Allsnake Insurance & Enterprise Rent-A-Scam...
Who knew sitting at a red light could wreak so much havoc in your life?  All I did was stop at a red light.  But some people, like Vera Mathews, Allstate Insurance claims adjusters Ray Gauthier and Gaylan Sweet, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car, were determined to make me pay for it.

DISCLAIMER: This is my own account of what happened.  All people, incidents, and events are true and accurate.  My goal here is to educate people about the questionable ethics and practices of Allstate Insurance & Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

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"They say you're in good hands...
...but I only got one finger of the deal"

When I was growing up, "Sue" was a girl's name - but in Southern California it's an action verb.  I never wanted to sue anyone because I figured that the circumstances being what they were, I would not have any problems getting what I deserved. Boy, was I ever WRONG!!!

There were two people mishandling the case for Allsnake: Ray Gauthier mishandled the property damage, and Gaylan Sweet mishandled the personal injury side of the claim. I had spent seven years rebuilding this car, and when Ray asked what I felt was fair I told him I wanted $3100 for it.  He laughed and told me that I was never going to get it, and he offered me $1400 which I promptly refused.  At the same time, Gaylan was brow-beating me to sign a medical release of liability, and refused to pay the medical bill. The release of liability would make me pay for any follow up visits for my neck and back injuries.  He insisted it was just "routine" but I knew better and his threats were against the law.

Once I realized I was getting the finger from Allsnake, I tried to hire an attorney. But no one would take the case because I wasn't seeking at least $60k!  I didn't want money, I just felt what was "fair" was to have my bills paid and a reasonable amount for my car.  $60K was not going to change my problem. WRONG AGAIN!!

After the disputes went on for over three months, Enterprise Rent-A-Scam called me and threatened to have the car reported stolen if I didn't return it. I found out that Gaylan had cancelled my rental over two months earlier without telling me, and he did it because I wouldn't sign a release.  So I returned the car to avoid being arrested, as ironic as it sounds.  Apparently Enterprise Rent-A-Scam couldn't charge the entire $2400 on my credit card, so they made 12 separate $200 charges to my card, which didn't require authorization.  They let me keep the car for three months and never once called me, despite their "policy" that every customer trades in their car at 30 days for another one.

After another month, Ray finally hired an independent appraiser who valued my car at $6300!  They offered to repair my car after the appraisal was done and I was handed a check for $4800.  But I was still faced with the dilemma of the $2400 rental and the $800 medical bills, which, by California State Insurance Law, the "at fault" insurance party is responsible for.  By this time both my credit card overcharge and the emergency room visit had been turned into collection agencies.

I was eventually fired from my job because this accident consumed me and my emotions beyond reproach.  Being unemployed with the hospital hounding me for payment, and the bank hounding me for the two thousand dollars over drawn on my gold card, I was left with no other choice but to file for personal bankruptcy. Still, no attorneys would handle the case because it went on for too long without representation.

This whole experience had left me so destroyed that I was at the lowest point in my entire life. I had always been very responsible and this was a major blow to my self confidence. It was hard to smile, and it was even more difficult to understand how such a big insurance company could take advantage of a person who had done no wrong, all over such an insignificant amount of money.

After a couple of months of living on poverty levels I finally found work with a great company and slowly rebuilt my life back to my comfort level. It took a full year to get my $2000 for the rental they were supposed to pay for.  Gaylan Sweet told me that Allsnake's policy is to hold out on paying the bills until the claimant signs the release form.  He told me that most people don't know it is illegal to do that, so they wait until they hear from an attorney or the State Insurance Commissioner before they pay the claim.  After I heard that I immediately called back and asked the receptionist who Gaylan's boss was, and I told her what Gaylan had told me.  My check arrived in two days, and as you would guess it was roughly $200 short.  I was drained, so I took the check and cashed it.

My final thought is that I have learned two things from Allsnake:

1. Nice guys finish last.  So do what is best for you, not what is "right".

2. If you are ever in an accident...SUE the hell out of the insurance company for all you can get.

UPDATE: Just when I thought it was safe to go back into the troubled waters...Skank of America came calling...

UPDATE #2: I had thought that Gaylan Sweet was a crook, now I know he's a crook!  Gaylan's arrest...

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