It's now been several weeks since the accident and the claim has still not been settled. Why, you might ask? Two words: Frank Vargas. This guy is beyond shady.
So my beautiful little Honda was a 2003, in great condition. I just had an overhaul of the brakes in September. Never been in a wreck. Power everything, sun roof, cd player, the whole thing. Good car. It had some mileage on it, but nothing extreme - about 100,000.
According to my credit union, the car should be worth a little under $10k. AllState initial offer was something like $7k. Umm.... what? I asked them to re-evaluate. That's when they sent me to Frank.
He was out of town. I was out of town. We played phone tag. This drug on for weeks. Finally, we connected and I expressed my displeasure at both how long the process was taking and how low their estimate was. I told him that in the interim, I had done tons of research online to figure out a more accurate expectation of what a settlement should be. I looked up edmunds, nada, kelly blue book, and then spent hours pouring over auto trader, the newspaper, craigslist, and various dealerships in Austin to find comparable cars and what they were selling for. The low end was about $7k, but the high end was $10k. So I figured $8500 or so would be fair.
Enter my buddy Frank again. He says they're willing to go up $400 more, but that's it. He said he looked at the papers I faxed him showing all the cars that I found and that it's just not relevant. "People can ask whatever price they want," he says. "That doesn't mean that they're going to get it." Um.... what? These are car dealerships. They know what cars are worth. I'm not asking some guy on the street what he thinks my car is worth.
At this point, Frank starts becoming very defensive and belligerent. I'm appalled at the insubordinate tone in his voice - what kind of customer service rep talks to his clients this way? One who gets FIRED, that's who. He tells me that AllState has done their job and my only recourse is to hire an outside appraiser who will verify what the car is worth independent of AllState. I'm upset.
"You're telling me, i have to PAY someone else, to do your job, since you can't seem to do it right? I have to PAY to prove that I'm right?"
"No ma'am, you have to PAY to prove that you're wrong."
What a jerk! Who says that?
Conversation continues going downhill.
"I think I'd like to speak with your manager. I don't appreciate your tone, you've been very rude."
"How? How am I being rude? I'm not being rude. I'm just doing my job. I'm not being rude at all. That's just you."
Are you kidding me? Who is this guy?
Our conversation went no where and I got off the phone shaking because I was so angry. I started a google search for the guy, hoping that I could find his office's website and find a contact tree to get info for his boss. Instead I found this:
Apparently I'm not the only one who has experienced what a douche (sorry grandma) this guy is. Pam Jackson is his boss, so I'm trying to work with her instead. I called her this morning and she is out of town until the fourth (the day Hans and I leave on our honeymoon). I spoke with our insurance agent today, Mr. Billy Jackson, and he agrees that Vargas is undervaluing the car and gave me some advice on how to proceed. I tried calling even a third claims adjuster from the office, but he's on vacation until later this week, too. It seems that Mr. Vargas is the only person holding down the office. I'll be surprised if it doesn't burn to the ground.
At this point, I believe that Mr. Vargas is deliberately undervaluing the car $1000. This is an amount high enough to be troublesome to me, the customer, but not high enough that I have a viable option. I could hire a third party appraiser and he could likely get me this additional $1000. However, most of that would simply go to pay his fee, which runs $500-$600. In the end, I'd only pocket $400 or so more than what Mr. Vargas is offering. This seems like his game. He's banking on the fact that we won't want put up a fight for so little increase, and he'll come out $1000. His games and his attitude have been so unbelievably unprofessional and dishonest that I amazed that he is still employed by AllState at all. Hans' family insures all four of our vehicles through AllState and my father-in-law has been with the same agent for the past 20 years. One might think that after such loyal business, we might receive better treatment and consideration.
Please pray that this will be resolved soon and that Mr. Vargas gets what's coming to him.