File photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP

London - A car salesman sent abusive online messages to a customer whose complaint meant he lost a £200 (R3600) commission for a sale.

Natalie James bought a Vauxhall Corsa from Go Vauxhall in Croydon, south London, but was unhappy with seller Gary Brown’s conduct and reported him to managers at the dealership.

More than eight months later, last Friday, she received a Facebook message from Mr Brown saying: “Thought I recognised you. The complaining little slag!”

When she replied that she did not know him, he wrote: “It was me that sold you the black Corsa, but then you complained about me for no reason at all?…? I ended up losing commission I had earned for selling the car. All because you are a moaning little ****.”

Miss James, an office administrator from East Grinstead, West Sussex, described the messages as “disgusting” in a post on Twitter. Vauxhall bosses apologised to her on the social networking site and said Mr Brown no longer works for the firm.

Last night the 37-year-old, who has sent an apology to Miss James, said he was “ashamed of himself” for sending the messages and “regretted it instantly.”

Police are investigating.