This is the first in a series of newsletters
designed to inform you, the consumer, about facts you need to know
BEFORE you need to have your auto glass replaced or repaired.
You need to know what "Glass Networks" are and how they
will affect you when the time comes that you need an auto glass
replacement or repair for your car.
Glass Networks were formed originally by one
company, a large national glass replacement company, that saw that
insurance company's costs for processing claims for relatively small
dollar amounts (to them), were disproportionately high compared
to other claims. The plan unfolded like this: Go to the insurance
company, one of the largest insurers, and offer to process all of
their glass claims for a VERY low price. The insurance company,
seeing that they could eliminate hundreds of jobs from the payroll
in their claims department, was instantly very interested. The glass
company, under the guise of its new identity as a claims processing
company not an auto glass company in disguise, now has first contact
with the insured after the insurance company themselves. In this
capacity, it is financially rewarding for the claims processing
company, or Glass Network, to refer an unsuspecting insured to their
own national glass company's own locations. Most of the time insured
does not even realize that they are no longer talking to their insurance
company when in contact with a glass network, nor do they realize
that they are being referred to a vendor of the glass network's
choosing, for the glass network's benefit.
Why do they do this you ask?
The Glass Network, or Claims Service, depending
on which side of the fence they are standing on, cannot process
claims any more cost effectively than the insurer, therefore they
must make their profit somewhere else; that is, business, i.e. customers,
being referred to "their" own shops. However, none of
the national chains of glass stores that have these networks has
the number of locations necessary to provide the national coverage
of all an insurance company's claims from its insured. In order
to provide the national coverage, the glass networks must deal with
thousands of independent shops and locations. These shops participate
in these glass networks because of the real fear of customers being
"referred" elsewhere to other shops if they do not agree
to the terms of the Glass Network. Usually these terms include a
percentage of the billing for the glass Network middleman, and also
the Glass Network will charge a processing fee to write the shop
a check. All this so the shop can have "access" to the
customers that the shop has strived to build over the years. The
insurance company sees no lower costs in the product finally billed
to them. Glass Networks that are not glass companies at all have
also sprung up all over the country, and these people, to make their
money, MUST demand a huge discount from the shop, above and beyond
the discount that shop normally gives to the insurance company,
so the Glass Network can in turn mark up his bill to the insurance
company to the original rate the insurance company would have received
from the shop in the first place. The glass network pockets the
mark up. Many times, these types of Networks will demand a full
third of the bill from the shop, or attempt to steer the customer
to a shop that WILL allow them their "cut or take deep discount
off the usual cost" so as not to lose the customer. What must
the shop that accepts these terms do to make up for this discount
when they were offering the insurance company a fully competitive
rate in the first place? To add insult to injury, as a result of
these discounts and / or sales tax resale exemptions, hundreds of
thousands of dollars in sales tax leaves Washington forever!
When the auto glass shop you choose will not
play ball with these people, many time you-the customer, are given
misinformation and half truths to get you to utilize a shop in the
network, thereby stealing/earning the network the work. Tactics
to confuse and intimidate you include the following:
- Informing you that the Non-network
shop is not approved to do work for you.
(The truth is you can state law allows
you to choose whom you want and they can not do anything about
- Or that "THEY" the network
or insurance company, will not guarantee the Non-network shop's
(Of course they don't, we do the work
so we guarantee it not them!)
- Or that the prices of the Non-network
shop are too high to meet the insurer's approval, and that you
may have to pay the difference!
(We abide by all insurance pricing
for any work we do, many time we have direct billing arrangements
which are outside the networks knowledge. If we feel there will
possibly be an extra charge you will know about it up front!)
Now as you can see all of these are misleading
and untrue! These statements made by the Glass Network middleman,
can cause unsuspecting customers to be falsely convinced it is to
their benefit to allow their car to be repaired some where they
may not really want to. Insurance companies and Glass Networks guarantee
NO ONE'S WORK, and many times the non-network shop's price is LESS
than what the Glass Network is charging your insurance company.
WASHINGTON STAE LAW GUARANTEES YOU
YOUR RIGHT TO CHOOSE
the repair facility of YOUR
CHOICE to repair YOUR
CAR. It further guarantees that you WILL NOT have
to pay extra for like kind and quality motor vehicle repair!
Exercise YOUR RIGHT
Choose a facility that YOU
trust to repair your car, not "recommendations" from someone
who has a vested interest in seeing you go to a facility that will
allow a Glass Network to make a profit in the middle and then decide
how to make up the difference in the services they provide you,
the car owner, in order to survive.
BE WARY of glass networks pretending to be
your insurance company.
Be AWARE of the safety risks of mobile-only
glass installation companies that are not located in you state.
If you are not sure, call us, and we will give you the FACTS to
make an informed choice. And please, choose Apex Auto Glass, Inc
for all your glass needs, we are here to serve YOU, THE CUSTOMER.
Our interest is in YOU, OUR CUSTOMER, FIRST AND FOREMOST.