Volume 12, Issue 4 - July/August 2010

Ask the Doctor
pros who know


The Phantom Warranty!
by Richard Campfield

If you own an independent, non-network participant shop like I do, one of the items that your customers hear when talking to network CSRs about their choice to use your shop is the insurance company’s national warranty steering script.

In my opinion, there are four insurance/network steering items present in this script:
• the negative innuendo about your business not being an insurance company-approved shop;
• the statement that a shop cannot repair a crack longer than 6 inches;
• the idea that your customer might pay more if he/she uses your shop; and
• the statement that the customer won’t receive the insurance company’s national warranty.

Inside the Warranty
While this statement often comes up, it should be noted that the aforementioned warranty is non-existent on a repair and repairs make up at least 40 percent of auto glass claims. This statement is only true in zero-deductible states, which means it is false many more times than not. Ninety-five percent of the deductibles in deductible states are more than zero, and the script always asks what state the insured is in so the CSRs know whether the statement applies.

Following are two transcriptions of recorded phone calls between third-party administrator CSRs and consumers. Notice how getting the CSR to admit the warranty doesn’t apply is like pulling teeth, and yet the CSR continues to try to steer the work using non-existent warranty language, even after the insured has requested my shop. In addition, it seems the CSR also is trying to steer the customer to seek a replacement, even after the insured has requested a repair. (Please note: I have removed the names to protect the guilty and the innocent. The calls have also been shortened for space.)

Call One
Network/Insurance Company (C): Thank you for calling ____________. How may I help you?
Insured (I): Hi, I need to see about getting some glass repair done.
C: Okay, and is it just the glass or is there any other damage?
I: Just glass.
C: ___________insurance company has confirmed coverage on the ____ . Now, can you describe the location and size of the damage on your windshield?
I: There [are] two chips and one 8-inch crack just about at the windshield wiper.
C: Okay, so __________ recommends that we replace that.
I: I want to get it repaired instead.
C: Um, we wouldn’t be able to repair an 8-inch crack.
I: Why not?
C: Um, anything longer than 6 inches is really un-repairable. It won’t take.
I: What will happen if they repair it instead of replacing it?
C: Well, you can ask the glass shop. I don’t think the repair would take, but you can discuss it with the glass shop if you like.
I: Okay.
C: Are any of the chips in the direct line of vision?
I: No.
C: Okay, do you want me to put it in as a repair?
I: Yes.
C: Okay, since it’s a repair, your deductible of $100 has been waived.
I: Right.
C: And, since your windshield qualifies [for] a repair, _____________ has repair specialty shops in your area who provide professional services. With your permission, I can schedule an appointment now with one of them. Will that be okay?
I: No, I want to use Ultra Bond.
C: Ultra Bond? Have you used them before?
I: Yes.
C: Are they in your zip code area?
I: They’re in my city area. I mean, it’s within the same city.
C: Do you know what the zip code is?
I: ______.
C: Okay.
I: Same city as mine.
C: Alright. And what was the name of the shop again? I’m sorry.
I: Ultra Bond.
C: Ultra Bond, okay. In Grand Junction?
I: Correct.
C: I’d be happy to contact the company you’ve selected, but would like to inform you the service provider you have chosen is not a _____________ program participant. Although you are free to choose any service provider, I must inform you that in choosing a non-participant, your replacement or repair will not be covered under the national warranty offered by ___________ program participants. Any warranty to coverage will be to the terms offered by the company you have selected. I cannot confirm the warranty terms offered by a non-participant. Did you want to continue with Ultra Bond?
I: Yes. Can you tell me what the _____________ warranty is on a repair if I were to use a different company?
C: Uh huh, let me just look it up so I can give you the exact information.
C: Windshield repairs are warranted against spreading for the life of the vehicle or the length of the warranty, whichever is shorter. The warranty is limited to the credit toward the purchase of a new windshield installed in the original vehicle. And the applicable deductible for the new windshield is the responsibility of the owner.
I: So, it’s basically the same thing. It doesn’t matter. I still have to replace it. I still have to pay that deductible. So there really is no warranty.
C: Well, it’s just that the warranty by ____________ would be under the warranty of the shop.
I: But, there’s no warranty by ____________, because it’s the same deductible for me.
C: The warranty is limited to a credit toward the purchase of a windshield.
I: But my deductible is the same regardless. Okay, that’s fine—I get it.
C: Okay, did you want me to continue with Ultra Bond?
I: Yes, I do.

“It seems the CSR also is trying to steer the customer to seek a replacement,
even after the insured has requested a repair.”

Call Two
In the following scenario, I made the phone call for the insured while on speaker phone with the insured in my shop. I explained the same to the CSR early in the call.
C: Okay, sir, I’d be happy to contact the company you have selected, but would like to inform you that the service provider you have chosen is not a/an _____________ program participant. Although you are free to choose any service provider, I must inform you that in choosing a non-participant, the replacement or repair would not be covered under the national warranty offered by ____________ program participants. Any warranty coverage will be to the terms offered by the company you have selected. I cannot comment on the warranty terms offered by a non-participant. May I contact the company you have selected or would you prefer to hear a selection of ___________ program participants in your area?
I: Okay. I just want to use this one here.
C: And all I basically stated was that whatever warranty it’d be covered under, it would be under that shop’s warranty and not the __________ national warranty.
I: Okay.
C: And when would they be doing that work, sir?
Campfield (RC): Right now.
C: Okay, sir. That’s one windshield repair at ________ flat rate. Do you accept pricing?
RC: Yep.
C: Thank you, sir, and may I have your first and last name?
RC: Rich.
C: Thank you, sir, and your last name?
RC: Campfield.
C: Okay, sir, one moment and I will have that dispatch number for you.
RC: Okay.
C: The dispatch number is going to be # _____________. Is there anything else I can help either of you with today?
RC: Yeah, under the national warranty for a repair, he has a $1,000 deductible, so let’s say six months from now this thing cracks or he [isn’t] happy with it, under the ____________ warranty, what does he get?
C: Okay, sir, any time there is a failed repair, what happens if he went with a participating shop?
RC: Yeah.
C: We would contact that shop and let them know it was a failed repair and his deductible would apply.
RC: So he gets nothing?
C: Well, we can call that shop and see if they are willing to try to fix that repair.
RC: But, if he is not happy with it under this warranty, he doesn’t get the $50 back, and he gets no free windshield and; he gets no reduction off of his deductible? He pays the full price of his deductible.
C: He still is required to pay that deductible any time the windshield is replaced—yes, sir.
RC: Right, so there is nothing for him in this national warranty then?
C: For repairs, usually, not really, sir, but, for replacements, that’s a little bit different.
RC: Yes, it is. It is different, so that’s why you shouldn’t be saying that about repairs.
C: That is still … I mean, it just pops up and we’re required to say that, sir.
RC: I understand totally—that warranty does not apply to a repair. They get no warranty.
RC: What was your name?
C: _________________ Thank you, sir.
RC: Bye.

Richard Campfield is the founder and president of Ultra Bond Inc. in Grand Junction, Colo. Mr. Campfield’s opinions are solely his own and not necessarily those of this magazine.

 

AGRR
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