Mom warns motorists against ‘balloon payment’ after car crash


A mom has warned other motorists about a “balloon payment” she claims she never knew about.Jillie Stross said the large and unexpected payment means she hasn’t been able to pay off her car.

The mother said she bought a Darcia Duster SE Twenty from Wessex Garages in Newport in July.

She said she needed more space to fit into her mobility scooter, Wales Online reported.

Jillie, who runs a pub in Merthyr, suffers from arthritis and needs the scooter when she is away and to care for her children, including her 12-year-old autistic son.

She claims she thought she bought the car on finance last month, but said she was only informed after an additional ‘balloon payment’ at the end of her contract.

Wessex Garages claims to have “fully informed the customer of their options while attempting to resolve the issue”.

Jillie said: ‘The seller asked me how is £ 198 a month. I thought it was a little more than I wanted to pay, but it was fine.

“When I got to the office, I was told that because of Covid-19, we couldn’t review the documents, and I was asked to sign it electronically.

“I thought I was signing up for a test drive at the time, and it wasn’t until after the fact that I was buying the car.

Jillie said she made the purchase because she needed a car that could easily accommodate her mobility scooter. On July 28, she picked up the car and drove home, but said something was wrong.

“I called them about 48 hours later and asked them if it was really £ 198 a month. They said yes and then they stopped and said “and the balloon payment”. ”

Jillie said she spoke to two of the vendors who told her the other informed her of the balloon payment.

“They both said the other would tell me about it when I bought it. But nobody did, ”she said.

Jillie was unhappy and eventually found out that the balloon payment would be £ 6,900, which she claims she can’t afford.

“I was at both the finance company and the dealership and was told that there was nothing wrong, that I had signed the papers and agreed to everything.

“I said I was told we couldn’t go through the papers because of Covid-19 and so I had never seen him before signing. I was never even shown the screen back then or anything.

“I feel like a fool and I don’t care that I didn’t insist on seeing him back then, but I trusted them.

“I think I was misled and they are using Covid-19 to make a sale. I didn’t think it was malicious or deliberate, I think they never told me and now deny that no one did.

“If I had known about the payment for the ball, I would have left. ”

Jillie said Wessex had since been offered a different payment deal as well as an offer to buy back the car as a used vehicle, but that she was not satisfied.

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“They offered a five year deal at £ 260 per month at 5.9% interest rate but I can’t afford that. The only way I could afford to pay this would be at 0% interest.

“I need trunk space in the car for my scooter, I need to be able to follow my children.”

Wessex Garages said in a statement, “We are aware of the issues the customer raised and Wessex Garages responded promptly and professionally at every step.

“While we cannot comment on the specific details of this case, we have tried to suggest alternatives and have fully informed the customer of their options while attempting to resolve the issue.

“After conducting a thorough investigation, we are confident that there is no indication or missed sale, violation of regulations or policies.

“Wessex Garages currently has an independent customer satisfaction score of 95% (Judge Services).


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