• Report: #188456

Complaint Review: Safelite Autoglass

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  • Submitted: Tue, April 25, 2006
  • Updated: Tue, February 26, 2013

  • Reported By:Columbus Ohio
Safelite Autoglass
safelite.com Columbus, Ohio U.S.A.

Safelite Autoglass Customers referred by insurance companies be careful! ripoff Columbus Ohio

*Consumer Suggestion: Safelite

*Consumer Suggestion: Safelite

*General Comment: Response to the last "rebuttal"

*UPDATE Employee: Nice try other guys

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: what you don't know is they DO know.....

*Consumer Comment: Insurance is NOT Safelite's problem

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I read with interest the rip-off reports about safelite autoglass.

As an ex-employee I can confirm that there are many occasions when customers referred by their insurance companies are paying a substantially higher price for their auto-glass parts than if they called safelite from a 'phone directory etc.

The important thing to keep in mind is that Safelite agrees prices with each insurance company for each make/model/glass part installed or supplied by safelite to customers of that insurance company.

In theory this should give the customer a competitive price BUT in practice the customer may pay as much as $100 more for a windshield etc than if they paid as a "cash" (ie no insurance) customer - and it could be even more.

How can this happen? - (note that any given situation could be either just one or a mix of these):

[1] The customer may well have a high deductible (the amount the customer pays - the insurance company pays anything over this amount).

Many customers are confused about deductibles and think that they have to pay either the full amount every time or, sometimes, that they have to pay BOTH the deductible and then safelite for any autoglass parts.
e.g. If the deductible is $500 and safelite quotes $370 for a windshield - then the customer may think that this is better than paying $500 - so they don't question this price or ask about a corresponding "cash" price - which could be $100 LOWER.


[2] The customer may be having other work (body work etc) done to the vehicle under the same claim as the autoglass damage.
In this situation the customer may be paying their deductible amount - $250 - $500 etc for the glass and the insurance company is paying for the body damage.
Again, the customer doesn't question the "insurance price" of the glass part(s) as they think they are being looked after by their insurance company. Again, though, they are paying more for their autoglass than a corresponding "cash" customer would pay.

[3] The part is a vent, quarterlight or back glass - glass parts which may be privacy tinted and which are usually quite expensive - e.g. a back glass - privacy tinted and heated for an suv may be $1000 list price but there are many back glasses
which will be considerably cheaper for a "cash" price than a deductible of $500 paid in full towards an "inflated" insurance price.

There are many variations on these but the points to remember are:
In all cases the safelite employee has strict instructions (via the ever- present screen prompts) NOT to quote a cash price to the customer - UNLESS THE CUSTOMER EITHER QUESTIONS THE PRICE OR TELLS THE EMPLOYEE THEY HAVE A LOWER QUOTE FROM A COMPETITOR.

[1] ALWAYS ASK FOR A CORRESPONDING "CASH" QUOTE - SPECIFICALLY ASK IF THE PRICE QUOTED IS THE LOWEST PRICE ON OFFER - BE PERSISTENT!!!

[2] NEVER ACCEPT A QUOTE WITHOUT CALLING SEVERAL GLASS SHOPS FOR PRICES (or checking on-line)
- there are many major players in the autoglass business who will offer you a discounted price against a safelite (or any other) quote.

[3] Make sure you are being offered like-for-like:
[a] does the price include taxes and and mouldings etc -
make sure you ask for an "Installed" price - Safelite empoyees are instructed to only quote a pre-tax price and to say "plus any local taxes".
[b] If you want original manufacturer glass (also called OEM, factory or dealer glass - eg Carlite for Ford) then make sure you state that at the outset - and get a dealer quote as well!

Finally, DON'T be put-off or distracted by the reams of scripted presentations that Safelite empoyees are obliged to push at you.

Make it clear at the start that you DONT want wipers!!! (safelite management are fanatical about selling these to make extra revenue for the company - workers are monitored for compliance with Safelite's meaningless presentation garbage -
so they have to say it - but you DONT have to ACCEPT it!

If I seem a little hard on safelite here - it's no more than they deserve!!!!

I dedicate this rip-off report both to the customers and to the hapless and abused safelite call-center workers - not for nothing is it referred to within the company as "the dungeon".

Ex- employee
Columbus, Ohio
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/25/2006 08:17 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Safelite-Autoglass/Columbus-Ohio-43085/Safelite-Autoglass-Customers-referred-by-insurance-companies-be-careful-ripoff-Columbus-O-188456. 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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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 6Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Suggestion

Safelite

AUTHOR: concerned citizen - ()

Dear Ex-Employee, I am assisting an investigation of Safelite for a possible Consumer Class Action. Would you please contact me 970 256 0200
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

Safelite

AUTHOR: concerned citizen - ()

Dear Ex-Employee(s). I am assisting in an investigation of Safelite for a possible Consumer Class Action. Please contact me at 970 256 0200 
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#3 General Comment

Response to the last "rebuttal"

AUTHOR: installglass - (United States of America)

I feel like I should say something about the last response as I have worked in this industry for 10 years and it's full of mistruths. 

1.  XYG (Xinyi Glass) is Chinese made glass.  They are not OEM manufacturers for any vehicles sold in the United States.  To make this claim is either ignorance or a lie.  Ford makes their own glass it is Carlite.  GM sources through Pilkington, PGW (Used to be PPG), and possibly Guardian. 

2.  Insurance companies have pricing agreements in place with Safelite and almost every other glass shop.  The pricing is most certainly higher than what would be charged to a cash customer.  There are several reasons behind this but they are not necessary for this report.  To claim anything different is an outright lie.

3. The point being made in this report is that when a potential customer has Safelite perform service and finds out that they have a high deductible they are still charged the "insurance" price and not the "cash" price.  Even though the job is no longer through the customers insurance they are still being charged an inflated "insurance" price. 

*I do not and never have worked at Safelite.  I cannot attest to the statements by the original poster regarding Safelite.  I can attest to the insurance pricing and the brand names of glass
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#4 UPDATE Employee

Nice try other guys

AUTHOR: Glassman - (USA)

This is misinformation, Glass companies charge more to insurance so they can waive deductibles and compete by charging the customer less, effectively ripping off the Insurance companies.  This practice is illegal in some states, and is not done by Safelite. 

 Safelite charges the same or less to Insurance companies, and does not participate in deductible lowering price wars, which are currently popular in the California market with other glass comapnies.

XYG glass is actually the company that makes the original equipment glass on many Ford and GM cars, and actually costs more than Safelite's Windshields - made in their USA plant.

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#5 UPDATE EX-employee responds

what you don't know is they DO know.....

AUTHOR: Simply Me - (U.S.A.)

As a former employee also, I just wanted to put my 2 cents in on this insurance thing. The people taking the customers calls, wether be a corporate or local CSR, they KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt if a price is too high or low based on insurance. Meaning, if you first call & place it as insurance but decide to do it cash, which in MOST cases would be cheaper.....you will most likely STILL get the higher price. I worked there for over 5 years & seen this exact thing 1,000's of times. What I normally did is once I got out & relized what happened, I would call the CSR & have the price adjusted which made them MORE than mad. I'm sorry, I'm not going to purposely lie & rob a customer, especially when they DON'T get what Safelite promises in the installation, but thats not the topic.......just wanted to add to this......Safelite is WELL aware of this & makes alot of money off of this....

My advice......GET A CASH QUOTE WHEN YOU CALL......never mention anything about your insurance. You know as the insuree what your deductible is......go with what makes sense to you, not make them richer so they buy up all the competion like they are doing.......trust me, thats EXACTLY what their doing.....
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#6 Consumer Comment

Insurance is NOT Safelite's problem

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

As of tomorrow, I will be a grateful repeat customer with Safelite. I have price shopped windshields for my cars. I have been careful to note that I am paying cash, not turning in a claim. I emphasize this to the phone rep because having a windshield claim on your insurance record is a bad thing. Safelite has had the same opportunity as any of the other vendors I phone.

Safelite was $440 cheaper than the competitors for my first car and the service was fantastic. In fact, even though I had obtained a firm quote in advance, they said they had overquoted me by $20 so they deducted that from my total! Safelite's complete and out-the-door price is $90+ less than the competitors for my second car.

Consumer ignorance about the way the world works is not any vendor's problem. To be sure, there are bad experiences to be had with ANY vendor. My favorites disappoint me from time-to-time. Try communicating clearly, make no assumptions that the phone rep can read your mind. Your auto insurance is for catastrophic events so don't be foolish and use your insurance for a windshield. You'll pay more for your insurance in the long run if you do. And, that's not smart!
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