Repair shop holds car hostage for 4 months

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HOUSTON, TX – Imagine this; you’ve been in a car accident, and it wasn’t even your fault. Your car was damaged, and towed to a body shop for repair.

That’s exactly what happened to Markeuita Wade on October 4th of last year. Her car was towed to Galleria Collision in S.W. Houston.

Though it’s unfortunate, that doesn’t sound so unusual… right?  Wrong.

As of January 23rd of this year, Markeuita still wasn’t behind the wheel of her car. That’s over 3 and a half months.

“Every week it’s a different story,’ says Markeuita. ‘One week it’s ok your estimate date is Friday, we’re waiting on the part, or one week it’s the airbag…we’re waiting on the insurance company to send someone out there to do an appraisal on the car. It’s like every week it’s something different.”

When we first visited the shop to ask about the car we were asked to leave by a man who hid his face behind a shirt.

Not particularly reassuring, but since then Galleria Collision has agreed to tell their side of the story, though not on camera.

The company claims the delay was caused by an insurance company that was slow to appraise the car and then make payments, then the holiday season delayed getting parts and an overload of work in the shop. Galleria Collision says they provided Markeuita with a loaner car.

But 4 months? Is that reasonable? As a customer what should you do?

Monica Russo with the Better Business Bureau said, “Do some research on the company, go online, look and see what other people have posted for reviews. Take a look at the BBB’s website. In this case this company had an “F” rating, and we’ve had a history of complaints for the very same reason that this customer has come to Ch. 39.  They’ve held the car for too long.”

Finally, this saga has ended; Markeuita got her car on February 2nd, two days short of four months.

The shop is being taken over by new owners who say this won’t happen again.

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