Peter Hough

Peter Hough
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Friday, 21 January 2011

I must be mad

Someone bumped my car and disappeared. It was only a small dent on the back wing with a few scratches. Naively, I thought I would get a quote to repair the damage, and if it was less than my excess (£250) pay it myself rather than put it through the insurance.

I went to a body repair shop registered by the manufacturer of my vehicle, and the chap came out with his clipboard to assess the damage.

"We'll have to get this dent out and re-spray the back panel."

Okay so far. Then my heart began to sink.

"We'll also have to remove the bumper."

"Why?" I asked.

"Well, it might be in the way."

Then he walked around to the back of the car and his eyes lit up.

"Oh, you've got a towbar fitted! That'll have to come off too - and we might have to disconnect the wiring."

"Why would you have to do that?"

"Well if we're removing the bumper, we'll have to take off the towbar too."

I could hear the cash machine in his office ringing like it was having an uncontrollable fit. My imagination then went into over-drive.

"Then there's the roof."

"What about it."

"We have to remove that as well."


"Because we've got some new cutting equipment we need to try out."

"Then there's the wheels - they'll have to come off, and on again."

"Why's that?"

"Just so we can charge you the labour of course!"

Then he decided to put the frighteners on me.

"You do realise that the slightest knock can damage the electronics in your car? We're the only body repair shop in the entire world that has a super-dooper diagnostic machine that can check out all you circuitry and components - and correct any faults - at an extra charge of course..." 

I wondered if they were planning to siphon off the diesel why they were at it.

The quote to rectify my little dent was for almost £1000. I decided to claim through my insurance instead. But that's another story. No wonder premiums are sky-high, when the motorist is being ripped off like this.

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