This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 70

, , , , , , | Right | October 8, 2017

(I work for an automobile insurance company. My customer is responsible for an accident and I am trying to help out the innocent party. We have already inspected her vehicle in person and given her a check for the estimate at the time of inspection. The total damages are $2,000.00, rounded down, and her vehicle is safe to drive. A couple of weeks later, we have set her up in a car rental while the vehicle is in the the body shop of her choice. She calls me when the repairs have been completed.)

Caller: “I got a call from the body shop and they told me that the repairs are done.”

Me: “That’s great! Go ahead and return the car rental, and then pick up your fixed vehicle. Hopefully the shop has done a great job on your vehicle. If not, let me know.”

Caller: “Well, that’s the problem. I can’t pick up the vehicle; the shop needs to be paid first.”

Me: “No problem; just give them the $2,000.00 check that we gave to you at the time of inspection. I don’t see any notes that any additional damages were found, so that should cover everything.”

Caller: “I don’t have the check.”

Me: “Did you lose it? I can cancel and reissue it if needed. I can even send it directly to the shop to expedite it.”

Caller: “That would be great. Thanks.”

Me: “Okay, hold on.”

(I look at the system and realize that the check has already been cashed.)

Me: “I’m sorry; I’m not able to cancel this check, as the system says it’s already been cashed.”

Caller: “Yes, I already cashed it.”

Me: “Okay, then just go ahead and pay the body shop directly.”

Caller: “I can’t afford that! I don’t have $2000!”

Me: “But I thought you cashed the check?”

Caller: “I did, but I cashed it at the check-cashing store and they took 4% of it!”

Me: “Why didn’t you just give the check to the shop?”

Caller: “Nobody ever told me that I can do that!”

Me: “All right, but you can still pay the shop the other 96% and we can try to figure out how to cover the balance.”

Caller: “I spent all of it! I don’t have that money anymore.”

Me: *assuming she spent it on necessities such as rent or food* “I’m sorry to hear that. May I ask what you spent it on?”

Caller: “Oh, I bought myself a new purse that I’ve been really wanting.”

Me: *stammering* “You bought yourself a new purse? Well, I would highly recommend that you return it so you can pay the shop.”

Caller: “I can’t do that; I already used it, and it’s been a few weeks, so I don’t know if I can return it anymore.”

Me: “Just to confirm, you are saying that you received a check that we wrote to you for the repairs of the vehicle, and you cashed that check at a check-cashing service and spent it on a new purse?”

Caller: “Yes, but this is your customer’s fault for hitting me. So, you have to pay to fix the car.”

Me: “No, we already paid for it; we don’t owe for anything more.”

Caller: “No, you have to pay to get my car out of the shop. You promised me you guys would cover everything.”

Me: “We did pay for everything; you just chose to use the money on a new purse, and we certainly do not owe for a new purse!”

Caller: “You better pay for it, or I’m going to say that I was injured, and then you’ll have to pay for that, too! I’ll get a lawyer and sue you!”

Me: “It has been over five weeks since the accident and this is the first time I am hearing about injuries. As a courtesy, I will let the body shop know what is going on and I will cover tomorrow as the last day of authorized car rental. You are welcome to stay in the car rental longer at the insurance company’s discounted rate, but we will no longer pay for anything further.”

Caller: “Oh, no, you don’t! I’m going to sue all of you!” *hangs up*

(I looked into it again a few months later. She never returned the car rental and the rental car company filed a police report as a stolen vehicle. She never picked up her fixed vehicle, which was thus considered “abandoned,” and the shop had to sell it! I have never heard from her or her lawyer. I waited until the statutes of limitations expired prior to sharing this story.)

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