Do You Work With My Insurance Company?     



Yes.  Seppala's has worked with all auto insurance companies for the last 40 years.



Do You Guarantee Your Work And Parts That You Use?     


Yes.  Seppala's has Always and will continue to guaranteed their work.  The parts we use carry their own warranty by the manufacturer.  We have been doing this  since 1978.  Please know, most manufacturers of OEM, and after market both guarantee their part, and so the warranty is though them...  The Insurance Company must own the parts company or the auto collision shops if they are to warranty those items.  Please know, neither insurance companies or a parts company does not own our repair facility.  This is a falsehood when it is stated by any one person, for insurance company. 


Why Is Seppala's Body Shop & Restoration Not On My Insurance Companies List Of Repair Shops?


So Glad you asked.....  Seppala's has never been on any insurance companies repair list, as we do not believe it is in the best interest of our customers, because it is your choice which repair shop you take your vehicle to.  Besides, is ILLEGAL on many levels. 



Why Is It Illegal, and on what levels? You May Ask?  


1.  As a consumer and owner of your vehicle, You have the right to choose who repairs Your vehicle under Michigan and Federal Laws.  Also, You pay for your vehicle, for Your insurance premiums, and sign the authorization for repairs as a first party payer.  As the insurance company is considered  a third party payer by the State of Michigan Bureau of Automotive Repair (MIBAR).


A.  Seppala's Is A Business That Strives To Give Our Customers "Quality With Pride Of Workmanship" with each auto body repair.  In doing so, we are able to adhere to a higher code of ethics  concerning your repairs and our contract between you, our  customer(s) and our auto body shop .  


B.  You see, when you sign the authorization for the repairs to be done on your

vehicle, we are responsible to make sure you, our customer receives the highest

grade of repairs to bring your to vehicle back to "pre-accident condition". 


 So, Why Is It Illegal? 


2.  It is illegal to have a signed contract with our customer(s)  when we have a signed contract with a insurance company. 


Yes!  It is ILLEGAL!


What Makes illegal? 


A.   It Is A "Breach of Contract."


B.  Due To You Can NOT Service Two Separate Entity's  of  Who Owns & Authorizes

Repairs, & A Third Party Payer  Who Does NOT  Own Said Vehicle.

 

C.  As Insurance companies are being "Paid To Insure The Vehicle", Making It A "Conflict Of Interests" In Said Repairs.  They are being paid to make you and your vehicle whole again.  Any digression, is against your policy.  If they refuse......  They must identify the part of your policy which indicates any non coverage to pay for the repairs needed, by any other certified /licensed repair shop that is not on their "direct repair provider (DRP)"  list.  That being said,  you as the consumer should not have any other out of pocket expense, other then your deductible.  "They are obligated to pay what's in the policy, and if they neglect to identify what they won't pay for, they are stuck."  Erica Eversman, Vehicle Information Services Chief Legal Counsel.  


D.  Remember, you as a consumer are paying for a service, a service which will repair your vehicle, if it is not totaled out and or would be too dangerous to drive.  Seppala's has been doing this too for their customer(s) as well.  We will not do sub par repairs or allow a customer(s) to drive a vehicle that is dangerous or unfit to drive safely.  




Which Michigan Laws Which Says It Is Illegal.


1.  Under Michigan Act 190 of 2004:  "This Act Of Law is designed to protect a

consumers right to choose where they get their vehicle repaired.  It says:  An automobile insurance company and it's employees, agents and adjusters

shall not unreasonably restrict an insured from using a particular person,

place, shop or entity for the providing of any automobile repair or auto

mobile glass repair or replacement service or product

covered by the policy".


2.  " Michigan Bureau Of Repair Facility Laws:  Section 4-2:  Defining the

customer in insurance paid transactions: 


b1.  4-2.1 Definition In any repair transaction,the "customer" is the owner

of the  vehicle.....  brought in for service or repair. In a damaged vehicle

transaction, the customer is NOT the insurance company....  unless the

customer has given the insurance company a written, signed

authorization to act as his or her agent in the transaction. 

(This is something You Don't Want To Do.  Again, This takes away your rights for how repairs are made and who makes the repairs).


b2.  4-2.2  AuthorizationApproval for repairs, may be given only by the

owner of the vehicle....when repairs are requested."


Federal Laws:  Sherman/Ferguson Anti-Trust Laws, 1963 Federal Consent Decree



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Antitrust Laws And You

Many consumers have never heard of antitrust laws, but enforcement of these laws saves consumers millions and even billions of dollars a year. The Federal Government enforces three major Federal antitrust laws, and most states also have their own. Essentially, these laws prohibit business practices that unreasonably deprive consumers of the benefits of competition, resulting in higher prices for products and services.

The Three Major Federal Antitrust Laws Are:

The Sherman Antitrust Act
The Clayton Act
The Federal Trade Commission Act.

The following information on these laws comes from the Antitrust Enforcement and the Consumer guide.

The Sherman Antitrust Act

This Act outlaws all contracts, combinations, and conspiracies that unreasonably restrain interstate and foreign trade. This includes agreements among competitors to fix prices, rig bids, and allocate customers, which are punishable as criminal felonies.

The Sherman Act also makes it a crime to monopolize any part of interstate commerce. An unlawful monopoly exists when one firm controls the market for a product or service, and it has obtained that market power, not because its product or service is superior to others, but by suppressing competition with anti-competitive conduct.

The Act, however, is not violated simply when one firm's vigorous competition and lower prices take sales from its less efficient competitors; in that case, competition is working properly.

The Clayton Act

This Act is a civil statute (carrying no criminal penalties) that prohibits mergers or acquisitions that are likely to lessen competition. Under this Act, the Government challenges those mergers that are likely to increase prices to consumers. All persons considering a merger or acquisition above a certain size must notify both the Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission. The Act also prohibits other business practices that may harm competition under certain circumstances.

The Federal Trade Commission Act (FTC)

This Act prohibits unfair methods of competition in interstate commerce, but carries no criminal penalties. It also created the Federal Trade Commission to police violations of the Act.

Related Offenses

The Antitrust Division also often uses other laws to fight illegal activities that arise from conduct accompanying antitrust violations or that otherwise impact the competitive process, as well as offenses that involve the integrity of an antitrust or related investigation, including laws that prohibit false statements to Federal agencies, perjury, obstruction of justice, conspiracies to defraud the United States and mail and wire fraud. Each of these crimes carries its own fine and imprisonment term, which may be added to the fines and imprisonment terms for antitrust law violations.

Read more about the activities of the Antitrust Division:

Antitrust Enforcement and the Consumer

Price Fixing, Bid Rigging and Market Allocation Schemes: What They Are and What to Look For

Antitrust Division Manual, Chapter 2: Statutory Provisions and Guidelines of the Antitrust Division.Updated January 5, 2017



 C.  Federal  Law:  1963 Federal Consent Decree states  in it's contents what 

was going on with auto insurance companies and how it was affecting the

auto body industry.  It also states They are NOT To have Preferred Repair

Providers, Or Tell You where, or how, your vehicle is  to be repaired , or

have meetings about pricing of repairs, how much their discounts will

be, or a cost ceilings on labor amounts, on parts, their  procurement, 

what kind of parts used, or meetings with other insurance groups to

discuss any of the above, or to black list non participating shops, or

by directing customers/consumers to use the insurance companies 

"preferred", Direct Repair  Program" (DRP) shops.  All of this Is Illegal.   


Click on to our  exclusive 1963 Federal Decree Page to read it in it's

entirety .



3.  "Word Tracks" Used To "Steer" "Direct"  "DRP /Direct Repair Program" To Insurance Companies Direct Repair Facilities Is Illegal.

Your insurance company may say, "You will have to pay the difference for what that shop charges". This "word track" sentence is not truthful,  This is called "Coercion" ,and it too is Illegal, as well as, this statement is not according to  most insurance policies under the terms of loss.  Seppala's have dealt with this issue on a daily basis and it is untrue.  (Please, read Your auto insurance policy).   Some auto insurance companies  may say , "We can not warranty the repairs  or labor to your vehicle if you take it to Seppala's."  This "word track"is not correct either. It too is a form of "Coercion" and  "Black Balling/ Refferancing  that the shop has a bad Reputation may be considered a lie.  Legally,  auto insurance companies can not warranty any repairs unless they own the repair facility. All of this is iIlegal too. 


A.  Please Note:  More often then not, There is "Hidden Damages ", inside the engine compartment, behind the bumpers, Inner fender damages. This Is Quite Normal, In any kind of collision,as this happens as it is suppose to to absorb the energy from a collision and helping in less injuries to the occupants.  So, this is why a damaged vehicle's esitimate of repairs may vary, and why additional damage may be found upon opening up the damaged areas, There is often a supplement for these damages which is sent to your insurance company, with pictures of the damages and receipts of the new parts replacing the damaged ones.  The insurance company pays the additional supplement amount of damages, not you the insured/customer.  Minus any deductible that is due.


  What Can I say to my agent or insurance company claim person so I may choose Seppala's Auto Body Shop?


Remember, insurance companies with DRP (Direct Repair Programs/Preferred Repair list) like to use"word tracks."  The insurance company may say "Seppala's is not on our list."   This is a form of "Coercion", and "Black Listing/Balling a business that does participates in their DRP.  It too is Illegal.


You  may let them know you are aware it is against the law, and know your rights as the vehicle owner and you still want your vehicle repaired at Seppala's Body Shop & Restoration.  Let them know, "I do know they warranty their labor and parts, and are at same market labor rates as other shops in this area."  


(Please read your auto policy under Loss Provisions before you have to file a accident/comprehensive claim). 


You might continue to receive a hard time with your  insurance company. 

If so, You may Let them know.....

"I do have rights in the repair process of My car/truck.  Is that not correct?"  Or perhaps, you may say.....  "I  have read my policy under it's terms of loss, and I know that I  do not have to take my car or truck to the list of shops you gave me." Or perhaps this will work, " I know Seppala's is a "State of Michigan Licensed and Certified Auto Body Repair Facility."  "And I know they have a excellent reputation."


Please, Don't let these "word tracks" used by some insurance companies try to "steer" you to another shop which is not  your choice of Seppala's Body Shop & Restoration . "Steering" is Illegal under the 1963 Federal Decree too


4.  Some of you may be asking "Who is Seppala's  Body Shop & Restoration working for?


Well, this may surprise all of you .    We , at Seppala's are working for you, the owner of your car/cross over vehicle or truck/suv.  You are our Boss.  You sign all of our checks, and You are our first priority.  We care about  Your , and Your Families safety, as well as   those who may ride with you.   We will not compromise on this at anytime.   


"Quality With Pride Of  Workmanship"  is our motto, because everything we do shows.  Just as Everyone see's your vehicle when it is banged up in a collision, deer hit, or fender bender  at work or in the grocery store parking lot.  We want to make sure your repairs will not be evident. As they are suppose to be, a "Seamless Repair"


With all of this being said,  We know all to well and understand how it feels when we call our 1-800 insurance claim center and receive the same as you about who, what and etc. about taking it to our choice of a "Non DRP" repair  shop such as Seppala's Body Shop  & Restoration.


We understand and know how  it needs to repaired too.   That it is your vehicle, you use it to get back and forth to work, school, church, the kids activities or the store.  This is why it is so important to have rental car insurance if you do not have another vehicle to get you from point a to point b.  For pennies on the dollar per month or every six months, you can have the assurance that you do have a back up rental vehicle if yours is in the shop.  For $25-30.00 per day rental, you can be driving a small vehicle while yours is in being repaired.  

 

We, at Seppala's want you, our customers happy with our work.   We love working on Your car/truck , and this is why we are  in this service business.  We like to work on your cars, and trucks, so we can see your smile. This is  is  important to us.   You,  the customer are the end users of our service business, you can make or break our business.  So, we have to make it count each and every time.  We do want  your vehicle  back to pre-accident  shape, back to how it was before the accident,  and

or better then it was before it was damaged.


Foot Notes/Term Meanings

 

Corecion:  compulsion, restrain, force, constraint, restraint, force constraintment of person, or in forcing a certain business to be used for repairs, or as in contract, and rules .


 Steer/Steering:  guide, pilot, control, governing of a person, a business, or business transaction.


Blackballing, Black listing:  To give a negative vote, to give negative conotations, blocks the admission of a person , business, or organizations. Rejection in traditional form, signifies opposition, ouctceracizing  of a person or business or organization socially. 


Word Tracks:  Tricks of the trade, a script used to steer, to persuade a person  into doing something.  Form of corecion.


Please  Note:  This also may pertain to Your Auto Glass/under comprensive insurance

(deer/animal hits/ stone chips or cracks in windshield , hit while parked claims) or in your Home Owner insurance polices too.


Seppala's Body Shop & Restoration

645 Douglas St. N.W. Grand Rapids, MI 49504   Call:  616-459-1945


October-May Office Hours:  8-5 Monday through Friday, Sat. By Appointment Only

June-September Office Hours:  Tuesday through Friday 8-5 Sat. By Appointment Only


Celebrating Over 40 Years Of Quality With Pride Of Workmanship Since 1978

After Reading This Page, Look for  Our Coupon To Use On Your Next Repair

Coupon May Only Be Use With $1,000.00 Or More In Auto Body RepairsOr W/A Deductible Of $1.000.00 Or More

Coupon May Not Be Used With Other Discounts

Frequently Asked Questions  From Our Customers