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  • Report: #256390

Complaint Review: Glass Masters

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  • Submitted: Sat, June 23, 2007
  • Updated: Sat, March 02, 2013

  • Reported By:Charlotte North Carolina
Glass Masters
4226 South Blvd # B Charlotte, North Carolina U.S.A.

Glass Masters ripoff Scratched my car Installed cheap/possibly used windows Refused to fix window under warranty Charlotte North Carolina

*Consumer Comment: Why are they so hard on the car, what is with that?

*General Comment: History Reflects Habits

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Please do research before you complain!

*Consumer Comment: Glass is a very durable but strange material........

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Glass Masters, also DBA: Glass Pro and Glass Emporium

Now, sit right back and and I'll tell a tale. A tale of horror and broken trust, and of broken glass.

I had an original windshield in my car that had been sandblasted by road debris over time. I had 500.00 comprehensive deductible at the time so I decided to get the best deal I could since I would be footing the bill.

I go into Glass Masters and received a quote for 142.00 for front windshield replacement for my 02 Beetle. I bring in my car and go get some lunch. I come back after an hour and a half, still not done and they have news for me, they mistakenly quoted me on a windshield for a 68 bug. The gentleman who quoted me, no longer employed there.

Bait & Switch. The price goes up 100.00 to 242.00.

I say forget it. They say how about 200.00, and since I waited 1.5 hours, 191.00. I say go ahead and they call to someone mobile to get a window over to the shop, rather than reschedule as they originally suggested.

I go noodle around for a bit and come back. The window is in. Experience over? Afraid not.

The installer calls me over and shows me a place where he scratched the car taking the window out. He asks if he can get the proper touch up paint and fix it himself. I agree with the stipulation that it get fixed by a body shop if it doesn't work. He goes and gets paint and touches it up. "Looks perty good", he says. The paint is not the right color and obviously has not been matched.

I talk to the Mgr and get him to put in writing that it will be fixed by the company. I go get him several estimates right then. He says he'll call the District Mgr and call me back.

While driving away I notice something else. The road is writhing in front of me. Knowing I had not taken any hallucinogenics that day, I figured the windshield was flawed. Went back again and showed it to the Mgr. He said they'd needed to wait 3 days to replace it because the Urethane need to dry. I said Ok.

The next day no one called me. I finally, after calling multiple times and numbers of other locations, get in touch with a manager of another location who by chance recently moved from the location I was dealing with. She was not surprised about my troubles, and told me of the removal of the previous Mgr.

She was able to put me in contact with the DM. She wanted to look at the car, but assured me they would take care of everything.

Over the weekend, I notice more scratches on the hood, where the glass was obviously dragged across when removing it. I call the DM and report it and ask that this be included in the repair. She agrees and I get one more estimate.

I go to get my second windshield installed. I meet a guy they know at the shop. He does body work, and has his own shop. I agree to let him bid on it. I do a little research and talk to him on the phone. Turns out that he had a shop, now he has a garage on his fathers property. He assures me the work will be professional, the DM assures me it will be taken care of if not right. I say ok, and arrangements are made to meet him next Friday and the DM will rent me a car from the rental agency with which they share the property. I agree.

The second windshield is installed. I drive around and notice another flaw, in a different place on the windshield. I bring it back. The installer says they must have polished it too hard in that spot. This strikes me as odd because it is supposed to be new, and polishing is something they do to refinish old windshields. I ask to make sure I am getting new, they assure me I am and that it is a factory flaw.

I research and find out that this is not generally the case. The DM assures me the third windshield will be a new piece of PPG glass. I find out on the internet that some place use refinished and cheap imported chinese glass and sell it as new. I wonder if that is happening to me.

I get the third windshield installed. I notice a small ripple that is barely distinguishable while driving, and accept it. I figure that this is the best I will get and vow to pay full price next time, and to get my comprehensive deductible lowered to 100.00. Most installers will waive that and install your window for the insurance payment alone.

Everything seems ok with the windshield. Friday I drop the car off and get my rental. Monday I pick up the bug and survey the work. Not bad. There are a few rough spots in unnoticeable places. I again figure it's the best I'll get out of these people, and got on my way. They've worn me down. I'm too tired to struggle any more.

Now, you're thinking this is the end of story, and it certainly should be. But no, there's more. It has been not quite a month since that day.

The other day, after nothing hitting my windshield during driving about town, I come out to go home and find my new window cracked. I see no evidence of impact. I call the Mgr. He says bring it by and they'll order another one after inspecting it themselves. Fair enough.

I wonder if I should just go elsewhere an use my recently adjusted(not two days before! a very close one!) comprehensive coverage to get it done right elsewhere. I decide to give them a shot since I have a warranty, but decide that I will insist on a new windshield from VW. I want to go on the ride to pick it up too.

I get there, the Mgr and installer look it over. They find the tiniest of chips along the line where the crack is. So tiny I could barely see it. They refuse replacement.

I ask why, when my original windshield has literally tens of thousands of chips much larger and had even been chipped and repaired in a couple of places but never cracked, how this microscopic blemish had cracked my window clean through rendering it unrepairable? "That's all it takes", they said. "Yes, when it's a cheap, refurbished, windshield that is improperly installed, that's all it takes.", Said I. They assured me the glass was new and refused to do anything.

The crack looked to me like a stress crack from uneven installation. something under the window caused it to bow and eventually crack. The crack came from the edge out, and happened to pass under a tiny little chip that was most likely already in the windshield. Add to that the fact that it occurred while the car was parked. Either that, or the window was so cheap, anything could crack it. I think it had to be one of the two.

But I can't prove either one, so I will treat it like a window cracked from road debris and report this to my insurance company.

At least now I'll get the new windshield I was promised and not a bargain basement whatever it was that I think Glass Masters put in.

Unsatisfied Customer
Charlotte, North Carolina
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/23/2007 11:38 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Glass-Masters/Charlotte-North-Carolina-28209/Glass-Masters-ripoff-Scratched-my-car-Installed-cheappossibly-used-windows-Refused-to-fix-256390. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Why are they so hard on the car, what is with that?

AUTHOR: ripped off - ()

a big smirk while they pushed down on the sunroof (they didn't need to get near it), leaving sharp tools on the vehicle, standing on it, it's like they want to cause damage.  pretty warped if you ask me.

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#2 General Comment

History Reflects Habits

AUTHOR: Glass Done Right - (United States of America)

To keep this short, a company can be measured based on it's history on how it cunducts business in all areas. The complaint here is warranted but also missinformed in some ways. It is very possible that the little white spot on the windshield indeed was caused by a rock after the install. All the other concerns about price markups, paint damage etc are very serious and reflects the habits of glass shops that do not have certified techs and complete installs in under an hour and then allow the customer to drive away with tape on the windshield in order to keep the glass from moving while the consumer returns home.

Think about this... Blue masking tape to hold glass... Air bag deploys on the way home and windshield flies out thus renduring the air bag useless... Check history on injuries due to shops using urathanes that require 2 or more hour drive away times. Is a shop like this unregulated? Sure is! Check out these links that back up the history of this company and how it conducts business... http://www.fbi.gov/sanfrancisco/press-releases/2010/sf032210.htm or check this one out... http://millvalley.patch.com/articles/glass-man-gets-prison-for-massive-insurance-scam
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#3 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Please do research before you complain!

AUTHOR: Marie Arnold - (U.S.A.)

I was not employed at the location you are speaking of. But let me get the facts straight in your ripp-off report. I completely agree with the complaint of waiting so long on your windshield replacement. Trust me I heard my fair share of them. Yes I understand they damaged the paint of your car, it should have been taken care of promptly and phone calls should have been returned. Now let's talk about the auto glass now. You stated they use refined windshields. NOT TRUE! If it was refined glass that means it had to come out of another car. Well they only way you can get a windshield out of another car is by cutting it out with a razor "Long Knife" or an "Equalizer" electric knife. Glass is very fragile no matter where you get it from. It will break coming out of a vehicle, unless you have an older model car that has alot of rust under the pinchwell "what the windshield sits in" it possible can come out without breaking. So I guarantee you, your windshield was not refined. Second thing, all glass comes out of China and Mexico. All your glass manufactures PPG, LOF/Pilkington, Safelite, I can keep naming them. They all order from China with the exception off LOF/Pilkington has a plant in Mexico. Labor is cheaper over seas. Other glass companies will tell you oem glass is better. LOF/Pilkington and PPG our the few that produces OEM glass. Thats because they have contracts with all the motor companies. Glass is coming from the same wharehouse in China. Scratches! Glass has to be transported, it will get scratched. All the companies buff there windshield's. Even the auto dealers do the same. When you don't buff it write it causes distortions in the glass. Now to your cracked windshield. Yes the smallest thing can hit that windshield and cause it to crack. The weather has alot to do with why your windshield cracks. Alot of people don't realize that extreme cold and hot can crack your windshield just by turning on your ac or defrost. Glass contracts in cold and expands in heat. It is all about common physics. So yes it is 90% possible you had a stress crack. It sucks, I know from experience! If you wanted to get a glass from the dealer, especially VW. You are looking to pay close to $500.00 for there windshield installation, and you will not get a warranty on the glass. Call other glass companies in your area they will tell you the same thing. Glass Masters dominates the auto glass replacement world, so yes other companies will bad mouth and tell down write lies to get the job from them. The volume of customers Glass Masters gets the are bound to have an unhappy customer who does not understand the logistics of the business. One more thing! Glass Masters is one of the only companies that will pay your deductable for you. All the other companies pay close to $100.00 for your common windshield. Glass Masters might pay at the highest $50.00. Nobody can compete with that. And your windshield for your car is a common mistake for the older model VW. The national glass computer system they use is flawed in some areas. You have to work there and memorize the windshield part numbers to know the difference. If you think of all the cars and trucks that is alot of part numbers to memorize. It took me a year to memorize your windshield number. Sorry you had a bad experience! I left the company on bad terms of broken promises made to me. So I am not just saying this to defend the company. I just like to see the facts about things before I say bad things about a company. As an ex-employee I will get my windshield replaced there only if there is an installer I know there that does exceptional work. If not I will go to Safelite Auto Glass. They are very dependable and our a world wide company.
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#4 Consumer Comment

Glass is a very durable but strange material........

AUTHOR: Thomas - (U.S.A.)

Glass is a supercooled liquid, not a solid. This means it is PERFECTLY notch sensitive, so a scratch or chip could cause a local stress concentration of, say, 3000X. [Cast iron is limited to about 2.8X max.] So a chip with sharp corners can easily cause a crack but a chip that looks like a smooth round pocket will not. Improper installation can also add to the problem. Who knows when that chip occurred?

Your decision to simply move on seems best. But I suggest that you not discuss your windshield odyssey with your insurance company........
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