To start out with, you have the right to choose any auto glass shop to repair or replace your windshield. One of the most aggravating things of owning a small business, is to generate a job from one of your paid ads and have either an insurance agent or insurance network steel it away.An example of this would be, a potential customer looks in the yellow pages for an auto glass shop to repair a rock chip in their windshield, they call your shop, you explain to your customer that in many cases your insurance provider will pay for the repair. In some cases the customer will say, let me check with my agent, mainly to make sure that filing a claim for a rock chip repair won’t affect their insurance premiums. I always tell them that’s a good idea. The down side of this is the agent will tell them to use XYZ company instead of us. This is referred to as steering and is illegal. Every day auto glass companies send out their sales reps to visit local agents to help drum up business. The sales rep will give the agents gifts like baseball tickets, hockey tickets, gift certificates, etc. to help persuade the agent to use their company. I understand that this type of practice goes on every day in many businesses and it’s not fair, especially when your paid ad has generated the lead. To have the potential customer call you back and tell you that their agent prefers you use there auto glass shop. I have had it done personally to me a number of times and it sucks. I recall one instance when I went out to repair a windshield and the customer told me that the agent had referred them to use XYZ company. So they set up an appointment for the next day and the glass shop that the agent referred didn’t even show up. The customer was not happy to say the least. That’s when they called us, LAST and we showed up the same day. After talking to the customer they told me the name of the company that didn’t show up, come to find out, that same company had a F rating with the Better Business Bureau. In my opinion, insurance companies need to refer glass shops on merit and ratings NOT on ballgame tickets they received that week. They are putting their gratuities before their client, and this is crap. Agents should do there homework first and see who is in good standings with companies like the BBB before referring to sub-par companies.
PS. Did I mention that Glas Tek has an A+ rating with the BBB and has received the Angie’s List Super Service Award the last five years in a row and am thankful for every job we get.