About 10 days ago my car was scraped in the Costco parking lot. I didn’t see it happen and I have no idea who did it. No note was left taking responsibility. I finally got around to calling ICBC today and let’s just say I was less than impressed. After I gave all the details here is the conversation that ensued:
ICBC Guy: There is a $300 deductible.
ICBC Guy: All hit and run accidents are paid out of the hit and run fund.
Me: Ya, so?
ICBC Guy: Well because we insure everyone we assume it was one of our drivers who did it. So because everyone has access to it we have a deductible so that people will help us find out who did it and park in well-lit areas.
Me: If I knew anything I would tell you.
ICBC Guy: Let’s say you parked on a street and someone hit your car you would be covered.
Me: But it’s illegal to park on a street without insurance.
ICBC Guy: Well there is that but you understand what I am saying.
Me: I am sure you can look at the damage and know how it was caused.
ICBC Guy: Yes but we still have a deductible.
Me: So let me see if I have this straight – someone damages my car, through no fault of mine, and I not only have the inconvenience of having to deal with this but I also have to pay $300? I have a perfect driving record and I have never cost ICBC a penny.
ICBC Guy: Yes, Ms Shihtzustaff you do have many years of excellent driving.
Me: Exactly. So why do I have to pay?
It digressed from there. It annoys the hell out of me when people use analogies that have no basis in reality. Analogies are the weakest form of reasoning. Clearly ICBC claims phone people do not get training in basic reasoning. He had no clue how to handle me. I also hate non-rational decisions. ICBC, like any monopoly, behaves unethically in my opinion. I can’t stand the constant increase in rates and the difficulty you face when you have a claim. It is going to take 10 days to get into a claim centre. I think if we dismantled or made ICBC compete with other insurers we would have much lower rates particularly those of us with clean driving records. I am tired of getting gouged by ICBC. Perhaps to punish them I may move my optional insurance elsewhere. Does anyone else do this?
So, I take my car to Mr. Lube for the requisite oil change. I have been there a few times and things have generally gone well. Well, not this time. First of all they advise me that they have stopped ordering Subaru oil filters because only 1 out of 100 cars are Subarus and they assure me that their oil filters are just as good and that they provide a warranty. Seeing as I was already over on kilometres I decided to go ahead.
I feel the tech tug at the bottom of my car and assume all is going fine. I began to get a little suspicious that something was up when they did not do the normal things like check the tire pressure, lube the hinges etc. I am starting to notice two of the techs scurrying around and looking at books. I know something is up but I just sit there and wait. After about 10 minutes of sitting there one of the techs comes over to the window and advises me that the ‘downstairs’ tech accidentally drained my automatic transmission fluid instead of my oil. Now, I am not a tech – but you would think that one would know the difference between the transmission and the oil pan. Apparently, I was wrong. I guess in Subarus the transmission is exposed and the oil pan is behind a plate.
Then the tech tells me that Subarus take a special kind of automatic transmission fluid and that his ‘Area Manager’ has been on the internet and apparently they can use their fluid with an additive and it will be just like the Subaru fluid. He further explains that I can bring the car back tomorrow and his ‘Area Manager’ will go to Subaru and get the correct filter and fluid. I don’t believe them that their concoction would be good for my transmission. I asked him what would happen if there was damage done as a result of this that did not show up for a while would they take responsibility. The bottom line was that I would have to prove it. No go on the Mr. Lube fluid for my transmission! I leave the car, which they assure me will stay in the bay it is in and opt to come back today to pick it up. I take a cab home – they state they will pay for it if I give them the receipt.
Now, all of this was a pain in the ass but I guess this kind of stuff can happen (not sure how but whatever). Next we get to move into the realm of insulting sexism where women are treated as stupid. They called at about 10:30 to tell me my car was ready to go. Deb and I go to pick it up at about 11:30. I get there and they tell me the invoice is in the car and that the oil change is free. I ask them if the invoice reflects what happened and I look at their copy. Nope, you guessed it, the invoice just shows a free oil change. I tell the manager that this is not acceptable and that the invoice must reflect what had happened. He says well go and get your copy out of the car and I will write it on there. I say, no that will not be acceptable as anyone can write anything on an invoice and it will not mean anything. I again insist that the invoice must reflect the accidental draining of my transmission. He says: “It is noted in the computer and I have already done the invoice.” I laugh and inform him that he will need to officially note it on the invoice. He gives in and goes and does it.
I do not normally rail about sexism. For the most partm I am an intelligent, well-educated woman who has lots of privilege in society. But there is something that happens with men, cars and women. Many men seem to think that women know nothing about cars and can be bamboozled with their crap. The same thing happens with computers. I have noticed a distinct difference in the way I am treated by a male sales person once he realizes that the woman standing in front of him likely knows more about computers that he does. I get a little tired of this but sometimes, I must confess, I do enjoy playing with them.
Back to Mr. Lube – He managed to correct the invoice so it now indicates that they accidentally drained my transmission. At least now if something goes wrong I have some hope of holding them accountable. Now, I won’t hold my breath for the cheque to reimburse me for the taxi fare.