Volume 14, Issue 4 - July/August 2012

Repair Round Up
nwra reports

Why Would You Ever Do a Bad Repair?
by Kerry Wanstrath

With improvements in windshield repair tools, training, industry awareness in quality, and industry standard for quality and best practices, it is difficult for me to believe any credible auto glass company could do bad repairs. Oh, I don’t mean a bad repair now and then, but consistently deliver poor repairs.

What would be the cause or motive to produce poor repairs? These are all good questions that I have been asked regularly by our customers. As many of you know, the National Windshield Repair Association (NWRA) has been collecting data from customers who have had poor repairs done on their vehicles. The data points include customers’ names, vehicle IDs, insurance carriers and photos. These repairs were not unusual or out-of-the-normal stone-damage repairs that most of us do everyday. They were not that difficult to do, and I say that because many were re-repaired by experienced technicians and photos taken of the repair after it was repaired properly.

So What is My Point?
Well, perhaps there is something deeper than just a technician not caring.

“Repair-only” technicians make their entire living doing only repairs. I’m convinced they have a better track record than someone who has a potential conflict of interest in seeing a poor repair turned into a replacement. Most (if not all) shops have as part of the offer and acceptance (O&A) program a repair warranty, whereby if you produce a poor repair and the customer complains or the repair fails and now a replacement is needed, you either refund or credit for the cost of the repair toward the replacement. That seems fair to me; no complaints. But if someone is given an unfair advantage such as not having to give credit for a poor repair, isn’t that a motive to do poor repairs? So, what if you had these special privileges and you got to keep the funds for the repair and then got to keep the entire fee for the new (unneeded) replacement? I say unneeded because the repair was not originally of the level warranting a replacement; had it been done correctly according to the industry-recognized standard (i.e. the Repair of Laminated Automotive Glass Standard (ROLAGS™)) most likely the repair would have saved the windshield. Who pays for this poor quality? Is it not the consumer in the end? Why would insurance companies ask the small shops to consent to a nationwide warranty and not the elephant?

The Question at Hand
I believe this is a strategic decision rather than a result of just not caring or lack of training. So back to the question: “why would you ever do a bad repair?” Well, if you are not only allowed to do a bad repair, but also are rewarded, why not? But the blame for this alliance is where I differ from many of you. All that is done in the world of insurance claims is known by the insurance companies. They are not multibillion dollar companies by accident, trust me; they know how things work.

Shame on any insurance company that would make such an unfair alliance.

Kerry Wanstrath serves on the board of directors of the National Windshield Repair Association and is president of Glass Technology Inc. of Durango, Colo.

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