The Consumer Advisory Services of the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority and the European Consumer Centre have been contacted about a new service providing car valuation in Finnish at autoarviointi.fi. The consumers are encountering similar issues they have with previous car valuation services. For example, it is difficult to tell whether the service is subject to a charge. We recommend consumers to dispute the invoices with the company.
The paid-for nature of the service may come as a surprise to consumers, as the price, EUR 120, is only mentioned in small print on the company’s website. If a consumer opens the front page of the online service on a mobile device, the terms and conditions, including price information, may not be displayed at all.
This service, Autoarviointi.fi, is operated by a company called Quotient INT LTD, which states that it is located in Ireland. Its invoicing details, on the other hand, are in Belgium.
So far, the number consumer contacts is a little over ten, but the number of complaints is expected to increase. Some consumers have said that they had received email marketing regarding the service in question. These email advertisements have been sent from different email addresses.
It is important for consumers to remember that services providing car valuation are usually always subject to a charge, and that they should not provide their car’s license plate number, or other information, into the services without consideration.
Instructions for consumers
You should file a written complaint with the company after receiving an invoice if you have signed up for a car valuation service without knowing that a fee will be charged for it, if you did not sign up for it, or if the request was made on your behalf by someone else, for example a minor.
You can submit a complaint to the company via its website contact form or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Some consumers have indicated that the company’s email address is not operational, which is why we recommend sending a complaint through both channels. Keep the email you send and take a screenshot of the message you submit through a contact form before clicking submit. You can file a complaint in Finnish, but to be sure, you should also submit an English translation of your complaint to the company or file the complaint directly in English.
When filing your complaint to the company, you can use the following phrases. Choose the option that best corresponds to your specific situation.
- I did not order a car valuation from you as a paid service. There was no clear mention in your advertising or on your order form of any fees charged for the service. I demand that you cancel the invoice that you sent to me immediately.
- I did not order a car valuation service from you. I visited your site but did not place an order. I left the page without clicking the Order button, but I have received an unjustified order confirmation from you. I demand that you cancel the invoice that you sent to me immediately.
- I did not order a car valuation service from you. I own the vehicle in question, but the order was placed by someone else and, consequently, I am not bound by it. I demand that you cancel the invoice that you sent to me immediately.
One complaint to a company is enough. Keep the price estimate, invoices, your complaint, and any reply that you may receive from the company.
Contact the European Consumer Centre for advice if, despite your complaint, the company hands the invoice over to a collection agency. A complaint must be filed with the debt collection agency regarding unjustified debt collection; you can use the template available on the website of the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority. However, based on our experience, it is unlikely that invoices regarding car valuation will be handed over to collection.
Consumer authorities familiar with car valuation services, issues also present in other countries
In recent years, Finnish consumers have faced similar issues with the carcheck.fi and carspy.fi services, operated by Latvian Nordweb SIA. The company has since ceased its operations. At times, car valuation services do emerge on the market under new names and locations in different countries.
This year, the Danish and Swedish consumer authorities have also reported similar problems with several different car valuation services.