Right Working Romantic Related Learning Friendly Healthy Legal Inspirational Unfiltered

A Certified Waste Of Time

, , , , , | Working | April 11, 2022

A few years ago, I worked as a contractor. My main client was based over 100 miles away from my home address, so I split my time between a flat (apartment) that I rented closer to their offices and my home. The road infrastructure around their location was frankly awful, so I decided to start taking the train there and leaving my car at home.

One week, I returned home to find that someone had hit my car and damaged the front bumper quite severely. Of course, they hadn’t been kind enough to leave their information, so I had to submit a “no-fault” claim through my insurance.

As the car was driveable, I was asked to take it to a local dealership for an initial assessment.

On arrival on the day of my appointment, I spoke to a member of the service team, and after they couldn’t find my booking, we realised that I had gone to the wrong branch. Both sites were part of a chain of third-party used and new car dealerships in the UK and I had misread my appointment information. However, the service manager told me that they could squeeze me in and do the initial assessment for my claim and that they didn’t know why I had been told to take it to a dealer so far from my home address anyway.

Oh, how naïve I was.

A week later, I phoned the insurance company to ask for an update on my claim and had the following conversation with one of their agents.

Agent: “Apologies, sir, but there seems to be some confusion. According to my notes, we have you down as a no-show at your appointment?”

Me: “Oh, yes, sorry. I got the location wrong, but I took the car to another branch of the same dealership and they completed the assessment for me. They told me that they would contact the original location and sort this all out. Have they not sent the info through?”

Agent: “Hmmm, it doesn’t seem like it, but let me look into this and call you back.”

Twenty-four hours later…

Agent: “Hello, sir. I’ve looked into this, and I have good news and bad news. The good news is that I’ve spoken to the dealership that did your inspection and have found your paperwork. Unfortunately, though, the bad news is that they were not qualified to complete the inspection and we’ll need you to bring the car back in for another appointment.”

Me: “What do you mean, they’re not qualified? They are part of the same chain and told me that they could do the inspection!”

Agent: “Ah, yes, I’m afraid that, although they are part of the same chain, we vet individual branches, and whilst I am sure the branch has been certified by other insurers, they aren’t certified by us, so we can’t accept their report.”

Me: “I appreciate that this isn’t your fault, but you can imagine that I’m not happy about this. Fair enough, it was my mistake initially, but they assured me that they could do this report, and I specifically told them who my insurance was with. Surely, they should have known that their work wouldn’t be accepted?”

Agent: “Well, I’ve spoken with the head of their service team, and they told me that you took it to them of your own free will, so they don’t think they are at fault here. Frankly, they want to bill us or you for their work.”

Me: “Well, yes, it’s fair to say that nobody forced me to take my car to them, but that does rather overlook the fact that they told me that they were qualified to do work they were uncertified to complete, doesn’t it?”

Agent: “I agree. I’ve spoken to my management, and we are going to push back on paying them on the basis that they shouldn’t have accepted the job in the first place. Unfortunately, though, we do still need you to take the car to our certified dealer.”

Eventually, I got my car inspected and repaired. In the end, I did have to pay the excess on my policy, but at least the uncertified dealer withdrew their efforts to charge for the initial assessment. I hope karma bit whoever hit my car in the first place hard, though!

Question of the Week

What is the absolute most stupid thing you’ve heard a customer say?

I have a story to share!