Two weeks ago, I called Safelite Auto Glass after visiting their website. I talked with a woman who was very friendly and was direct(so I thought). She told me that to replace the windshield on our 1992 Lexus LS 400 would cost over $250.00. I told her that we were only getting quotes, because we had called someone else earlier and got a better quote.
Well, as I told her this, like the good salewoman she was, she asked had I talked to anyone else. I confided that we had talked to someone who would do it for $195.00. She then told me that she could get the price down to 186.00. I asked her if that was for everything, and she said yes. That includes parts, labor, basically whatever is needed to do the job. I told her, great! We setup the appointment for that coming Saturday.
On that Saturday, I was at work and my wife was at home waiting for Safelite to show up. When I called my wife to see how things were going, she said that the repairman said he would have to reschedule because the chrome moulding would need to be replaced. I thought that was kind of weird, because shouldn't this guy have brought all the parts with him to do the job? She then told me that the cost of that part was around $40.00 extra. Thinking that this guy might have been taking advantage of a woman, like most mechanics do, I made a note to call them the next day, which would be Sunday.
I called Safelite's 800 number and talked with another rep about what had transpired the day before. She even agreed that the tech that came out should have had that moulding with him, because that was required to do the job. However, she said that I would need to call the local office that was doing the work the next day to discuss this issue. My point of view was, it was previously arranged that it would cost $186.00 to do the job, parts and all, so why are the terms changing?
Before I started work that Monday morning, I called Safelite again at the number she gave me to tell them what had happened. The man on the phone said that he would have to check with his supervisor about the issue. After being on hold for over 10 minutes, a woman came on the line in a very sarcastic tone said that, "The part has to be ordered from the dealership since they are the only one's that make the part. That is why it is going to cost extra." I asked her why wasn't I told this before, and regardless of that fact, the deal had already been set so I shouldn't have to pay for someone else's mistake. She said that she understood, but that there was nothing she could have done. Well, I said fine, then I was cancelling the order. They said o.k., not even trying to fight for my business. I should have left it at that, but I didn't.
I called the national 800 number, to voice my complaint and to see if they would fight for my business. I got a gentleman on the phone, explained what had occurred, and told him this is not good business to set a price, then change it again. I likened it to ordering a steak dinner for $15.00 then getting a bill for $30.00 and the establishment saying, the extra charge is due to the fact that we had to cook the meat. This guy saw right away what I was getting at. He placed me on hold to talk with the local shop again. When he came back, he said that he talked with the supervisor at the shop and he said, then I stopped him right there. He? Remember I spoke to woman claiming that she ran the place, so already I have been lied to. Anyway, the guy said that he would knock the price of the glass down to $179.00 and that the shop would absorb half the cost of the moulding due to what I had been through. Seeing that they were trying to fight for my business, and be reasonable, I agreed to the deal. Before I got off the phone, I made sure that the deal was on by asking, "Is this back on?" He replied, "Yes it is." I told him that I would call back with the location of the car and date to do the work later that day. At this point things I thought were going pretty good. I should have seen the following coming.
I called back in about two hours on my next break, I was at work you see. I talked with a lady at the 800 number and told her I was just calling to reschedule the appointment and give an address of the vehicle. She looked up my records and said that the order was cancelled that morning. I told her that I had indeed cancelled, but that the deal was back on and I told her the prices and whatnot. She put me on hold, then came back and said I would need to call the local shop back and talk with them about setting the deal up again! At this point I had had enough!
I told this woman that I thought her company was performing bad busniess by stating one price, then charging another. I told her that's called, baiting and switching. I asked her again how long they had been in business, and she confirmed, just like their website said over 50 years. I told her that I would think that they would be trying to do what is right for the customer and get this deal back on, but I can see that money is more important than reputation and ethical business practices. She said I understand in a hollow tone, not even trying to address the issue, and then wanted me again to call the local shop. This showed me that what I was saying to her was going in one ear and out the other. I told her that if they truly wanted a guaranteed sale, then they could call me. To this day, I have yet to hear from them, as if I even expected them to call.
What I am trying to get at here, is to share how this company quotes a discounted price to replace auto glass, then jacks the price up with hidden charges. I do not recommend doing business with them as they are unreliable, have tacky customer service, and care nothing about you the consumer. We have sinced replaced the windshield with a small business owner, who did a fabulous job. I would recommend going to a local guy when getting your winshield replaced. Since they have to compete against big companies like Safelite, they usually are very good in customer service, and do quality work. Again, Safelite uses bait and switch tactics and their customer service is crap! Stay away and go with the local business!