A rogue trader from Mansfield has been ordered to cough up more than £4,000 by a court after threatening and intimidating customers who complained about faulty cars he had sold them.
Andrew Ostolski, 36, of Heathfield Way, was said to have used poor sales tactics, made misleading claims and refused to refund deposits.
He was told to pay £2,790 in compensation to three customers, court costs of £1,672 and a fine of £700 when he appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court.
A director of the used-car dealership, QMC Limited, of Bradder Way, Mansfield, he pleaded guilty to seven offences. QMC itself admitted five offences and was fined £750.
Most of the charges against Ostolski and QMC were brought under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations Act of 2008.
The court heard that the dealership turned down requests for deposits made in December 2015 and January 2016 by two customers, including a woman who was subjected to aggressive behaviour.
In August last year, QMC sold a Ford Focus car that was not fit for purpose, the court was told. The vehicle broke down on its first journey from the garage, but no refund or replacement were offered to the customer after the garage collected it.
Furthermore, the dealership sold a Vauxhall Astra car that had faults, but refused to give the buyer his money back. After independent examiners had inspected it, the vehicle was found to be unroadworthy.
At the end of the court hearing, Coun Glynn Gilfoyle, chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council’s community safety committee, said: “This dealer used threats and intimidation to customers who had genuine problems with the vehicles he sold them. He refused to refund deposits and, in one case, he took the car back and left the customer out of pocket, which is wholly unacceptable.
“The major concern is that he sold a car that was found to be unroadworthy, so justice has been served and the dealer will now have to compensate affected customers and pay fines.”
IF you have suffered similar problems when buying a used car, you can report it to the Citizens’ Advice consumer helpline (formerly known as Consumer Direct) on 03454 040506.