a re-listing should have the discretionery power to re-list your car for free, rather than using hard sell tactics to extort money out of the customer. If they'd have re-listed my car for free after the first or second attempt I would have such a bad taste in my mouth even if the car had not of sold.

The fact is, I feel like autotrader have taken £70 from me for absolutley nothing! As such it is likley that I will never buy or sell a car via autotrader ever again and I definetly wont be recommending them to anyone, rather I will be actively discouraging people from using them.

This is a classic example of a company failing to address to the needs of its customers. If you really want to sell your car, don't expect it to be easy via autotrader. As for me, following the advice on this and other forums I'm going to sell try and sell my car via eBay and Gumtree.

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