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Old 16.08.2021, 16:37
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Is a verbal agreement legally binding?

Hi EF,

I have an issue with a garage, I saw a car being sold on internet, description was saying that the car is ok, without any issues, then the seller confirmed me that.

Seller wanted me to send them CHF 500 to reserve the car. Money sent, and after 2 weeks, when we had come to take the car, we noticed that engine was making some weird sounds.
Seller recognized that there is a problem and they will fix it rather than returning the "anzahlung".
Now 2 days trying to reach them out and they not answering and the car was back on autoscout24.

Didn't expect such things here, what can I do?

P.S: used car, price is around 10k
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Old 16.08.2021, 16:41
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Re: Is a verbal agreement legally binding?

We need some more details, to be best able to help.


  • Was any of this handled over text messages? I ask because people often use words like "spoke", when they sent messages over chat app's.
  • Do you have the full name and address of the seller?
  • Are you sure the car was re-advertised, and not just left up?
  • What was the content of the last few messages (to see if we can understand the gap in communication now)?
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Old 16.08.2021, 16:53
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Re: Is a verbal agreement legally binding?

- All car details where discussed by phone. I just wrote them a message saying that I reserve the car, until agreed date, for agreed amount and later on they just confirmed that they received the deposit.
- I have full name of the garage (GmbH) and their address
- Yes, it was re-advertised, now it is removed again after 3-4 hours of being online.
- There are no other messages, and the gap in communication is excluded, they just avoided to say about any issue.
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Old 16.08.2021, 19:44
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Re: Is a verbal agreement legally binding?

Verbal agreements are legally binding. It's proving it that's the issue.
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Old 16.08.2021, 19:57
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Re: Is a verbal agreement legally binding?

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- All car details where discussed by phone. I just wrote them a message saying that I reserve the car, until agreed date, for agreed amount and later on they just confirmed that they received the deposit.
- I have full name of the garage (GmbH) and their address
- Yes, it was re-advertised, now it is removed again after 3-4 hours of being online.
- There are no other messages, and the gap in communication is excluded, they just avoided to say about any issue.
Send them a registered letter, stating all the verbal agreements, incl. date and time, if you have it.
Confirm how and when the money was sent (I trust it was through a bank, rather than cash).

Demand your money back as you have not received the goods, as it were. Give them the details of how and where you want your money sent.

Give them ten days grace, and tell them you'll start a Betreibung if the money hasn't been returned to you.
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Old 17.08.2021, 10:59
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Re: Is a verbal agreement legally binding?

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Verbal agreements are legally binding. It's proving it that's the issue.
If verbal agreement cannot be proved, there is internet ad that says that car is "Fresh from MFK & from Service"
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Old 17.08.2021, 11:00
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Re: Is a verbal agreement legally binding?

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Send them a registered letter, stating all the verbal agreements, incl. date and time, if you have it.
Confirm how and when the money was sent (I trust it was through a bank, rather than cash).

Demand your money back as you have not received the goods, as it were. Give them the details of how and where you want your money sent.

Give them ten days grace, and tell them you'll start a Betreibung if the money hasn't been returned to you.
Think I will do it this way
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Old 17.08.2021, 11:13
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Re: Is a verbal agreement legally binding?

On of their reviews:
Translated by google
"Appointments for viewing and questions about the transport of dogs in the vehicle agreed in advance by telephone and inquired. Regarding dogs, no clear answer was received, whether yes or no. When arriving on the agreed date, there was no seller to receive the customer. Only an office worker made the vehicle accessible and asked if a test drive was desired. Dogs were transported in the vehicle and the rear cover was partially chewed on, but nothing about it is in the advertisement or on request by phone was not communicated openly."
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Old 17.08.2021, 11:17
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Re: Is a verbal agreement legally binding?

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If verbal agreement cannot be proved, there is internet ad that says that car is "Fresh from MFK & from Service"
Does not say that the engine is OK & not making funny noises.

A service is changing oil etc as suggested by manufacture, an MFK checks certain things are safe.
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Old 07.09.2021, 19:29
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Re: Is a verbal agreement legally binding?

To give an update on this:

Sent a letter asking for the refund in 10 days, stating that I am going to open a "betriebung".

10 days later, "betriebung" initiated, today received a response - "rechtsvorschlag".

Now thinking whether it is worth going further. As just to consult a lawyer to get an appreciation of the case is a lot of money.
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