Volume 12, Issue 2 - March/April 2008
Knock It Off
Before writing this column, I conducted an informal survey (conveniently comprised of friends, family and direct reports). Much to my surprise, I found that I am widely regarded as a positive and optimistic person. So that makes the theme of this column all the more unusual. You see, throughout the two-plus years that I’ve been contributing to Window Film, I consistently have written about companies, products and organizations that have advanced our industry. Yet, for a sector to truly thrive, it’s not sufficient to only encourage innovation. It’s just as important to discourage destructive practices.
Fortunately for all of us, the overwhelming majority of window film businesses conduct themselves ethically. They provide quality products, trustworthy services and reliable support. In fact, it is our collective reputation for dependability that has helped the industry grow so rapidly in recent years. But, as with many industries, a handful of questionable practices threaten to derail the progress we are working so hard to make.
What are these unsavory techniques? Falsifying performance claims, failing to honor warranty agreements and installing illegal tint are three of the most common (and damaging). Let’s take a closer look at each.
Falsifying performance claims
Failing to honor warranties
The true cost of creating unhappy customers is much, much greater than the cost of replacing the film on any size job. When a consumer experiences an injustice, that person commonly tells friends, family members and co-workers about the slight. And that negative buzz affects not only the company who has violated that person’s trust, but also every other company in the industry. It brings all of us down.
Installing illegal tint
But for a shop that engages in this illegal activity, negative exposure and costly citations are just two of the risks they face. Insurance companies and litigation also could be factors if an accident is caused by illegal tint. Once again, the majority of window film companies are committed not only to their own success, but also the success of the entire industry. And this commitment is reflected in the ethical way they conduct business. But there remain a few whose practices threaten to corrode our collective credibility. So, if you are engaged in any of the above activities, do us all a favor … knock it off!
Tom Niziolek is president of the International Window Film Association (IWFA). Mr. Niziolek’s opinions are solely his own and not necessarily those of this magazine.