Thursday, December 27, 2012

Can't Drive 55...

The car saga continues from yesterday...

So I have my new car, Ms. Hepburn, and Mac is driving the Malibu, aka 'The Blue Goose'.

At 3am my phone rang and it was Mac. In my 41 years on Earth, I've learned that no phone call at 3am is a good thing. And this time wasn't any different (though it could certainly be worse!).

Mac said a deer hit him and he wanted to know what he should do. After making sure everyone in the car was fine and that they were all sober in case we needed to call the police, I determined, from HIS description, that he should drive the car the 1 mile to his friend Nick's house. I offered to come get him and leave the car sit but he said it was drivable.

The next day I called the insurance company- State Farm- and told them what happened and they told me to drive it to the local Chevy garage to get an estimate. They said since it was drivable we could make an appointment and then they would give us a loaner car from the garage or a rental while the repairs were being done,

Meanwhile, it's daylight and Mac takes the car to Daddy-O's house and they determine it really isn't drivable. Mac takes it to the garage who confirms. I call the insurance office back who then orders a rental car, which gets dropped off at Daddy-O's in a few hours. So far I'm thrilled with State Farm.

Except the rental car company calls me and tells me that my child can't drive the rental car because he's not 25. Well shit. I am not going to let him drive Ms. Hepburn to deliver pizzas so I flat out broke the rules and let him drive the rental car, under penalty of his death if he so much as breathed crooked in it!

Three days pass and the garage calls and tells us that 'The Blue Goose' is officially totaled. Well, shit again. And I am not kidding, within 30 minutes of hearing from the garage, State Farm calls me to tell me that I have the rental car for 7 days. And they give me 2 price options for the car: one cost for giving them the car and a lower cost if I want to keep the car. I was told I didn't need the title if I went with the lower.

I didn't have the title. Okay, so the long story with the title is that I the woman I bought the car from... well, around the time I paid it off her husband died and then I moved back to Civilization and I just forgot about it. I wasn't sure I could even find the woman to get the title. And I didn't know anything about titles and cars so I thought "big deal" and took the lower price.

So then I had to worry about getting Mac a car in 7 days. But it wasn't that easy.

State Farm called me back and said I would have to give my agent a copy of the title to get the check. WTF? I told this person what I was told about not needing the title and was told that was a mistake. I said since I had to have the title, I wanted the higher amount and they could have the car- if I could find the title.

So, to make a long story longer, I did some research and found the woman. I called her and I explained the situation. She was willing to meet me at the DMV near her house, an hour from me.

But it's still not easy. She lost the title. Okay, though shouldn't be a big deal, right? We can just get a replacement. Then we discovered her dead husband's name is on the title so she had to have an original birth certificate. Okay, she has that. And then we discover a typo. I. am. not. kidding. Their last name is Jones and my name is O'Sullivan. The title had the lien holder's name as Pat and Sarah O'Sullivan. All Sarah's ID is Jones as is the death certificate of her dead husband- which is good since their last name is JONES. So we had to get the DMV to give a replacement title with the correct name. On the Tuesday night before Thanksgiving. Before the rental car is up on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

Of course it didn't happen. It took three trips to the DMV and a stack of paperwork and a million phone calls and a bunch of other shit. And the Thanksgiving holiday.

I begged State Farm for a few more days on the rental car and they refused because it's "policy" to only give 7 days. I argued that they should give me at least 2 more days since of my seven, one was a holiday and one was a Sunday- still the answer was no.

While I'm juggling all the crap with the DMV I found a used car in my price range at the same place I bought Ms. Hepburn. It was a '96 Lumina.  It had less miles and was in really good shape even though it was older. It was the best I could do. Thankfully, I explained to the dealership what was going on and they were more than happy to hold the car until I could straighten out the mess with the title.

Finally, I get everything straightened out with the DMV but I don't have the title because it will take 10 days to process. I get a SIGNED letter from the DMV saying the situation is taken care of and the title will be mailed. I arranged for the title to be mailed directly to my agent. I signed a legal release giving the car to State Farm. I did all this extra because I was told their total loss department would give me the check before receiving the paperwork. And of course they didn't.

So we had no money, no rental car, and no replacement car. Mac's roommate let him drive his car for a few days. Mac did some kitchen work for a few, and was lucky enough to have a couple days off so he didn't need a car. Ms. Hepburn didn't have to deliver a single pizza- thankfully.

And did I mention that while State Farm won't give me a check or more rental care time but they hauled 'The Blue Goose' away the day I accepted the higher price. That's right- they took possession of the car and gave me nothing for 2 weeks. Oh, I guess we could make the argument that State Farm had to pay lot rental to the junk yard, but gee, guess what? The Chevy garage- where I bought Ms Hepburn and was buying Mac's new car- agreed to let the Malibu sit as long as necessary since all this was going on. State farm could've let my car sit and used the money they were paying for lot rental on a rental car. Nice, huh? Very poor customer service, I fell.

The title comes, finally, and I get the paperwork taken care of, and finally sign the paperwork for Mac's new car. Mac gets the car.

All's well that ends well.

And I told Mac to stay away from those damn deer.

The Bureaucratic Paperwork Queen,

1 comment:

Curley said...

Don't cha just love it when they have ya by the short hairs? I swear the DMV can't settle any problems with less that 3 trips back down there. Glad everything ended up good. Ya know them deer are everywhere, not just out in the country.