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How Much is Customer Service Costing You? (Part 1)

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I'm putting the Guest Post Wednesday on hiatus for a little while.  It's kind of like the McRib sandwich.  It's good when it's around, but you can't have it all the time.  Instead, I'll ask how much time does customer service service eat up and what's it costing you?  In two parts today, I'll talk about what it's costing me.


A couple of weeks ago, I had mentioned how a car hit me while I was completely stopped in traffic. It was obvious to both parties (me and the little old lady) that she was 100% at fault and that her insurance would be covering the costs. Dealing with her insurance company was much easier than I thought it would be. It took about an hour of calls to set up the appraisal. The appraisal took about an hour, maybe a little more if you count the time traveling to the appraisal place. Dropping my car at the dealership and dealing with the paperwork was probably another hour and getting the rent-a-car from Enterprise was close to an hour as well. I'm rounding some things down and some things up and I'd say it really only cost me 4 hours of half a day of work to get my car repaired.

However, it was the phone call to pick up the car that seems to be the time sink. It was the auto body shop and while they had fixed the damage, someone had opened a car door into the bumper and that would have to be fixed as well. The call came on Friday the 13th to no surprise of mine. As the old insurance company wasn't at fault, they wouldn't pay for more time with the rental, so I had to return it and pick up my car, with the new dent, until the new bumper came in. Unfortunately, Enterprise was really backed up on a Friday (not surprising) and it took an hour an half before I had my old car back. Along the way, Enterprise was nice enough to tell me that the rental was only paid for three days and not the 5 it actually took to repair. I reminded them that the other insurance was paying and that I wouldn't be responsible. I also let them know that if they tried to charge my card, I would dispute the charge with the credit card company.

So I have my car back now, but I'm going to have to go through the whole process again when the bumper comes in. This time, I'm going to stick to my guns and demand that the auto body shop get the car and all the necessary insurance waiting for me, so that when I drop off my car, there's only a signature and I'm gone. By the time, I'm done, I will have spent a full work day with this. There should be some sort of compensation for all this run-around, but of course this would come from higher insurance premiums for all.

Posted on April 25, 2007.

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2 Responses to “How Much is Customer Service Costing You? (Part 1)”

  1. Golbguru says:

    Man..blame it on the poorly designed bumper. Just yesterday I posted something on crappy bumpers and there I have you ranting about a damaged bumper.

    You will probably have to talk tough with the auto body shop…although that’s still not going to get your lost time back, at least they would be careful when you go to them after the bumper comes in.

  2. […] you haven't already, reading part one first will be helpful. A quick summary is that I've run into a couple of customer support problems […]

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