I Tire Of These Scams

| England, UK | Working | July 26, 2016

(I am a fairly new driver and quite young. I have a good little car; nothing special, but good enough. I take it to the garage after I had problems going into gears and reversing and know it is the clutch.)

Me: “Hi. I’ve come to pick up my cat. It’s the Fiat.”

Auto Guy: “All right, we’ve had a look at it and found a few problems with it. Obviously the clutch is gone so that’ll need replacing. I’ve also found out that your offside tyres need replacing now. They’re worn down to the legal limit. Also your power-steering has completely gone so that needs work.”

Me: “Okay. So what’s the bill?”

Auto Guy: “It’ll be about £500, plus labour.”

Me: “All right. I just have one question.”

Auto Guy: “Sure?”

Me: “How can my power-steering be faulty when the car doesn’t even have power-steering?”

(I took my car plus their list of “faults” to another garage. Got my clutch and a few other very minor problems fixed for about £150, and my tyres didn’t need doing until almost a year later!)

The Engine Of Your Destruction

| Denver, CO, USA | Right | April 26, 2016

(This customer has had their vehicle towed in.)

Me: “So, what issues are you having?”

Customer: “It won’t start.”

Me: “Okay, let me take a look and I’ll call you right back.”

(As I approach the vehicle I can see metal pieces on the ground. The customer’s engine had literally exploded and chunks of broken engine parts fell out whenever it was moved. I look up their service history to see if they could even hope for warranty coverage. They had no oil changes in over 28,000 miles.)

Me: “Due to lack of maintenance your engine is destroyed and needs to be replaced. The cost for this repair is around $6000.”

Customer: “Well, it’s a lease, so can’t I just turn it in?”

Engine Failure Fail

| AB, Canada | Working | April 19, 2016

(This is back when the ‘service engine soon’ light is a relatively new feature in cars. One day, the light comes on, so my dad takes it in to the local auto shop. The car is fixed the next day, all is fine, but then the light comes on again. Dad takes it in again, and again it’s fixed in a day, and the cycle begins anew. After about a month or so, the car finally won’t start. Dad tows it into the auto shop.)

Mechanic: “Yeah, I don’t know what’s wrong with your car.”

Dad: “But that ‘Service Engine Soon’ light kept coming on! Surely you found something wrong every time you fixed that.”

Mechanic: “Oh, that. I have no idea what that light’s for.”

Dad: “Then what were you doing to fix it?”

Mechanic: “I’d just disconnect the battery for a few minutes, and then hook it back up. That resets the on-board computer, and that gets rid of that light completely.”

Dad: “So, you actually have no idea why that light kept coming on?”

Mechanic: “Nope.”

(We lived in a small town. Despite being quite expensive, Dad paid the extra to have the car towed into the city to the dealership, where it was discovered that a faulty processor in the computer kept causing the light to come on…and eventually shut down the engine for its own protection. From that day on, Dad always took the car into the dealership!)

Socks To Be Them

| Cincinnati, OH, USA | Right | April 15, 2016

(I’m another customer in this story. I’m waiting for my tires to be changed when the other customer walks up to the desk.)

Attendant: “We’ve found out what was causing the banging noise. Your tires are so badly worn that the steel cords are showing and it seems that one of them hooked a sock.”

(By this point the attendant is trying hard not to laugh.)

Attendant: “And it seems that it was banging against the inside of your right front wheel well when you drove.”

Low-balling Your Standards

| USA | Right | March 29, 2016

Customer: “[Coworker] hasn’t contacted me back yet. I left him a message an hour ago. I don’t understand why he hasn’t called me back.”

Me: “I’m sorry about that, ma’am, but he’s been in and out of the front office most of the afternoon, working on a couple of estimates.”

(I don’t tell her that all of our adjusters have dozens of jobs to oversee and often have 10 or more messages waiting to be returned at any given point in the day.)

Me: “I can write down your information and let him know you’re waiting on a call back, if you’d like.”

Customer: “Yes, thank you. I’m [Customer], and he had called me about my car. I just can’t understand this at all… Why is the insurance low-balling me?”

Me: “Low-balling you?”

Customer: “Yes! They wrote me an estimate for my car for $2,000 and now [Coworker] is telling me they took the car apart and the estimate is now $4,000! How in the world can that be? I can’t deal with an insurance that will try to cheat me! I pay them good money for my policy, and I can’t understand why they would be so unfair to me!”

Me: “Ah, I think I understand what’s going on, ma’am. Did the insurance adjustor write the estimate just from looking at the car?”

Customer: “Yes. He walked around it and wrote an estimate and it’s way too different than yours!”

Me: “That happens a lot, actually, ma’am. The insurance adjustor could only see the outside of the car. He did his best, but he couldn’t see to know what got damaged behind the outside pieces and so he couldn’t include that in the first estimate. His paperwork was just to get the claim going. Once you brought us the car to take apart to fully inspect and start fixing, we were able to see the different parts inside of the car and tell what else had been broken by the wreck. So, we wrote up a new estimate for the new damages found, and we will work with the insurance to get that paid and fixed. [Coworker] was just letting you know what the new total was so you’d be up to date on everything.”

Customer: “But how can there possibly be that much more damage? I don’t understand why the insurance was low-balling me!”

Me: “Well, depending on where the damage is, there are lots of internal parts to your car. And, unfortunately, they add up quickly if they need to be repaired or replaced.”

Customer: “But I don’t understand!”

Me: “Let me get your contact number so [Coworker] can call you back…”

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