Money Grouse: Not what the doctor ordered

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Mark Peakman is disappointed at treatment he received from BMW Finance, the German car manufacturer's credit arm.

Although it matched the best finance deal available elsewhere, BMW Finance added a last-minute pounds 50 sting in the tail.

Despite repeated letters of protest the company refused to refund the charge, which it described as an acceptance fee.

Dr Peakman said: 'Normally I am a very level-headed type of person, but every time I think about it I get very angry.'

Since being contacted by the Independent, however, BMW Finance has agreed to waive the pounds 50 charge.

Dr Peakman agreed to a finance deal when buying a car from a BMW dealership in the West Midlands. 'I checked to find which was the cheapest rate of interest for my loan and found that the best deal was with Direct Line, paying pounds 218.33 per month for 48 months,' he said.

'I was then contacted by BMW Finance, who asked if I needed any help with the purchase. I said that as long as they could match those payments I did not mind who I borrowed the money from.'

BMW Finance was able to offer him the loan at the same rate of interest, so Dr Peakman, who works at King's College School of Medicine in London, travelled to Coventry to pick up his car.

When he got there he spotted the pounds 50 charge on his credit agreement but was reassured by the salesman, who told him the total payment would remain pounds 218.33 a month.

It was only afterwards that he realised the pounds 50 was an additional cost. BMW Finance said the charge was standard within the car industry and covered administration costs.

Since then it has had a change of heart. A spokesman said: 'The agreement did make it quite clear what Dr Peakman was expected to pay and he signed it.

'But we are not going to quibble over a few pounds. We will be offering a refund.'

Write to Money Grouse, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB. Do not send SAEs or original documents.

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