Scores of No Deposit Cars customers seek collective action against company and owner Christian Borg

Scores of aggrieved customers are considering filing a collective lawsuit against kidnap suspect Christian Borg and his car dealership over what they claim are 'fraudulent contracts'

Christian Borg (Photo: Facebook)
Christian Borg (Photo: Facebook)

Scores of aggrieved customers are considering filing a collective lawsuit against kidnap suspect Christian Borg and his car dealership over what they claim are “fraudulent contracts.”

More than 70 customers of No Deposit Cars are seeking legal advice over the validity of the contracts they signed when buying second hand vehicles from Borg’s dealership.

No Deposit Cars Malta Ltd is owned by Christian Borg, who was charged last year, alongside five others, with kidnapping and threatening a man.

Lawyer Jason Azzopardi, who is assisting the customers, told MaltaToday legal action being contemplated concerns four different legal avenues.

“The first aspect concerns data protection breaches over possible illegal tracking of customers by the company,” Azzopardi said.

Last week Information and Data Protection Commissioner Ian Deguara, told Times of Malta that the data tracking clauses in the contracts break data protection laws. He said the clauses are “absolutely abnormal... not acceptable... [and] very invasive”.

The company installs a GPS tracker inside the cars it sells to its customers on a hire purchase basis. Numerous customers have reported that the tracker is used by the company to locate the vehicles and repossess them if they are in breach of the contract.

Azzopardi said he will also be contesting the car hire purchase agreements based on criminal fraud, to render the bills of exchange illegal.

The civil action will also deal with matters relating to Civil Law and motor vehicle legislation.

This newspaper is also informed that victims of No Deposit Cars will be holding a protest outside the company showroom next Friday 31 March at 10 am.

“We have had enough, it’s time we banded together and make our concerns known. It cannot be they continue to get away with it, and nearly every time it’s the victims who end up getting the short end of the stick,” an irate customer who spoke under condition of anonymity told this newspaper.

Customers pay no direct deposit to acquire a car. Instead, they enter into a hire-purchase agreement, paying a monthly fee for a fixed number of months, until it is totally paid for.

However, numerous customers have claimed to have been sold defective cars with the company unwilling to make up for the problems.

Often, No Deposit Cars customers have ended up as defendants in civil lawsuits filed by the dealership, with the law courts finding in favour of the dealership and its “unfair” contracts.

Last month, MaltaToday reported the story of customer Ivan Novak, a Slovenian national working in the gaming sector, who has lived in Malta since 2015. He is just one of scores of car buyers who claim they were duped by the car dealership.

He had paid €11,400 over five years for a Peugeot 208 hatchback from the company under a hire-purchase agreement. When he informed No Deposit that he would be paying for the rest of the monthly rates, he was duly informed that the transfer of the car’s ownership would take around two weeks.

“Then around two weeks later, Luke Milton (one of the men charged in the abduction case) who I was told was company director, wanted to speak to me, because something was wrong,” Novak told MaltaToday. Milton is also facing charges of fraudulently obtaining $700,000 from a car dealer and storing them in a “crypto wallet” to which only he had access.

“Milton told me the car could not be transferred to my name, as it was under ‘bank ownership’. Instead, he told me to pick another car from the showroom that would be transferred to me,” he said.

Novak is yet to receive feedback from No Deposit Cars, believing they are trying to evade him. This newspaper has also seen WhatsApp messages between Novak and Milton, where the No Deposit Cars director can be seen ignoring the messages on several occasions, replying in very short sentences, or not even acknowledging Novak, despite the latter being unable to drive his Peugeot.

Novak is now stuck with a car he cannot use, despite spending the last three years paying for it.

PN calls on consumers' authority to investigate Christian Borg

The Nationalist Party has formally asked the Malta Consumer and Competition Authority to investigate Christian Borg's companies and all car rental firms to determine whether the contracts offered to consumers were unjust or illegal.

PN spokesperson Rebekah Borg was reacting to reports in MaltaToday and other media that flagged several concerns raised by Borg's bitten customers.