Sunday, November 23, 2008

My shitty experience with ICBC. Bad drivers in Vancouver, and the new casino in Burnaby

So last week I’m stopped at a light and some 19 year old kid in an $80,000 car (BMW) decides to change lanes at the last minute going about 120 k. I did not suddenly stop or anything. In fact, I was stopped for a good 30 seconds. But being such a dumbass he hits my car, and doesn’t realize there’s a TRUCK in the next lane, and hits the truck as well. I was so stunned. Pieces of our three cars were all over the road. The BMW driver was immediately on his phone to his friends who all ‘raced over’ in their BMWs. Really awkward and unnecessary.

We exchange information, and I actually felt sorry for the driver, cause the truck driver was freaking out on him. I thought he was gonna kick the shit out of him. He somehow calmed down, and we all got each other’s numbers and license and registration information.

So I go to the new casino in Burnaby since we are meeting friends there, although I felt like going home and drinking a bottle of wine and watching lame reruns at that point, but I couldn’t not show up, cause I’m not like that.. anyways, my bumper was hanging off my car, so I parked, and my friend picked us up.

I call ICBC at approximately 2 am, and I speak to a really dumb call center rep. He asks me for my driver’s license number and license plate. I give him the information, and he tells me my license plate number is incorrect because it’s not in his system. So I repeat it, and he still says it’s incorrect. I used the military alphabet (Alpha, Charlie, Bravo fiiiive threee sixxxxx) to spell out my license plate, and he still says it’s not in his database. He suggests I reversed the numbers and letters, so we try 536 ACB. And he asks me, “Are you Joyce D Nord?” UMM, idiot, he should ask ME what my name is, and confirm whether or not it matches what he’s got in his system, he shouldn’t be releasing this kind of info as it’s a matter of privacy. Anyways, I’m like, NO, that’s not me. Also, I’m thinking, he has my driver’s license number, he should KNOW my name is not Joyce. He tells me to go outside and check the number. I was like, I KNOW my license plate. But I go and check it, and sure enough, I gave it to him right the first three times. So I tell him, he enters it again, and he goes, “oh… there it is, I musta pressed the wrong key” whatever. That’s fine, so I tell him what happened, he kept asking if it was the guy in the truck’s fault. It’s like, umm, NO, it was the guy in the BMW. And then he was like, oh a BMW truck?

During this time he’s yawned twice. Okay, understandable, he is working a shitty shift, and it’s 2 am, but really, this is ridiculous. ICBC should not offer a 24 hour service if they can’t even get a semi-professional person working there. They might as well have Miss Carolina working there. So he asks me if there are any injuries. I tell him my passenger appears fine, but I was bleeding and part of my body is stiff. While he’s listening, he’s yawning again, but he doesn’t even try to conceal it. I am sure he hears about accidents all day, but still, he should be at least somewhat capable of being a little compassionate, or at the very least, NOT FUCKING YAWN. So then he tells me he can’t give me a claim number because something is wrong, and someone will call me back the next day. By the way, his tone was very condescending, and I can tell he was rolling his eyes when I was telling him my license plate information.

The next day a rep calls me and this person is very professional, empathetic, and obviously intelligent. She asks me to repeat what happened, and she then tells me the information she has on her screen is different. The dumbass I talked to the night before wrote that it was the truck driver’s fault. &^@*$. She tells me I need to wait a WEEK to meet with an ICBC rep regarding the accident. I was like, I can’t wait a week. My car is undriveable, I need to take it to a bodyshop right away, and get a courtesy car. She tells me because of the personal injury, I need to go to see an adjuster. I was like, I’m not waiting a week, I don’t even feel that bad, so forget that. I’m not claiming personal injury. I’m sure ICBC is happy with that. But honestly, I just don’t want to deal with the hassle, and I knew I would feel okay. I’m sure I could have milked it, but I’m not like that. I don’t even take sick days… yeah, I’m a humble motherfucker with a big ass dick. Just kidding. I’m a girl. So I don’t have a dick. But back to the story. So she tells me if I’m not claiming I can take it to any approved ICBC repair shop, and she’ll email me a list. She also tells me the BMW driver has not reported the accident, and that I will have to pay the deductible. To which I argue as it’s clearly not my fault. She tells me unfortunately, that’s just the way it works, until he calls in. WTF??????? So I say, so he can just not call and be off the hook, and she tells me, no, they will send him letters and try to call him to get him to make a report. A fucking letter? A phone call? Judging by the demeanor of him the night of the accident, I doubt he’ll even read the letter, nor would he answer a call that would show up on his call display as ICBC. But whatever, my goal was to get my car fixed and get a courtesy car in the meantime.

I take my car to Craftsman Collision (they are awesome) and I have to drive a sweet Toyota corolla that says Craftsman Collision on every visible surface. Okay, this is mean, but normally I AVOID corolla drivers, cause there’s always some very slow driver, or bad driver sitting in the driver’s seat. Especially the beige ones. But my courtesy car is silver.

Three days later, I call back ICBC to ask if the BMW driver has reported the accident, and he still hasn’t. I’m fuming now. If I hit someone and it was my fault, believe me, I would call ICBC immediately, apologize to the people I hit for the severe inconvenience I am about to put them through, I would not sit around touching myself and avoid calling.

So I am fucking mad. I want to sue the guy now for being a dick. So I call back ICBC, and let them know I want to be compensated for:
-the half day I had to miss from work
-the fact that I have to drive around in a car that is a downgrade from my usual car for two weeks
-the fact that I was supposed to go the US the next day to go shopping, and couldn’t nor can I the whole time I have my courtesy car and I normally go fairly often
-that now when I sell my car, it loses value cause it was a pretty bad accident.

I am only wanting to “sue” because this ignorant jerk that can’t even take the time to be a teensy bit courteous and call and report his mistake. The response I get from ICBC. “If you have to line up for a long time at the bank, do you expect to be compensated for that? So why would you expect to be compensated for a little inconvenience. You didn’t have to take time off work, you could have gone before, or after, or during your lunch hour” Umm, first of all, I don’t wait in line because I use the fucking ATM and they offer alternatives like online banking. Also, some banks offer like $5 if you have to wait more than ten minutes, and the bank I go to, if I ever have to go in, I never line up for more than ten minutes, and there’s tvs to watch while you wait.

Well, so I decide I am being dumb to bother sueing, so I just fume some more. I actually have the guy’s number, but when I polled people about calling him, it was pretty much a resounding NO. But I’m mad, and I call. It turns out the guy (no longer a jerk) called to report the accident. I ask him for the claim number and I call back ICBC, and they say, ohhh, sorry, sometimes our system overlaps (whatever that means) and it takes awhile to relay. So yeah, he did report. Umm, okay. In this day and age, where you can get information in like a millisecond, ICBC can’t afford a better system?

Anyways, I dealt with five different ICBC reps, two of them were for just very basic questions, and I only got one really bad rep, so they’re not all bad. Two were excellent, two were average, and one was like below average. It left me with a bad taste. I’m gonna look into other options. I have driven over ten years with a perfect driving record. I have never even gotten a speeding ticket. I have tons of parking tickets, but that’s a different story.

Okay, so here’s this. I don’t know this for sure, but I’m pretty sure the actual road test has not changed much in the last 15 years, and things have really changed in Vancouver in the last 15 years in terms of the number of drivers and cars on the road. Yeah, I know there’s this graduated licensing program, but come on, I see these N cars at all hours of the day. BTW, I find it annoying, when they try to be cool and put it on the car sidewasy.

We have a lot of people here from other countries, and even if they can’t speak English, they can get their license. I have no problems with that, but the rules for driving here are different compared to other countries. There are lines to follow, and rules to follow.

Here in Vancouver, your cousin can teach you how to drive. A cousin that thinks it’s okay to drive like an asshole as if he’s auditioning for a role as a stunt driver in the Fast and the Furious. In many other countries, it is mandatory to go to a professional driving course. In Denmark, potential drivers need to take a first aid course.

It should be a lot harder to get a driver’s license. There are so many bad drivers in Vancouver. It is not uncommon to witness more than one accident in a month. Once a week depending on the route you take to work.
My friend told me she knows a girl that pays a premium of an extra 400% and she just hit a pedestrian, yet her license does not get taken away. Driving is a privilege, not a right. The government needs to do something about this. There are way too many accidents here in Vancouver.

I was in Japan recently, and I did not even see one accident, and you should see how many cars are on the road, how much traffic, and how fast people are going, and how narrow some streets are. Same as in Italy, did not see one accident, and I was in the car for like at least five days straight going from one region to another.

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