Ordered a new Alfa 159 Sportwagon from this company who supposedly where able to order direct from the manufacturer in Italy and then sell at a considerable discount saving thousands off the dealer price.
Ordered the car as their website looked very professional on which they showed a large list of satisfied customers, and paid a 1000 pound deposit.
All was good to start off with however, as time passed it became apparent that they could not supply me with the car at the price agreed and that the advertised time of 12-16 weeks delivery was indeed fictional and that when pressed their best guess was a delivery time of 5 1/2 months after ordering (and this was in no way guaranteed)!!! Had a strong suspicion that I would never see the car so cancelled the contract on the basis of their two breaches in the contract.
Telephoned them once and wrote to them four times. The telephone conversation was aggressive and intimidating (at least they tried to be...!) and 3 of the four letters where ignored with the third one gaining a vague response which avoided the whole issue.
Had to initiate small claims action against them in the County Court. They submitted a paper defence which claimed that I had been given 500 pounds of the money owed in full and final settlement. This was a lie and tantamount to perjury. The rest of their defence was laughed at by my solicitor, but it didn't get that far as they ignored some correspondence from the court and the Judge found in my favour by default.
I applied for a warrant of execution to recover my money and some time after, the Bailiffs attempted to enforce it. Coincidentally on the same day Auto Lusso applied to the court to have the judgement set aside as their member of staff who dealt with all their legal dealings was supposedly ill. I was away out of the country for the hearing that would decide weather to set aside or not. In my absence I wrote a letter expressing my concern over the integrity of the defendants application. Unfortunately, this was not read by the judge and so it was adjourned to a third hearing as nobody from Auto Lusso could be bothered to turn up. I was present at the third hearing and again Auto Lusso couldn't find the time to bother turning up and so again the hearing was found in my favour and the CCJ and warrant were reinstated.
A month later the Bailiffs again attempted to enforce my warrant but this time when they arrived at the premises of the defendant they found that the company had changed it's name to Auto Lusso servicing Ltd, a subtle name change but enough to make the warrant unenforceable because "Auto Lusso" where no longer trading. During conversation with Luton Bailiffs I was told that their office was very ,very familiar with the dealings of the three individuals who run this company. Indeed, it would appear that they have changed the name of the company four times to avoid recovery action and the three main characters seem to take it in turns for the directorship of these companies yet deny responsibility when challenged!
I am not the only one to fall fowl of them a quick Google search of any of the names above will show some interesting results here are just a few: http://www.blagger.com/db4/company_id/5021/companyname/Smart-Alfa.html, http://search.reviews.ebay.co.uk/ws/UCSearch?satitle=Auto+Lusso&ucc=b, http://reviews.ebay.co.uk/CLCARS-SMARTALFA-AUTOLUSSO-BEWARE_W0QQugidZ10000000002188135 in addition a search on the Alfa Romeo Owners website will turn up some similar results.
This is not over, I will continue to have the name changed on the warrant to match whatever they are trading as today! I have informed Trading Standards and they seemed very interested, logging a criminal complaint to investigate. Luckily I paid using my credit card and so will now also chase them for reimbursement and they have the financial means and legal clout to continue this fight long after me in recovering their losses.
Your days are numbered Auto Lusso or whatever your name is now and eventually this will catch up with you and with any luck you will all end up in jail!