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Auto Body shop

Casper250

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#1
THE SET UP:
To make a long story short, i dropped my car off at a bodyshop after a minor accedent to get fixed. I still had Collision insurance so i was going though my insurence company to pay for it. The insurence company sent me a check for $1600. It was based on $2100 minus my $500 deductable. The insurence company would send an adjuster to look at my car at the bodyshop if additional parts would be needed. So the auto body shop had the adjuster come because they couldn't locate used parts and need to get new factory parts.

THE PROBLEM:
well, the shop took over 2 months to finish my car. They never called me to give me updates on my car(i called him about 3 times a week) and i had to do ALL the legwork when it came to comunicating between the body shop and the insurence company. In the mean time I had no car to use and i just started my first "real" job since graduating. The guy at the autobody shop said that he would detail the whole car for me and "make it worth it" for it taking so long. When it all came down to it, he didn't do anything that he promissed but did follow though on saving me the $500 deductable. We payed them the $1600 we got from the insurence company and the remaining payment would be sent to them directly from the insurence company.
I picked up the car after work AT NIGHT so it looked good then. Well needless to say when i saw it in the daylight, nothing matched up. The paint job was fine but the lines of the hood didn't match the fenders, the front lights didn't match the hood, the fog lights were different depts in the bumber and last but not least the bumber wasn't matched to the fenders. Basically a crap job. I think the guy just threw it all together to get the car out of there.

WHAT SHOULD I DO:
The total bill came out to $3,700. The insurence company was supposed to send the last check of $1,700 directly to the bodyshop but they sent it to me instead(the check is made out to me to). Now, the body shop hasn't called and it's been 2 weeks since i picked up my car. I don't feel that i should pay him because he did such a poor job on the car. On the other hand, I don't know what will happen if i don't pay him, like going to small claims court or something.

What should i do? Should i call them and confront them about the car and use the money as my last bargining chip or tell them to screw off bacause my car came out like crap and i'm going to have to pay another shop to fix their mistakes.
 
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smarttoys

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#2
You should definitely take the car back to them. If they are a reputable shop at all they should stand behind their work. If not, let the insurance company know that the car was not repaired correctly and you want to take the car to another shop to be fixed correctly.
 

Gary B.

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#4
A "reputable" shop would not have "saved you the deductable". Shame on you for conspiring to do something illegal. Do you ask your doctor or dentist to "save you the deductable"? I suspect you are probably too young too know about these things, so I'm not blaming you, however it's practices like this which have given the car business the black eye it deserves. :think: Anyway, I think you'd be better off complaining to your insurance company, as they can, and should have more influence than you in a dispute. Keep us posted, I want to see how this shakes out.
 
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#5
Take it back to em, they will make it right. Not because they're swell guys, or a reputable shop....Because you have the $$$
 

Jaybird

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#6
Gary,
Do you seriously think that insurance companies don't make it a normal practicte to screw the life out of people?
Next you will be shaming a man for using a loophole to save on his tax bill.
 

Gary B.

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#7
Jaybird-
I've got less respect for insurance companies than the average person. My wife works for one. I've also got even less respect for the car business. I've been in that for almost 26 years. How often does your doctor or dentist swallow the deductable? Furthermore, do guys like Casper really expect the body shop to reduce the price by about 25% on a job that's already had the profit slashed to the bone by the insurance company? Where do you think they make that up? By cutting corners, fixing parts that should be replaced, using used parts were possible and available, and slashing finishing time. On the rare occasion where the insurance company actually does take it in the shorts, they just jack the rates up, or cancel the person who then pays high rates somewhere else. A reputable body shop can, and will turn down a job that has no, or less than no profit. Don't get me wrong, I'm really not blaming Casper. This is just the end result of a poorly run system where the insurance companies literally charge what they want, pay only what they need to, and pass that on to someone who thinks they are going to make big money fixing cars when they really have no business fixing cars because they don't have the scruples or talent it takes. Make no mistake, the losers in this deal are Casper, you, me, and every other sap who left to pay the extortion, er, premiums to the insurance companies and aren't able to tell an automotive repair facility from a backyard chop shop.
 
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Neil Wig

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#8
I've been through this with my MR2.

Call your insurance agent. Have the check stopped due to quality dispute.
Go to the body shop. It didn't just sneak out, they know what they gave you. They are hoping you drag your feet long enough for the check to arrive ahead of you. Be civil, but be direct.

Take pictures, and document the problems. The time you spend here will pay back big if you end up in court over this.

Look for other problems. Check to make sure they used the correct nuts, bolts and fasteners. Your car should be simetrical, left to right, with the exception of the wiring harness and battery tray. There may be some factory discrepancies, but they will be obvious. If they left the obvious problems, there will be a multitude of additional headaches behind the tinsel.

Be diligent, body shops contain some of the most ethically challenged people I have ever met. There are some good body shops, and good people in the industry. If you are dealing with one of them, they will happily make this right. I'm a little skeptical due to the condition of your vehicle when they were "finished" the first time.

Be NICE. A pissy attitude will not help.

Good Luck
 

Gary B.

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#9
Amen Neil :thumb:
 

Erick82

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#10
First, cash the check that is made out to you and leave it in cash. Second, document the problems with pictures. Third, go to another body shop and get an estiment to fix problems. Forth, call the original body shop and let them know what it will cost to properly fix your car and that you have received the proceeds and they won't be getting anymore compensation for their crap work. At the same time call your insurance company and let them know of the quality of work received and tell them the car is going somewhere else with the check you have received.
 

Gary B.

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#11
Sorry I went off on a tirade about the car and insurance biz. Now all you guys know where my raw nerve lies. :o
 

Neil Wig

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#12
Gary, I had my MR2 for 9 years....the first new car I bought.....hell, the first car I owned worth more than $3,000.

Let me tell 'ya, vanadalism on high end sports cars is absolutely stunning.

I had the car painted 5 or 6 times in the 9 years I had it.

I'd walk into the body shop, hand them the sheet from our govenment insurance, and ask them the simple question...do you want the work.

By the second time I was there (on the first paint job), I think they realized that I wasn't going to accept a less than quality repair job. By the last paint job they did, they would call me to look at the car before they sprayed paint. If the bodyman could walk around the car and dispute anything I pointed out, fine...never happened. If you, a mere mortal, can point out workmanship problems, surely a professional can find them on his own.

They had to paint one mirror once. They simply covered the window with paper, and folded the mirror against the paper, and sprayed it. The paper side of the mirror looked like hell. They got another crack at that one too.

By the time the car was totalled, the body shop was using my car for promotional work. They knew full well that if they expected me to sign off on the car, it was going to be a damn nice job.

You gotta be diligent. It's your car, not your insurance companies. Don't let them fix marginal stuff. Replace with new where you can. Don't accept masking lines...anywhere.....they didn't come from the factory. If that means they gotta pull the glass out to paint it, call your insurance company and get approval. They can't say no. The contract they made with you was that the vehicle would be returned in it's pre-accident condition, or it will be scrapped. If they want you to make concessions, they make concessions.

And finally, NEVER sign off on an injury claim. Let it go dormant, but do not, under any circumstances, sign your name to a document that says your as good as new.

And remember, with insurance companies, body shops and ex-wives...."Bitter is Better".

Off my soap box......

Later
 
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JuliusPleaser

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#13
Let me clarify a point that Neil made. Body shops try to get away with substandard work because they DO get away with it time after time.

The insurance companies are a big part of the problem. I looked at a wrecked 2002 Taurus last week that was being repaired at a local shop. The car should have been totalled, but the adjuster specified a used quarter panel rather than new parts, and the car narrowly avoided the crusher. The body man was not happy about the prospect of drilling and separating used parts, and I'm sure his work will reflect his unhappiness. The Taurus was clean and low-mileage, but it will never be the same after being hacked and butchered.

It's not always the body shop's fault. They do what the insurance companies pay them to do.
 

DezDuster

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#14
Forget about the insurance agent. They are in the business of selling insurance and have little pull with the insurance company's claims office and almost zero influence with the repair shop.  Call your insurance company's Claims Office, give them your claim number, and talk directly with the file handler for your claim. Try to arrange an appointment to meet a representative of the insurance company at the repair shop so that the insurance rep, you, and the body shop manager can discuss the quality of the repair. Hopefully you won't get a rookie damage appraiser (insurance rep) who will roll over and play dead for an agressive shop manager.  . You may think that you have leverage because you have some of the shop's money, but if you surrender your keys to the body shop you instantly reduce that leverage because now they have your car. Trying to get a car out of a body shop when you owe them money is a loney experience, so get an agreement with the insurance rep as a witness before leaving the car. I can't believe that the shop was dumb enough to give your car back after the initial repair when they were still owed money. Your major problem is that the insurance company may be less receptive to your plight due to you conspiring with the body shop to "save" the $500 deductible.     I guarantee that the body shop made a profit on your car by cheating the repair somewhere.  By the way: Using used parts is normal in today's body shop environment. Most insurance company policies stipulate the use of aftermarket or used parts on cars that are less than current model year (effectively the past two years). Depending on the State where you live you can decline aftermarket parts, but must accept used parts. Read your fine print.   Also: If you don't want to pay a $500 deductible buy a policy with higher premiums. Otherwise take the gamble and take your financial lumps when you lose.   If there is a next time,  ask your insurance company if they have a Direct Repair Program (DRP). DRP shops will perform to a higher standard because they are dependant upon the insurance company for business. They also get paid direct and will demand your deductible.  

Any body shop that took two months to do less than 4k worth of work is screwed.
 
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Casper250

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Dec 12, 2000
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#15
Well i'm glad to say this is finally over. I had my friend(the one that recommended this shop to me) who used to work at an autobody shop to look at my car. He agreed with me in that he thought the car looked bad and he "couldn't believe they let it leave the shop like that." The shop called about the money and we told them we would bring the money down when the check clears. In the mean time, i called my friend again and had him talk to the autobody place himself since he knew the owner.

In the end, the shop said the reason things weren't lined up was because they had to use an aftermarket bumber because thats all the insurence company would pay for. They said that if i really don't like it, i could take it up and fight it with my insurance company and they would have to replace it with a factory part. The shop dropped $200 off the price to squawsh the whole thing.

In the end i'm just glad it over. As for not paying the deductable and saving the $200, let me just say this. From the beggining, i told the shop to give me a quote on painting the entire car ontop of what the insurance company was paying for the front. I furgured i was going to be keeping the car for a while and it would look brand new after i get it. So i was willing to pay for the car to look good. I didn't go through with the whole car bacause he said that it would take another week to finish the car ontop of the 7 weeks that had passed.

I'll post some pictures tonight of my car.