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Concerns about Service King in Seattle / King County Area

Geoff

Member
Dec 3, 2010
80
5
Seattle, WA
I have concerns about Service King in Seattle/King County. I am not hearing good things about their shops in my area and it just so happens to be the only shop that State Farm Insurance will pay for. Yes, I know that I have the right to take the car to the shop of my choice, but State Farm will only pay 1/2 the going labor rate in Seattle.

It also adds to my concern that the service guy at my Tesla service center recommended I steer clear of Service King. He said that he has had to send cars back for rework.

So I went and visited the Seattle Service King and talked about replacing the bumper. They recommended against it because "replacing the bumper would mean that you would have to repaint the entire bumper...and the new paint would be shinier than the other original paint..." This car has been in a previous accident and that shop was able to paint the new fenders just fine.

If the shop doesn't feel confident that they can make the car look like it was before the accident, why are they on Tesla's certified list??

Tesla and their team have always been excellent to work with. Seems strange to have such a high level of quality with Tesla and then someone not at the high-quality level.

I understand that they needed to ramp up their service options, but I'm surprised that they allow folks that provide a poor product to be certified. Granted, Service King may be fine elsewhere in the country, but I really can't take my car to another state to get a quality repair from them.

Thanks for letting me vent here.

Geoff

Background:
My 2013 Model S (60) got rear-ended. The good news in that no one was hurt. The bad news is that both I and the guy who hit me have State Farm insurance.

State Farm's labor rate for cosmetic repair is $54/hour and $100/hour for bodywork. Service King also happens to have these rates. I have checked with five other Tesla certified shops in Seattle/Bellevue and their rates are $120-130/hour.

Yes, I have talked to my insurance agent and yes I am now in the market to get a new insurance agent.
 

gearchruncher

Active Member
Sep 20, 2016
2,186
2,727
Seattle, WA
Geoff, there is no such thing as an approved labor rate, or only one shop an insurance company will pay for. You get to take your car where you want, and insurance has to pay the market rate Having 3 shops at $120 and one at $54 doesn't make $54 the market rate.

Not sure how much you want to fight this, but if you do, there are good body shops that will help push back on insurance companies.

If nothing else, you can file a complaint with the WA insurance commissioner. Insurance companies hate that.
 

Yarder

Member
Oct 23, 2016
194
191
Ocean Shores, WA, USA
Get a bid from all the approved shops in the Seattle area. Take note of all the things that they list. Make a compilation list of EVERYTHING to the insurance company and have them approve the complete list of repair items. If the bumper paint doesn't match, don't accept the work. My aunt once rejected the work so many times, as she looked at the work from different angles, and kept saying nope, that the shop finally painted the entire car. Then the paint matched. I would just let them know up front that you are going to be picky with the paint, and that in the service contract you will have them state "exact match" paint.
 

dss33

Member
Apr 14, 2016
362
303
Seattle
FWIW, we had our S repaired at Service King (Bothell/Mill Creek) after a minor accident and they provided great customer service and did a nice job with the repair. No complaints here, and I'm a stickler so if it didn't look right or the quality wasn't great, I definitely would have noticed/sent it back.
 

Geoff

Member
Dec 3, 2010
80
5
Seattle, WA
Thanks everyone for the advice!

The annoying part of this entire process is that the shops are telling me that they can't accept my business unless I pay the difference in the labor rates. The common complaint is that State Farm won't budge on these rates...
 

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