Pothole damage claims, refunds on parking tickets and holiday compensation: you name it, 51-year-old Scott Dixon has bagged it.
And the consumer expert from Edinburgh is proud to be regarded as the UK’s biggest complainer after a lifetime of coming up against bad customer service and experiences.
After decades of making complaints, and resolving them, he has put his expertise into his aptly named website thegrumpygit.com – that offers advice to others on how to spot loopholes to crack the most difficult of consumer and motoring disputes.
Below, the grumpy git shares some of the things he likes to complain about the most, and his biggest wins.
“I’ve had many a dispute when it comes to holidays! I lost out on a trip of a lifetime to Australia which was cancelled due to the Icelandic volcano.
“I was set to lose £1,300 on the accommodation booked in Sydney as the insurance company rejected my claim as an ‘Act of God’.
“I refused to take that nonsense.
“I pointed out that Acts of God were not specifically excluded on the policy including volcanic eruptions, therefore I should be indemnified (covered).
“I took my case to the Financial Ombudsman who ruled in my favour after an 8-month battle and I was given a full refund.”
Here’s what you need to know about your holiday refund rights when booking a trip.
“Don’t get me started on parking attendants and the speeding police!
“I was allegedly caught speeding on my scooter as I was coming into a 30mph zone in a rural area.
“The Police stopped me and I was issued with a Court Summons for doing 47mph. I pleaded ‘not guilty’ as the sign that they were relying on to prosecute me was hidden by a hedge.
“If a sign is obscured, it cannot be said that the road was adequately signed. Therefore, I should not be found guilty of the alleged offence.
“I went to the local library and found the paragraph relating to road signs in the Road Traffic Act and read the law back to the Police who were trying to enforce it.
“A local Sergeant came round to my house the night before I was due in Court and cancelled my Court appearance.
“I saved at least £200 in a fine and costs in addition to higher insurance premiums for years to come for being convicted of a speeding offence.”
These are all the parking ‘excuses’ you can use to appeal a ticket and escape the fine.
“I complained successfully after rejecting a car that only lasted 11 weeks and secured a full refund of £2,000 from a well-known car dealership.
“I also served court papers on Honda for a rejected warranty claim on a scooter for £1,000 worth of repair and replacement work that needed doing.
“That was agreed within one-hour of receipt of the Court papers as a goodwill gesture.”
“One of my biggest wins was buying a Jaguar XF which was simply not up to scratch.
“It was one thing after another and it clearly hadn’t been quality checked, nor was it a premium car in my eyes. I lost faith in the car after about three months and simply handed it back to cut my losses and walk away.
“The dealership promptly put it back on the forecourt at a price of £500 more than I paid for it, which astounded me. It was only because I had pointed out various issues that were remedied and not because of any Quality Checks that they did.
“I wrote a blistering letter to the CEO on that point and the Branch Manager rang me afterwards full of apologies with a goodwill cheque for £500 to resolve it.”
“Potholes are one of my biggest grievances. Local authorities love to decline all pothole claims.
“This is completely unacceptable and road users deserve much better.
“The real scandal is local authorities not repairing any potholes properly to any specification, meaning that they end up wasting money throwing tarmac into the same holes time and time again.
“I’ve experienced like so many others trying to pursue a claim and am faced with lies and delays on FOI requests, claims stoppers using default excuses to deny liability on behalf of their client (local authority) and solicitors using various underhand tactics including asking a mechanic to compile a report based on MOT advisories to imply that it’s the car and not the pothole at fault.”
We spoke to another motorist who got back £100 after a pothole burst their tyre – and it took just 10 minutes. Here’s how you can do it too.
PRIVATE PARKING TICKETS
“I love to complain about these as they are a disgrace! I know that this is a hot topic and a bone of contention with every motorist.
“This is an unregulated industry that revolves around contract law with nearly 7million speculative invoices issued each year.
“It is estimated that up to 8.6million motorists will be hit with a private parking ticket in 2019, which is a 20% increase on the previous year meaning you have a one in four chance of being caught out.
“I call them ‘speculative invoices’ because that is what they are. They are not official parking tickets – they are invoices for an alleged breach of contract for entering private land.”
Here’s how you can spot the difference between an a official parking ticket and a private “invoice”.
“I ordered a sofa bed when I first moved into my flat from a well-known retailer and I was continually being fobbed off and lied to about delivery times.
“It took well over six months to be delivered, which is unacceptable.
“The manager in the store was off-hand and simply obnoxious when I was trying to find out, saying it’s on its way and to take it up with customer services!
“I did just that and I was offered £170 compensation for the inconvenience and distress, which I asked nicely if they could round it up to £200 – they did.
“The sofa bed was £678, so that’s quite a result.”
We explain how to complain about banks, credit card firms and energy companies and see results.
With flights being cancelled due to coronavirus, we explain if and how you can get refunded from companies like Ryanair and British Airways.
To save yourself complaining in the first place, we top tips on Boxing Day best bargains and where to find them.
We pay for your stories!
Do you have a story for The Sun Money team?