Volume 10, Issue 5 - September/October 2008

WGR Reports

Ultra Bond Requests New Hearing

RICH CAMPFIELD AND HIS company, Ultra Bond Windshield Repair and Replacement, have filed a “petition for re-hearing” in their suit against State Farm and its glass claims administrator, LYNX Services. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit recently issued an opinion dismissing the case, which dealt with repair services and, specifically, long-crack repair. The original case had been dismissed in 2005, prior to the recent appeal.

“We have filed a petition for rehearing as we disagree with the ruling,” says Campfield. “This case affects millions of consumers and an entire industry.”

The petition for re-hearing was filed on July 31 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. In the petition, the company notes that “the challenged act here is not whether long cracks are repairable.”

“The challenged act is not allowing the consumer to decide what to purchase by not disclosing the free windshield repair option that State Farm admittedly provides,” write Todd L. Vriesman of Montgomery, Kolodny, Amatuzio & Dusbabek LLP and Robert L. Allman and John P. Mitzner of Allman & Mitzner LLC, attorneys for the plaintiff.

The petition alleges that State Farm and LYNX has a “do not tell” procedure and that customer service representatives [are] trained to process claims automatically as replacement claims without asking for consumer preference.

In addition, the petition alleges that “State Farm/LYNX ma[ke] it virtually impossible for the CSR to honor a consumer’s request for a long crack repair by intentionally not having a referral database of expert repair technicians that repair long cracks.”

By allegedly not offering the repair option, Ultra Bond and Campfield claim that the companies are violating the Colorado Consumer Protection Act (CCPA).

“The issue is whether State Farm intentionally omitted to advise its insured, the consumer, that it had a choice,” reads the petition. “The ‘deceptive act’ is nondisclosure of purchase information to an insured seeking that information while purchasing a windshield repair or replacement.”

Campfield says that the company is requesting a trial by jury, and if this request is denied, he plans to file an additional suit.

“… If we are denied a trial then we will have no choice but to file another suit,” he says.

Despite the recent filing, State Farm spokesperson Jeff McCollum expects the decision the court has made to be reinforced.

“We were pleased when the federal court unanimously upheld all the rulings in State Farm’s favor last month,” he says. “We believe the decisions handed down by the Tenth Circuit Court are correct in every respect relating to this case.”

McCollum was unable to offer further detail, since the case remains in litigation.

Belron US Spokesperson Confirms Company’s
Intent to Purchase Cindy Rowe Auto Glass
Belron US has signed a letter of intent to purchase substantially all of the assets of Harrisburg, Pa.-based Cindy Rowe Auto Glass, according to Jenny Cain, spokesperson for the Columbus, Ohio-based company.

“The companies will go through a due diligence process for approximately 90 days,” she says. “Throughout the due diligence process Belron US and Cindy Rowe Auto Glass will continue to operate as separate and independent entities and as competitors.” The deal is expected to close by the end of 2008, Cain says.

Dave Taylor, chief operating officer for Cindy Rowe Auto Glass, was not available for comment at press time.

Cindy Rowe Auto Glass was founded in 1980 as C. Rowe’s Windshield Repair by its namesake, Cindy Rowe-Taylor. Rowe, who was and remains a registered nurse, had decided she wanted to go into business for herself and began performing repairs out of her Chevrolet Vega. In 1987, she purchased an existing auto glass replacement business in Harrisburg, Pa., and integrated it into her existing windshield repair business. Today, the business has 12 locations scattered throughout Pennsylvania and Maryland.

Rowe’s husband, David Taylor, who today serves as chief operating officer of the company, joined the business in 1986, and is a founder and past president of the National Windshield Repair Association (NWRA). He serves on the NWRA Board of Directors.

Good to Author
Windshield Repair
Technical Column for AGRR
Gayle Good of Cindy Rowe Auto Glass, technical director of the National Windshield Repair Association (NWRA), will begin authoring a column for AGRR magazine with this issue (see page 63). The question- and-answer column will be devoted to issues of importance to repair technicians.

Do you have a question for Good? Please e-mail her at gayle@cindyrowe.com.

GlasWeld Hires
Industrial Sales and
Consulting Specialist
GlasWeld has hired Shawn Mart as its industrial sales and consulting specialist. Mart will be responsible for managing the company’s glass scratch removal business, including presenting complete solutions to glass professionals, manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and contractors. Mart brings more than 25 years experience in the door and window manufacturing and construction industries to his new role.

Windshield Repair
Products in the Spotlight
Interested in adding windshield repair to your business? Or, are you already offering the service but want to try a new kit or resin? Please turn to page 66 for a special section featuring the latest available in windshield repair kits, systems and resins.

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No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.