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Volume 8, Issue 1        January/February 2006

Mailbox
    letters

 

Hall of Shame:  Thumbs Up or Down

To the Editor:

Charles Cumpston in his Hall of Shame editorial (AGRR, Nov/Dec 2005, p4) concludes, “Hall of Shame, may accomplish nothing, but its intent is honorable.” What hypocrisy.

The whole intent is to convince whoever will listen that only the AGRSS “stamp of approval” should be the yardstick for ensuring safety during any installation. Therefore, don’t use any other shop.

Our industry has enough governmental agencies looking out for safety issues, and our legal system is designed to punish perpetrators of negligence, most severely. Is there any necessity for the very existence of AGRSS?

The continuous “crusade” toward safety by all the “disinterested,” unbiased” commentators such as Cumpston, Carl Tompkins, Cynthia Ketcherside, et al, is almost funny. It has become obvious to the onlooker that the only crusade they are on is to promote their own income streams.

Ed Gabriel
President
GMS-All Nations Auto Glass
Sherman Oaks, Calif.

P.S. I challenge you to publish this letter.

Dear Ed:
Thank you for your letter. To first address the point about governmental agencies looking out for safety issues, the government has no involvement in auto glass replacement other than to say that it must be returned to original equipment conditions. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has stated repeatedly that it has no involvement with the aftermarket installation of auto glass.

While your letter connected the two, the Hall of Shame was started by AGRR Magazine and has nothing to do with the AGRSS Standard. They share a common goal, however, which is the safe installation of replacement auto glass.

Is safety important to our industry? Who or what is ensuring that installations are being done safely? I, along with many others including AGRSS-registered and non-registered companies, believe that safety is very important to our industry, and only through safe installations can the industry be assured of less, not more, government interference. Before AGRSS, there was a void. No one set up the parameters of a safe standard for auto glass replacement. 

I don’t think there is a crusade for AGRSS, but rather for safe installations and for the industry itself to take responsibility for seeing that replacements are done correctly.

Does AGRSS promote my income stream? No, I don’t think so. Only from the point of view that a healthy industry is more likely to support an industry publication. All the other people you’ve mentioned gave their time and effort for free to work on the AGRSS standard, and there is no way that the “income streams” of any one of them is being helped through promotion of AGRSS.


Charles Cumpston, 
AGRR Editor

P.S. We love a challenge.

To the Editor:

I just read the editorial in the last issue of the magazine (AGRR, Nov/Dec 2005, p4). I think the Hall of Shame is a good idea. Accountability will go a long way to help the auto glass industry. In my industry, a lot of shops are getting into post-repair inspections. 

I own a body shop in Vermont. We do our own glass, but we do not do glass repairs. If a customer wants us to replace a windshield through one of the third-party administrators, we refuse the job. There is no profit in it.

When we do glass as part of a collision, we typically invoice full NAGS, labor per the crash guide and urethane. The networks want discounts and they cap labor.

I find it interesting that Charles Cumpston refers to the insurance companies as customers in his editorial. There are those in my industry who refer to insurers as customers too. They are if you let them become customers. I feel that our industry is heading toward the woes of the glass industry. It is starting already with LYNX Services getting into third-party administration of collision repairs.

I make sure all insurers know we do not work for them; they are not our customers. We work for the vehicle owners and any time we interact with them it is done as a courtesy on behalf of the vehicle owner.

Now, a question: when a glass shop does a replacement and a previous replacement had left the pinchweld with level 3 rust and the glass shop cleans it up with a die grinder, who pays for this operation, the insurer or the customer? It is obviously not a normal installation at that point.

Mike Parker
Owner
Parker’s Classic Autoworks
Rutland, Vermont

In response to your question, there is one single answer: it depends on the extent of the corrosion. Our understanding is that when a glass shop finds rust like this, some do the work without any additional charge, while others contact the vehicle owner and/or the insurance company to see if one of them will pay for it. If neither will pay for it, the glass shop will then have to decide if it will do the work for nothing (depending on how good a customer it is) or refuse to go ahead with the work and put in a potentially faulty replacement. The AGRSS Standard states that a glass shop cannot work on a replacement if any conditions exist which would impair the safe installation of the glass. 


AGRR
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