It’s Halloween. Do you trick or treat?

The reality of many service industries, and it’s certainly true in the auto repair and replacement (AGRR) industry, is that you see companies of all different shapes and sizes offering Halloween “trick-or-treats” each and every day of the year.  Can you think of some examples in the AGRR industry?  Let’s try.

  • One example could be when a third party administrator (TPA) pretends to be an insurance company claims department representative.  You know the one.  While answering the phone call from an insured, who is required to report the auto glass loss by calling the insurance companies “auto glass claims number”, the TPA (pretending to be the insurance company) might tell the insured that they may have to “pay the difference” if the auto glass company that the insured wants to use isn’t the right one. Of course, the TPA knows that the auto glass company probably would accept the price that the insurance company already has agreed to pay, but the notion that the insured may have to pay a higher cost raises doubts about who he should choose to replace his glass.  And since the TPA may actually be an auto glass company that can certainly do the replacement for the agreed upon price why not use the company that the insurance company has already “approved”?  Of course the auto glass shop that the insured wants to use is on the entire call listening to what’s being said by the insurance company claims representative (who remember is really an auto glass company employee) and the auto glass shop can do little to stop what’s being told to the insured.  Trick-or-treat?  What costume do you think the TPA is wearing for Halloween?
  • Another version is when the insurance company requires an “inspector” to come out and “inspect” the repair or replacement prior to an insured having the company they’ve chosen actually fix their glass. Surprisingly the “unbiased” inspector sometimes completes the inspection and then does the repair or replacement for the convenience of the insured. Trick-or-treat?  What costume do you think that the inspector is wearing for Halloween?
  • Then there are consumers who have their windshields replaced by companies that don’t actually install them properly. The Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) has in place regulations to ensure that replacements parts that are directly involved with passenger safety require that those parts are installed properly. The windshield is a safety device and is critical to the structural integrity of the vehicle as well as proper deployment of the passenger side airbag.  Problems can start for consumers if the auto glass company and/or the installer doing the replacement don’t follow the AGRSS® (Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard).  What kind of problems?
    • If the installer doesn’t take the proper care while removing the windshield that can be the start of problems,
    • If the installer uses a poor fitting replacement windshield that can also be a problem,
    • If the installer doesn’t wear the proper gloves to keep from contaminating surfaces during the installation that can be yet another problem,
    • If the installer doesn’t use the proper combination of primers or urethane while doing the installation then there’s another problem,
    • Hopefully the installer used a urethane that provides a safe drive away time of 1 or 2 hours, but
    • Regardless the installer should tell the consumer when their vehicle is safe to drive and not release the car until that time.
    • If one or more of these things aren’t done then…… Trick-or-treat?  Definitely a TRICK!

Without question the vast majority of companies and people in the AGRR industry believe in and actually do the right things that they should be doing to provide the services they offer to their our customers. There are certainly TPA’s that do a great job providing services to insurance companies they represent and glass companies or installers that do proper auto glass installations. All who do the right thing should be praised for providing great services to those who need auto glass repair and replacements.

That being said, we all certainly know examples of bad behavior that exists every day in the AGRR industry.  Whether they may:

  • dress up in a Halloween costume and pretend to be someone they’re not when answering the phone, then possibly attempt to influence the caller to take a job away from the company the insured initially called and wanted to use,
  • dress up as an inspector to make sure that no fraud is being perpetrated on the insurance company and then go ahead and repair or replace the glass while there or
  • not care about quality. If the windshield used isn’t truly O.E.M. quality and the installation isn’t done properly by following the requirements of the FMVSS using the AGRSS® standard and by providing a safe drive away time of 1 to 2 hours by using the best urethane available there could be problems.

So do you and your company use tricks or do you only offer treats for the service or services that you provide?  I know it is Halloween, but you should be only offering the best in treats!  There really is no reason for anyone having to use tricks is there?

Just sayin’……

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  1. #1 by Fell Cadwallader on October 31, 2011 - 3:18 pm

    David,

    When did you become “small” in your thinking?

    Why not use your resources and acumen to help reinvent the paradigm versus just your time to comment on old tricks?

    Be part of the solution.

    • #2 by davidrohlfingblog on October 31, 2011 - 3:46 pm

      Thanks for your comment.

      How exactly is my thinking “small”? The tricks that I mentioned in the blog may be old tricks, but they’re being used today so I think that the they’re still relevant to point out and see if there isn’t a way to fix them. I do sit on the AGRSS® board so I’m trying to work with all the other volunteers at the organization to help improve the installs being done today for consumers. What more do you think I should be doing?

  2. #3 by Adalberto Merced on November 6, 2011 - 12:22 am

    Great Reply David! With all due respect, I personally know your heart is in the right place. Also, I am a witness that you are part of the solution!

    • #4 by davidrohlfingblog on November 7, 2011 - 4:27 pm

      Thank you for your comments. I know that there are many who are working hard to be a part of the solution to help improve the fairness of competition and the quality of products delivered to consumers by the AGRR industry.

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      Good luck in your way to the top. From my experience you can’t get there without the help of a lot of like-minded people who share your values. Thank you for your comment.

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  8. #13 by David Benedict on November 25, 2011 - 8:30 am

    This is quite informative. I think it depends upon the people how they treat or trick. Thanks for sharing nice ideas.

    • #14 by davidrohlfingblog on November 25, 2011 - 2:38 pm

      Thanks. Those who “trick” know that they are not offering their customers a “treat”. Do you think there is a way to stop the tricking?

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