I was taking my grandmother shopping the other weekend, and as we were walking away from the car, I’d remembered something that I needed from the back seat so ran back to grab it. I usually put my hand in between my car door and the car parked next to mine so that I don’t accidentally scratch it and, wouldn’t you know it, I forgot to do this for the first time in my 20 years of driving (God, that makes me sound old), and scratched the back right wheel well of the car parked next to mine. It happened to be a Mustang. The scratch, by the way, was not big, about the size of my pinky fingernail, and had left a bit of my car’s burnt umber (read: orange) paint atop the royal blue of the Mustang.
I did the right thing and left a note on the windshield of the car, and received a call later that evening from the owner, who effusively thanked me for my honesty, and said that she’d obtain a quote for the repair, and get back to me for next steps. Later that week, I received a call from her, and the quote for the repair, because apparently there was a tiny dent as well (tin can ‘tang? it’s not like I slammed the door): $825, before taxes.
I almost fell off of my chair. Thank goodness I was sitting.
I told the owner that I couldn’t afford that so would likely have to go through ICBC (our local auto insurance provider that we’re all provincially mandated to have as car owners) or, alternatively, would she mind seeking a quote from a fellow that my dad knew. She said that, because I’d been so honest about having scratched her car, and she understood that costs like that could be significant, she would do what it took to make sure that I had the most minimal impact to my wallet and she have her scratch repaired.
The place that originally quoted her the $825 had offered up an alternative to her: this mobile dent fixer whom the collision place used to fix their company vehicles (which is ironic in and of itself). She said that she’d give him a call and see what he thought.
I sent her the photo that I’d taken of the damage, which she then forwarded to the dent guy. The dent guy said he should be able to fix it for about $100. Amazing! The owner then invited me to watch the repair job the following Sunday, as the dent guy was coming to her house to fix the scratch.
The three of us converged that Sunday. Success. The dent guy was able to work a miracle by using some glue which adheres to the car surface without damaging the paint, and pushed most of the dent out (there actually was no scratch after all). He needed to get behind the metal to do the final push out, and the owner figured out a place where the dent guy could get his tool behind the metal sheet. Dent guy managed to push the remainder of the dent out.
The owner was completely happy with the fix, and the dent pushed out to her satisfaction (we’re going out for a beer next week to celebrate, so I have a new friend out of this whole experience, to boot).
The dent guy was super awesome and also so impressed that I’d been honest about owning up to the scratch that he said he’d only charge me $60 for the job.