Shocked by hefty repair costs
K. SIVA KUMAR had a nasty shock when told he had to bear 41 per cent of the costs for repairing his car which had been involved in an accident.
SIVA KUMAR, 42, says he sent his car, which he had only purchased last year, to a service centre on March 5 after it was hit at the back by another car.
“I met with their customer service adviser and requested for the damaged parts to be replaced with genuine parts.
“After inspecting my car, he requested I send my car to the insurance adjusters for inspection so that I may make a third party claim,” he says.
SIVA KUMAR, who works as a general manager at a private company, claims he was contacted by the customer service adviser two days later as the adjusters had completed inspecting his car.
He claims, “I was told I only had to pay the insurance excess, between RM250 to RM350, so I agreed.
Meanwhile, he adds he was informed that repair costs of RM4,373 will be charged to the third party’s insurance.
Subsequently, on March 8, SIVA KUMAR was notified that his car was ready for collection.
“The customer service adviser reiterated again that I would have to pay a charge of between RM250 and RM350. He did not inform me of further charges,” he alleges.
However, when he arrived at the service centre to collect his car, he says he was floored when presented with a bill for RM3,020.
He laments, “The total cost of the repair was RM6,533, out of which I was charged both the betterment charges as well as insurance excess. I had to bear 41 per cent from the total repair costs.”
An irate SIVA KUMAR feels this is unfair as the party responsible for damaging his car was only made to pay RM4,373.
Had he known this earlier, he says he would have sent his car elsewhere for repairs.
A SPOKESMAN for the car service centre, meanwhile, claims both the betterment and insurance excess charges had been communicated to SIVA KUMAR over the phone on March 7, when their customer service adviser received approval from the insurance adjuster.
The spokesman explains: “The dispute arose when additional betterment and excess charges were incurred. However, these two charges were agreed upon between the insured and the insurer. It would not have varied between repairers.
“Betterment charges are applicable to cars that are over five years from the manufacturing date.”
This, the spokesman states, is clearly stipulated in the insurance policy.
This amount is normally finalised once a claim is submitted and most customers may not be aware of this, he says.
“The total accident repair costs submitted was RM6,532.67. Of this, insurance excess was RM2,160 and would be fully refunded by the insurance company directly to the owner once the repairer provided complete documentation, such as invoices, official receipts, police report, photos and so on,” the spokesman further informs.
Only when SIVA KUMAR settles the payment can he obtain his refund.
However, the spokesman says SIVA KUMAR disputed the fact that the excess and betterment charges were communicated to him.
“As he was still dissatisfied with the matter, we decided to waive the vehicle inspection cost of RM648.70 as a goodwill gesture.”
ALTHOUGH SIVA KUMAR remains unhappy, he has paid all the charges.
He wishes to bring this matter up with the Consumer Claims Tribunal.
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