USAA Group - Auto

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USAA Just lost a customer

May 21, 2012
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Pros:Reputation, quality of services offered, knowledge of representatives, company history

Cons:It is often the little things that are most noticed by Customers!

The Bottom Line: Failed in follow-through, Customer loyalty and objective observation of facts presented, losing my trust

The wife's 'toy' (Mitsu Spyder) got 50+ dings when caught out in a Texas hail storm recently. A 2008, 22k miles, and maintained in pristine condition at all times. I saw no reason to photo entire car (my mistake) when I contacted USAA to open claim, as I knew where I would take it: Caliber collision center in Lewisville, who had done a super job on my own car.

Waited till all the major repairs were mostly done to others (lots of vehicles damaged in the area in that storm) and took mine in to Caliber. 4 days later, mostly paintless repairs and 1 fix/sand/paint on the pannel where the ragtop bolts down to the windshield.

Caliber called for me to pickup on Saturday (normally closed) and my car was dirty, so took it 2 blocks to a car wash to clean it and see if any leaks (and it poured in thru both 'a'pillars). Went back immediately and showed the agent water in the cabin (still dripping in) and went over the entire, now clean car with a jaundiced eye. Quickly observed and noted apparent 'chemical' damage to the front headlight lenses (similar in some aspect to weathering or road-rash, but damage was only in specific areas of the lens, not typical of weathering. This was confirmed by my Mitsu dealer who maintains it). This car was nano-waxed weekly, all over, and those lenses went IN to the shop looking like new. Anyway, as meticulous (>insert other descriptive terms here<) as I am about my autos, I noticed this right off. The 50+ paintless dent repairs were indeed done quite well, and I could find no issue with the car's body or finish elsewhere.

On close exam, the main windshield seal had clearly been torn loose (again confirmed by my Mitsu dealer) when they were fixing/sanding/painting the panel on the top of the windshield, so Caliber agreed to order and install a new seal. They also refused to acknowledge the noted damage areas on the headlight lenses, and instead offered to 'buff' them out. No way, that's a waste of effort. And though I wasn't able to speak with the head of the shop, the agent did, and he confirmed the opinion.
So I filed a complaint with USAA.

After several days, contacted USAA to see why no response (email or other) and they said they had the wrong telephone number (?) so reitterated how to reach me.

Finally a few days later the seal came in, and I returned the car, agreeing to let them keep it till the end of next day. When I called to check on it, they had broken the key windshield trim getting it off, and were now going to have to wait for a replacement ordered. Another day goes by, and the replacement ordered was wrong, so correct one was ordered. Now I hear from USAA's adjuster, saying he had looked at the car and agreed that my headlight lense damage was just wear-n-tear (accck: wrong answer!), which truth be told, wasn't really all that unexpected from an insurance company, but was certainly dissapointing coming from USAA. (So I went online and ordered new ones at $176 delivered, and will install them myself)

After another day of waiting, the new trim arrived, the car was delivered to me clean, and I ran it thru the wash again, just to confirm there would be no more leaks. Success at last, my wife can enjoy her toy again. (note that I neither accepted, nor demanded a rental car Caliber offered while they were doing this repair 'remediation')

As I age, I find it no longer takes a LOT for me to 'lose trust' in any companies I buy services from (getting a little jaded I guess & no longer willing to put up with BS) so both Caliber and USAA now lose my auto-related business. Such a trivial amount in effort and cost to do the job "right the first time".

I'll certainly remain a USAA customer, as are many others in my family (veterans all) but will go see if another company can do better. Just got a quote from Amica for $800 less a year, same coverages, and the "Elephants' also been knocking at my door. We'll see!

Recommend this product? No

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