Washington Auto Body Inc Informative - Experience Worse Than The Accident
WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA -- Our car was towed to Washington Auto Body, Inc in Washington, DC in early October. The approximate completion date was 10/30/08. The garage communicated very little and only sent us the initial estimate for approval.
Miscommunication by the garage led to our locked lug nuts being cut off instead of getting unlocked by a dealership.
Washington Auto Body Inc reported the car as being fixed and returned to us on 11/04/08. Based on the misinformation, our insurance company paid the garage before we received our car. The car wasn't ready until 11/10/08. The incorrect information allowed false data for the garage's rating with the insurance company.
While the car was being repaired, Washington Auto Body, Inc inflated the estimate by nearly 50% without our informed consent. They called to TELL us the expenses had been approved by our insurance company. They did not ASK if it was okay. The opportunity to give us options before the damage was done was never shared. We learned too late that the repair bill would create such stress.
The car arrived at the garage with 3/4 of a tank of gas. The car was released to us on an empty tank. Since the car was only driven 25 repair related miles, it was impossible to use all the gas in the tank. No one apologized or seemed concerned we might not get home without any gas. My protesting is the only reason we were credited for the gas.
There were accident related scratches on the hood of the car when we arrived for pick up. The employees said that since our insurance company had not approved those expenses, removing the scratches was going to cost more money. People began scrambling for a buffer when I called my insurance company from the garage.
When we got home, the disappointment continued. The inside of the car was filthy. Black fingerprints and smudges were throughout the interior, ceiling and floor mats. The scratches re-appeared on the hood. I did not feel valued as a customer.
Two days after the car left the garage, I received a call from my insurance company saying the repair bills were 75% of the value of the car and it was considered, "totaled." No one checked with us during the repair process to explain the details. We got an apology from our insurance company after the fact, saying that the garage had dropped the ball. Had we known this would happen, we might have researched cheaper garages. We felt safe because we selected a garage recommended by our insurance company.
I was forced to decide whether to keep a totaled car with "salvaged" on the title or to accept a check from my insurance company and return the car.
Since I had major concerns about a garage that would give a false repair date and expect us to drive home in a dirty car on fumes, I had questions about the integrity of the garage. I was worried about the quality of the repairs and having a title that made my car worthless for resale down the road.
If only I had known more about Washington Auto Body, Inc I could have avoided the entire experience. The way the invoice was inflated is questionable. The lack of communication at the garage contributed to our issues.
Now we have to give up a car we love. It is really important to fully understand how the cost of an estimate will affect your car being considered a "clean sale" or "salvaged." I would never suggest visiting Washington Auto Body, Inc.
No one from the garage has ever apologized for the condition of the car or for the chaos created by conveniently not sharing vital information that would have made a difference.
I expected to get my wonderful car back, not remove my personal items and wave goodbye.