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Ask … and You Just Might Receive

Dealing with insurers isn’t always as difficult as you perceive it to be. Sometimes all you need to do is ask – and you’ll receive that extra time or payment to properly repair a vehicle. No way it’s that easy? This shop owner and his satisfied customer are proof that sometimes it is.

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“Thank You, Simon Body Shop!” That was the headline of a short article published late this summer in Waynedale News, near Fort Wayne, Ind. The article was written by Cathy Stark, a satisfied customer of Simon Body Shop.

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What did the shop do to deserve such thanks?

Earlier this summer, Stark’s vehicle was rear ended by another car. She took her damaged car to Simon Body Shop, but the insurance company refused to pay the full amount for the repairs. It seems the TPO bumper on Stark’s car was cracked, and the insurer wanted it repaired rather than replaced.

The shop could have easily repaired the bumper, collected the money and sent Stark on her way. But owner Alex Simon knew that wouldn’t be best – for her or for her car.

“We didn’t feel we had had any luck repairing [these bumpers] and [Cathy’s] was already peeling, which means somebody had previously painted it without preparing it the right way,” says Simon. “There would’ve been more labor involved repairing [the bumper] than putting on a new one. [Also] we couldn’t have guaranteed the repair would work.”

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Because Simon thought Stark deserved to know the truth about what was best for her vehicle, he informed her the bumper should be replaced and that she had a right as the car owner to have it replaced.

But Simon didn’t stop with Stark. “We showed the insurance company that to strip the bumper would be just as much labor as it would be to replace it.”

After hearing that, the insurance company decided to pay for a new bumper. “There wasn’t much of a hassle. There generally isn’t. You just have to show them what has to be done,” says Simon. “They’re directed to do [the repairs] a cheaper way, of course. And we’re glad to do it that way if we can maintain the quality of the original car, but we want to give people what they deserve – a quality job.”

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Providing customers with top-quality repairs is a rule Simon Body Shop lives by. Just ask Stark, who wrote in her article: “Thanks for going the extra mile to make things right. It’s businesses like yours that make it a pleasure to live in Waynedale.”


Writer Emily Canning is an intern with BodyShop Business.

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