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This is now beyond ridiculous!! Virtually every legitimate post people are complaining about the one man shops ruining our industry with low pricing. I have had enough. Not being on Statefarm's O%A program in MN, they get two quotes and pay the lowest. It is absolutely "_ _ _ king" unbeliveable the prices of some of the glass shops and body shops. This is one big reason we are where we are. I say we should start posting the shops (not the prices) of the shops causing our industry to be where it is.
George you are living in a dream world!! Why would the insured pay for the job up front when there are other shops including myself that will bill the insurance company for them?
Secondly, most people don't have that kind of money sitting around and don't want the hassle.
Lastly, why would we want to give into the insurance companies when they have an obligation to pay a fair and competitve rate directly to the shop. Shops that are giving insurance companies unrealistic quotes are the problem
NOT TO PICK A FIGHT HERE BUT ISN'T THAT ALL PART OF THE PROBLEM? EVERY SHOP IS SO WORRIED THEY WILL LOSE A JOB TO SOMEONE ELSE THEY BEND OVER BACKWARDS TO DO THE WORK FOR LESS AND LESS MONEY. WHY AND WHEN DID IT BECOME MANDATORY FOR THE GLASS SHOPS TO BILL INSURERS. AT ONE TIME I AM SURE THIS WAS A GOOD WAY TO DO BUSINESS MAKING IT MORE CONVIENENT FOR THE INSURED, BUT IF WE AS AN INDUSTRY DON'T CHANGE WITH THE TIMES WE WILL BE CONVENIENTED RIGHT OUT OF BUSINESS, TEN JOBS @ $150.00 IS FIFTEEN HUNDRED DOLLARS. SO IS FIVE JOBS @ $300.00. WHICH SENARIO IS MORE PROFITABLE
I can give out 'quotes' and 'estimates' all day long for five bucks apiece installed, and as long as I don't have to fill that quote, it's absolutely meaningless, and furthermore no skin off my tail. The Farm in the past calls the member shops and announces that they have a customer requesting a "non-O/A shop", and asks for a "Competitive Bid". Why would they have to call a shop they already have under contract, for a competitive price that they have already given that shop, and have a contractural agreement based upon that price.....UNLESS it is (obviously) to notify that shop that they need a lower price? I mean, c'mon, DUH!! They even sent letters out later telling shops that they had the Farm's 'permission' to abandon the contract in these cases, and their 'permission' to bid higher than the contract amount if they wanted. (ya riiiight, like THAT was going to happen)
I'm gonna twist this one back on Hal with his own words, he said: 'what is being paid is what matters'.
In the 'survey game' he is right. INVOICES are what matters. Where he was wrong, was the context he was using, that is that insurers love that quote system when it works FOR them, but suddenly shift to a different system when it works against them.
Insurers say they pay what is quoted in this instance (when it's lower), then turn around later and say that what is paid is what matters when they short pay because a shops bill is higher. THat logic is totally backwards, to say a quote matters (when it benefits them) but then say an invoice does not matter, (when it works against them). It's like a two headed coin, with the insurer always calling "HEADS".
In MN, case law says that the open market is NOT NOT NOT defined by surveys that don't take into account quality of glass, quality of services, or quality of installers. It also says that they can't only call those shops they have 'deals' with to determine price.
Phone quotes that don't take into account WHAT is being quoted are simply useless drivel, and MN has the case law that says so.
Besides, I have NEVER seen ONE documented case of the opposing bid from the Farm, yet EVERY letter to the customer claims to have the documentation of the opposing quote enclosed. Gee I wonder why that is? Consumers see through this quickly, especially when you educate them up front.
Funny, today we had a repeat customer come in with several broken conversion van windows. Called up Parkin and got pricing and then called in to the insurance for the claim. They gave us the old "just fax us your invoice" line. Yea right. Name one other business, ANYWHERE, that has to fax the insurance company (or the one paying for the work) their invoice that shows what was paid for the parts so they can determine what they will pay. Do we hand out our pricing to Joe Blow off the street so he can determine whether he is paying us too high of a margin for our EXPERTISE? Well, we told them what it will cost to get the job done right with a 'FAIR' margin for us. They asked to speak to the customer who was there at the shop. Fortunately, we had already prepared him for what they will say. He made it VERY clear that he WILL NOT be going to ANY other auto glass company, PERIOD and asked them to clarify why they are asking for our companies invoice with pricing.(this customer happens to be a 'successful business man') They apparently weren't expecting that. About a minute later, we had authorization for all parts and OUR pricing. Customer even left the van with us until complete. It really is amazing that some insurance companies think that they can determine OUR destiny. NOT!
Mark 1 please post that case so I can read it , or let me know where I can get a copy. I have been fighing the city trying to take my business for almost 2 years. My pile of resurch is 2'deep and over 300 pages filed with the court. If I win in april I might get into working on changing the laws in this state (Idaho)email@example.com
Do you know why SF keeps making you quote jobs? Does the customer come to you first?
For me, doing business w/ SF is a cake walk; I do the work, send the bill (using pricing I established) to the agent, and withing two weeks, I have a check in hand.
No bids, no contract/O&A, no tpa, no shortpays... and I, too, am a MN shop.
Yes we are getting to the customers first, we get NO referrals. We agree to pricing only if it is zone 2 or 3. The quotes are coming from zone 1 jobs (10% off). Because we are a MN shop they are using the decree set forth by the MN Dept of Commerce a couple years ago and paying the lower of two quotes.
I don't understand how you are going around Glass Central and Lynx? Is all of your work in zone 2 and 3? Who is sending you the check and how are you getting the agents to agree on pricing above the O & A rates without them steering?
I honestly don't know what "zone" I'm in anymore. I don't deal with Lynx at all anymore & I don't get any type of pricing faxes; I'm probably a more rural zone.
For me, the customer shows up, I do the work, I bill it at my established rates, send it with a pay authoriation to the agent (whom I almost never discuss the situation with), and wait for my check from State Farm.
When the rebalance first happened, I had to get a bit bucky a few times. Fortunately, some very faithful customers were involved in those instances. I informed State Farm that I will not deal with Lynx (and that I know I legally don't have to) and have had smooth sailing ever since.
I bill them at a consistent price (glass price well-above what would be NAGS list...NAGS list is not mentioned on my invoice, per kit, per labor hour) and honestly don't have the slightest bit of a problem.
As far as the agents go, I truly haven't talked to one except to ask about a deductible and one agent called me to have me correct a typo so my check wouldn't get held up.
I'm going to do a separate post with some State Farm info. If you've got more questions, I'll do my best to answer.