Signatures Double on Industry Petition Against “Steering”

The number of automotive glass company owners, technicians and vendors who have signed a petition called “Auto Glass Industry National Right to Fair Trade Petition” has doubled since early this month. “After almost 20 years in the business I thought [the petition] was long overdue,” says Dave Heidbreder of Liquid Resins, who created the petition online.

“Competition in any industry is a good thing as long as it is fair competition,” he says, noting he created the petition on his own time, outside of his job. “Whenever the unfair activity is over looked or illegal activity is ignored, things turn bad. That is what has happened in the auto glass industry.

“[T]he 1963 Consent Decree case laid out how auto insurers were violating the Sherman Antitrust Act. Public policy was set and explained in detail what constitutes steering and undue influence,” he says. “Today violations are still occurring on a daily basis. Signatures are needed to persuade the authorities to take action against the powerful insurance companies and those companies that conspire with them.”

The petition is directed to the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division.

So what exactly is the 1963 Consent Decree?

“Our United States Department of Justice, under the direction of Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, investigated the concerns of the collision repair industry and found that 265 insurance companies were in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act. To put an end to this abusive behavior a Federal Antitrust Consent Order was signed on October 23, 1963. This perpetual agreement was written to eliminate insurance company manipulations of the collision repair marketplace,” according to www.consentdecree.com.

Several glass company owners have added comments to the petition when they signed, sharing their viewpoint.

“No TPA (third-party automotive glass claims administrator) should have the right to intimidate a consumer into using any particular glass replacement center for any reason, be it for monetary gain or for market share,” writes Michael Goodman of New York on the petition.

Meanwhile, Edward Tuller of Florida, adds, “It is important that we all stand together on this, it will not get any better if we do not. The TPAs should not have any fiscal connection in any way to auto glass wholesale distributors or retail installation shops.”

“It is important that there be free trade in the auto glass industry to help small shops continue and to allow consumers to use whomever they want to use for auto glass repairs,” writes Jean Wool of Pennsylvania on the petition. “Please consider the consumers’ request for this right to fair trade. Thank you.”

Will you sign the petition? How do you feel about this topic? Email your thoughts to jreed@glass.com or share them on the glassBYTEs.com™/AGRR magazine™ forum here.

This article is from glassBYTEs™, the free e-newsletter that covers the latest auto glass industry news. Click HERE to sign up—there is no charge. Interested in a deeper dive? Free subscriptions to Auto Glass Repair and Replacement (AGRR) magazine in print or digital format are available. Subscribe at no charge HERE.

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3 Responses to Signatures Double on Industry Petition Against “Steering”

  1. Greg says:

    As an owner of a glass shop for over15 years, and having over 25 years in the business, holding a NGA masters certification, I do see the need for some new litigation concerning steering in the auto glass industry. I started my original business before Lynx was even in the industry so I am familiar with the trends. I have never had to sue for payment and have always just accepted the rates dictated by the TPA. However, I must admit that some of the insurers that are affiliated with certain TPA’s, make it quite difficult to start a claim to replace glass on the insured’s automobile. Our experience with TPA lately has been dropped calls, needless inspections, routing calls so that we can not set up the claim, and recordings that direct us to a web site that will not allow us to set up the claim. I am pleased to see that this petition is going threw out the industry to try to correct some of these problems. I think it is not good business to control taking the claim, and also directing the work to an affiliated shop. I have heard the TPA try to discourage the insured from using our shop because we are not “affiliated”.
    I have even had insurance agents that we have serviced beyond their expectations tell me that they have been warned to stop using us because we are not an “approved” shop, or they could risk loosing their agency. If this is not steering,, I really do not know what would qualify. My wish is for all glass repair facilities to have equal access to the work and their business flourish by their reputation, not their affiliation to a certain TPA.

  2. Pingback: GlassBYTES: Auto glass industry fighting insurer steering | Repairer Driven News

  3. Pingback: Glass Industry’s Petition Against Steering Gaining Momentum

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