Lone Star Chevrolet Body Shop

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96% Would Recommend
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Review for Lone Star Chevrolet Body Shop
Elena M. on 11/01/2012
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On August 22nd, one of our employees was involved in an accident that was not his fault. We had our vehicle towed to Lone Star Chevrolet for repairs, since it is a Chevy. The Lone Star Body shop gave us an estimate of repairs at close to $4,000. On September 14th, the at fault driver's insurance, Geico, finally came back to us with a Total Loss offer of $3,700 for us to keep the vehicle and be able to repair it. When we called Lone Star back and asked them to please move forward with the repairs, we were then told, "Oh, we didn't know you actually wanted it repaired. After opening up the vehicle for further examination, the estimate is actually $7,000 to repair it."
We were then stuck in a situation where we originally thought we would have to come out of pocket only $300 to repair our vehicle, when in reality we were told we'd have to come out of pocket $3,300 for repairs, almost double what we were originally told. When we asked Lone Star why their original estimate was so low, they told us "it was just an estimate."
Since our "estimate" almost doubled, we decided to try putting in a claim to our own insurance company to see if they could offer us more for our vehicle than Geico. Never once in the entire process did Lone Star ever ask us to move our vehicle, nor did they ever inform us that they were racking up storage fees on our vehicle at $25 / day. If they had told us, or asked us to move our vehicle, we gladly would have since our shop is less than 5 miles away from them. Nevertheless, we put in a claim with our own insurance company and waited for Lone Star's employee, Daniel, to upload the estimate into the software system for Hartford insurance to see. Ten days went by, and finally Hartford was able to figure out that Daniel no longer worked at Lone Star, and our insurance claim had gone unnoticed by any other Lone Star employees in the meantime. Once that problem had been discovered, a different employee at Lone Star uploaded our estimate into the system for our insurance to see, and the process continued.
On October 18th, our insurance company came back with a higher amount of total loss value than Geico's did, so we were now able to make a decision involving the repair of our vehicle. We decided that we were going to tow the vehicle back to our shop while we shopped around to try to find a better price than $7,000, since we felt we had been misled from the beginning by Lone Star, and because of the problems that we had waiting for Daniel to upload our estimate for Hartford to examine. When we tried to pick up our vehicle, we were told that if we didn't allow Lone Star to charge the $7,000 for the repair, then they were going to charge us $2,500 in storage fees for the 70 days that our vehicle had been there. Although they had never once told us that we were incurring any fees, they threatened us with "we'll waive the fees if you pay us the $7,000 for repair, otherwise, we're charging you $2,500 for storage fees for the entire time your vehicle has been here".
We were again stuck in a situation where we either had to choose Lone Star to perform the $7,000 in repairs, or face storage charges that we had no knowledge of. We were never given any documentation informing us of their fees, and when we asked them about it, they told us "there's a sign hanging on our wall". Not one time in any of the many conversations that I had with their body shop did they think to mention to us that fees were incurring. They even tried to charge us storage fees while our insurance company was waiting for their employee, Daniel, who didn't work there anymore. Understandably, we had a problem with this. Charging someone fees on the back end without warning them or getting their consent, unless we choose their shop to do the work, almost seems like blackmail or extortion to us. We asked to speak to someone in charge and we were directed to Betty, the "office manager".
We have never been treated with as much disrespect as we have by Betty. She was argumentative and had extremely poor customer service skills. After dealing with multiple insurance companies and being out of a service vehicle for our business for over two months, we were very frustrated with the process, and Betty continuously hung up on us when we called to talk about the storage fees. We asked for her last name so that we could report her to the general manager, and she refused to tell us. That's fine, but when we asked her for her supervisor's name, she also refused to tell us and told me "it's hanging on his door, why don't you come up here to look at it for yourself." She explained that they didn't need to tell us about the storage fees, and that they have every right to charge them if they hang a sign on their wall. Betty decided that the shop was willing to waive half of the storage fees because she was "trying to work with us", even though 10 days of storage fees that we didn't know about were waiting on their employee Daniel who didn't exist. She then told us that if we didn't arrive to the shop by 5 PM to pay the $1185 that they claimed we owed them, they were going to sell our vehicle to a salvage yard and scrap it for parts. We were left with no choice but to pay the $1185 to get our vehicle back, even though we strongly disagreed with them and their fees.
After researching the local laws pertaining to automobile storage facilites and body shops, we believe that we were unfairly charged and decieved from the very beginning. On the Lone Star Chevrolet website, in the list of over 40 staff and managers, we could not find Betty anywhere. We also believe that we were "pawned off" on Betty to get rid of us, and that she is not a manager at all, even though we had asked to speak to someone in charge. I have never had a worse experience with an automobile dealership and do not recommend them to anyone looking for a Body Shop. Stay away.
Service Date: 10/31/2012
Review Created: 11/01/2012 12:54 PM