Burst Photo Booths

BLOG

The story of how Burst Photo Booths came to be, from purchasing the trailers to the nitty gritty of getting them on the road.

Enrique Pulling Through For Me

On Enrique's last legs, he pulled through for me. With AAA telling me, in writing, that he was worth $8100 (a joke!) I was going after them for that plus anything else I could. I was fed up. With almost 3 months and 7 claims adjusters, anyone would be. For a simple rear end!

I had gotten paid out of my own pocket for a diagnostic on the exhaust issues. I received a written report from the body shop that the exhaust issues were going to be another $4000 to fix and could have easily been caused by the accident. I took a photo of this report, with me holding it in my left hand, in my living room. 

About 2 weeks later, Claims Adjuster #7 tells me that they have documentation from the body shop on the exhaust and it could be deciphered either way. I told them I hadn't seen any paperwork on this (they'd had my car for another 3 weeks at this point) and I needed her to send me the documentation immediately so I could review it myself. 

She sent me back an email with an attachment. MY OWN PHOTO OF THE DIAGNOSTIC I PAID FOR MYSELF. WITH MY THUMB IN IT. WITH MY LIVING ROOM IN IT. That was the last straw. I wrote back that she literally sent me my own photo and that was it. I was done.

I told Claims Adjuster #7 that they had until Halloween at 5pm to total Enrique and pay me out the money for the car, plus the rental that I had been paying for out of pocket, the diagnostic, insurance payments on a car that wasn't being driven and prorated registration (a whopping 3 months at about $14) or I'd be hiring a lawyer and reporting them to the insurance commissioner of California. Crickets. 

After about 3 days, I contacted them again. Met with silence. Not one reply back after my threat. I did contact a lawyer, explained the situation and got a quote for how much it would be to retain them. I had the insurance commissioner's email and phone number at the ready. Still radio silence from AAA.

Halloween arrived, the day went by, nothing. At 4:30p, I emailed Claims Adjuster #7 and said: you had 30 minutes to agree to the items I listed or I will be reporting AAA and retaining counsel. Nothing. At 4:50, I got an email back asking me something that I didn't understand. My mom worked in insurance for years before she met my dad, so I asked her what they were asking me. They wanted to know what I wanted. Seriously? Ok fine. I listed out each item again, a bulleted list so there was no confusion.

At 4:55p, I got confirmation that they'd be sending checks for all of the above.

This all began on July 30th. It ended on October 31st. For a rear end. Unbelievable. Lesson learned: after 2 weeks of a straightforward accident like a rear end, threaten the insurance commissioner report. It was the only way to be heard. I wanted to call 7 on Your Side or something but they don't deal with cases with insurance companies. Consumers need to know that they WILL take advantage of you, they WILL draw it out until you give up and they WILL lowball you. Don't take it. It's a huge hassle but it's worth it - I was paid out 3x what my car was worth by holding out and making sure I was compensated for what happened.

All in all, AAA spent close to $15k for a car that's worth $3k. Body shop repairs at $6700, diagnostic at $150, my rental car plus their two rentals at about $1200 each, my $14 for prorated registration. If they had just paid me out the $3800 I asked for from day 27, they would have saved a lot of money and time. 

They messed with the wrong solopreneur.