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I had an auto body shop fix my car without contacting me with

Customer Question
an estimate first, then kept...
I had an auto body shop fix my car without contacting me with an estimate first, then kept my car for weeks without contacting me or returning my phone calls to let me know it was finished, lied about being in contact with my insurance then after my insurance had agreed on payment and written the check they now refuse to let me take my car unless I pay an additional 3000$ which at first they told me was for storage for my car then told the insurance they weren't charging me storage and that it was only for rental fees for their loaned vehicle which they had agreed to let us use at no charge because I didn't have rental coverage on my insurance. What do I do?
Submitted: 5 years ago.Category: Business Law
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
11/5/2012
Business Lawyer: Alex Esquire, Attorney replied 5 years ago
Alex Esquire
Alex Esquire, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 16,723
Experience: Experienced Licensed Attorney
Verified
Hello. My name is Alex and I will be happy to answer your question.

Did you agree to pay for a rental in writing prior to taking this rental car?

Have you been provided with an itemized bill for all the outstanding charges demanded by this shop?
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
No there was no agreement in writing for the loaner vehicle and we were told by the owner we wouldn't be charged for the loaner. My insurance has requested an itemized statement but what they are telling the insurance the charges are for are completely different than what we were told. In the meantime im stuck with 3 small children and no vehicle in a city im new to and know no one.
Business Lawyer: Alex Esquire, Attorney replied 5 years ago
Thank you for your follow up.

Unfortunately, while the shop might be asking you to pay for the costs and fees that you have never agreed to, you would need to pay the amount demanded by the shop in order to get your car released and then you will be able to file a lawsuit against this shop in the local small claims court for any disputed fees or costs associated with this shop.

Also, you can file a formal complaint against this shop with Texas Attorney General's Office at this link:

https://www.oag.state.tx.us/consumer/complain.shtml

And also you can file a formal complaint with the local Better Business Bureau against this shop.

The Attorney's General Office will investigate your complaint and will take proper measures upon the conclusion of their investigation.

I wish you the best of luck!
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Customer reply replied 5 years ago
And what if I don't have $3000 to give them? are those the only places I can/should file a complaint?
Business Lawyer: Alex Esquire, Attorney replied 5 years ago
Thank you for your follow up.

You can also file a complaint at this link to the Texas Department of Consumer Protection:

https://www.oag.state.tx.us/consumer/

Unfortunately, if you do not pay all the repair charges that the shop is demanding, the shop might put a mechanic's lien on your vehicle and might be able to sell your vehicle to recover the repair costs that the shop is demanding.

However, the shop will have to refund the difference to you between the outstanding cost of repairs and what your vehicle is sold for at an auction and also you will be able to sue the shop for any damages resulting from the mechanic's lien and sale of your vehicle, if the court determines that you did not owe for the excessive repair or loaner rental costs.
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Business Lawyer: Alex Esquire, Attorney replied 5 years ago
Do you have any related follow up questions for me?
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Alex Esquire
Alex Esquire
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