WHOEVER coined the saying, “any port in a storm” clearly didn’t mean being cocooned by vehicles on a main road during a Gold Coast hailstorm.
That’s where Maree and Ross found themselves while driving home to Hope Island in their 2018 Mazda 3 Hatch after running errands and shopping in nearby Oxenford.
Maree said they had checked the radar before starting their journey and no hail was in sight. “We thought we were going to beat it. But we didn’t.” she said. “There were cars all over the place, cars under trees and pulled off all along the side of the road, cars stopped in the middle of road – dozens and dozens. We couldn’t go anywhere at that stage. We were just blocked. Two lanes of traffic were stopped under the railway bridge. I don’t think it provided much protection but we were out in the open. It was very scary.”
While the storm wasn’t particularly nasty, it did last an hour and Maree said they were in the thick of the rain and hail for 10-15 minutes on Hope Island Road before they were able to continue safely on their way home.
Maree and Ross knew the hail hadn’t harmed the paintwork and had only done some fairly minor damage to the roof, bonnet and door trim on both sides. For a while, they were prepared to live with it.
But their silver “pride and joy” isn’t very old and they knew they would need to have it repaired one day if they eventually wanted to sell it and upgrade.
“The more we looked at it, the more it irritated us, so we decided to get it repaired.”
Had they known how uncomplicated the process would be, they probably would have had it seen to much sooner.
Maree said they contacted their insurer, RACQ Insurance, in June 2021 and were given the phone number for Platinum Hail Management Solutions (PHMS).
The couple didn’t take long to contact PHMS but found that RACQ had already forwarded on all their repair and contact details.
“They obviously work very well together,” Maree said.
As well as its dedicated Emergency Hail Catastrophe Repair Centres established throughout Australia immediately following hailstorms, PHMS also operates a mobile service throughout Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast and surroundings during the winter months, which are typically the hailstorm off-season.
A PHMS representative came to the couple’s home the next day and inspected the vehicle.
That afternoon, they were advised by phone that the car would be picked up the next morning to be taken to the PHMS Hail Repair Management Facilities at Molendinar on the Gold Coast.
There, the vehicle was thoroughly inspected by the PHMS Custom Light Inspection Tunnel: a lightweight, mobile device using low-voltage LED lighting like a “CSI-style touch”.
“Because of their experience in detecting and picking up damage, they could pick up more than we could see,” Maree said. “They massaged out the dents on the roof and the bonnet. And around the door trim – top and bottom – needed replacing. It wasn’t a huge job for PHMS but we just wanted it fixed. We didn’t want any dents in the car.”
PHMS also called Maree and Ross when a faulty part needed to be sent back and replaced, extending the operation overnight.
But the Mazda 3 was back at home the next day.
The Pattersons were impressed.
“They could not have been better,” Maree said of their dealings with PHMS staff. “Professional and very pleasant.”
Maree now knows where to send anyone if they find themselves caught in similar circumstances in a storm.
She was so grateful for the service, she was inspired to write a thank-you message to the company:
“We were extremely impressed with Platinum Hail Management Solutions. They were extremely professional, very timely, advised updates as the work progressed and very, very thorough. We would highly recommend.”