Complaint / review text:
I took my car to Caliber Collision to have them look at the lean of my car that i had noticed but mistakenly dismissed as a need for shocks. Through the advise of the estimator at a body shop i retrieved the alignment specs from Progressive insurance on repairs done to my car over a year ago. They showed that the car had never aligned.
Car had sustained a lot of suspension damage. Ripped front rim in half and rear rim was dented beyond repair yet oddly enough car required no rear suspension work. Frame damage was discovered on reassembly of car. Vandergriff Collision did the original repairs. Estimate was $2000, final cost was over $4000. Upon discovering this i had Caliber take the car for repairs.
Progressive wanted to look at car before repairs would be handled since this was an insurance claim repair originally. I observed odd behaviour during this time from Progressive and Caliber throughout the repair process. At one point i was denied then it was approved. Took the car in on the 12/05/05 but it took til 12/30/05 to tell me that they had found addition damage and were going to replace the rear axle on the car. Another $1700. Got a call on 12/19 from Caliber and estimator tells me he doesnt think that they have a qualified mechanic to do repairs there and i should take it somewhere else. Later told me that he took car to Vandergriff and they pulled frame again. He now denies this.
Repairs were "completed" on the 1/13/06 and i picked the car up from Caliber on 1/14/06. On first viewing my car i immediately pointed out the car's lean to the estimator there. He dismissed this as the grade of the parking lot and just to take car and if i had any problems that i should take it to the Progressive claims center. I knew that there was going to be any way to convince him as he had expressed to me how he was being pressured by the claims center to finish car because they had paid for my rental for almost a month and a half and car wasn't finished.
When i got home i immediately called the claims center and left message for my contact there and told him that i was going to be returning car on Monday (closed sat and sun) because the damages were not corrected. Did not drive car until i was on my way to the claims center on Monday. Called the estimator from Caliber and he met me up there.
Pointed lean of car out to the claims center rep and the estimator and they decided that it would be best if i sought a third party to look at car and make diagnosis. The claims center rep questioned my upkeep of the car siting that it was probably a strut (car had shocks no struts and he is. I asked him why not point out something like that when repairs are being done if that was the case. To this he had no answer. But to prove my case, i took car and paid out of pocket to have car looked at.
The first place i took it to recommended i have it looked at by an I-car certified shop. Also show me a dent in the diffential of the axle that was just put on. I took it to one and they said i had major frame problems that needed attention. When i told Progressive of this they told me to take the car to Vandergriff who had done the original frame pull. After a week i'm told to come pick car up and turn in rental and that the damage is being considered my fault.
Pictures of the car are sent to me showing damage. I ask for the pictures of the car when it was brought in originally after repairs, but i'm denied. Measurements of frame before and after repairs, also denied. Car was even reviewed by management higher up after i filed complaint, but the decision was the same. Everyone that has become involved with situation has such a bias view on situation that they can't be reasoned with. I looked at car with them and they pointed out all these scrapes and small dents that were on bottom of car. I'm sure most of which were never fixed from original accident since they really didnt effect my car's performance and wouldnt be seen.
The main problem is a dent in the differential cover which now is allowing fluid to leak from it. This is a part that has just been replaced. The sway bar directly underneath it has no marking to coincide with differential which cant be more than an inch below it.
This has obviously become a mess where i think the car was totalled in the beginning when Vandergriff did the repairs and afterwards discovered frame damage. Then Caliber misdiagnosed the damage obviously as car looked the same after replacing the rear axle and it still leans. Even have audio of conversation with estimator at Caliber telling me that they couldn't visibly see damages except that everything was "shifted". He says that he was going to order rearend and that would hopefully fix the problem.
Since Progressive has these claims centers and they allowed car to pass their inspection, now they are no longer on my side and have to take the side of the body shop. If they were to take my side then it would be having to admit they messed up and that is something that is not going to happen. Seems like a conflict of interest.
Went to lawyer and he told me i would probably have a case involving bad faith but i can't afford the engineer he said i would probably have to hire to translate diagnosis of frame damage report that i paid to have done. Said its getting harder and harder to fight big companies like Progressive and Caliber without the risk of going broke.
My only option now is to report it to the Texas Department of Insurance and hope to get a fair investigation. If it happened to me, I'm sure its happened to others and eventually the truth will be discovered. This has been the worst experience of my life being screwed by my own insurance company. Don't believe the commercials Progressive has on TV because they are no where near the wonderful company they portray themselves on TV.
Through internet searches ive learned Caliber Collision has had its practices questioned in investigations in California. Vandergriff has multiple complaints since 2004 to the BBB. I'm sure there have been others that i'm not aware of. Make sure you take your vehicle to a shop you trust and not one of the insurance company's "recommended" shops because you may end up in the same situation i'm in.