Out of the ordinary


"… From the first days of operation of the car, I drew attention to the negligence of the assembly, for example, an ashtray jammed when it was closed …" - from a pre-trial claim for replacing the car.


In the West, there are well-known cases when a company client received fabulous compensation through a court for a cup of coffee spilled on his knees (not too hot) or for a pie stuck in his throat (with a choke). It’s hard to surprise a rotten pie in Russia - for this reason few are ready to sue us. Nevertheless, this small audience has already announced itself, and it manages to make good money. Some of these litters, it seems, have completely passed into the category of professionals and do nothing in their life except courts. By the way, these "professionals" have already been picked up by the corresponding nickname - terrorist clients. These comrades thrive in the automotive environment.


Once a customer came to an official Honda dealer with a complaint about an incomprehensible sound when the automatic rear axle clutch was triggered. Just in case, in order not to quarrel, the dealer replaced the clutch. And the client is again “on a visit” - and says: “The sound remains! The defect could not be fixed! Change the car! Moral injury!". Yes, he added that his wife has the same Honda with the same sound - a replacement will not hurt her either. And I ordered an examination at MADI. The conclusion was serious: the sound when the clutch is turned on is a clear drawback, since it is not mentioned in the instruction manual. And although this is not a manufacturing defect, but just an oversight (the company forgot to warn in the instructions about the possible occurrence of sound) - you still won’t dig. The "terrorist" now has every reason to sue.

This is a typical case. However, they do not always catch the company on mistakes. More often they try to use ordinary deception. In the same MADI expert center lies a bunch of expertises that were born out of claims for car washes. The scheme is as follows: the client somewhere scratches the paintwork on his four-wheeled beauty (usually a foreign car), and since he is reluctant to pay the repair costs, he goes to the sink (choosing a richer company, say, British Petroleum) and after washing declares: “What Well, you scratched my car! ” And then - the court, examination, etc. True (we want to warn those who wish), in “washing” cases the expert’s opinion is usually not in favor of an extremist.

We asked experts from the Confederation of Consumer Rights Societies and the Russian Society of Automotive Consumers to draw up a typical portrait of a “terrorist”. Here's what happened. This is usually a man aged 30–45 years. Education is above average (knows the laws!). Extremely suspicious, intolerant of someone else's opinion (if the lawyer does not sing with him in one voice - changes the lawyer, even to the detriment of the case), assertive and energetic (easily runs from the judge to the prosecutor), prohibitively greedy (sets excessive demands and does not agree to write off any penny).

By the way, some large trading companies have in their archives entire lists of "terrorists" who are strictly forbidden to provide any services! Who wants to go broke? The threat is real. Here, for clarity, the earnings of one of these gentlemen (the owner of a foreign car): 1994 - 26 million (hereinafter non-denominated rubles), 1996 - 61 million rubles, 1998 - 30 million rubles, plus replacing the car with a new one .. .


It is interesting that often “terrorists” become involuntarily. And, strangely enough, the sellers themselves are to blame for this. Case: the owner of the Nissan revealed a ridiculous defect - the cigarette lighter, heating up, jumped out of the socket. The owner went to the dealer, just to share how his scarf caught fire (to which, in fact, the cigarette lighter accidentally hit). And what do you think? He was sent from the doorway very far and very, very long time. He was offended. And ordered a study. Experts measured everything: the cigarette lighter's flight path, fall range, contact with the upholstery and seats, the ignition temperature of this upholstery. And here is the result - the flaw is defined as quite serious, capable of causing a fire. Consequently, it is possible to demand from the dealer the full program, including legal costs and payment of the rental of a new car for the duration of the trial (and this may be a year and a half).

But if one only treated the person with understanding, he would never have taken the path of “consumer terror”. After all, all that was required of the dealer was to bend the edges of the cigarette lighter mounts with pliers … And nothing more!

“Terrorism”, whether it is conscious or spontaneous, does not cause sympathy with us. But, like any phenomenon, there are two sides. Like it or not, namely the “terrorists, ” who in their requirements are able to go all the way, unwittingly educate our negligent business people, let them know that with the consumer you need to be extremely correct and impeccable.

Advice to firms on the prevention of "terrorism"

MADI expert Sergey LOSAVIO gives.

1. Be extremely attentive and polite to the client. Even if he came with such a trifle as a cigarette lighter, listen and try to help. Do not cultivate revenge.