CALGARY- Andreas Sofocleous needed to get new tires for his pickup truck last month.
He arranged to leave it outside a Blaskin and Lane service centre the night before his morning appointment.
“I spoke with the guy at the counter on the Saturday when we negotiated the price of the tires,” says Sofocleous. “I notified him that I would be dropping it off after hours and he told me to use the drop slot on the door.”
He says as soon as he slipped the keys through the slot and they fell on the floor, he had second thoughts.
Later that night, the business was broken into and Sofocleous’ keys and truck were stolen.
He says the business told him they weren’t responsible since it was a break-in and his vehicle was outside.
Insurance experts say that may be true if the garage or dealer isn’t found to be negligent or careless.
“If the vehicle was easily stolen, easily vandalized or damaged because we didn’t take enough reasonable steps for the protection of that vehicle, there’s a very good chance that garage man’s going to be liable”, says Ross Bucsis with Palliser Insurance.
But Sofocleous says he feels they should have better security for key dropoff.
“I dropped my key off the way they instructed and in the drop box they supply and it was inside their facility at the time my key was taken and my truck was stolen.”
The Independent Automotive Association says there are no standards or guidelines for night time dropboxes.
“They range from a slot in the door to a box behind it, to sometimes even drop on a carpet which we don’t recommend at all,” says Art Wilderman with the IAA. “Some of them are like bank safes you can drop into, it’s just a matter of what the shop has decided to invest in with what they can afford to invest in.”
Sofocleous is speaking with a lawyer about suing the business and for that reason Blaskin and Lane will not talk about the situation.