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Old 12.03.2012, 23:15
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Contacting the previous owner of a car

Hello dear friends of EF,

I'd like to hear your opinion on the following matter.

I'm thinking about buying a car from a dealer (see my previous thread for details ) and I'm doing some background checks on it.

By chance I came across the name, address and phone number of the previous owner, which is a private living in switzerland.

Do you know if it's legal for me to just give a quick call to the guy and ask him about the car? And even if it's legal, would you consider it rude and harassing, from his point of view, or would it be fine?

I tried to put myself in his situation, and I have to admit I don't have a definitive opinion. I think if the car was a scam, I'd be happy to warn potential buyers...
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Old 13.03.2012, 00:30
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Re: Contacting the previous owner of a car

should not be a problem. I rec'd a call from someone a few weeks after I sold my car to a dealer, and he just wanted to ask when the fan belts were changed etc etc...

the worst that can happen is the person doesn't wish to answer your questions... nothing lost, right??
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Old 13.03.2012, 11:49
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Re: Contacting the previous owner of a car

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should not be a problem. I rec'd a call from someone a few weeks after I sold my car to a dealer, and he just wanted to ask when the fan belts were changed etc etc...

the worst that can happen is the person doesn't wish to answer your questions... nothing lost, right??
That's what I thought too...

However the dealer was quite aggressive on this, warning me to never call the guy, because he (the previous owner) could sue me for violation of privacy. He also added that is very common in Switzerland to sue for this.

So I was wondering if that's really true, or it's just a move from the dealer to scare me and preventing me from calling the owner, which makes me also wonder if there's something they want to keep secret about the car.

I was also thinking about hiring Jack Bauer to proceed with the investigation, but maybe I'm just a bit paranoid
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Old 13.03.2012, 11:58
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Re: Contacting the previous owner of a car

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However the dealer was quite aggressive on this, warning me to never call the guy, because he (the previous owner) could sue me for violation of privacy. He also added that is very common in Switzerland to sue for this.
Now I would DEFINITELY call the previous owner, asking him pointedly about how many kilometers the car had. Mention the dealer's behaviour as the reason you are calling!

We looked at a Zurich plated Mazda 2 car at a dealer near Oensingen. I pointed out to him there were 11'000 Km more on the Odometer since the advert in www.car4you.ch was published, "Yeah well, the people have been driving about a bit" and why was the service not done 10'000 Km previously, "Um, the owner didn't do it"
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Old 13.03.2012, 12:01
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Re: Contacting the previous owner of a car

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Now I would DEFINITELY call the previous owner, asking him pointedly about how many kilometers the car had. Mention the dealer's behaviour as the reason you are calling!

We looked at a Zurich plated Mazda 2 car at a dealer near Oensingen. I pointed out to him there were 11'000 Km more on the Odometer since the advert in www.car4you.ch was published, "Yeah well, the people have been driving about a bit" and why was the service not done 10'000 Km previously, "Um, the owner didn't do it"
Was about to post almost exactly the same thing. Sounds like the dealer is trying to hide something.
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Old 13.03.2012, 12:02
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Re: Contacting the previous owner of a car

I would surly and politely contact a previous owner.

However in this case I would be far more tempted to walk away to another dealer, this sounds super suspect and from the other posts about this garage I think there could be all-sorts of later issues that will cause you grief!

I would sleep better, not stress and look elsewhere...just my couple of rappen
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