Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Carmel on the Case: Dent Disasters
A warning tonight: If someone approaches you in a parking lot and offers to repair body damage on your vehicle steer clear. Carmel is on the case of these Dent Disasters.
WSVN -- Car repair bills can be expensive, so it's no surprise when someone offers to fix a dent on the cheap. It's tempting but beware.
Sylvie Barrette: "I was parking my car right there."
Realtor Sylvie Barrette thought she was saving money and time when she hired a man who approached her in the parking lot of her Coral Springs business. He offered to repair a dent on the body of her car and another on the bumper for $300.
Sylvie Barrette: "I said, 'Oh, God! That's a deal.'"
The man told her to check a website for a company called Dent King to prove he was legit.
Sylvie Barrette: "I went inside, looked at the web site. It was very nice with a nice car."
But she got worried when she saw he was using a can of spray paint.
Sylvie Barrette: "So he put a nice coat of wax on the trunk and on the bumper and said, 'You have to leave this wax for at least five hours on top of it, so that, after it, everything will match perfectly."'
But it did not, and, by the time she realized her car was in worse shape than before, the man and her money were gone.
She called Dent King to complain about the worker who had said his name was Jack.
Sylvie Barrette: "He said, 'What are you talking about? I don't have any Jack working for me.'"
Carmel Cafiero: "These dent con artists are showing up throughout South Florida. Here, in Delray Beach, one customer got hit three times."
Carmel Cafiero: "This is terrible looking."
Will Fogel: "You can't get it off of here again. This all has to be redone."
Will Fogel had three cars with small problems. Now he has three cars with big problems thanks to a guy who approached him in a parking lot. Again the mess was covered up with a coat of wax.
Will Fogel: "And, he says, 'When you get up in the morning just shine it up.' He says, 'It will be great, you won't have any problem.'"
He paid $350. It's going to cost him another thousand to repair the scratches, bad spray paint and the dent that was never fixed. The man who did this damage also claimed to be an employee of Dent King.
Will Fogel: "So, when I phoned Dent King to say is Gary there, they had never heard of him."
Gary doesn't match the description of Jack, but both men have the same M.O.
Will Fogel: "I'd like to tell him that it's easier to be honest than to be crooked."
Kevin Kurlowski owns Dent King in Boca Raton. He's had multiple calls from people like Sylvie and Will.
Kevin Kurlowski: "They find out the hard way that it wasn't me."
And, as you might guess, he is concerned about damage to his company's reputation. He says his company van is easy to spot.
Kevin Kurlowski: "We only have one work van, so it shouldn't be hard."
If you've been hit, authorities say please report it to police.
Sgt. Joe McHugh: "So far we've had one happen in Coral Springs, which is great. We're able to forward it on to our officers, and they do actually patrol in the parking lots, and they know exactly what they are looking for now."
And, if you get approached, remember, this dent deal is no deal at all.
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