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Insurance agents don't steer customers TO our shop, they steer customers AWAY from our shop. If agents are steering customers TO your shop, I'm glad networks are steering AWAY from your shop! Yes, steering is steering.
if a customer calls and has NO preferance and asks the agent for who the recommend and the agent gives a name I dont consider that steering. Why else do they pay their agent. Some of the problem with agents is they are getting a kick back from glass shops. Then I think the agent should be reported. They are making a profit off of their customers loss, and most likely the customer is having a higher claim reported. Do you think those gift cards are free? What ever happened to building a relationship and doing good work. if you have to buy the business that sure does not say much about the shop if that is the only way they know how to get work.
I believe there is a HUGE difference between network steering and agent steering. Providing, of course, there isn't MONEY changing hands between the shop and the agent.
With agents, the shop must EARN the business be actually PROVIDING the SERVICE to the MUTUAL CUSTOMER that the agent and the shop SHARE. The shop must continually WORK to be sure that their PERFORMANCE is QUALITY DRIVEN not PRICE DRIVEN.
Networks use service and quality as key words to make the system SOUND like it's on the up-and-up, but the truth may be something very different. Networks redefine service and quality to fit their model of business, which is fast and cheap, painted with quality to gloss it over.
Bottom line, BIG DIFFERENCE. Money changing hands: NO difference.
I always here the saying from customers(they told me that a shop not on their perfered list will charge you extra costs the cutomer I mean)now if that is not steering I dont know what is!What a bunch of crap!!
Well how about this? We had Allstate tell our largest account that because we are not a Lynx services provider (slave) they can not continue to use us on any Allstate claim. So I had to make a choice the account or Lynx so after looking at how many lynx jobs they turn down each month or refer to someone else I sold my sole to the devil. (For Now!!)
I tend to think more about the ex-potential customers you shoulda/woulda had.
These are the people you meet on the sidewalk,in the grocery store,on the golf course etc. etc..
They mention that they were going to use your shop,when they called their ins. co.(HAH)(800# tpa's)they were told that the shop you requested is not on our preffered provider list,therefore,it could cost you more money,we cannot guarantee their work so on and so forth.
They then say that they "had to use this particular shop.AND THEY DO! More out of fear than anything else.
Now this customer has a friend that is looking to use your shop.They are told that the ins.co. doesn't recommend them.So this makes the shops look like their crooks or something.The shops now have to defend itself and it's reputation(to a count of about 250 people that this customer knows.and don't forget each one of those 250 knows 250 more.The chain of events has started.
Please don't copy and paste content in its entirety from other sources. Being a publisher, we are extremely sympathetic to ensuring that copyrights are not violated. Here is a link to the article that was posted.
Steering is not right if it is being done to profit the person or company doing the steering.
1. Agent refers to a certain glass shop because they are getting some type of reward or money to do it.
2. Network is sterring to certain glass shops becasue they have either an ownership interest in that shop and/or it purchases product(glass) from them.
I do however think it is OK in scerenios where an agent suggests a certain shop to an insured, because that is who they use for their own work or because other insured have praised that shop to the agent and kept that insured completely satisfied. Word of mouth is my biggest form of advertising and agents are alot of it. The only benefit for them is a happy policyholder that is less likely to change to a new company.
On the issue of potential customers being told things such as "that shop is not on our approved list and you may have to pay more out of pocket". That is not right, but some independent glass shops created that monster and now it is being used against us all.
before networks, when direct billing still existed and NAGS list prices were unbelievable high. The average cash price was 60 to 70% off NAGS list and $25.00 labor and $10.00 kit. That meant that if the NAGS list price was $800.00 then the glass was $240.00 to $320.00. Then if some shops in our area got the job and found out it was billed through insurance they would bill full list price and extra labor. It has always been my understanding that is where netwroks started from.
Insurance companies wanted a consistant price. They would pay one shop in a town a $200.00 and the shop across town would charge $800 or a $1000.00 for the same part. Networks started by giving them a consistant price and now look where they are.
We have always worked with adjustors and I would hear stories of pricing that is still all over the place. As long as this is happening Netowrks will remain.
Just yesterday I had a customer come in and ask me why their is so much pricing difference between shops. I ask what they meant and they informed me that they had called three shops and got estimates.
Shop #1 quoted them $99.00 installed.
Shop # 2(us) quoted them $239.00 installed.
Shop # 3 quoted them $732.00 installed.
Sad thing this was a cash job.
If you were an insurance company trying to handle that claim and keep a satisfied insured.
By the way I told that customer that even if my supplier gave me the glass for free I wouldn't install it for $99.00.
if everyone had the same price ( as the networks think you should have ) I would think that is price fixing. Are all insurance companies insurance premiums the same, NO, and why are they all so diff. so for them - the networks - to think we should all be the same as to what they think and tell us it should be I dont get it.
I am not saying the price should be exactly the same. Yes the networks have made it that way. We have both extremes happening. If I was on the outside looking in I would be laughing at the industry and scared to get a windshield replaced all at the same time.
In my example if you were a customer that knew little to nothing about getting a windshield replaced and you called three shops to get estimates so you oculd make a descision. What would your thoughts be when you received prices that were that inconsisitant? As as customer I would probably STOP and not know what to do. It makes the industry look like a joke.
We are not talking about price differences of 30 or 40 percent. My price was over double of the low guy and the highest shop was over 7 times as expensive as the low guy and over three times as expensive as us. With prices ranges from under $100 to several hundred the customers and insurance adjustors are lost. Is the low guy selling below cost and working for free or is the $200 and $700 guy just overpriced?
I have know some of the area adjustors since childhood and they want to be fair, but it makes no sense the way the industry prices are.
SBOK, I agree, if I was someone looking to get a price on a w/s I would be concerned with the guy that was so low. What type of producsts is he using? and the quaility of his work. But I get calls from people that have used these "cheep prices" to come out and fix their mess, and only if they want to pay me to fix it I will go out. I first tell them they need to call these people back. Only thing is, they never come back out, or never return the call. The guy that was way to high I would like to see the house he lives in, I would maybe think about changing jobs, ( just kidding )
I look at the one that is bidding so low as not very smart business people
Our company has documented on paper signed by the insured at least 5 instances where (S@$ you guess which TPA) the CSR's have told insured 1)That it would take our shop 3 days to do a tempered replacement without calling us to check our schedule (we always prioritize tempered replacements), another insured was told 2)That we do not offer a warranty, we print a Lifetime Warranty on installation on every installation invoice, and we honor it we have very few callbacks, and usually take care of it next day, yet another insured was told 3)They may have out of pocket expense with our shop, we have NEVER billed an insured over what the TPA allows for a part/job. SO don't tell me there is no steering. It's wrong in too many ways to list. My employer has spent 12 years building a solid reputation, and to have some stranger reading off a computer script in Somoa wherever trash it has to be illegal!