Thursday, September 25, 2014
Metro Public Adjustment.... good or bad idea
Back on June 11 of this year, I was home alone at my parents' house where I am also currently living. They were away on vacation. Out of nowhere, a storm hit, hard and fast. Something they called a "micro-burst." I heard high winds, hail, and a loud crash. The lights were flickering, I smelled smoke, and things were snapping and crackling in the house. I looked outside to see a tree across our driveway, and knew the big tree beside the house had been knocked over. And it had.
The tree was 80 feet tall, and 10 feet around at the base. It took out the front porch, also falling against the front of the house, cracking and bowing the walls on the front of the house, and short circuiting several appliances in the house from small things like alarm clocks to big things like the central air and refrigerator.
I had barely started to survey the damage, when a vehicle pulled up out front, and a man came down and introduced himself. His name was Brian, and he worked for a place called Metro Public Adjustment. His company would go after insurance companies to get more money out of them on claims such as my parents were going to have. I laid his card in the house along with several others I got that evening as contractors and others stopped, wanting to offer their services on fixing the house.
Metro slipped from our minds as my parents started dealing with the insurance company. We soon found out that you really aren't in good hands with Allstate. The adjuster argued damage, wanted to patch cracked walls with putty, and was a jerk in general. They cut my parents a check, but my parents were unhappy with the amount, and decided to call in the man who had left his card - Brian, from Metro Public Adjustment. They hired him, then changed their minds, then decided to go for it, and signed the papers.
Brian, and the paperwork he had, promised their only fee would be 15% of any extra money they got from the insurance company. Example: if Allstate offered $30,000.00, and Metro talked them into $40,000.00, Metro's fee would be 15% of the extra $10,000.00 they got out of Allstate. So my parents hired them, started the construction on the house, and waited to see what Metro would do. And waited, And waited.
Meanwhile, we were having other problems with Allstate. They had told my parents to get the big appliances fixed that could be fixed, so they did: central air, refrigerator, kitchen stove, etc. Then they said to start replacing the other stuff, so we did, and turned in our receipts. It was a lot of stuff: microwave, phones, game systems, alarm clocks, etc. And we waited. And waited. I emailed Allstate, my parents called. We were told that since my parents had hired the third party, everything had to go through them, so my parents started calling Metro - and about the claim in general. They rarely could get talking to the person that was in charge of their claim. The original guy only roped people into it, he didn't work on the claims.
Finally, we were told we had to write down the serial numbers, how much we paid for the items, how long we had had them, and where they were in the house. So we turned that in, and waited. Made calls. Finally. Metro told my parents that Allstate wanted us to try to have everything fixed......after we had replaced it all, after we had turned in receipts and jumped through hoops...... after we had had the damaged items sitting out on the deck for over 2 months......we were upset with Allstate for being that way, and for Metro for not fighting for us.
I aired our frustrations on Facebook - I had damaged stuff and it cost me $847 to replace them - a friend suggested I post it on Allstate's Facebook page. So I did. Within a few hours, someone from Allstate asked me for our claim #, policy #, and contact information. The very next day, some big wig from Alstate's corporate offices called my parents. After a couple of calls, they said they would mail a check. End of story.
The check came. It was made out to my parents and Metro, since they were involved in the claim. My parents had to send it to them, and they were to cash it and send it back......... but they took 15% of it for themselves. Yes. They took 15%..
Let me go over what they said when my parents signed up: Their only fee would be 15% of any EXTRA money that THEY got Allstate to kick in over the original check. So we have 3 problems here:
1) This was not extra money. It was for damaged electronics/appliances.
2) It was not part of the claim. This was separate.
3) Metro had nothing to do with us getting reimbursed. They gave up on it and told us Allstate wanted us to try to fix everything. I was the one who got on Allstate's case about it.
My parents wrote a letter, and I have emailed Metro 3 times about this. I am hoping it was a mistake. We can come up with no earthly good reason why they took 15% of the check that was reimbursement for damaged items, and would like an explanation. It doesn't seem to us that it is fair or honest, given what we were told about the fee they charge, but they still haven't gotten back to us.
Meanwhile, we are waiting, as usual. And frustrated. This company has a lot of bad reviews, and maybe we should have read those reviews first. It is near impossible to talk to the person handing your claim, the guy who suckers you into it hands off the claim to someone else and is no longer involved and just defends his company when you contact him..... and then they do this: take money that is rightfully ours.
And the thing is: so far, they have done nothing for us. They haven't gotten my parents any extra money, and we wonder if they will. All they have done, is to take 15% of the reimbursement for our damaged items. Something we cannot fathom how they can rightfully do.
From our experiences of the last few months, I would definitely not recommend Metro Public Adjustment So far, they have only taken what is not theirs to take, and haven't done anything FOR us.