Friday, August 09, 2013

The Racket

I was hoping to write about the 2013 WSOP but life keeps happening and the story moves further and farther away into the rear view mirror.

What's more fresh on my mind is the car accident I had two nights ago.  I got hit and had to be towed.   I called my name brand you've heard of insurance company who said a tow truck would come in 60 minutes or less and take me to one of their recommended official blah blah blah auto body shops. 

This was apparently a big benefit for me because the guy who assesses damages would be able to see it right away.  You know.  Cause it's their shop.   

I said I wanted to go to my car dealer.  Call me crazy.  I had this idea that the same place I bought the car from might be the optimal place to rebuild it. 

Not so fast Robert.  

The voice on the other end strongly discouraged me from using the dealership. 

"Everything will happen faster if you go to auto body shop of name brand insurance company."

"Well I think I want to go to my car dealer's body shop."

"Your car dealer doesn't have an auto body shop" she said. "Most don't.  Are you positive that your's does?  What if we tow it there for you and then it can't be fixed?"  
She then closed with "The repair work will ONLY BE GUARANTEED BY US IF YOU USE OUR auto body shop of name brand insurance company.."

Sounds like they want me to go somewhere specific.

I got off the phone with the insurance bully and called up my car dealer.  Turns out they do have a body shop.  However before I could call back my insurance company, the real fun began:

Five different tow trucks stopped to ask if they could tow me.

Each time I said "My car insurance covers it for free."

"But I'll take you for free too" they each said. 

What kind of kick back must tow trucks get for bringing a body shop a car?

It's like the stories you hear of taxi cab drivers in Vegas receiving nice bonuses for bringing guys to strip clubs.  The bonus must be nice because just like these tow truck guys, in Vegas they'll drive you there for free.  

Each tow truck guy asked who my insurance company was.  When I told them the name they all immediately correctly guessed which tow truck company I was waiting for. 

When you have an accident with my car insurance company the tow truck, body shop and car rental are all pre-set alliances.  

One tow truck didn't give up easily.  Guy said he'd not only tow me but also repair my car for less than my deductible.

I finally called back my insurance company to say I wanted the car delivered to my car dealer- not to their auto body lot.

90 minutes after I had first called, the endorsed tow truck came. 

What happened next is beyond my creative writing ability. 

My tow guy gets out of his truck, documents that he's been sent by the name brand insurance company and then tries to talk me into going to a third completely different auto body place! 

Not where I want to go. not where the name brand car insurance company is trying to send me....but some other auto body shop that he "recommends." 

And this guy is part of the alliance! 

I tell him I want to go to my car dealer he gives me the now hack "Your car dealer doesn't have a body shop." 

"Sir I don't want to argue with you.  I've been waiting over an hour and a half.  I just want to get my car towed." 

"But your car dealer doesn't have an autobody shop" he continues.

You can't say that he isn't trying. 

Yesterday morning I get a call from the gentlemen who is assigned to assess the damage done to my car. He's at my car dealership and wants to know when I am going to be bringing my car in.

I put my tilt on hold and call back my name brand insurance company.

They are trying to locate my car. 

In the meantime I go to rent a car from the place the car insurance company sends me to.   The car rental salesman tries to sell me additional car insurance for the rental, even though my car insurance is paying for this rental.  Clearly I have car insurance.  It's why I'm standing in this specific rental car place.  It's also why my car is missing at the moment. 

A few hours later my phone rings.    

The good news:  My car has been found. 

The bad news:  It's at the auto body place my car insurance wanted.

I can't contain myself anymore. 

I start yelling. 

"Move my car to the car dealership immediately!. 

The person on the other end says "Sir, most car dealerships don't have auto body shops."