Well, I got the car back from the shop and I'm happy and mad. Happy that they did an excellent job with the body work and the final tally was right on the quote. The paint job is flawless and the color matching is also excellent. I asked my Dad for his opinion and he looked at the other (non-damaged) side, rubbed his hand over it and said it looks great. Then I told him it was the other panel that was worked on.
What I'm mad about is that they seem to have broken the outside temperature gauge. It worked fine before I went in, but when I picked the car up, it didn't work at all. I checked it and it was re-installed incorrectly. They had to remove the bumper to do the work and they didn't re-install the gauge properly - they had it mounted behind the front license plate rather than in the bumper slot where it should go.
So...I brought this up with them and they inspected the bumper area and noticed that the bumper had some prior damage. This is true - a friend of mine hit a curb lightly when parking the car a few months ago. The body shop guys said that it was possible that the wire lead and/or sensor was damaged when this occured and that when they removed it, it was the straw that broke the camel's back. There is no visible damage to the sensor, other than the fact that it is worn-looking after 13 years of service.
The bottom line is that they are offering to pay 50% of the replacement and labor costs. I am wondering how sensitive these gauges are and if, in fact, their theory holds any water. Even after my friend hit the curb, the gauge worked fine up to the time I brought the car in for the work. On the other hand, they did do an excellent job on the body work, I'm very pleased with that.
Is this a fair/regular deal they are offering or am I getting scammed? As I first mentioned, I don't have a lot of experience in this area. Thanks!