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Supplement, Fall 1999

Expert Advice
pros who know

Pre-Qualifying the Repair

by Rich Kruger, Sr.


My rock chip and crack repair business is mobile. On a few occasions I have traveled to the customer only to find that I had wasted time because the windshield was not repairable and I did not ask the right questions concerning the possibility of repairable damage when I had them on the phone.

Since the possibility of encountering an unrepairable windshield exists, I came up with an idea of what I should know about the windshield before I set up the appointment because, after all, time is money. If you happen to be in the mobile windshield repair business, you cannot afford to waste any time running across the countryside chasing a windshield that cannot be repaired. For demographic reasons, I usually schedule my customers an hour and a half apart to allow for travel time, repair time and invoice preparation time. This will also provide me with time to answer consumer inquiries.

Unless your windshield repair business is a shop or fixed location, the following pre-qualifying question can be helpful to you and your customer. When I have the prospective customer on the phone I always ask four magic questions. These four questions are appropriate for both rock chip and crack repairs.


Rock Chip

• How big is the rock chip? I use the diameter of a twenty-five cent piece as a limit for rock chip repair in general.

• How old is the rock chip? As you must already know, the older the rock chip, the worse the end result will be. I always explain this to the customer and undersell the repair in case it could possibly come out looking better.

• Where is the rock chip located? I also ask this for obvious reasons because the repair should never be done in the acute area (immediate field of vision).

• What does it look like? In my local yellow page advertisement I have inserted four pictures of the most typical rock chips. This simply gives prospective customers a way to describe the rock chip on their windshield when I ask. The pictures have also served as an eye catcher for the browsing customer.

The same questions apply to cracks, there is a just a different arrangement to pre-qualify the crack for repair.


Long Cracks

• How long is the crack? My long crack repair limit is 24 inches. You may have your own standards.

• How old is the crack? Maybe I am getting lazy in my old age, but I will not repair a crack that is more than four weeks old. I always explain to the customer that the older the crack, the worse it will look when totally filled.

• Where is the crack located? Is it in the immediate field of vision? Based on the recommended guidelines that we are using in the repair industry, the acute area is off limits.

• What does the crack look like? Sometimes this can be tough because getting a good description of the crack can be difficult.

These questions have saved me a lot of grief and lost time. I hope that many of you can use this as a time saver as I have.

Many happy repairs.

 wpe15.jpg (4768 bytes)Rich Kruger, Sr. is owner of Rich’s Rock Chip Repair and ChipFix-Supply in Tacoma, WA.


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