The Unethical Things We’re Asked To Do

Handling diminished value appraisals can be surprising at times. A customer just tried to tell me how much she wanted me to value her vehicle at. The following excerpt is an email conversation between myself and another customer (that happens to be an insurance agent):

Myself

Greetings Mr. Owner,

Attached find the Carfax for your vehicle. I’ve met with three Chevrolet sales managers near you and all three of them said they would depreciate the vehicle $4,000. I attempted to meet with your dealership yesterday, but JC there said he would contact you before providing his assessment. You are welcome to contact him if you wish, or I can submit my report as is. Let me know.

Owner

No need to follow up with X Motors, I talked to them about it and they don’t want to get involved. I anticipated the diminished value would be a little more than your estimate. Any way to make the recommendations closer to $5,000? Please let me know.

Myself

I am a licensed adjuster and certified auto appraiser. I can only report what the sales managers tell me. It would be unethical to try to sway the amount in any particular direction.

Owner

Ok – I understand. Sales managers can also be swayed by how you approach them and how the questions asked. Thanks for the info.

Myself

I deal with a large network of sales managers and approach them all in an unbiased manner. I never divulge the nature of the client whether owner, attorney or an insurance company. Please feel free to review my company code of ethics at https://www.diminishedvaluemethod.com/code-of-ethics/.  I’m sure you would agree that strict adherence to a code of ethics is necessary in a business such as mine.

Owner

Thank you for the information. I disagree with the diminished value amount but understand where you are coming from. Ethics is very important in your role.

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