I currently have a consumer rights dispute over a car and have been trying to resolve it via WhatsApp, as the only method I had to communicate with the dealer. I have followed everything I can and sent him messages explaining my rights and the issue.

Last week I sent him a message stating I wanted to hear back in 7 days regarding the next steps as I was getting nowhere but I still got no response (it does show he's seen all my messages).

Would I be able to go down the route of a partial refund or have I wasted all my time waiting and have to start again with writing letters?

I am happy to do a letter before going to court asking for a refund, but I don't want to cancel my garage appointment for the repair and start all over again waiting months for a reply just because I used WhatsApp.

  • Can I ask, how many days have passed since the car purchase? Did you say on WhatsApp that you want a refund?
    – 20-roso
    Commented Mar 2, 2021 at 19:26
  • 1
    You might want to supplement your information. What do you mean "I have followed everything i can"? Did the dealer give you directions pursuant to your complaint? Has he ever replied to you? If so, what did he say? Commented Mar 2, 2021 at 23:45
  • The case is awfully similar to mine. The messages on WhatsApp were labelled as read but the dealer was not replying. Then we also had a dispute on whether the error was wear and tear (You can see my previous posts). I hope the OP adds more details.
    – 20-roso
    Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 10:06
  • Was your last post a request for a letter of deadlock? Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 12:46
  • Wen you say "go to court", do you mean complaining to the ombudsman? Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 12:48

1 Answer 1


Short answer: I can't find anything saying that electronic communication doesn't count here. If you have taken the necessary steps to seek further action, doing them over WhatsApp is valid (though using a second method is recommended, if only to pre-empt "my phone broke").

Long answer:

To do so, you need a letter of deadlock or "final response", showing you have exhausted attempts to resolve the situation. You will need to request this from the company- stating that they're resolution of your complain has been unsatisfactory and to issue the letter. This should include a reasonable deadline (the samples I've found suggest two weeks), after which you will consider the issue deadlocked and proceed anyway.

I couldn't find anything to suggest that the request must be physical. Obviously a verbal request is not recommended as you will need to prove it later. However, your last message probably wouldn't be enough to count if you were simply discussing your next step and didn't mention this.

  • The primary exception would be for cases in which a contract, statute or court rule specifically provides for a means of giving notice that does not include WhatsApp, although, by continuing to communicate with you in that fashion, the dealer is arguably waiving any contractual right to have communications handled by other means. For any purposes for which oral communications would be allowed it is probably fine. It probably isn't a valid medium in which to give notice of the commencement of a lawsuit absent specific court permission to do so.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented Apr 2, 2021 at 18:17

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