We have received some comments from GlassBYTEs readers on a story that ran last Friday (7/1/05 http://www.glassbytes.com/newsstatefarm20050701.htm) regarding State Farms decision to discontinue windshield repair deductible waivers. I have posted them as replies to this posting.
State Farm Glass Manager Bob Bischoff's comparison of a parking lot dent on a car door to a ding in a windshield was ludicrous, laughable and an insult to my intelligence. (That is unless he can convince me that if the dent is not taken care of, the car door will eventually split and require replacement or that the "parking lot dent" can compromise the integrity of the door creating a potential and serious danger to the occupants.)
I wonder if he offered that analogy with a straight face. If he did, that is an indication in itself that those decision-making State Farm executives responsible for this air-headed, astounding, mind-boggling new decision of refusal to waive the deductible in re windshield repair have a few extensive dings of their own and ought to be replaced.
In spite of the present smoke-blowing, we ALL know the actual reasons and those reasons are ALL related to increased profits. If I were an informed State Farm policy holder, I would immediately switch my insurance coverage to a company that at least has the intelligence to recognize the benefits of repairing every possible windshield damage and REWARDS their policy holders by waiving the deductible.
Mr. Bischoff assures us that State Farm will continue to suggest repair when possible. Well, of course they will. Bet your bottom dollar they will. They know a good thing when they see it. No amount of legerdemain or puffery can conceal the efficacy of repair or the fact that the repair option has saved both insurance companies as well as their insured tons of money.
In actuality, this is just another example of an insurance company that "claims" concern about the safety of their insured while hacking away at the very "claims" that allow those insured that added degree of safety. Who do they think they are kidding?
I'm very sorry but I have to side with State Farm here. My name is John Steiner and I have been repairing windshields since 1978, thats along time and Im still very much active in the business.
I've watched this business grow from its roots to its present form. Although I like the idea that the general public AKA consumer is now very much aware of windshield repair and the benefits it provides. I am not at all happy with what the "waiver" of deductible has become and done to the market.
Back in the early days (1977) this concept fit well and was a good thing. Now, its piracy run rampid. Sry to say this to all you "tent" people, gas station sitters, and car wash vultures out there, but your the weakest link. I've seen your work. I've watched you fix windshields straight out of the car wash. I've watched you wash a windshield at a gas station and then perform a repair. I've watched you do repairs in the rain and snow. And Ive stood there and shook my head in disbelief.
I've seen alot of repair compounds and tested most of them, but I still havent found one yet that will mix with moisture. Your marketing concept may be rt. but your quality falls way short in my opinion.
With the market being overrun with this kind of business practice and the insurance companies being scalped by loose regulations due to an open door which was created only in good intentions, who could blame State Farm for this decision? If it were my money and I knew this kind of problem existed, the door would be shut, locked, and bolted. This move alone would weed out most of the trash in the garden.
As far as deductibles go, the insured should have the rt. to choose. If you choose a $500.00 deductible, then live with your choice and pay the bill on your windshield.
This probably wont sit well with most of you repair companies out there, but watching what you have done to this market in the past 3 to 4 years doesnt sit well with me either. I for one would like to see the whole insurance industry follow suit..
As it all started in 1977, one insurance company after another. It will all end in the same way.
Repairs were a good thing to pay by ins. cos. back in 1977 and it still is. Even the Safelite contract requirs a certain percentage, what happenens to that clauss? The problem is as you say the parking lot gipo gypses that bill for three repairs when only pits are filled. This is a form of fraud that the networks and ins. co. seem to ignore, along with some of the mobile instalers. I will post the first post in my shop. The solution is get the agent back to work in the claim process.
Safelite requires a certain percentage of repairs because they are paid on a per incident basis. They are paid the same amount no matter if it is a chip repair or a backglass on a Ferarri Modena. The difference is in what they pay out. Obviously they want more chip repairs than expensive glass replacements.
I heard news that Alstate was next to discontinue windshield repair the same way that State Farm is going to do it. The Powers that be tell me that the news will be announced in September.
I absolutely hate guys like you. Old crows sitting on the fence thinking they know everything just because they have been around for awhile. Guys with experience that call themselves "old school", well I am not impressed. To me you guys are all afraid of change. The industry changed and you don't like it because other people have found ways to make money on it that you were too stubborn to figure out.
I happen to be one of those "car wash vultures" and I net $45k a month and growing. I have been in 7 washes now for the past year and in that year I have not had one, NOT ONE customer complaint. Yes I have had a few techs do crappy work and I have re-trained them and eaten the expense when the crack ran and bought (out of my own pocket) the customer a new windshield. Customers love us at the wash and say nothing but great things on the service provided. I built this business from nothing and now I am well into a 6 figure income working hard to please customers, car wash owners, car wash management and my own employees.
Make no mistake about it, it is a full time job and one that I take pride in. I will not stand by and listen to one jealous old fool throw rocks because he didn't have the vision to succeed.
I understand your position, and though I don't completely agree with it you do make a couple of valid points.
However, if you follow your logic through, two things are there that I would like to point out.
1. State Farm is not the industry police, nor do they have a right to be. It is not 'their money' and they should not have the right to 'lock and bolt the door' on anything, read that again, ANYTHING in the repair business.
2. If State Farm is adopting this course for the reasons of 'who can blame them' as you say, then why, if all the problems in the repair industry are the cause, are they not stopping coverage on windshield replacement, collision work, and frankly any insurable loss whatsoever? It is likely that problems you speak of exist in every type of service and repair business (and likely medical as well), so, where should State Farm stop this new 'practice'?
Obviously, if they pursue this, they won't be selling anything but liability insurance. Perhaps that's what they want.
Just some thoughts. But if you are right, and you expect METRYX to help solve the problem, you may be in for a surprise, because either State Farm's left hand does not know what it's right hand is doing, or quality and safety and credentialed installers were a generated smokescreen from the start.
But more on that as soon as we have a few more facts. We'll see.
I also make a six digit income with ONE business and One employee, what would you make with 7 companies if you really had control....I think I'm from the Old Crow School, I started in 1970.
What are you going to do when the car wash gets wise and does there own repairs?.....Maybe open a car wash? Try being the boss of one of those employees.
What are you going to do when insurance no longer pays for repairs?
FROM AN OLD CROW WHINER, THAT KNOWS NOTHING.
jeeze, 45,000 per month?
to me that figures about 6 repairs per hour, i wish i had that much demand and volume.
you must live in a really big city, i used to say you couldn't pay me enough to live in a big city, after reading your post, i'm not so sure anymore. Just for your prespective, we still have streets that are dirt, right here in my town, last year they just tied in the last part of the city that still had their own septic systems to the city sewer system. Guess you just can't stop progress!!
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