There are many places to find a body shop. It can be overwhelming on where to go after a car collision. Which body shop do I use? This article will address where not to go and learn from my own mistakes.
Body Shop #1
It was just an ordinary Monday getting ready for my day. I go outside to walk to my car and couldn’t believe my eyes. My back window was smashed in a million pieces. There is nothing worse than starting your week off with a broken window. You feel violated. I remember looking at my window in shock and disbelief asking myself, “Why did this happen to me?” I called my leasing office to let them know what happened. There was nothing they could do about it. They referred me to call the police. I call the policeto report incident and there was nothing they could do about it either. They referred me to call my insurance company. Insurance would not cover the damages. At this point I am stressed to the max. Driving around town with an open, damaged window where someone could easily slip their hand in and do more damages. To make matters worse, all my stuff was stolen in my car. I called around to different auto body shops to see who could help me.
My insurance company kept referring me to one body shop that I didn’t feel I was getting the best deal out of. I did some research online to see where I could find something better since I was paying out of pocket anyways. I wasn’t having much luck finding anything. Websites made it difficult to navigate during this stressed-out time. I decided to go back to first bodyshop that insurance kept referring me to out of convenience. I called them back and made an appointment and found out I was going to pay $340 out of pocket. Just for a window vent part that doesn’t roll down. My insurance would not cover because mydeductible was too high. I go to my body shop appointment and discover they ordered the wrong part. I’m already stressed to the max and did not need to hear more bad news. They had to make some phone calls to see if they knew of another body shop that had my window piece.
I decided that I would also shop around to different body shops to see if they had better quotes. As I’m searching online; I pick the body shop near me to call from my phone. I made a phone call to get a quote and they could do it for me $100 cheaper and will come to my home. I said Yes, it’s a done deal. I went back into first body shop and cancelled my appointment and told them the truth that I found somewhere cheaper and they will come to my place. The downside was I had to wait another week for second body shop to order part. I felt like goldilocks and the three bears. This body shop is no good. This body shop is too pricey and they got the details wrong.
Always confirm in person for window repair or make sure to pronounce make and model with words such as B as in Boy or D as in Dog. Have them confirm order with you out loud. Don’t always go with body shops that your insurance suggests. Shop around and get different quotes.
Body Shop #2
Today was the day my window was going to finally get fixed. I waited for repair man to come to my home to fix my window. As he arrived, he looked at my window and went to his truck to get new window piece. As he held it up next to my window he noticed it wasn’t theright size. At this point I am putting my hands to my head in disbelief saying, “You got to be kidding me?”He said, “They ordered an “XB” model. I told him that I said, “XD” as in DOG on the phone. Heapologized for themiscommunication and called to get the right part. He said that another repair man will come in later that evening. Time is ticking. I’m waiting and waiting and waiting. Towards end of day around 5pm the second repair man shows up frustrated and was rude to me. If anybody should be upset is me. He then proceeds to tell me that he needs a plug in to clean the glass in my car. At this time of the day everyone has left work to go home. If I would have known it was going to be this late I would have cancelled altogether. I live in apartments so this made it difficult to find a plug in. I had to hunt down maintenance crew to help me.
After he fixes my glass he asks for me to call his office to give payment over the phone. Like I said earlier, they are closed. He then asks me to write down my payment on a piece of paper which I did not feel comfortable with. I let him know this and offered to give to office when they open the next day. He proceeded that I could not do that. Again, I felt unsafe. I called the office to see if they got my payment and they had not. Repair man kept my information in his truck and did not deliver to main office for various reasons I’m sure. I told office to call me when they did and to please shred my information when done. I told them that I did not agree with how they do business. Office never called me back. I had to call them again which they confirmed later they did get my payment information with no apology. Just because they are cheaper doesn’t mean good business. This body shop was not good business at all. Felt disrespected. As a customer, I should not have to worry about these things but they do happen.
You can say no to payment if business office hours are closed. You can wait until office is open to give payment over the phone. You can say no to service if you feel it is not being done or handled properly. Don’t wait until the 3rd warning sign. Take action after 1st warning sign.
Body Shop #3
After this whole experience, I wished that I would have done some more research on where to get my car fixed. A lot of times when you look online you don’t know what to search for exactly or how to narrowdown your options. Especially when you are under a lot of stress. After the fact,I found a place that I wish I would have taken my car too. That perfect place is called Collision Express Center. A body shop in Sacramento, California. Their motto is Experiencethe Difference. I can see why. Not only do they do all repairs but they are professional in their business too.They take the stress from you and handle it from there. Their website makes it simple during stressful times to navigate for services, quality and estimates.
They understand the trauma, stress and frustration of involvement in a car accident, and your vehicle is one of the biggest investments that you have. It is important to them that their customers receive the most efficient and professional service, while yourvehicle is being repaired in theirshop. Their seasoned I-Cartrainedestimators will take all necessary measures to fully assess the damages and make sure that your vehicle is repaired to pre-accident condition and to factory specifications.Collision Express Center is a family owned and operated collision repair facility for over 20 years.Let me break it down for you.
Here is a list of their services
· Dent removal (paintless)
· Heave collision repair
· Unibody and full frame repair services
· Paint reconditioning
· Glass repair and replacement
· Spot repair-minor repairs
· Bumper repair and refinishing
· Motorcycle repair
· Electrical diagnostics and repairs
· Wheel Repairs
· Upholstery repairs
· Air bag SVS
With Collision Express Center Instant Access program, there is no need for you to make an appointment. They will look after you right away. Make sure to bring your claim number and insurance papers with you. Once you drop off your vehicle, Collision Express Center will take care of the insurance relations. They will work closely with your insurance company and provide them with all the information they need to process your claim. I don’t know about you but these are huge perks for me. The last two body shops I had to do most of this work. How nice is it to just drop in and drop off without all the hassles? They will also gladly arrange for your car to be towed when it is convenient for you. In most cases, they can provide you with a replacement vehicle. They offer a lifetime warranty on all their repairs. Lifetime Warranty
Collision Center hereby warrants its workmanship under the repair order and on the vehicle described below. This warranty is not transferable; it extends to and may be exercised only by the below party owning the vehicle at the time the repairs are performed; and it covers labor and materials only (related parts are excluded, but may be covered by original manufacturers’ warranties). If their repair becomes defective under normal use, they will correct it without charge for the labor and materials. Although most parts carry a separate warranty by the manufacturer, the vehicle owner is responsible for payment for any parts not covered by such separate warranty.
Excluded from this warranty are:
• Defects resulting from misuse, negligence, lack of proper maintenance, subsequent damage, modifications, accident, fire or other casualties, or any repairs not done by this store.
• Defects resulting from normal wear and element exposure, rust or rest repairs, or extreme environmental conditions.
• Repair and/or replacement of tires, batteries, mechanical or electrical parts, wiper blades, oils, lubricants and air conditioning recharge (although some items may have a manufacturer’s warranty).
• Alignment (90 days only).
• Loss of use of vehicle, loss of time, inconvenience, lodging, towing, rental or substitute transportation, loss of business or any other incidental or consequential damages.
To obtain service under this warranty, bring us the vehicle, this Limited Lifetime Warranty Certificate, a copy of the repair invoice, and a written explanation of your concern(s).
I hope you have learned from my mistakes on where not to go and more prepared on what to do. Always shop around to different body shops near you to find the best estimate for you and your vehicle.
Look for the services they provide, quality in business, and estimates. Don’t always go cheaper. Don’t always go pricey. Find a body shop near you that meets you in the middle.