It’s National Tell A Story Day today and whilst I can recite plenty of random and funny tales, I thought it would be appropriate to elaborate on my own story connected to this blog with Evans Halshaw.
WHERE IT BEGAN
Once upon a time with Evans Halshaw (February 2015 to be precise), I bought a Renault Clio in Portobello, Edinburgh.
The car broke down after 11 weeks, Evans Halshaw refused to cooperate unless I bought another car from them and part-exchanged it, and said that it’s the chance you take when you buy a second-hand car.
They were adamant that it was fine when it was sold and I got an independent report which proved otherwise contrary to The Consumer Rights Act 2015. I then binned it on their forecourt on the back of a breakdown truck, filed a SORN, prepared the Court papers, e-mailed the top bomber with a copy of the Court papers and got a full refund.
I have had a lifetime of bad and unique experiences that could fill a book and this was the catalyst to do just that.
THE BOOK AND BLOG
I started writing the first edition in October 2015, I set up a basic website in April 2016 and the book came to fruition in September 2016. The feedback and results from those who bought it were good and rewarding to read.
Fast forward to March 2019 and I released a second edition as it needed updating for GDPR with some fresh material to revamp it with a new cover, title and Facebook page.
BBC Radio Scotland found my Facebook page within 2 weeks, downloaded my book and interviewed me mid-April for their consumer series ‘Clever with Cash’ that was aired later in the year.
A review came in at the beginning of May 2019 with a claim for £23,000 against Evans Halshaw from someone who bought my book and followed my advice.
In the meantime, BBC Rip Off Britain aired a programme on ‘cut and shut’ cars that were being sold primarily by Evans Halshaw that were not flagged on databases as being badly damaged in car crashes and resold.
I contacted a freelance journalist that morning and ran a pitch around my book and my experience, which led to me being flown to London days later on a 700-mile round trip on a Sunday afternoon for a photoshoot at the Daily Mail head office in Kensington. Now that was an incredible experience and one of the highlights of my life!
The feature was published mid-June 2019 and was shared 468 times online. I was getting e-mails within 20 minutes from all over the world and my profile shot up overnight.
I had to get my website professionally rebuilt and designed as a result, which has led to some interesting spin-offs.
Interestingly, my first Twitter follower @ladyjaney75 guessed that we were part of the same feature by my handle and followed me shortly before the feature was published. We both sensed that our feature was due to be published any day now and she featured me as a guest on her blog two days beforehand. Neither one of us knew until 2 hours before it went live online.
I made her an author within 4 weeks and we have helped each other on various aspects of what we do. I made a great friend for life thanks to Jill Foster who featured us.
I have also kept in touch with Jill and I was recently featured in the Mail on Sunday based on my coronavirus experience. I also spoke about it with The Sunday Post, Edinburgh Evening News, Hexham Courant and South West News Service who shared it with various papers including The Mirror, Daily Star and Wales Online.
I have since been featured in various regional and national papers on consumer issues, had more interviews with BBC Radio Scotland and a couple of live on-air slots with a community radio station where I was taking questions from listeners on consumer issues and motoring disputes.
Everything is now on hold for the foreseeable future, although I am excited at what will evolve once we get back to what will be a new normal.
All this came about from one complaint. Everyone has a story to tell. What’s yours?