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Why even pay them? We never agreed to pay this charge, just like the insurance companies will not pay it if billed. Let them tell you that they will no longer sell to you if you don't pay the small amount. The wholesalers are struggling more than ever, they are not going to refuse business and cut you off. Their fuel surcharge makes no sense and is ridiculous.
The fuel charge does make sense. Distributors have to pass on increases in there costs. That is the way the free market operates. You should be passing that charge on with a modest increase to the insurance comapanies. You could do this if you chose not to be on the networks. If you agreed to their bottom dollar pricing than you will have to suck it up and take the loss. Another reason why you should consider jumping of the o&a's.
Name one insurance company that pays a fuel surcharge?
We purchase over $40K/week, I would like to see them tell me that they are going to cut me off if I don't pay. They make a good profit off of me and always have. I think it is ridiculous to "nickel and dime" shops that have large orders being delivered. This would be totally different if you could pass it on, but it CAN'T be done.
I can name ten that pay it. I also could name insurance companies that will pay for rust repair, mobile service and two man sets. Not to mention emergency service on evenings and weekends. If you incur the cost pass it on. If they don't pay, arbitrate. Even if you only file, a lot of companies will try to settle. It is amazing how insurance companies will negotiate when you stand up and show that your serious. This won't work if your on the networks and have agreed to their terms.
One of the things that I have learned in this industry is to get involved,network and listen. There are to many people who think they know everything and in turn don't listen. I have learned so much from just getting involved and making friends in my state. I have gotten little nuggets of info that have turned my company around. That being said, I have worked extremely hard to get the agreements and contacts that I have and am reluctant to just throw them out on a chat board. If I knew who you were I might be willing to share info that might help.(legally of course)
I can understand getting paid by the the smaller regional insurers, but are you getting paid for fuel surcharge from the insurers that utilize Safelite and Lynx as a tpa? I understand that you both are not on the networks either are we, but you can not control the invoices being forwarded to them by the carriers and I would doubt that Safelite or Lynx are paying for this charge, are they?
AP's comments, while not exactly politically correct, are not exactly wrong. Distributors do not need permission to charge a delivery fee. Furthermore, playing one vendor against another will come to an end. It is obvious the bottom is within view when charges have to be added to an invoice to recoup what use to be covered by margin.
Another point I'd like to make that is in reference to the other comments made by the "idiot" (that's AP's reference, not mine... but I'll go with it): If you do not like the price you are being paid by the TPA's, then stop signing the O&A's. Doing so negates your right to complain. So long as there are installers out there signing the O&A's and as such, agreeing to what the the TPA's are pimping, they will continue to pimp.
just the facts, what state are you in? Sure would like to get to know you. Also do you belong to the IGA? Haromon Solutions is becoming a huge pain in the butt. more then safelite. I have never signed and I tell them all the time when they call if I will sign and tell them to take a hike, now they short pay even after they tell me a reasonal price and said I have a contract with them. I dont, I ask for them to show it to me and they hang up. Also I am told that every one in my area is on their net work, when I ask them to give me one name because I know alot of glass shops in my area and I know they are not on their goofy program.
I believe he is in MN along with me. Harmon Solutions is becoming a problem, it is run by an ex-Safelite guy (Paul Gross). If you are in MN you can clean house on the insurance companies that Harmon represents in arbitration. As I have said many times, why even deal with Harmon or any other tpa. If you have a problem with steering, short-pays, slow-pays, etc then call the decsion maker at the ins. co not the TPA. If you are MN I urge you to file arbitration claims, you will be suprised how much that helps. If you wish listen to a lot of bs then call Paul Gross, President of Harmon Solutions. The only good thing about them is their market share is low and they are losing customers, Auto Owners recently dumped them.
If your comfortable, post your e-mail or phone number and I will contact you. I am very hesitant to do so because of the abuse that goes on here. I hope their will be a day soon that we are required to register and post our real names. I believe that will encourage honesty and stop the nonsense and name calling that wastes everybody's time.
just the facts if you could email me at
email@example.com that would be great.
(there are 3 s' for glass shop)
I would like to know how to get away from Harmon. I always get put back into them when I call the company direct.
One of the primary reasons we are in the industry condition we are in is because our pricing is "dicatated" by others.
The whole concept of a price increase (that is necessary by all segments of the industry) has been lost because retailers cannot figure out how to push it down to the end user. I am not preaching, we are one of them.
In any business that utilizes a MFR to Dist. to Retail to End User model, when a MFR "needs" a price increase, it is pushed through all levels of the pipe and culuminates in a price increase to the retailer. It is healthy and it works.
In our industry, MFR's don't even attempt a price increase because they know that the publisher who actually controls what is paid for their product at the retail level will not acknowlege it until after it is 4 months old; which is impossible, since the distributors don't know how to pass it on, and even if they did, couldn't do it because their customers refuse to pass it to the end user; because the publisher doesn't recognize it until some unsubstantiated research by the publisher determines it has been passed on.
Think about it. We are using discounts off an arbitrary benchmark that was created by analyzing a fraction of our overall response to the last arbitrary benchmark that was published. Anyone familiar with MS Excel understands what happens when you use a formula that has a circular reference......you get an error.
Imagine you sold 14500 different widgets to people; some more than others, from a retail store. You would price those widgets based on what you paid for EACH ONE. Your price for them would be based on your relationship with your distributor and the actual value of each widget. Your distributors price would be based on their relationship with the MFR. and the actual cost to make each widget.
Now bring in a publisher that says "All of your red widgets are now worth X" (to a certain class of your customer). "All of your Yellow widgets are worth Y"...etc... They do not explain why this is the case or how they arrived at their estimate (other than in vague generalities), but now, all of the customers in this certain category say "since the publisher says certain color widgets are worth this price, we will pay X, regardless of the individual characteristics of each item: it doesn't matter what you were charging for these items OVERALL (again, no documentation) it will work out the same".
What would you say at "Bobs Widgets"? I would guess that after you stopped laughing, you would tell them how much the widget was going to cost them - and that number would have something to do with what the product was truly worth.
The loop we are in a death spiral for the entire industry. If it does not stop, the auto glass industry will become a value added service for body shops and garages and nothing more (for all except the ones that control the job flow).
Don't complain about your distributor holding their guns about a price increase of ANY kind. It is the first shot in a battle that ultimately may determine whether the majority of independents remain that way. PASS IT ON. DONT TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER. COMPLAIN, WRITE LETTERS, BILL FOR IT, PUT IT ON EVERY INVOICE YOU CAN AND MAKE IT BECOME PART OF THE MARKET PRICE. YOU ARE PAYING IT, GET PAID FOR IT, HELL, MARK IT UP. The whole reason we are in this boat is because we have refused to pay or bill for REAL EXPENSES.
Long term, it's a small beginning of the only chance we have to preserve the industry.
I recommend that everyone read DL's post AT LEAST THREE TIMES if necessary until it SINKS IN.
Great Job DL.
Hal, what say you? As soon as Safelite says it's so, it ain't so? Sound advice coming from a bankrupt company, especially if it saves you money?
THere's an old saying that holds true here. "Never take advice from someone that owes you money."
While I will be the first to restate that the insurer is NOT our customer, the premise of that adage still holds true. Simply because we are taking "advice" in the form of price caps and ultimatums when the insurer has no, REPEAT NO contractural obligation to pay shops ONE THIN DIME.
Show me in one network contract where it says the insurer will pay the shop. The insurer is contracted to indemnify the INSURED against loss, not the shop for money for repairs.