My parked car was hit by a Safeway-insured driver. He readily admitted fault and liability was never in dispute. It should have been an easy case to resolve.
Safeway is NOT, I repeat, NOT, a reputable company, either in name or practice. They work a limited amount of hours per day, and it's impossible to get ahold of them after 4 p.m. or on weekends, since they have no one on call and no voicemail. If you call during the day, the claims adjusters do not answer their calls in at least 90 percent of the cases. On the rare occasions they do answer, you get the feeling that not only are they incompetent, but that they intentionally delay your case in the hope you'll just go away.
This incompetence and intentional delaying tactics resulted in it taking almost two months to get my car fixed. All this time I was paying for a rental car out of pocket, believing Safeway's rep (Kiana Frazer)that I would be reimbursed in full.
Then one day the switchboard operator told me Ms Frazer had been fired, apparently for telling me they would reimburse me. She put me in contact with Latonya Threate, who in my mind is a shameless, dispicable thief.
Ms Threate told me that Safeway would only reimburse me for 17 days' car rental, sticking me for a bill of over $700. I asked why she thought she could possibly get away with such blatant theft. Her response (she actually told me this): "that's just our policy. If you don't like it, you shouldn't have let our driver hit your car."
I spent several days trying to get ahold of Ms Threate's supervisor, and was only able to do so because I called from a different phone and pretended to be someone else. Ms. Threate's "supervisor" (or office manager, or general manager, or claim adjuster, depending on which day you talked to her) was Pamela Pedrero, who is another shameless thief with absolutely no morals whatsoever. She in essence told me that Safeway's policy was to pay only those claims that were pursued in court, whether they were valid or not.
I sent to letter of complaint to the CEO of Safeway Insurance, and never got a response. Obviously the corporation is aware of the practice and supports it.
It was only when I enlisted the help of the State Insurance Commissioner's office that Safeway reluctantly agreed to reimburse me for my rental car. I was pursuing a claim in small claims court at the same time, but dropped that case when I got the check in the mail.
I want other consumers to learn up front what I had to learn the hard way. First, if you're looking to buy insurance, buy it elsewhere. Safeway does have cheap coverage, but that's only because they are as crooked as can be. The Insurance Commissioner's office told me that they are the worst insurance company in the state of Georgia, and an embarrassment to the industry.
Second, if you have a claim against Safeway, don't waste four months and a lot of frustration like I did. File suit immediately, and accept that as probabaly the only way you're going to get any money from them. Also, contact your state's Insurance Commissioner. They can lean on Safeway and "encourage" them to do the right thing.
Third, find out if your state has open public hearings whenever Safeway's license is up for renewal. If they do, find out when and where it is, and go there and testify. That's the only way we're going to succeed in putting this immoral band of crooks out of business.