Tag Archives: car repairs

Closure At Last

I would like to promise that this will be the last of the ‘Car’ posts for a while, but I just know that if I do that now, in two days a meteorite will fall from the sky onto the roof of my car! So I won’t!

Anyway. What happened next was this. I got the car back on Wednesday evening. In the dark, so I couldn’t check it. In the morning I checked the bumper. It was… fine. Not 100-percent-perfect-no-damage-here-ever, but fine. I was then out for much of the day (Finn and I went to the Melbourne Aquarium with Kinder. Lots of fun 🙂 ), but later, by chance, I happened to notice a section of the boot lid which appeared to have caught a good sized patch of overspray from the bumper. Grrr, arrgh. Cue much teeth grinding, ranting, raving, stomping of feet.

I figured from the look of it that it would be a simple cut-and-polish job to get it off (the patch clearly hadn’t been sealed and baked). But rather than try doing it myself making Dermot do it and then finding out that there was a bigger problem, I felt I should phone RepairGuy#3 directly and give him a chance (why oh why?!) to fix this latest error without going through all that song-and-dance again.

Oh what a nasty piece of work he is. Without even seeing what I was talking about, he adamantly denied wrongdoing, swore blue that any mark on the boot had been there previously, and treated me like a complete moron, basically. Bastard. The upshot of it was, he told me if I had problems, it was someone else’s job, and I should go back through the insurer.

So then. After a minor breakdown, and after much hoop-jumping and re-telling of the story on the phone to ‘head office’ (who were completely clueless), I finally managed to speak with Assessor #1 in the local branch. Who remembered the issue immediately. Who was very sympathetic when I just about lost it on the phone, and who let me come down straightaway to show him the problem. He agreed that the patch was most certainly not pre-existing, and then proceeded to cut-and-polish it off himself. I could have hugged him at this point! He also agreed that RG#3 can be ‘very blunt’ and ‘intimidating’ (his words, not mine), and promised to give him a piece of his mind. Personally I’d rather hear that the insurer strike him off the ‘preferred repairers’ list. I can only assume they choose their repairers by price, as it certainly isn’t by customer service or quality of work.

Anyway. That’s the end. Let us never speak of it again.

In Short…

The car is home.


It’s going back to RepairGuy#3 tomorrow.


Or not. I have had enough, seriously people. Off to the assessors again, I guess.

Do I need to tell you about my current stress levels?

Bodywork Showdown

I’m back. Again. With a title befitting a B-grade movie, no less.

So let me tell you a story. It will be a long story. If you like a little bit of schadenfreude this will be right up your alley. I might actually find it a little amusing, were it not ME it was happening to!

It’s all about the car. You may have guessed it wasn’t going to be that simple. This is me, after all! I have to retell some of the backstory here, to properly introduce all the players.

It starts way back in August 2005, when I was involved in Incident#1 (which may or may not be part of this story, I’m still not sure). Incident#1 occurred when a (young, uninsured) driver ran into the passenger side of my Camry in a parking lot. My car was then repaired at my insurer’s cost by RepairGuy#1. Ok. Various fun and games were involved in Incident#1, including a not-quite-properly-repaired car and a suddenly-denying-fault-third-party. Anyhoo…

Incident#2 occurred in September 2005, five days after finally getting the car back. My brother-in-law backed into my car in his own driveway. The rear bumper needed replacing – this was repaired at brother-in-law’s insurer’s cost (he happens to have the same insurer as me, which is very helpful for what happened next). This repair was carried out by RepairGuy#2 (I’m not being sexist here, they are all men!)

Fast forward to three weeks ago. Incident#3 occurs when, as told in my last post, Mr ImpatientGuy rear-ends me at an intersection. Rear bumper again needs replacing, along with some other rear panel work. This repair is financed by Mr ImpatientGuy’s insurer, but facilitated by my insurer again – also very helpful for what happened next. After the car is assessed by the insurer’s assessor (let’s call him Assessor#1), the repair is carried out by RepairGuy#3. Incidentally, not my preferred repairer, not that it probably matters.

The car was repaired quite quickly, and RepairGuy#3 even drove it back around to my house. Nice. Only… the rear bumper is quite clearly a different colour from the rest of the car. And he goes into an elaborate explanation of how this is the fault of a previous repairer (RepairGuy#2) and the paintwork blends which had been carried out by that person. Oh. Kay. Here’s where it gets messy.

I phone my insurer (who very helpfully offer lifetime guarantees on any work that is carried out by their assigned repairers) to indicate I’m unhappy with the outcome of this latest repair. They send around Assessor#2. Assessor#2 agrees with RepairGuy#3 (it’s difficult to explain without photographs and diagrams, but basically, they both believe that the paintwork on the rear side panels was blended to match the bumper installed and painted by RepairGuy#2, and the blends (and the now ex-bumper) were slightly ‘off’ from the rest of the car, so that’s why the new bumper looks so out of place). I am dubious, but sent off to RepairGuy#2 to have him assess the situation, and hopefully agree to remedy their rear-panel blends.

Got that? Okay, deep breath, here we go again.

RepairGuy#2 disagrees. He agrees that his blends appear ‘slightly mottly’, but thinks that the big issue is the new bumper is an entirely different colour, and that RepairGuy#3 should fix it instead. He calls Assessor#2 to see if he can come out and look at the car (different light, different location). Assessor#2 is unavailable, but can have Assessor#3 check it out if we can drive over to the insurer’s location. Fair enough, it’s only just down the road. RepairGuy#2 and I both make our way down to meet Assessor#3. (Niamh is sleeping peacefully in the back of the car through all of this, might I add).

Assessor #3 agrees with both RepairGuy#1 and RepairGuy#2. There are bad blends and a bad bumper… but he seems to lean towards having the blends fixed first (RepairGuy#2) and then seeing how it looks. I joke that perhaps the RepairGuys could get in the boxing ring to decide the matter. RepairGuy#2 (who seems to be a very reasonable person) suggests maybe RepairGuy#3 could do the bumper and the blends, and he (RepairGuy#2) would wear the cost of the blends (this, frankly is the best suggestion that is made all day, and I wish it had stopped there). Assessor#3 says he’ll discuss it with Assessor#2 and get back to us. I think we’re done, and am about to leave. Suddenly, Assessor#3 reappears with Assessor#1.

Who checks out the car as well. And puts another finger in the pie, deciding that no, the problem definitely lies with the new bumper, and RepairGuy#3 should blend the bumper to match the rear panels. And hey… whaddya know, he’s got RepairGuy#3 here in the office right now, so he’ll bring him out too.

Now the boxing match is looking like a definite possibility. RepairGuy#2 and RepairGuy#3 don’t even look at each other, they are both clearly pissed by the whole situation (as, understandably, am I, by this point, and Niamh has woken up in the back of the car, so she’s not that thrilled either).

Anyway, Assessor #1 also picks up on the rear panel blend issue, but argues that repair of those would be further complicated by the fact that the passenger side paintwork doesn’t quite match the driver side paintwork – and this would be the fault of…

RepairGuy#1. Remember him?! Geesh. Bet you thought he was never re-entering the fray. The paintwork he did was also blended to ‘match’ the car, not quite 100% accurately.

Anyway, they all agree (I think!) that RepairGuy#1’s job is ‘close enough’. Short of a complete respray (which is out of the question), the car can never be perfect – that’s just life with car ‘incidents’. I can live with that. I just want the bumper to be much less obvious than it currently is, because we plan to trade this car in the somewhat near future, so I don’t need the paintwork to scream “Hey, I’ve had work done” if you know what I mean.

Assessor#1 seems to have some authority over Assessors#2&3, because at this point he makes the decision that what will happen is RepairGuy#3 will blend the bumper to match the rear panels as best as possible, and in a ‘worst case scenario’ (huh?) he will also try working on the rear panels. RepairGuy#2 takes off as soon as he hears he’s off the hook, and RepairGuy#3 looks even more pissed, but books in the car for Monday for me.

I’m not even certain that the story will be over after this happens, but all my fingers and toes will be crossed next week in hope that the car comes back looking acceptable, because I. Do. Not. want to go through all of this again.

And – if you’ve reached this far – neither, probably, do you!

Moving Right Along

Thank you all for your warm words of support and advice re. my last post. Virtual hugs are almost as therapeutic as the real thing 🙂 I have had a generally good week since. On the weekend, we got away for a couple of days, and the distraction of a grandfather and two uncles provided the kiddos some amusement while I managed to nap. Both days! And stitch! It was nice to break that particular 3-week drought.

The week since has been fairly uneventful, at least until today. It’s the second week of school holidays here at the moment, so no pre-school for Finn, but we’ve had some extra swimming lessons, trips to the library, trips to the park, and lots of mess-making (erm, and DVD watching) at home to keep us happy. Today I thought ‘hey, let’s venture further afield. Let’s have a day-trip to the Museum’.

I should’ve stuck with the DVDs. Not terribly far from home, we were rear-ended by Mr-Impatient-Guy. Dammit. Now the car needs repairing, and I suffered that lovely post adrenaline-surge hangover all day (we didn’t go to the Museum, btw. Finn was cool about it, particularly since he got to ride his bike down to the nearest playground instead). Let’s hope this vehicular incident doesn’t turn out like the last one two.

Okay. Moving on, and filling your screens with something far more interesting than my weepfest. These three wee little biscornu ornament/fobs (is biscornu the plural as well as the singular? Or is it something funky like biscornii?!) were finally sent out to their new homes, weeks after finishing them, so now I can show-and-tell:


These were to be ‘GTG gifts’ for Tannia, Anne and Junette, only I decided less than 48 hours before we met up that I wanted to make something, and so naturally, they weren’t finished in time. (Actually, the stitching was, but the finishing was not.) The fibres are all dyed by me. The designs are freebies from My Aunt’s Attic. Have you seen this project? A box of old hand drawn charts has been recovered in an attic, designer unknown, and this lovely lady is making them available for free. Many of the designs are quite lovely. My favourite (yet to be stitched) is the Butterflies chart in this post.

Oh, and yes, one of the biscornu/ii is slightly crooked. My advice? Don’t try making biscornu/ii with sides which are an odd number of stitches. You have to compensate at each corner, and while two of them worked out, for some reason I messed up that middle one slightly, and couldn’t make it come good (sorry Junette).

Question… do these three count as one finish, or three, for my 12-finishes-this-year goal, d’you think?