FROM OUR READERS:
I just read the story in AGRR about publisher Debra Levy’s father and the Stanley Cup (see July/August 2001 AGRR, page 2). I just wanted to let you know I thought it was very heart-warming. The picture of her dad was worth a thousand words. What a refreshing story to read after all of the terror and sadness with which we have been confronted over the past month.
Electronic Design to Market Inc.
First, congratulations on AGRR being named “Best New Publication of the Year” by the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE)—quite an honor for the best magazine in the business!
As a lifelong, diehard Detroit Red Wing fan who goes back to the heydays of Gordie Howe and Terry Sawchuck, I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed publisher Debra Levy’s article about her dad and his love of the New York Rangers. In Detroit, we have always received the television broadcast of Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday nights, but it was the hockey broadcasts on the radio to which my brothers and I would fall asleep usually. So I can certainly appreciate her dad’s preference of the radio over the television. I also share in his joy of having his favorite team’s Stanley Cup drought finally end as ours did in the late 1990s!
Andy Bathgate and Eddie Giacomin are still the kinds of players we talk about in our “senior” hockey locker rooms around Detroit in the winter … Eddie was Detroit’s starting goalie toward the end of his career and he owned a tavern on Telegraph Road where we would stop on the way to the Wings’ games. He would sit down with us—man, the stories he would tell! What a great guy, as most professional hockey players are—the whole stardom thing just doesn’t seem to affect them much.
So many of us grew up on the same knee. And whose dad didn’t freeze his tush off flooding the snow-banked edges of a make-shift ice rink in the back yard (the same rink that was responsible for the inevitable clash between the puck and those broken basement windows)?
Guardian Auto Glass
I really enjoyed Debra Levy’s message in July/August 2001 AGRR’s “Field of Vision” column. It brought back many memories, and I must share one of them. I am a 41-year resident of New Jersey, and because we have lived in “South Jersey” our last 14 years, 12 miles outside of Philadelphia, we (particularly my kids) are die-hard Philadelphia Flyer fans. On the other hand, a very good friend of mine remained a New York Giants and Rangers fan to the core, even though his family lived in a neighboring town. When he wasn’t entertaining a client he would invite me to a Rangers game. (I can still hear the famous chant: “Let’s go Rain Giz!”) Although his seats weren’t that far from the beams that traverse the mighty Madison Square Garden, they were in the official cheering section, which offered its own level of entertainment.
On one occasion when my friend and I could not make the game, I offered the tickets to a young writer I knew. He and his wife, who were not big-city people and were very prim and proper, welcomed the adventure. I warned them about the two girls who would be sitting behind them—not only in terms of their voices, but also of the words they would be shouting all night.
I couldn’t wait to get his reaction the next morning. “Much to my surprise,” he said, “my wife was able to handle the foul language until there was a bad call. In this booming voice, one of the girls behind us yelled, ‘Hey Ref! You @#$%&*!’ The entire section cheered and my wife slide off the seat.” I believe that was the last time they saw a Rangers game.
Again, my compliments—that column enabled me to take a trip down memory lane and drag you along.
Highland Park, Ill.
Congratulations on earning the title of “Best New Publication for 2000” from the ASPBE. You should be very proud. I have enjoyed seeing your company, your career and influence grow over the last ten years. Thanks for all you do for the glass industry.
Mt. Pleasant, S.C.
Congratulations to you and your staff. We’re glad to be associated with such prestigious people! It couldn’t happen to a better group of people anywhere.
Texas Glass Association
It would be greatly appreciated if you could provide any contact information about recycled PVB off-cuts and trimmings of ex-automotive windshields (no glass) and any data or information that you may have regarding PVB recycling and possible markets.
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Note: Readers with information about recycled PVB can e-mail Mr. Venter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
East Coast Prices Appear Low in “Price Points”
I read AGRR and look forward to every edition, but I cringe every time I read the windshield cost survey report (see Price Points). One reason is because my region, the East Coast region, always comes up with the lowest average cost. I’m not saying the reason for this is AGRR’s fault directly. You are only the messenger.
What I mean by “directly” is that you don’t mention (or maybe don’t ask) what type of materials or procedures are being compared. I know that my competition can undercut my prices if they cut corners where I won’t. You should ask if they are close-cutting or full-cutting. Are they going to take the time and prime all their scratches with fresh, in-date primers? Are they using a two-part urethane and do they document the products they are using as they should? Do they document temperature and humidity? Are they going to pull the cowl mouldings or are they going to try to sneak the windshield in and hope it doesn’t leak? Do they use factory glass and factory mouldings? Do they replace broken clips or do they just “urethane-down” broken parts? Are they going to conduct a leak test when the job is done?
I do repairs and replacements on Long Island. I started out doing only repairs in 1982 and have a reputation of doing the best repairs in my area. A lot of replacement shops subcontract their repairs to me. It is like going undercover when I’m in these shops, because I see what really goes on in the business. All the shops I work for are well-established and (they think) reputable businesses. I don’t know of one shop in my area that is using a two-part urethane in the winter. Nobody documents safe drive-away times. Nobody documents the products they use or records lot numbers and expiration dates. They can bang out a replacement in 45 minutes or less sometimes. I can spend 45 minutes just letting my primers dry, doing the documentation and educating my customer. That time doesn’t include installing the windshield. I do it by the book as recommended by Carlite Training School and the Performance Achievement Group. I don’t want a pat on the back. I would only like to see a differentiation between what I call a “slop-and-drop” installation and a restoration installation.
I think the wide price range you come up with in your survey can be explained by the fact that you’re only asking how much it costs to drop a new windshield into a car, not how much it costs to restore the windshield to factory standards.
If I was the average layman or an insurance executive and I saw the price variance you report I would assume the higher-price shop was just putting the screws to their customers and making a much larger profit. In actuality, the higher-price shop may be making less profit but doing the much safer and higher quality restoration.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I hope you can work some of my questions into your survey so we can all get a more honest evaluation of what the cost to replace and restore a windshield should be.
Bi-County Windshield Repair
Wading River, N.Y.
Editor’s Note: Price Points is intended to be as unbiased and accurate as possible. If the respondent knows the information is for a magazine survey, the results might be skewed. By requesting the price for a windshield replacement as a consumer would, the results printed in the magazine represent a more accurate portrait of the industry.
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