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Cal-Alta Auto Glass / Damaged car from vendor

1 Calgary, Alberta, Canada Review updated:

Upon arriving to pick up my car that Cal-Alta was replacing the windshield on I noticed that there was damage to the rear bumper that was not there when I left it with them a few hours earlier. They refused to acknowledge any responsibility for the damage even though they stated that many other vehicles had been damaged in that very "Public Lot" over the years where they park all vehicles after servicing. They neglected to tell me this when they happily accepted my business earlier in the day. It is my opinion that any vehicle left with them is in their care until it is picked up by the owner and therefore they should have either held it in a more secure area or at least advised that they have a no fault policy and they parking lot is not safe. Their only response beyond refusal of responsibility was to tell me they'd see me in court if that was what I wanted to do... not what you would expect from a company that flaunts their "Consumer Choice Award from the Better Business Bureau? It is now my belief that the BBB award was strictly based on the fact that they simply undercut the competitions prices. Not always the best way to decide on a vendor. BEWARE!!!

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  • Ka
      7th of Aug, 2008
    -2 Votes

    Hello. I am the General Manager of Cal-Alta Auto Glass. I have left a few messages with this man and he did not return any of my calls. This man is unreasonable. I have worked with Cal-Alta for almost 20 years and in any case where we are at fault or not we always help our customer. In this particular case we are 100% not at fault. I was more than willing to help this man out but his ignoral of my calls and the fact that he decided to defame our good name has made me have a change of heart. He is definatly one of those people that wants something for nothing. Would you sue your local supermarket for someone on hitting your car? I think not. We are not responsible for public parking lots. I thought I had heard it all and now this.

  • Ke
      8th of Aug, 2008
    +2 Votes

    As the victim I am compelled to respond. I am feeling like I am being depicted as some kind of a ungrateful nutbar for not being satisfied with Cal-Alta offering a $50 discount on my window replacement for their damaging or allowing my vehicle to become damaged. This by parking it in a lot they freely admitted after the fact to have been a place where many cars have been damaged over the years. I consider this neglect on their part for parking it there and not at least warning me. The $50 discount does not even come close to what the repair would cost so I do not think this is a case as Cal-Alta's GM suggests that I am the type looking for "something for nothing". I just want the vehicle restored to the condition it was in when I entrusted it to them, no more, no less.
    To add insult to injury I just received a voice mail from the GM threatening that if I now do not come in and give them the $50 discount back they will come to my house and repossess the windshield. They responded this way do to my telling them I was going to contact the Better Business Bureau after their refusal to entertain fixing the damage. With this type of business ethic I find it hard to believe Cal-Alta's statement of having a "good name". Simply undercutting the competition hardly warrants a "good name" on it's own.
    Don't be fooled by low pricing! Another thing I find interesting and possibly the reason for Cal-Alta's unwillingness to step up to the plate and evan ask for the $50 back is their financial statements which to can find by Googling their name...they appear to be bleeding! Although at the same time president Frank Aiello is pulling in over $300K annually!
    Interesting! You may want to also consider in addition to sustaining damage that your vehicle may get locked in when the bank shuts them down an you become a "Creditor"
    Oh well I am just an ignorant, ungrateful nutbar that should be more appreciative and respectful of such a great company with their stellar workmanship coupled with amazing customer service!

  • Ka
      26th of Aug, 2008
    -2 Votes

    As a note on this matter the BBB has reviewed and dismissed Mr. McAuley's case and ruled in favour of Cal Alta.

  • Ca
      8th of Feb, 2009
    +2 Votes


    My car was also Damaged by an "installer" named Dale. The damage that was caused to my BMW was 2 1/8 Inch tears on either side, obviously new, as the tears had not continued on and they were the same on both sides. Upon speaking with the sales rep and the installer, i was met with extreme abuse and denial. The claim was it was brought in like this. This was NOT the case as the car is in perfect condition and has been since it was dealer purchased. All i wanted was an admission of guilt, and a fix. After the 2 employees had finished their excuses, i gave them my two cents and left. 1 day later, i woke up in the morning to my car window broken. I live in a very safe area, and have never had a vehicle broken into. $600 radar detector in plain view and $2000 laptop computer in the passenger seat were still cant help but think this wasn't your local crack head, but your local auto glass store out for revenge!!! This company makes my sick. BEWARE!!! LIARS!!! CHEATS!!!

  • El
      1st of Oct, 2009
    +2 Votes

    I have also had my car butchered by Cal-Alta on Horton road. The manager was Karen Etheridge.

    I went through the trouble of filing a BBB complaint. Karen made no effort whatsoever to either take responsibility or resolve the issue.

    Eventually I got an e-mail from BBB asking if I wanted to go into mediation at the cost of 100$ per session. As the hack job performed by Karen's crew cost me a few hundred dollars, I though paying 100$ over and over again just to have Karen re-iterate that it's not her problem seemed somewhat unjustified.

    When I told BBB I did not have the funds to keep this going, the BBB stated that Cal-Alta had made "all reasonable efforts to resolve the matter" and that the case was considered closed.

    I guess it's a good thing Cal-Alta pays their BBB dues regularly eh?

    I've looked around the web and it seems this hack shop is getting more and more infamous...

  • Ka
      1st of Oct, 2009
    -3 Votes

    I'm getting sick and tired of all the non stop complaints. I'm not responsible for all your damaged vehicles. Day in and day out I have to deal with your complaints and frankly, I'm getting quite tired of it.

    Here are a few facts that will perhaps help you to understand a few things:
    - We are a BBB paying member. The BBB complaints process has been good to us.
    - Our prices are the cheapest, so by the time you go through the above mentioned BBB process, you will have payed hundreds of dollars... and after we've repeated ourselves, you will simply be left with a huge bill at the end of the day

    So just don't bother.

  • Ke
      29th of Nov, 2009
    +1 Votes

    I just have to laugh at Karen's ignorance! Imagine having a public hissy-fit over customers complaining "day in and day out"!
    This should be the ultimate eye opener for any would be customer that Cal-Alta has some serious quality issues in addition to
    zero management skills and laughable customer service. Somebody must be either sleeping with the owner or has pictures of him
    with a goat!

  • Ke
      29th of Nov, 2009
    +1 Votes

    Finally after several hours of laughter at expense of Karen Etheridge I am able to continue. Not that anyone with an I.Q. greater than a turnip would have any doubt that taking their car to Cal-Alta would just be a bad idea! I just need to address her "few facts that will perhaps help you to understand a few things" comments to clarify how the BBB operates and what it does for Cal-Alta to dismiss any complaints and keep their record squeaky clean. Does Karen Etheridge realize what she is saying and the negative exposure she gives both Cal-Alta and the BBB, exposing them as a "Good 'ol boys club". This "fact" I back up by inviting all readers to go to the BBB website and search Cal-Alta's complaint records. You will find the statement by the BBB that in all reporting periods since Cal-Alta has been a member there has only been one complaint filed and that was closed through a mutual satisfactory solution to both party's. Strange when I know I filed one complaint and at least two others claim to have done so in this blog as well as several more on another web site. Smells like a cover up to me!
    Karen, in her first response to me above stated that she has worked at Cal-Alta for nearly 20 years. and in light of her conduct in writing, over phone and in person with all of the other complainants would suggest that she is poised for a career change. It seems that 20 years of covering up for crap work from Cal-Alta installers has got her, in her own words "sick and tired of all the non stop complaints. I'm not responsible for all your damaged vehicles. Day in and day out I have to deal with your complaints and frankly, I'm getting quite tired of it." That statement in any business should be a warning to all to stay away and the preamble to her letter of resignation! Perhaps a patronage appointment with the BBB!

  • Co
      30th of Dec, 2009
    -1 Votes

    Its a shame that a couple of whiners can override the opinions of the silent majority.

    I have had nothing but great experiences and great pricing at Cal-Alta. Thanks Karen and keep up the good work!

  • Ke
      18th of Jan, 2010
    +1 Votes

    Dear Cough,
    I am happy for you but don't automatically depict someone who feels they have been slighted as a whiner.
    I am sure that had you shown up to pick up your car and found it damaged you would be upset as well.
    Please us your head before you weigh in on a issue you know nothing about. Your opinion means nothing!

  • Mi
      18th of Jul, 2010
    -1 Votes

    Yeah, this whole back and forth conversation is pretty old, but I just have to put in my 2 cents...

    I don't know if this whiner, or should I say unsatisfied customer is in the service business, but I would bet not. You can't please everyone... no matter how hard you try. I know Karen and she tries hard. She's under a lot of stress at her job. There is no office automation, yet, and she does all of the receivables manually for 3 companies and somehow manages to service customers with very little if any help. Then, to top it off, she has to order the glass, book the people in, handle and manage the walk-in chipand crack repairs at the same time... It gets pretty hairy at times. I've seen it, and don't know how she does it. Oh Yeah! She then she is required to complete the month end reports by hand by copying all the invoices by hand over again into general ledger books every month.

    If I had to do that job, I would lose it. However, Karen seems to get it done, even if she has to take the work home or stay late a few times a month.

    Great job girl. Now we just have to get you automated so you don't have to work so much and you can service your clients without all the stresses.

    By the way... I had my vehicle virtually written off in a parking lot at Westbrook mall... did I complain to Wallmart? Why, it's public parking... This guy should get a grip on reality... S$%* happens.

  • Mi
      18th of Jul, 2010
    -1 Votes

    Just one more comment, which I forgot to mention from the one clown above who is basically accusing an employee of Cal-Alta breaking his window due to a revenge issue... What a joke, Dale, who has done my 3 vehicles is not that type of person. I've known him for quite some time and he more famous for his comedian antics and jokes and is a real teddy-bear type person.

    Yeah, I could see someone doing the windows thing to his vehicle, but never from Dale... No chance...

    Now, if only this clown can figure out who he pissed off because of his obviouse constant complaining. Like I said earilier, You cannot possibly please 100% of your customers. We all have a bad day now and then, These things happen. Get over it, move on, and enjoy the next moments...

  • El
      19th of Jul, 2010
    +1 Votes

    Mike_999999 above makes a passionate statement:

    'know Karen and she tries hard. She's under a lot of stress at her job. There is no office automation, yet, and she does all of the receivables manually for 3 companies and somehow manages to service customers with very little if any help. Then, to top it off, she has to order the glass, book the ..."

    Bla... Bla... Bla.

    So Karen is under a lot of stress right? She has to do all that work that IS PART OF HER JOB DESCRIPTION eh? Poor Karen has to work for a living... she has to order windshields (Cal-Alta is in the business of repairing windshields). She has to manage more than one job at once... oh my God - she's practically a slave! For God's sake she's the manager!!!

    We all have to work and most of us neither whine, nor defend those that cannot be bothered with their own job.

    And Mike, this forum is for complaints or praises from customers, not by friendly co-workers. So your comments being biased as they are, are pretty much pointless.

    But I admit, if Karen has to do three jobs at once, that would explain why she's so poor at all of them. That would explain why she botches it up and can't be bothered to do her job honestly. Her work load has caught up with her and it shows.

    I'll finish off by paraphrasing Mike:

    "Great job girl. Now we just have to get you automated so you don't have to work so much and you can service your co-workers without all the stresses..."

  • Mu
      31st of Jul, 2012
    0 Votes

    I spoke with Karen on the phone this am and found that she was stressed at just after 8am I wanted to know how much it was how long it would take who's glass they were using etc, I was told that I would have to book the truck in and they would need one or two days notice that's fine...But I was just about to say "can I book it in for Thursday" when she cut me off NOT a very good start. I found that she was very quick to answer any question I had, but had no time to wait for me to book the truck in, So you have just lost my business I have found somewhere else to go and same glass and cheaper. If you need more help ask for it. Question What ever happened to customer service ?. One more thing, Patience is a Virtue. Need a new windscreen do your homework first.

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