Woman with dented car advises against quick fix

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By Jim Carr By Jim Carr

PHOENIX -- A Valley woman expected her dented Mercedes to look great after paying to get it repaired, but her car ended up looking worse.

We're not talking about a simple door ding here. It was actually a pretty good size dent and the car's owner was putting off getting it repaired until a "deal" came along -- a deal she thought was too good to pass up.

Ingrid Schaacke is proud of a lot of things, but she's really proud of her Mercedes.

"It's a beautiful car," she said. "It's a comfortable car and it's especially a nice car for an old lady like myself."

So when Schaacke discovered a dent in her car one day she was pretty upset.

"Oh, it made me very, very angry," she said.

Schaacke drove her car around for months with that dent, but on a recent trip to a grocery store she says she was approached by a man in the parking lot.

"He says, 'Well, I can fix that. I have a business where we come directly to you. We have all the machinery and tools. It will look just like new,'" Schaacke said.

Thinking she would save some money, Schaacke agreed and later that day a guy showed up at her house to fix her car. The price tag? Four hundred dollars.

"I was very happy with that $400," Schaacke said. "I thought that's cheaper than any body shop."

Schaacke says the guy took out a small bag of tools, which contained a hammer, and got to work on that dent.

When it was all done, she was left with a rippled fender and a big white square that certainly does not match the rest of her luxury car.

The dent is still clearly visible and the paint job doesn't even match the rest of the car. And why would it? It's spray paint!

The guy actually painted her Mercedes with white spray paint and then demanded his $400 plus a tip.

Knowing she had just been taken, and knowing this stranger in her driveway wanted money, Schaacke reluctantly paid.

"I gave him the $400 because I was scared," Schaacke said.

Schaack says she would rather drive around with a dent instead of this so-called repair job and she wants you to learn from her experience.

"On something like this, I think you should just turn around and walk away and not even think about it twice," she said.

This is actually a common ploy. In fact, several viewers have written to me say they were taken advantage of around the Valley.

It's not the same person, but they seem to approach folks in shopping malls and grocery stores so just be careful and don't fall for a quick fix.