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Friend damaged car


Scarlett
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Just now, Laurie said:

I hope you're teaching your kids that it's not a big deal if they damage your OWN property.  But it's a problem if you're teaching them that it's no big deal if they damage other people's property, too.   

Our former neighbors were upset when my husband yelled at their  kids to get off the hood of his car.    I guess they didn't think it was a big deal either.  But when it's not your property you don't get to decide for the owner.  

 

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No, I am not teaching my kids it is ok to damage other people's property.  As I stated, the social contract is pretty clear.   I damage your item, I insist on paying.  If you won't let me, I try to do something nice to compensate you. You damage my item and I will insist it's no big deal and please don't worry about it.  And I mean it.  But I won't say no if you pay the next time we go out and do something.   

There are nuances to this social contract.  I.E. what caused the damage- malice, carelessness or goof? How critically important is the item?  What can people realistically afford?   But the basic principle is solid and works well if applied in a range of situations.  

I would want my kids to offer to pay for items they damaged and be ready to do so. This is how they have acted thus far, but time will out if I did my job well or not, lol. 

We are shopping for a Prius or similar with the idea that my son can use it in college in a short time.  I would be somewhat mortified if he demanded top flight repair from a friend for minor scratches.  I would point him towards O'Reilly's and tell him to figure it out.  He starts his first job today, as a tutor.   For us, it's about the value of money.  A perfect car doesn't even make the list.  

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1 hour ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

Scarlett, let me give you a script.  "Thank you so much for your input.  I have a lot to think about."  Then do what you were going to do anyway (as most of us do).  These threads keep going and going and get more contentious because you argue every point. 

I personally would do the DIY option but to me it's like getting a Savile Row tailor (ie. an expensive bespoke tailor) just to put in a hem in something that would take only pennies and not too much work to do myself.  But that's just my opinion which I figure is as welcome as anyone else's on a thread that was not marked JAWM.  You have a different opinion.  You don't have to justify it and make all the rest of us see the error of our ways for having opinions that don't match yours. 

They keep going bc people imply she should tell her son he should get a life, that his friend will get kicked out of his apartment, that he will lose friendships, that her community sucks...

I have no problem understanding why she responds (what you call arguing every point)

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2 hours ago, Scarlett said:

It is not an exorbitant price.  It is a very standard price for repairing it correctly.  And also they are NOT tiny scratches.  I don't know why everyone keeps saying that.  Paint is completely missing.  And he doesn't want a DIY job where it is obvious it has been not done correctly. 

And there is no bad history between my boss and this man.  Not at all. I mean are you suggesting he is price gouging my son in an effort to harm the man?  Good grief.  As far as the 'community' around the body shop?  What does that mean?  Every employee and every relative should get a discount?  You really have no idea what that would even mean....my boss and his family have been in this area for GENERATIONS....he knows everyone, is related to many many people and has employed dozens of people over the years.   But for the record he is a very generous man---and I know this because I do personal work for him and office work.  He has done things for free for people, including me.  

You guys are always so super hard on everything about me and my life.  SMH

 

I didn't say anything about you at all? Also didn't disagree that it should be repaired; I'm just talking about the how and the price. Around here, our DIY's do not look incorrect, but we're handy people. I was not hard on you. Didn't even mention you.

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24 minutes ago, unsinkable said:

They keep going bc people imply she should tell her son he should get a life, that his friend will get kicked out of his apartment, that he will lose friendships, that her community sucks...

I have no problem understanding why she responds (what you call arguing every point)


True enough, but you can also see by the way this thread is going that people will not change their mind. So arguing every point/responding will just lead to more people voicing their opinions. Nothing wrong with that but responding keeps the thread going so if someone has had enough the best way to end the discussion is by bowing out.

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54 minutes ago, kap728 said:

You state that your son has paid out of pocket for a previous door ding on his car, and that he was going to get these scratches repaired, regardless of the lawnmower man’s involvement in paying. I would be really hesitant to reinforce this behavior- I would be concerned that he could eventually end up in credit card debt from maintaining such a fastidious lifestyle. Your son could be learning some important financial, educational, and independence lessons here if he fixed it himself, or if he went to multiple shops to get multiple quotes, or if he decided to let it go, or if he found a friend who could do the work after-hours. Instead, he is just learning that everything must be perfect and perfect can only be had with a high price tag.

 

Very important point. Well said.

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3 hours ago, regentrude said:

LOL. My FIL's reaction to MIL's encounter with the garage was the reason she never drove again after that day.

 

Both my sister and I have at separate times put the garage door down on our cars while backing out! Too impatient I guess:-) I have also hit two of our own cars, a pole, we've had the basketball hoop fall on our car... and that's just my driving! My husband and daughter have been equally damaging to their vehicles.  

 

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2 hours ago, Arctic Mama said:

You showed us a picture. They are TINY.  Like, nicks and scrapes.  That price is too much for that level of damage - it isn’t that we wouldn’t fix it, but not for that amount, even on our own personal vehicles.  Getting it done ‘right’ for $150 might make sense as an upper limit.  But that’s way beyond, which is why the vast majority of this board is saying we’d just DIY it.

 

It’s a stupid amount of money to pay for what it actually is - scratches by the wheel of a mid range commuter vehicle. Caring for your possessions is great, but this cost is out of scale for the fix.  It’s wasteful, even if the man can afford to pay it.

 

 

It must depend on your area as to prices. DH caused similar damage to a woman's car a few years ago. It was a stupid "accident" - the woman waved him to indicate he should turn, he took his foot off the brake to begin the turn, she changed her mind and his car scraped hers as she passed. We were all set to pay out of pocket to avoid using insurance until the estimate came back at $1300! So we ran it through our insurance company. 

Scratches through the paint like that can end up causing rust problems in the car later. It's a good idea to fix them. 

 

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2 hours ago, Arctic Mama said:

You showed us a picture. They are TINY.  Like, nicks and scrapes.  That price is too much for that level of damage - it isn’t that we wouldn’t fix it, but not for that amount, even on our own personal vehicles.  Getting it done ‘right’ for $150 might make sense as an upper limit.  But that’s way beyond, which is why the vast majority of this board is saying we’d just DIY it.

 

It’s a stupid amount of money to pay for what it actually is - scratches by the wheel of a mid range commuter vehicle. Caring for your possessions is great, but this cost is out of scale for the fix.  It’s wasteful, even if the man can afford to pay it.

 

I quoted you, Arctic Mama, but this post is for all the people who said it's a small scratch. We don't know that unless we can see the vehicle itself.

Pictures can be deceiving. What looks minor in a picture could be much bigger than it appears. (Speaking from personal experience. We have pictures of dd's accident when the driver who turned next to her didn't stay in the correct lane and moved into dd's lane. The pictures made the damage look very minor, but it cost $1000 to repair. And yes, the other driver, who was at fault, paid for it. Even though she was a very young newlywed, even though she was on her MIL's insurance, even though her husband didn't make a lot of money. This wasn't the first accident she had in her MIL's SUV and, while she accepted responsibility at the scene of the accident, she didn't want to pay out of pocket. So her MIL's insurance paid. There's something to be said about taking responsibility for your own actions and making changes where needed. The huge dent in dd's driver door wasn't mechanically necessary, but dd didn't want to drive around with a huge dent. )  I think we need to take Scarlett's word for  how bad the scratches are.

Our family also maintains our vehicles. If they get a very minor door ding, we won't get it fixed. But we also don't want to drive around with a beat up vehicle. We move our vehicles out of the way if they're likely to be hit by bouncing balls. We believe that if the vehicles are maintained, the driver, passengers, and other drivers are more likely to be careful in and around it and it will last longer. No unexpected rusting; no door handles or mirrors falling off. 

I can completely understand an 18 yo man taking pride in a well kept vehicle. How many stories and kids do we know who have built their own vehicle or saved a long time to buy one? Wouldn't they want their car to stay in good condition?

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If your ds's philosophy is along the lines of "buy quality, maintain it well, make it last", that's a reasonable approach to owning things.  But "maintain it well" can be expensive and out of proportion to the value of the item unless he learns some DIY skills.  The vast majority of teens simply don't have the income to support this quest for perfection. And even if a teen can afford it, often when college and marriage and kids come into the picture, it's hard to maintain this standard financially.

I've done body work before.  This is an easy fix.  If my kid wanted his car to remain pristine, I would encourage him to learn how to do as much as possible himself, especially if he was a teen.  Being able to do this kind of fix himself would save a significant amount of money over the life of the vehicle (since there will be more scratches in the future), and give him the ability to do the job as often as needed, and to the high quality level he desired.  Body work can be tedious, but it is not difficult.  I did it as a teen, as did my siblings.

If, however, your ds has the job done at the shop, be sure to ask for the leftover paint.  This will save a bit of money the next time the car gets scratched, and the body shop is likely to toss it if he doesn't ask.

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4 hours ago, Scarlett said:

Well, you can all rest easy that the man is not going to do without food, shelter or medication in order to pay this $390 bill.  My boss just told me he is quite well off but lives like he is destitute.  

 

Does this mean he's agreed to fix it?  I haven't read every reply, so I could have missed where you reported this. 

I'm glad it's getting fixed.  I also want to add, because I see that some see the price as too high, that I think it is a reasonable estimate.  While we've done some jobs ourselves, we've also paid to have some done, and paint jobs are not cheap (hence, why we did the last one our-self ? )

 

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7 minutes ago, Kim in Appalachia said:

 

Does this mean he's agreed to fix it?  I haven't read every reply, so I could have missed where you reported this. 

I'm glad it's getting fixed.  I also want to add, because I see that some see the price as too high, that I think it is a reasonable estimate.  While we've done some jobs ourselves, we've also paid to have some done, and paint jobs are not cheap (hence, why we did the last one our-self ? )

 

Thank you. Yes he has agreed to pay for it.  He didn't ask for a second estimate, because, I feel sure, he trusts ds and he trusts my boss as does everyone who knows him. My son is not going to take the  money and then not have it repaired as agreed.  My boss is not out gouging the community.  He is providing a quality repair service.

Although the day may come when ds has kids and a scratch like this might not bother him (but it would bother my dad, my dh, so not sure if it will never not bother him) that time is not now.  Now he is an 18 year old young man who is proud to have a decent car to drive and who keeps it up by repairing things as they happen.  Also, it is quite a leap, as a previous poster suggested, that this desire to keep his car in good condition is going to lead to credit card debt because he won't be able to keep up this 'lifestyle'. 

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When I lived in MD, I got into a car accident and part of my front bumper came off.  I drove like that for years bc I never really cared how my car looked, it was already old when I bought it

Now, that we are in New England, that same car would not have passed an annual inspection.  As a matter of fact, we spent about $400 two years ago on "fixing" rust on one of our cars so it would pass the inspection.

So, in the OP's scenario I probably would have wanted to repair it even if it was just "cosmetic" bc it could turn into more problems later for me

 

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18 hours ago, Arctic Mama said:

Bingo!  I’m with him in theory, but it’s not practical to outsource vehicle repair and maintenance on some tasks in terms of financial impact.  ... Our cars have been in very good condition for their age, according to KBB standards, because we are fastidious on regular maintenance. But we CANNOT justify paying for all that out of pocket.  Thousands of dollars a year are saved because my husband taught himself to work on his own vehicle and mine, too.  Most of the tasks I listed above take time and practice to speed up, not skill, per se.  The procedures and detailed videos are available online so it’s easier than ever ?

 

Exactly.  And the skills and confidence learned can transfer into home maintenance as well, which will serve him well in the future. 
I am big on DIY projects, not just because they can save money, but also because once I learn how to do a job, I am more appreciative of the work involved.  This makes me better able to hire a qualified person else to do the job when necessary (because I know what to look for in terms of skills and quality work), and more willing to pay them decent wages for it because I understand what goes into it.   

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On 7/10/2018 at 3:04 PM, Scarlett said:

We keep our vehicles up so that they don't turn in to pieces of junk covered in dents and scratches. Obviously not everyone feels that way about their vehicles.  

We do as well. If you think there's any chance of it turning in to a negative experience with the man who caused the damage, I would just pay for it myself.  I get what you mean.  It would be nice if he offered to pay for it, which IS what I think he should do, but it doesn't sound like it's going to work out this way.  

 

 

 

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Just now, ksr5377 said:

We do as well. If you think there's any chance of it turning in to a negative experience with the man who caused the damage, I would just pay for it myself.  I get what you mean.  It would be nice if he offered to pay for it, which IS what I think he should do, but it doesn't sound like it's going to work out this way.  

 

 

 

He has already agreed to pay it.  And all seems well.

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On 7/11/2018 at 7:55 AM, Hilltopmom said:

I’m kinda shocked that you BOTH work there AND the man is an in law to the shop’s owner and you’re still going to be charged $400! Wow.

No need to reply. Just surprised by that. The culture must be different in your small town than mine.

Yeah I would think as a favor to his EMPLOYEES (not the older gentleman) the shop owner would offer to do the repair for cost. That's shocking to me. 

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We are huge diy'ers. We come from diy'ers because that is just what people do here, sometimes out of necessity and b/c it is a source of pride to do it on your own.

My parents built their house from the ground up by themselves. Everything.

My father in law owned an automotive shop for years when he was younger and then he rebuilt cars on the side once he sold it. He did all the work EXCEPT the bodywork. My dh rebuilt his own VW bug when he was just a teenager. 

My own parents often didn't do things quite right b/c they did do everything themselves. Dh's parents as they got older were more able to afford different things, many they continued to do on their own but some they realized were better left to people that specialized in those areas, like the bodywork for the cars my fil rebuilt. 

Dh and I have been a mix of the two- sometimes it doesn't pay to do it all on your own but there is much you can do on your own. Contrary to the thoughts posted here, being taught how to do things right and take good care of his possessions did not lead dh on a path of debt and overspending, we've been entirely debt free for 5+ years and have never been big spenders. We do a ton on our own- we had to build this house twice due to a fire and neither time could afford to hire out more than we had to do. 

Dh still wouldn't do a patch job on paint, he's popped out dents but that's it. To do it right you have to do the whole panel. We live in a low COL area and the quote the OP got was well in line with what prices are here and dh is very familiar with the prices having helped his dad for years they had a lot of autobody work done. These days we drive our vehicles (13, 24, and 25 yo) until the wheels fall off b/c that is what our budget accommodates. The bodies of our vehicles do not look the best but we're more concerned about how they are mechanically, that's the thing, we could afford cars w/ lower mileage b/c we were willing to take cars that didn't look as nice. Dents and scratches lower the value of your car, it doesn't matter much for us keeping our cars forever but if you have a newer model car it does. 

So, although our own cars are crappy. We can understand why some would want to repair such things. I know from watching Scarlett's posts over the years that her family does much on their own- far more than many of the people chastising her that she should just do it on their own. They've remodeled their house from the bottom up, they live frugally and bought what they could afford, their kids have certainly not been brought up to be spendthrifts.

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2 hours ago, soror said:

We are huge diy'ers. We come from diy'ers because that is just what people do here, sometimes out of necessity and b/c it is a source of pride to do it on your own.

My parents built their house from the ground up by themselves. Everything.

My father in law owned an automotive shop for years when he was younger and then he rebuilt cars on the side once he sold it. He did all the work EXCEPT the bodywork. My dh rebuilt his own VW bug when he was just a teenager. 

My own parents often didn't do things quite right b/c they did do everything themselves. Dh's parents as they got older were more able to afford different things, many they continued to do on their own but some they realized were better left to people that specialized in those areas, like the bodywork for the cars my fil rebuilt. 

Dh and I have been a mix of the two- sometimes it doesn't pay to do it all on your own but there is much you can do on your own. Contrary to the thoughts posted here, being taught how to do things right and take good care of his possessions did not lead dh on a path of debt and overspending, we've been entirely debt free for 5+ years and have never been big spenders. We do a ton on our own- we had to build this house twice due to a fire and neither time could afford to hire out more than we had to do. 

Dh still wouldn't do a patch job on paint, he's popped out dents but that's it. To do it right you have to do the whole panel. We live in a low COL area and the quote the OP got was well in line with what prices are here and dh is very familiar with the prices having helped his dad for years they had a lot of autobody work done. These days we drive our vehicles (13, 24, and 25 yo) until the wheels fall off b/c that is what our budget accommodates. The bodies of our vehicles do not look the best but we're more concerned about how they are mechanically, that's the thing, we could afford cars w/ lower mileage b/c we were willing to take cars that didn't look as nice. Dents and scratches lower the value of your car, it doesn't matter much for us keeping our cars forever but if you have a newer model car it does. 

So, although our own cars are crappy. We can understand why some would want to repair such things. I know from watching Scarlett's posts over the years that her family does much on their own- far more than many of the people chastising her that she should just do it on their own. They've remodeled their house from the bottom up, they live frugally and bought what they could afford, their kids have certainly not been brought up to be spendthrifts.

Thanks for your post.  I was thinking about it as I laid in my pool today.  The pool that was in such bad shape when we bought this house most people would have filled it in.  Dh and the boys cleaned it and cleaned it some more repaired the concrete and then painted it with that special pool paint.  Then dh filled it with water and went around the pool on a floaty with a beer in one hand and a soft scrubber in the other and scrubbed all of the tile clean.  I had no idea there even was tile!  And it is so pretty and only one piece is missing up close to the skimmer which is remarkable considering the pool is 30 years old.  '

Last month he reinforced the upstairs floor from upstairs which apparently is unheard of.  Most repairs like what he did would be from the bottom floor and remove all the ceiling sheetrock.  He kept telling me it was a necessary project because he felt it wasn't safe and I was irritated that more time and money was being spent on stuff I can't even see!  Then he showed me that the main board he removed was cracked almost all the way through....it was a recipe for disaster and someone was about to fall through the ceiling. 

He also installed our tankless water heater which is a HUGE deal.  All sorts of important vents and hoses and valves.  He talked to our plumber friend a lot to be sure he was doing it correctly.....Our gas company paid $850 toward that project so we were only out about $300 for additional materials....our  plumber friend says he is charging $2K for those installs.  

Last week I was dropping dh's suit off at the cleaners....the suit that was his first new suit in 10 years...the first time he wore it he got a pretty bad stain that thankfully came out.  But anyway, at the cleaners ahead of me, someone had dropped off their jeans an regular shirts....I just looked at it and thought to myself, 'who does that?'  I can't even imagine paying to have my laundry done.  Of course my boss pays me to do his, so there ya go.

Another time at the drycleaners, it was close to closing and this girl rushes in with a handful of dress shirts asking for one hour service. They told her it was too late.  She was so upset.  I said, 'you must not own an iron.'  She assured me she DOES but....and she looked at the shirt and touched the collar and said, 'this part is hard to do.'  I assured her she was capable of doing it.  She left most of the shirts but took one with her.  ?  

So sure everyone has different 'things' that they would NEVER pay to have done and other 'things' that they never even try to do themselves.  

I tried to get dh to pay to have carpet installed upstairs where he did all of that reinforcing work. No way!!  ?

 

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So friend sent a text to who he thought was my ds but was actually my XH because he got the number off of the estimate.  It was a 'poor me, I can pay you $65 per month for 6 months.'  Ds was willing to accept that, but dh was not happy at all and he spoke directly to friend, after which XH got another text that said, 'I have the check for the full amount of repairs'.

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34 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

So friend sent a text to who he thought was my ds but was actually my XH because he got the number off of the estimate.  It was a 'poor me, I can pay you $65 per month for 6 months.'  Ds was willing to accept that, but dh was not happy at all and he spoke directly to friend, after which XH got another text that said, 'I have the check for the full amount of repairs'.

 

Go get that check and cash it right away, before the guy changes his mind!

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  • 2 weeks later...

If somebody damages the car, they should repair it, friend or no.  I would be mortified if I put a scratch on a friend’s car and would offer to fix it.  That said, if the scratch was minor, a garage could buff it out and the repair cost should be a lot less than $390.  It sounds like it’s not a minor scratch, though, if it was down to metal, so the $390 bill seems legitimate.  DS shouldn’t even have to be ask that the friend pay the bill; the friend should offer.  If the friend refuses to pay the bill, I would be very straightforward and tell them this is damaging to the friendship because it was not just a minor scratch.   

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