Why the Cladis Family Trusts Big Sky Collision
A No Brainer to have Big Sky Fix Hail Damage
Billings, Montana is no stranger to afternoon thunderstorms. Starting in May, and through August, we know that many of the afternoons the skies will darken, and we get some torrential rainfall. Fortunately, however, many of the storms end quickly, the clouds part, and the skies go back to being sunny.
In early August 2019, it was a day like any other. Warm and sunny throughout the day, and then as the afternoon settled in, the clouds came with it. Most of these storms are quick, so they really don’t interrupt everyday life. For Nick and Linda Cladis, it was an afternoon thunderstorm that could be weathered while getting some shopping done.
An Outrageous Storm with Monster Hail
Most of the time our weather reports are quite accurate. If anything, it could be said that they err on the side of caution. During the summer of 2019, there were multiple storms that suggested hail was on the way with stones dropping as large as golf balls. But when the storm finally did hit Billings, it had dissipated enough that the hail stones weren’t much larger than a dime. Sure, they will wreck up your flowers and gardens, but they’re not going to smash out windows.
Before heading to Costco that afternoon, Nick checked the weather. All reports indicated some rain, and maybe a bit of wind and thunder. There was no mention of hail at all.
Pulling into their parking spot, the clouds looked especially black. Having lived in Billings nearly his entire life, Nick knows how to spot a storm. And this one wasn’t your ordinary thunderstorm with an onslaught of rain. This was going to be hail; big hail.
Hurrying home, the couple made a plan. They had recently moved into a new home, and the two car garage was loaded with boxes and furniture that had yet to be unpacked. They knew that they had to act quickly. Pushing household goods as far out of the way as possible, they squeezed their Mini into the garage. The GMC Acadia and the Ram Truck, however, were parked as close to the side of the house as possible, in hopes that the eaves and the overhanging trees would soften the blow of the hail stones. As they dashed inside, the storm hit.
Watching from the kitchen window, Nick and Linda hoped the hail was kept to a minimum, and had their hearts sink a little as they watched the stones get larger and larger.
The Mini, obviously, sustained no damage from this storm. But the Acadia and the Ram were, to put it lightly, pummeled. But every cloud has a silver lining.
The silver lining for the two vehicles with major damage is that the glass wasn’t shattered. The silver lining for the Mini, however, was that less than a week later, another storm swept through and did some minor damage.
Three vehicles that were all now speckled with hail dents.
The Easy Choice: Big Sky Collision Center
Over 30 years ago, Nick discovered Big Sky Collision Center. From the first time he needed auto body repairs from Big Sky, he knew that he had found a great company. While it’s not something that you want to use often, each time the experience has only gotten better.
In the last few years, Nick has brought his vehicles to have auto body work done several times. On one occasion he carelessly backed into a pole in a parking lot. Another, he was rear ended, and the offending vehicle took off before he could get an accurate description or write down the license plate. Both of these times he was left in a predicament.
The damage from the pole wasn’t incredibly severe. In fact, the dollar amount to fix it was low enough that after paying his deductible, Nick would only have a small portion paid by his insurance. With the hit and run accident, he would also be stuck with the deductible.
Instead of filing claims for these two crashes, he decided to bite the bullet and pay out-of-pocket.
In the world of auto body repair, those paying out-of-pocket are often given a lower priority than those using insurance. Insurance pays on time, they pay the full amount, and there are rarely any issues. Thus, many shops prefer to work with insurance companies.
When Nick brought his vehicle to Big Sky Collision for this work, it was the same treatment as before. Fast, courteous, and no preferential treatment based on who is writing the check.
Fast, Precise, Consistent Work Every Time
After a big hail storm whips through the area, auto body repair shops get slammed with work. A storm of the caliber that came through in August 2019 can wreck many thousands of vehicles, and it can often take a long time to get yours in to have the repairs done.
There are two considerations. When Nick and Linda inspected their vehicles to see the extent of the damage, they knew that there wouldn’t be any issues driving them. Because no glass was damaged, it was easy to wait for the repairs.
After doing the initial once-over at Big Sky Collision Center, they were given an approximate date on when they would be able to bring their vehicles in for repairs. As no stranger to the auto body repair process, Nick understood that this timeline.
When Big Sky Collision Center schedules work, it can be done quickly for a few reasons.
Because Big Sky Collision puts such an emphasis on training every employee to be a leader, the turnover is some of the lowest around. Everyone knows exactly what they’re supposed to be doing, and they aren’t out hunting for a job that will treat them better. That starts at the top, with the great leadership from Matthew McDonnell and Rob Moore, and goes all the way to the newest hire.
With this job satisfaction comes a joy that you don’t find with those who are miserable in their work. That joy spills over into excellent customer service, and a lot of courtesy (not to mention empathy for those who have wrecked their vehicles).
Combine the low turnover, the job satisfaction, the great training, and the leadership, and you get a timeline for vehicle repairs that is almost always right on time, if not even a little earlier than expected. Incorporating the latest technology, like text message and email updates, Nick and Linda were able to follow right along with the repairs to know how they were progressing.
For the Love of Big Sky
Having your vehicle repaired is never a fun experience. It’s not something you look forward to, and it’s not something that you want to ever have to experience.
Given the wrong collision repair company, and that already unpleasant experience can turn into something that is downright awful.
Nice and Linda, however, are happy that they have found Big Sky Collision Center. Asking Nick about his experience, he summed it up with, “Fast, courteous, easy to work with this exceptionally run company; just an incredible repair shop.”