My vehicle was stolen and recovered by the police and Rams Towing took my vehicle to U.S. 59 Enterprise Inc. On September 8, 2011 I was informed by the police that my vehicle was located at U.S. 59 Enterprise Inc. and was given their phone number. I contacted them immediately and gave the receptionist the VIN# and was told that no one could locate my vehicle at that time and she suggested I call back later that afternoon or she would call me back as soon as it was entered into the system. She never called so I called again in a few hours and this time she found it quickly. I asked about the current charges and she told me it was $188.00 total. I'm positive about this and I still have the note card on which I wrote the price.
I drove to the location I was told again that the total charges were $188.00, then I was told twice "or you can use the program where you just sign the title over to us and we will pay that amount for you". I refused to sign over the title.
I asked to look at my vehicle and it had been very badly stripped. It was missing the hood, wheels, entire front, battery, entire dash, speedometer, passenger seat, etc. I explained to them how upset I was because I only had liability insurance. I was very upset about it and told them "I could have had a check for $6700, instead I will recover nothing".
As posted on their signage their storage fee is $20 per day. I decided, since it had no wheels to take a day or two to figure out what to do with the vehicle. I thought $20 per day was reasonable but as I was walking out the door, a heavy set man at the first desk said, "Hey, I know you only had liability coverage, but you really should file a claim because the insurance company won't tell you but often times they do offer theft coverage, even with liability."
They even offered to file the claim for me, which I let them do as I listened. I gave them my insurance declarations page with both of my vehicles, clearly stating that my vehicle only had liability insurance and I mentioned again that I had never heard of liability covering anything other than damage to another party.
Again I was leaving and the same man said, "I tell you what, since you may not be covered with insurance, here is what I will do. If you sign this form, I can transfer your vehicle over to the body shop and that way you will not have to pay the storage fees. We will hold it over there and if it turns out your insurance will cover the repairs, we will charge them storage. But If they will not cover it, we will not charge you at all." I thanked him for helping me out and I signed the forms which said "Move to body shop. Go over with INS. Repair per Est." The form said "Eastex Collision Repair" but the 'body shop' is about 100 feet from where my vehicle was located. It was all within the same fence, the same office, same people working at both storage lot and body shop, same receptionist, etc).
As expected, on September 14th, 2011 I received a letter from my insurance company stating that they would not cover anything due to the fact that I only had liability coverage. I called the same number and told them I was coming to pick up my vehicle and I wanted to confirm the charges once more. She transferred me to one of the people who helped me, the guy that filed the insurance claim in fact. He told me the total to pick up my vehicle was $993.00. I told him there was some mistake because I was given a price of $188.00 and told him how the other man told me he would move it to the body shop as to save me storage costs.
He then said "No, you told us you had full coverage insurance and that they would pay." I explained myself several times and repeated what was told to me while I was in the shop that day on the 8th. I told him "You had the insurance card right in front of you and it very clearly says LIABILITY coverage and I even told you several times that I was doubtful that the insurance would cover anything" Then I asked how the fee could possibly be $993 anyway, even if they did charge me for storage for 4 additional days, the total should have been $268.00. Then he told me "Well there is a $125 transfer fee to move it to the body shop, then the body shop charges $40 per day to store it, plus an additional $300 charge for "safekeeping".
I told him that I was told if the insurance did not cover it that I would not be charged at all. I asked him why it would make sense that I would decide to move my vehicle from an area that cost $20 per day to one that cost $40 and pay $425 to basically have them drag my car across their property into the body shop. Again Matthew said that I told them that I full coverage insurance!! I said "I haven't driven it in over a year. I knew it didn't have anything but liability and I mentioned that to YOU and to everyone else in there many times while I was there! I even gave you the detailed declarations page that CLEARLY says "liablity only" and I even pointed to it and showed you several times!"
I told them to have my vehicle ready for pick up and that I would show up at 3pm. I paid the $993.00. There is no way I would sign over the title to them. So basically Eastex Collision stole $805.85 from me and gave me nothing in return.