AGRR Magazine Announcement Prompts Industry Reaction, Response

Yesterday's press release regarding the launch of, a new glass service website that provides consumers with three auto glass quotes on one page, has generated a lot of talk within the industry.

Either posting to the AGRR Magazine Message Forum boards or e-mailing glassBYTEs™ editors directly, several members of the industry have let it be known that they have found what they perceive to be flaws to the system. One post on the board went up shortly after the newsletter was distributed and indicated that the person posting gave the website a try and only found one of the three quotes given on the website was from a shop that actually existed. Responding to that post was one from another reader who tried the site and then called each shop, indicating that in doing so, he found that each phone call he made was answered by the same person.

Meanwhile, one person who contacted glassBYTEs directly indicated that at a closer look he believed all three shops in his area that gave quotes were owned by RBS International, the parent company of 89glass and the company that launched the service, and queried if this was the case, how could it truly be offering consumer choice?

Chad Kreutz, national director of glass for RBS Interactive, told glassBYTEs in an interview that all the situations could be explained.

The company is currently doing beta testing in three markets (Houston, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.) and when consumers from testing zip code areas in those locations call, they get the quotes from the companies, including independent glass shops which are part of the program.

However, he explained that in all other areas where the testing is not being done and the process of signing up independent shops hasn't started (the program is scheduled to roll out to consumers on May 12), "placeholder shops" are being used (89Glass, GlassOne and WindshieldSmith) until the subscriber shops come into the system. "Once we get subscriber shops in those markets, the independent shops will take the place of our shops," Kreutz said.

The current system is being used only to capture the consumers who use the service until the subscriber base is in place. "Our goal is to provide more business to the independent glass shops," Kreutz stated. He also added that since the release of the information yesterday, the response from independent glass shops which want to subscribe to the service has been "overwhelming."

Stay tuned to glassBYTEs for more information on as it becomes available.

to read the press release about the launch of

to join the conversation sparked by yesterday's press release.

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