Axminster-based motor dealer fined

PUBLISHED: 18:00 25 August 2009 | UPDATED: 00:03 16 June 2010

AN Axminster-based motor dealer has been fined for using misleadingly low prices on vehicles offered for sale on his website and for failing to disclose the addition of an administration fee to customers.

AN Axminster-based motor dealer has been fined for using misleadingly low prices on vehicles offered for sale on his website and for failing to disclose the addition of an administration fee to customers.

At Exeter Crown Court today, Tuesday, August 25, Mark John Hiscox, 48, of Southleigh, Colyton, received fines totalling £4,000 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £3,148.45.

Mr Hiscox had previosuly pleaded guilty to a total of eight charges against him and his Axminster based company, Candlemine Shute Ltd, trading as Devon Trade Centre. The company was fined £8,000 and similarly ordered to pay £3,148.45 costs.

The case was the first brought by Devon County Council's Trading Standards Service under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, after a number of complaints were received from members of the public.

Customers reported being misled by low prices advertised on the business's website, when the actual price of the vehicles on the forecourt was much higher.

In addition, vehicles were also then subject to an additional administration fee of between £249 and £599.

One price displayed on the website was £1,500 lower than the price the customer was actually asked to pay.

Trading Standards officers had previously advised the company that advertised prices had to be true and accurate but the complaints continued.

Councillor John Hart, Leader of Devon County Council said: "This was clearly a business ploy to lure consumers to the forecourt with seemingly low internet prices.

"These illegal practices misled potential customers by inflating the final cost of any vehicle way beyond what was expected.

"This prosecution demonstrates that Trading Standards will not hesitate to use this new legislation to its fullest extent to protect both consumers and local businesses from unfair trading practices."

Consumers can get advice on a range of consumer issues by calling Consumer Direct on 08454 040506 and by logging on to the Devon County Council Trading Standards Service website at www.devon.gov.uk/tradingstandards .

You can also report illegal trading activity to Devon Trading Standards Service, anonymously if you wish, via their confidential phone line 'Trading Standards Confidential' on (01392) 381380.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Midweek Herald. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Midweek Herald