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Volume 7    Issue 6            November/December 2005

Field of Vision
     from the Editor

Hall Of Shame  
by Charles Cumpston

In response to a request on the AGRR Magazine message forum, we have started an online Hall of Shame consisting of photographs of dangerous, unsafe auto glass windshield installations sent in by the shops which have uncovered the shoddy work done previously when they went to replace the windshield again.

Our intent, and that of the person who made the original request, is to show why quality is important in a windshield replacement and how safety is compromised by sloppy or incompetent work. We have the impression that the insurance companies don’t really understand that there is such a thing as a bad installation and that a good, safe installation is worth paying for. Nor do they realize it takes additional time, which costs money, to correct such problems.

Posting photographs would be a way of showing them what kind of work is being done. It should get their attention and focus on the importance of safety instead of price as the dominant factor in replacing policyholders’ windshields.

Not everyone has agreed that posting pictures of bad installations is a good idea. Comments have come back about airing our industry’s dirty laundry in public and presenting a bad image of the industry through showing that inferior, unsafe work is being done.

The people who read this magazine are not the ones who do this kind of bad work. But if the industry wants to make quality an issue, then it has to make the point of what quality is and what it is not. We shouldn’t hide the fact that corrosion is not being treated from insurance companies. We should be educating them on why it is smart to pay to correct the corrosion and do a good job. They have to know that lives are being put in danger through installations such as these.

Every industry has bad apples who cast a negative shadow on it. Every industry has those who are willing to rip off the consumer in any service area. The fact that there are hacks doing deplorable work in windshield replacement should not shock anyone. Our industry is like all the rest. 

But an industry that shows concern for those who are giving it a negative reputation is one that says we care about quality. It affirms a commitment to rooting out those who are not performing quality jobs and putting consumers at risk with unsafe windshield replacements. That is a positive message in my opinion.

I think we all agree with the goal of ridding our industry of those who do shoddy work. But if our customers, both consumers and the insurance companies, don’t even know that dangerous, unsafe work is being done, then how can they be expected to realize that they have to put quality into the equation with price?

The Hall of Shame may accomplish nothing, but its intent is honorable. So is any effort to make our industry stronger and to protect consumers with safe windshield replacements.

If you would like to see the Hall of Shame, visit www.agrrmag.com/shame.htm

Charles Cumpston is the editor of AGRR.


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