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post #1 of 7 Old 03-03-2011, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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Geico authorized bodyshop versus friend's recommendation

Hi All,

Long story short, my girlfriend's Lancer took a hit and run in a parking lot while we ate in a restaurant. Somebody backed into her passenger rear quarter panel. Of course, no witnesses, no note, no security camera, etc. It initially looked like a bad, but superficial hit and we debated calling insurance as she has a $500 deductible. Two weeks later, we were still debating it when the weather turned to rain and yippeee, we found a puddle of rain water in the trunk. Apparently the damage was enough to deform the trunk ever so slightly that the seal is no longer water resistant.

Took it to a small bodyshop my friend recommended. He had his G35's bumper repainted there after a large, well established bodyshop couldn't get the paint right. They estimated around $3000 to repair. Took it to a Geico authorized shop for their estimate, and they estimated near the same amount.

My question is this. Would you try a recommended and proven (I saw my friend's G35's bumper and the repair looks like it never happened) small bodyshop versus a larger, more established insurance authorized bodyshop?

I can see the advantage of the Geico authorized shop, they're more likely to guarantee their work. At the same time, I think the shop owner is less likely to increase the estimate if he finds more damage during repair (I'm pretty sure Geico gives him business by labeling his shop "authorized" and in turn, he's expected to minimize repair costs).

Anyways, thanks for any advice. I'm going to make a decision soon.

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post #2 of 7 Old 03-03-2011, 11:12 PM
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I would recommend using yelp if possible to find some reviews about the body shop. Some small body shops actually do incredible work, and at a slightly cheaper price. From what I believe, Authorized body shops have a certain time limit to get a job done, if they are doing repairs for the insurance company. So, when you bring your car in to get a dent pushed out, retouched, then repainted, its basically pocket money for them. Quality is a hit and miss for them since they need to have high turn over rate.

I would if possible try to find more information about the small body shop quality work, and if you like what you hear, I would go with them.

just my $.02

Sorry to hear about the Runners they deserve a good bashing if found. Good luck with the repairs though.

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post #3 of 7 Old 03-04-2011, 12:14 AM
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IMO. i feel like the insurance company would want to cheap out (thus "suggesting" a certain dealer/shop to do the repairs). I would do my own research and find a place i trust or at least has a good rep.

my friend got into an accident with his IS250, geico told him to go to some shop (forgot where), but it had a bad rep for people having to return over and over to get it right. so he found his own place, and got it right the first time. (although there was a scuff on his rim that they claimed they didnt do).

but imo. id find my own place first.

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post #4 of 7 Old 03-04-2011, 12:58 AM
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A shop you have seen the work first hand from and that has been recommended by a satisfied customer or one you now nothing about the quality of their work….

I’d give my business to the shop I knew did good work
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-04-2011, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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Going with the smaller, recommended shop. Thanks! Will try to remember and report the outcome.
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-04-2011, 10:47 PM
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Many shops that are recommended by insurance companies give a kickback to the insurance company for their business. They do it this way in Canada, don't imagine it being any different in the US.

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post #7 of 7 Old 03-05-2011, 05:10 AM
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Here's a different reference point.

I was very hesitant a year ago when I was told by my insurance company to go to the closest authorized shop on their list to have my front bumper replaced after a road debrie run over by another car smashed into it, it turned out to be a franchised chain shops, the insurance agent informed me they would only guarantee the work if I had the repair done by one or ther authorized shops, they won't prevent me from going to different shop of my choice but I will have to pay the difference if the shop of my choice is higher price, and I am on my own should there br any worksmanship issues.

I reluctantly went with their authorized shop after checking out their facility, fortunately everything worked out and the shop manager was extremely cooperative and helpful throughout the entire process, I have even gone since back when somebody else paid out of pocket to repair the damage they caused to my car and didn't want insurance company involved, I was equally satisfied with the work even though the original shop manager had moved on to another job.

In contrast, years ago I went to an established shop to have a lower rocker panel damage repaired/repainted on a 3 months old car, they had just moved into a brand new facility and with a number of high-end and exotic cars in their shop being worked on, I went there despite they are not affiliated with the Insurance company. While the repair itself was ok, their new fancy down draft spray booth in this brand new facility wasn't working properly and left a super fine misting of over spray over all horizontal surfaces such as roof, rear hatch window, and even the top edges of the fenders, the shop manager quickly admitted their downdraft booth was having issues and accepted responsibility as soon as I called him to identify the problem and arranged a time for me to bring the car in for comPounding. However when I did show up to drop off the car, the owner of the shop freaked out all over me claiming the problem was I had waxed the car too many time even though he knew full well this brans new car was only 3 months old, and I had waxed it only three times as I had told him.

The shop manager looked like he wanted to find a hole in the ground to go hide in it as the owner was being a total irate jackass, but he couldn't and didn't say anything against his boss, I decided there is no benefit arguing with and forcing the shop owner to rectify the overspray, and I had no recourse since they were not a company authorized by my insurance company, so I simply told him that he showed extremely poor judgement and customer care, and I will be reporting this to the Better Business Buerau.

It didn't surprise me nor did I feel sorry when the shop closed down barely a couple of years later!!

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