Thursday, October 07, 2004

7 October 2004: Garage

A word of advice to all drivers: don't get hit from behind by another driver. It's not worth the hassle.

Of course, it's rather hard to avoid, but if you can avoid it (for instance, by not driving) I recommend it. I myself was having a day off from the Citeseer process back in early September, and I thought it would be relaxing to drive to the beach and spend the day throwing nuts at the squirrels. I got halfway across town when matey bumped me from behind. That same day, I contacted the insurance company and even got the damage investigated, photographed and estimated.

A month later, my car is finally in for repairs, after insurance companies losing documents, estimates getting lost in the mail, garage managers being on holiday and forgetting to order parts, the usual stuff. And Tuesday I got call from the garage saying "um, sorry about this, but we won't be able to give you a replacement car as promised. Could you phone your insurance company and ask them to arrange one for you instead?" So I did. The insurance company told me I had to call their subcontracted legal company, which I did. They made 'mmm, short notice' noises at me (like it's my fault?) before saying they'd get a car hire company to call me. I'm still waiting for that call.

This morning, my car went in for repairs and I have no replacement.

Now, those of you who know my situation are well aware that I only use the car sporadically, mostly for lending to Canadians in fact, and a week without a car is neither problematic or even unusual for me. But it's saying something about bureaucracy when I have four companies on the case and somehow they still fail to fulfil the terms of my insurance contract, for which I have paid a lot of money. And I've also had to pay money in terms of phone calls, petrol costs to get to and from garages, and of course the excess on the repairs, which I may be able to claim back later from matey's insurance (given that it was entirely his fault). Given the way things have gone so far, I doubt it will be that easy.

So my tip: don't drive, or if you must drive, don't get hit. It's not worth the hassle.

Postscript: Atlanta Braves began the traditional tumbleweed roll-over-and-die approach to the post-season yesterday, losing 9-3 to the wildcard Houston Astros. Wildcard. That means they didn't win their division. The Braves did. I'm not bitter, I'd just simply rather lose in the NLCS instead of some divisional match-up. Or at least play the Dodgers, who aren't very good.

Goodness, I sound angry this morning, don't I? I'm off to get some more tea.

No comments: