News Alert – Auto Glass Fraud And Scam Industry Secrets For Windshield Replacement & Chip Repairs

Glass Shop & Consumer – Unethical Behavior & Auto Glass Fraud

News Special Report On Auto Glass FraudAsk any glass shop owner and they will all tell you that unethical behavior and fraud always starts with a glass shop and not the consumer. You will also find that in states where permitted, most glass shops provide some kind of incentives to consumers and referral sources when there is an auto glass insurance claim opened. Glass shops can definitely commit fraud on their own, but with incentive driven marketing (Up To A $150 Rebate, Free Steaks, 10 Free Dinners, Free Car Washes…), when unethical behavior or fraud is discovered, if consumers are involved, they will usually have a low moral threshold or sense of entitlement.

Glass Shop Owners Are Allowed To Give Incentives In Many States!

Auto Glass IncentivesThe marketing methods of  some auto glass shops  (direct to the consumer, craigslist, newspaper ads, door to door, car washes, monthly callbacks, telemarketing…) are stereotyped as being associated with unethical behavior, scams and fraud, however the exact opposite can also be true.

Using industry software or the websites of the glass wholesales, auto glass shops already know the price range an insurance company will be willing to pay for an auto glass claim for a new windshield, chip repair, or crack repair,  before they file the auto glass claim.

So, whatever marketing technique they use, such as giving cash back to the consumer or paying a referral source, the cost comes out of the profits.  Glass shops like every other small business must generate a profit to survive, which means they must select the right consumer niche, then use successful marketing techniques to reach them.  How can you blame them for that?  The problem starts when their marketing includes operating in grey areas, unethical behaviors, scams, or fraud!

Glass Shops Verses Insurance Company – Who Is Responsible For Uncovering Unethical Behavior And Fraud?

Unethical behavior, scams and fraud are everywhere in our society and insurance glass claims is no exception because it is so easy to get away with and until now, it has been under the radar.

Here are the most common types of unethical behavior, scams and fraud:

  • Charging for a replacement windshield when a chip repair was done.
  • Opening a windshield claim for a past consumer using their information repeatedly without their knowledge.
  • Calling clients month after month and getting them to replace their windshield so they can get a $80-$100 incentive.
  • Misleading the customer about OEM glass and or billing them for it when they really got aftermarket glass.  Read our blog posting on OEM GLASS
  • Repairing or replacing windshields with only pitted damage. This is damage that occurs over time and is likely excluded under wear and tear.
  • Misrepresenting the date of the loss to get coverage.
  • Agent adds or changes coverage after the damage occurs to get coverage to keep client on the books.
  • Chip repairs that are pushed to replacements with false claims of safety, law or rules.
  • Intentionally doing a poor repair so they can claim it failed and then file for a windshield replacement.
  • Having the customer sign a claims assignment with hidden language in small print. The vendor can then sue the insurance company if they are not paid the amount billed.
  • Billing insurance companies for options not in the windshield to drive up the cost of the claim (antenna, rain sensors, shade bands, privacy glass, lane departure, cameras, etc.).
  • Some cAuto Windshield Rain Sensorconsumers think if you tell the insurance company they have a rain sensor, and get one on the new windshield, it will work, WRONG!
  • Indicating work was performed in a location to the insurance company to yield a higher payment when the true repair was done in a different location where the cost would have been less.
  • And the list goes on as agents, glass shops and consumers get more creative.

auto glass fraud investigationGlass Fraud is very difficult to prove and prosecute because the job is usually already done and no physical evidence is available. So who is to blame?  It became clear in our interviews that there is a conflict between glass shops and insurance companies on responsibility.  We heard lots of stories and justifications, and there are definitely arguments on both sides!

Who Is Right?

The problem starts when a glass shop starts behaving unethically and influences a consumer into committing insurance fraud.  Glass shops can pass the blame or responsibility by saying the insurance companies are responsible for asking their Auto Glass Claim Insurance Verses Auto Glass Shopclient all the questions when they call in a claim, and we are just doing our job. The insurance company will say, it is unethical and fraudulent for an auto glass shops installer to do a windshield replacement when they know they should have done a chip repair. The glass shop will say, there is no way we will do that, because if the client wants it replaced and we say no, the client may call their agent who will then get upset, and will stop referring business to us. Auto glass shops may also imply safety is an issue to justify automatically replacing a windshield, because if something goes wrong,  they could be held liable, so they may say “We will replace a windshield if there is any doubt or the customer requests it!”

Captive Agents Should Think Twice About Accepting Referral Incentives!

Insurance Agent Conflict Of InterestInsurance agents are one of the major referral sources for glass shops, and many glass shops choose to market to insurance agents and their staff with incentives (cash, visa cards, movie tickets, sporting tickets…) for referrals.  It is ok for insurance agent’s to refer their clients to an auto glass shop, but it is not ok to accept a referral incentive in most states. Why you ask?   Insurance agents, more specifically captive agents are under contract with their insurance company and are normally not allowed to accept any sort of incentive for referring glass business in their contract, because it creates a Conflict Of Interest.

If an agent or staff is identified as receiving incentives, it is more than likely their contract would be terminated.  When an agent or staff accepts an incentive (visa card, cash…) for a referral for glass job, it becomes very hard to be objective in making a decision on what’s in the best interest the client.  They may be able to argue the point, but the odds are the insurance company will terminate their contract.  From an agent’s perspective, it’s not worth loosing their agency that they worked so hard to build!  The Department Of Insurance for each state will have their own legislation related to agents not do anything to jeopardize their fiduciary duty to their client and the insurance companies they represent.  

Can You Trust The Glass Installer Working On Your Car?

Auto Glass Window Replacement InstallerWith identify theft at an all time high, it is more important than ever to work with an auto glass shop that does a background check and drug testing on all their installers.  Ask the glass shops if they will be emailing you a profile and picture of the installer before they arrive to fix your windshield for your protection.  It is very important that you know whom you are allowing in your car and who will have access to your personal information.

Glass shops either have W2 Employees on payroll or they sub-contract out the work to independent glass installers that may be working for many different glass shops at any one time. You will find that auto glass shops on the Safelite or Lynx auto glass Networks are usually required to have W2 employees and not sub-contract out any work. This is not to imply independent installer are not trustworthy, it just means it is safer to work with auto glass shops with dedicated W2 employees that have gone through a background check, drug testing, and are monitored closely.

These days, anyone can start a glass company out of their van and start marketing in any city on the Internet within hours.  Here are two articles showing how hiring the wrong glass shop can cause you all kinds of identify theft problems (Article 1, Article 2).

TIP: Do not assume because a glass shop has a website or online ads that they are a legitimate company.  Do your homework and make sure the auto glass shop has a permanent address, are part of an auto glass network or industry glass association, check for complaints with the Better Business Bureau and online, and make sure they are registered as a company with your state corporation commission.

Does It Matter How A Glass Installer Get Paid ? You Decide!

Cost Of Auto Glass Widow Repair Dollar SignIt’s interesting how an auto glass shops compensation model can tell you a lot about their size, marketing methods and the types of auto glass installers they use.  

Glass shops that use sub-contractors will usually pay “By The Piece” which means they are paid by the type of job they are scheduled for.  Under this compensation model, it is to installer’s advantage to finish as many jobs as possible, which may mean they may rush jobs, may not have the latest greatest tools, may use lower quality products, and the quality of the work may suffer.  This is often the model used by smaller glass shops that do not have a steady volume of auto glass jobs to employee full-time W2 auto glass installers.  They will usually use a direct marketing approach to the consumer.

Many of the mid-size and larger glass shops, usually belong to an auto glass Network like Safelite or Lynx and have a compensation model where installers are paid hourly.  The installers are guaranteed a 40-hour work week, provided a vehicle branded with the company logo and contact information, and have the latest Auto Glass Chip Repairtools to get the job done. For the consumer, this model should provide better quality installs because installers are not rushed to complete a job as they are guaranteed 40 hours a week whether they have glass repairs or replacements to do or not.  So from one of these installers perspective, they would much rather do a repair than an install.  These are the installers that will tell a customer “I can repair that auto glass chip or crack…” instead of encouraging a windshield replacement.  The installers usually also receive some kind of bonus based on their customer satisfaction and warranty results.  These companies will usually have sales or marketing employees that market directly to insurance agencies, fleet managers, and other sources that provide a continued source auto glass insurance related chip repair and windshield replacement jobs.

How Do I Know If I Am About To Become Part Of An Auto Glass Scam?

Auto Glass Scam and Fraud AlertOne of the biggest clues is when you feel pressured!  If the salesperson wants to do the job right then or the next day! The next clue is when the salesperson uses scare tactics such as:

  • Your windshield may not be safe  We can install a new one for free…
  • Your insurance company gives you one free windshield a year and you should take advantage of it and put some money back in your pocket
  • If you have a deductible, we can increase the price to cover your deductible
  • You want your family to be safe, don’t you?
  • Your new windshield will be covered 100% buy your insurance company
  • The police can write you a ticket for a cracked or chipped windshield
  • We only use OEM (original equipment manufacture) glass
  • We are your insurance company’s preferred vendor
  • We will give you a free car wash, free steaks, 10 free dinners or some other form of incentive
  • You are paying for it in premiums, you might as well get the free windshield
  • You are entitled to a new windshield as you have faithfully paid your premium
  • Just provide me have your insurance information and I will take care of everything for you

What Is The Deal With The Up To $150, Free Dinners, Free Steaks, Car Washes…?

Auto Glass Incentive SignNothing in life is free, and we all end up paying for it in the end!  The way it works, is that insurance companies have a price that they are willing to pay for an auto glass chip or crack repair or windshield replacement, along with a fixed rate for the labor.  The glass shops offering incentives are usually marketing to generate a volume of auto glass jobs to cover the incentives that come directly out of the profit for each job.

The idea that restaurants will give away a free dinner because they assume you will bring another person is old school and false.  Just trying going around to companies and making them a deal that your company will send them customers if they provide you a coupon for a free dinner.  You better guarantee them a lot of volume!

Auto Glass Fraud Is One Of The Major Reasons Consumers Are Paying Higher Auto Insurance Premiums

Auto Insurance premium Rate IncreaseNow the odds are, if they are scamming you, they may also be committing insurance fraud.

If you knowingly replace a windshield to get the $100 incentive, and there is nothing wrong with your auto window, you are committing insurance fraud!

How about this one, you get your windshield replaced not knowing any better, and the company is investigated for insurance fraud, and the investigators started examining the records and noticed you had some windshields replaced within a short period of time.  The legal costs of defending yourself and the stress involved with any kind of insurance fraud investigation would not be worth the incentive you received!

Once a glass company has your insurance information, they could potentially submit multiple auto glass insurance claims and you would never know it.  Insurance agents are too busy and may never look at glass claims that come through their agency, so unless the insurance company catches them, you will rack up glass claims on your auto insurance claims history.

As a result of the higher costs to identify, investigate and prosecute, insurance companies are passing on the costs to consumers with higher auto insurance premiums.

Insurance Companies Fighting Auto Glass Fraud And Auto Glass Scams With Mandatory & Random Vehicle Glass Inspections

Manditory Random Auto glass InspectionsYou know auto glass fraud is a huge issue when insurance companies are willing to take on the additional costs to fight back.  They have implemented mandatory and/or random chip repair and windshield replacement insurance inspections before any work is authorized.  The costs to insurance companies could be even higher if clients get frustrated with the extra requirements and delays and choose to move their auto policies to another insurance company.  On the one hand, to help fight auto glass fraud, consumers may agree with the efforts of the insurance companies and live with the delays to help keep premiums down.  Bottom line is, insurance companies believe they will be saving more money by doing the windshield inspections than they are currently paying out on fraudulent auto glass insurance claims.

Hypothetically, what may cause an auto glass insurance claim to get selected for inspection?

  • A consumer goes to an auto glass shop that is on a watch (high replacement percentage of windshields verses repairs) list
  • A client is with a specific insurance agency that is under review for a high percentage of glass replacements versus chip or crack repairs
  • The client has been identified because of the number of auto glass insurance claims they have made over a period of time

One example of a random auto glass inspection would be an insurance company adjuster calling the client back directly to discuss the claim privately.  The client is now free to discuss the claim without the coaching or possible pressure of the auto glass shop being on the line or next to them.  Another example would be the insurance company sending out an independent inspector to look at the windshield damage.

Since incentives seem to be the one common denominator in auto glass scams and fraud, many states have passed legislation to make it illegal to offer incentives.  Arizona statute says it is perfectly legal for auto glass shops to offer incentives.

TIP 1: Before you switch to a new auto insurance company, find out more about their auto glass inspection program and decide if it is right for you.  You may decide that saving $50 for six months is not worth the extra time and frustration of inspections.

Insurance Companies Are Fighting Auto Glass Fraud With Technology

Scam And Fruad ReportsIn the past, it would have been very difficult and time consuming to identify auto glass insurance fraud. Today with all the databases, technology, and reports available at the click of a button, insurance companies can do a deep dive and dissect any auto glass shop, insurance agency, and client auto glass insurance claims.  The data can instantly help identify fraud and scam trends like:

  • An insurance agency is sending glass referrals to an auto glass shop that has a higher than expected windshield replacement ratio, which may indicate an agency is receiving incentives.  On the other hand, it could just mean they are part of the same business networking group and the agency is just sharing referrals.
  • Review all glass shops in a state, city or zip code to see their percentages of replacements versus chip repairs.
  • Glass companies can be compared across many agencies to potentially identify where incentives are being given.
  • Clients can be identified by the type and frequency of their auto glass insurance claims.  Monthly auto glass insurance claims can potentially indicate they are on a glass shop callback list and are submitting false auto glass windshield replacement claims for the incentives. Alternatively, the auto glass shop could be submitting fraudulent claims without the consumers knowledge.
  • And the possibilities go on and on.

TIP: If you and the auto glass shop call in a claim to the insurance company, and they tell you that an inspection of the auto glass damage is required before any work is authorized, it could be a random inspection :-), the auto glass shop could be on a watch list, or you have been identified! 🙁

What Are The Characteristics Of A Good Auto Glass Shop?

Check Mark Thumbs Up Auto Glass ShopsThese are some excellent auto glass shop characteristics, although your list may be different.

  • Are part of the Insurance Auto Glass Network and/or Association
  • Offer an independent lifetime warranty in addition to the insurance company
  • Have been in business for 5+ years
  • Pay the money to be part of the Better Business Bureau
  • Will invest the money to be a part of Angie’s List, where customers rate them
  • Background and drug tests for installers
  • Use W2 employees
  • Send you email with profile and picture of your auto glass installer before they arrive
  • Local retails shops you can go to for service
  • Nationwide company so if you have an issue in another state, they can fix your auto glass for free
  • Have the resources to repair your car if the technician causes damage to your vehicle
  • Have state-of-the-art tools – not a match or crowbar
  • Have training and certification programs for all new auto glass installers
  • Customer survey and status notification to the insurance agent
  • Offer best price guarantee for cash purchases
  • Company-branded vehicles with name, phone number, and uniforms
  • The urethane should be kept in a warm container or other device to keep the contents from hardening up.  You will see some glass technicians leaving their van idling to keep the caulking at a good temperature for this reason.  If you see them pull the caulking (urethane) out of the back of a truck and it’s hot outside, good luck.
  • Do not offer rebates to agents and staff such as Free Dinners, Free Steaks, or Cash
  • Will let you watch the auto glass chip repair or windshield replacement and will explain what they are doing

What Is The Difference Between In Network and Out Of Network Auto Glass Shops?

Bottom line is you, as a consumer, by law have the right to get your auto glass chip repair or windshield replacement done with any auto glass shop you want.

In Network  – This is when companies like Safelite Solutions (Farmers, American Family, Nationwide Insurance) and the Lynx Networks (State Farm) agree to be the Third Party Administrator (TPA) for the insurance companies, and they build a network of approved auto glass shops.  As the TPA, they provide different levels of service to the insurance companies for auto glass claims.  They also build a network of approved auto glass shops that agree to a system of warranties, service levels agreements, agree to accept insurance glass pricing, and other requirements to maintain their position on the network.  The size of the network depends on the size of the state.  For example, in Arizona, there may be 1500 auto glass shops in the state, but the network will only take 500.  The benefits for an auto glass shop to be on a network include getting auto glass jobs assigned to them by the network TPA (not very common, but a benefit), and insurance agents may be required to or prefer to refer their clients only to auto glass shops on a network.

Out Of Network – These are the auto glass shops that, for one reason or another, did not want to be part of an auto glass network or their application was not accepted for some reason by a network. For example, the auto glass network was full. The difference here is the insurance company has no control over the warranties provided, quality of the work, or recourse against the non-network auto glass shop.  There is no accountability, and clients are on their own if something goes wrong with the installation.  Now there are a lot of ethical and amazing auto glass shops that are not on a network, but it is important for consumers to know the difference and understand the risks.  Some of these auto glass shops also provide lifetime warranties and stand behind all their work.  Many of these auto glass shops also choose to use sub-contractors for glass installations.

Here Are Some Cautions To Be Aware Of With Out Of Network Glass Shops

  • These will almost always be the companies offering incentives
  • Insurance companies only pay so much for glass, and unless you read the contract closely, you could be responsible for the difference if you sign a contract
  • You are on your own for any warranty work or issues
  • If there is a windshield issue, it is possible they will replace the glass and create a new claim versus fixing it under their warranty.  * This could also be the case with an on network auto glass shop

Avoid Wasting Time And Ensure Installer Brings Out The Right Windshield The First Time

Auto Glass Install FrustrationWhen you call an auto glass shop to have your windshield replaced, all you should have to do is give them your VIN number as it contains the DNA of your car, but unfortunately, the VIN number is useless!  Only the dealer systems can truly decode the VIN number, and one could say that is another way for vehicle manufacturers to drive business to their dealer partners.  The last thing any auto glass shop wants to do is continually call the dealer, so they will ask you all kinds of questions about your vehicle, and the more information you provide them, the better the chances you will get the right windshield the first time. If there is anything special like aftermarket tint on your windshield, make sure to inform the auto glass shop ahead of time.  Here is a short list of items that may be part of your front windshield:

  • Rain Sensor (wipers automatically speed up as the rain increases)
  • Radio Antenna
  • Heat Sensor
  • Heads Up Display
  • Shedding (tint) on Top
  • F150 or Mustang Decal

Classic Cars And High-End Car Auto Glass Windshield Replacement

For your classic car, it is highly recommended that you take the car into one of the local glass shops on a glass network and request their most senior auto glass technician. Make sure to always do a walk around and take a video or pictures of the car to ensure there was no pre-existing damage.  If you skip this step, you will have ZERO recourse. It is such an issue that auto glass shops are starting to take pictures and video themselves as part of the process.

Most Common Complaints With Chip Repairs and Windshield Replacements

The most common complaints during or after an auto glass chip repair or windshield Auto Glass Install Frustrationreplacement include:

  • Installer is late to appointment without notification or does not show up at all
  • Scratches, chipped paint, dings, and other damage to vehicle during the replacement.
  • They bring the wrong windshield
  • Wind noise after a windshield replacement
  • Water leak after a windshield replacement that damages vehicle components such as stereo, navigation, carpet, or seats.
  • Wrong equipment or parts (molding, urethane, tape…) to do the repair
  • The auto glass installer does not wear gloves to protect the inside of the vehicle in the event of cut as required by the auto glass shop
  • Rearview mirror falls off because the double sided tape used does not adhere
  • Consumer was paying cash and the installer cracked the windshield during the repair and now they need a new windshield. Depending on temperature, 5%-15% of repairs result in cracks that require a new windshield.  Consumers feel like they were taken advantage of.
  • Auto installer removes the windshield and finds rust, and their auto glass shop requires the rust is fixed before they replace the windshield to avoid leaks. This upsets the consumer.
  • Unprofessional dress and mannerism of the auto glass installer
  • Lack of knowledge
  • Windshield wipers are put back on incorrectly
  • Windshield is not centered in the opening
  • The windshield installed is warped

How Important Is The Auto Glass Shop’s Warranty?

Auto Shop Warranty Blah Blah BlahAll auto glass shops will tell you about their lifetime auto glass warranty, blah…blah…blah! The real question is, like in any customer service industry, will you be able find them and will they take care of the issue when something goes wrong?

Auto Glass Shop Warranty & GuaranteeDo you know why TV infomercials offer 30, 60, and 90-day Unconditional Money Back Guarantees?  It’s a physiological marketing technique used because the companies know the majority of consumers are too busy and will never return the product, but it gives the buyer comfort to complete the purchase.

Have you experienced “Oh do not worry about that; we give you a lifetime warranty, so you have nothing to worry about…” with an auto glass shop as they answered your questions on their warranty and tried to close the deal? We know it sounds silly, but as we pointed out in the “Am I Being Scammed” section, ethical auto glass shops will never pressure you into anything. What is important is for you to recognize these signals and make an informed decision.

How the warranty is handled and the available escalation options in the event of a warranty issue depend on many factors. Was it a cash deal or an insurance auto glass claim? Is the auto glass shop on an auto glass network? The profit an auto glass shop makes for an insurance auto glass claim is much higher than when the consumer pays with cash.  With an insurance auto glass claim, if the glass shop is on an auto glass network, you are more assured that warranty will be honored and have more recourse in the event of a warranty issue.  For cash and auto glass shops not on an auto glass network, you are on your own and the warranty is only as good as their longevity, reputation, and commitment to customer service.

What Types Of Auto Glass Shop Warranties Are There?  

Most of the warranties are comprised of three parts which include Labor (installer to do the job), Workmanship (quality of their work), and Defective Products (something wrong with the window or part).  One of common warranties you will hear is “We give a lifetime warranty on labor and workmanship, and X (certain number of months) on parts”.

What Are The Common Issues Consumers Run Into With Auto Glass Shop Warranties?

  • Glass shop is no longer around or change their name.
  • When clients do not listen to the installer and close their car door with the windows rolled all the way up, it puts pressure on the newly installed windshield which in turn creates a hole in urethane causing an annoying wind noise. Somebody has to cover the cost of the installer coming back out to fix the noise or will you have to pay for it?
  • What if you’re on vacation, and a truck kicks up a rock and smashes your windshield. You get a crappy repair, come home, and there is a problem.  Where is the warranty now?  Well that depends on if you paid cash (good luck), used a nationwide company, filed an insurance claim…
  • If they repair an auto windshield crack or chip and then the windshield cracks after hitting a bump in the road, will they credit you back the repair costs to replace the windshield if you paid cash or to the insurance company if it was an insurance auto glass chip repair?
  • Windshield cracks while the installer is doing a repair.

Tip: Make sure to ask if you are paying cash, what happens if the windshield cracks during the repair process.  It is normal for 5%-15% of windshields to crack during a chip or windshield crack repair, depending on the temperature.  This is one that really makes the consumers upset as they feel they are being taken advantage of!

  • Imperfections in the glass area cause the windshield to crack again.
  • Warranties do not transfer and are only good while you own or lease a car.

What Is The Best Way To Handle An Auto Glass Warranty Issue?

The best scenario is that you worked with reputable glass shop and they will take care of your concerns, but exists because that is not always the case.  The conversation really starts with what should you do to protect yourself before a potential future issue develops.

Rule #1: Protect Yourself

  • Do your homework and pick an auto glass shop that will be around if you need them.  See the section on “Characteristics Of A Good Auto Glass Shop“.
  • Always do a walk around of your vehicle with your cell phone and take pictures or a video to show the condition of the vehicle before the installer does any work. Focus on the area where they will be performing the auto glass chip, windshield crack, or windshield replacement.
  • When the glass is out of the car, take pictures or video of the opening area which will provide you additional support in the event an auto glass shop claims there was some sort of imperfection and it is not covered by their warranty.
  • If possible, ask the installer to document that they did not notice any rust or other imperfections in the windshield opening on the work order.
  • Whether you filed an insurance auto glass claim or paid cash, always keep your receipt or work order in a safe place in case you need to prove to the auto glass shop that they did the work.  Take a look at the websites of some auto glass shops and they make it clear you must show proof of purchase.  Remember, technology does not always remember everything and systems crash.

Top Secret Auto Glass TipSecret: One great strategy is to ask your insurance agent for a referral to a reputable auto glass shop.  If there is a problem later, you will have more leverage, as the last thing an auto glass shop wants to do is upset an insurance agent referral source. 

Rule #2: Do Not Get Upset

  • Never lose your temper and always act professionally.  Getting mad may make you feel good, but it will eliminate any chance of an easy resolution.
  • Many businesses record their calls, and have video surveillance which also records the sound in their retail shop depending on state regulations. Always assume you are being recorded and be on your best behavior, because you never know when that video or recording will be used against you.

Rule #3: How To Deal With A Denied Warranty Claim

  • The first question to ask is are you really entitled to the auto glass warranty or is the auto glass shop correct in denying the claim?  There are many situations that can arise, but leverage your relationship with the person that referred you to the auto glass shop is always the first approach and provides the best results.  If you paid cash, and are not entitled to the warranty, still talking to your referral source can do wonders as the glass shop may do a special favor for the referral source to keep them happy which keeps you happy, and the referral source gets to keep you as a client.
  • The other thing is, even if your auto glass is not covered under the warranty, ask to talk to the owner and ask for an exception.  They may say ok we will take care of it.  Why?  Their business is based on referrals and future business and they know the value of a very happy customer!
  • If it is a cash deal, hopefully you protected yourself with the recommendations  described above.  Review your photos or video to see if what the auto glass shop is telling you is wrong and then supply them with your evidence.
  • If you paid cash, and the auto glass shop is on a network, contact the auto glass network directly for assistance.  It an auto glass shop is not providing the warranty services required by the auto glass network, they would be at risk of being dropped from the auto glass network.
  • If it was filed under an insurance claim, contact your insurance agent or claims adjuster/claims for assistance.
  • Talk to the Better Business Bureau
  • Use Social Media For Auto Glass Shop ComplaintsIf all else fails and you still think you are right, Social Media may be an option, but we caution you as many business owners are filing slander suits against people posting negative information on a business.  If that happens, get ready to spend some money defending yourself. The only winners are the lawyers.  The other alternative is to make sure your renters or homeowners policy’s liability coverage includes coverage for a slander suit.  Then again do you want a claim on your homeowners policy and have increased premiums for three years?

What Happens To The Glass Removed From Cars?

Auto glass removed from vehicles are put into the garbage bins at the glass wholesalers and end up in the landfills.  The problem is the cost of removing the laminate from the windshield is very expensive. We found many companies claiming to recycle their auto glass. but only one company, Safelite, indicated that they were recycling more than 70% of the auto window glass they replace.

Some Final Thoughts On Auto Glass Chip Repairs, Windshield Replacement Fraud, And Auto Glass Scams

The goal of this article is twofold:

  1. Educate consumers, support ethical auto glass shops, and help the preserve the environment
  2. Expose unethical auto glass shops, agent, and consumers with a low moral threshold and sense of entitlement

In the end, consumers end up paying the price for all the insurance company checks and balances in the form of higher insurance premiums and inconvenient delays in getting their chip repaired or their windshield replaced. 

So the next time you need an auto chip repair, windshield crack repair, or windshield replacement, pick a glass shop you believe will do the best job based on what you have learned and hold the auto glass shop, installer and your insurance agent accountable.  If you feel anyone is acting unethically or committing fraud, report them immediately to your states department of insurance.  

As a consumer, stay away from glass shops offering incentives, ask your agent if they get a referral incentive, encourage your legislator s for changes (no incentives, require licensing…), and let’s save everyone time and money. Only as a whole (consumer, insurance companies, glass shops, installers, and insurance agents) can we expose unethical behaviors, scams and insurance fraud. So be part of the solution, not the problem!

Now it’s your turn to tell us your side of the story?


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