A more aggressive steering tactic may be appearing in the glass industry, according to one AGRR company owner. He says he has lost three customers when a third-party automotive glass claims administrator (TPA) would not provide the claim or dispatch numbers necessary to process the insurance claims.
“I am a one-man operation in business for 37 years. I only do replacements,” says Don Cotton, owner of Village Glass Smith in Needham, Mass. “It is slanted in favor of the insurance industry.”
“I had the customer’s registration and all her information,” he says. “We did a conference call to Plymouth Rock and LYNX Services answered and took the report. They asked if I would agree to their pricing. I did not agree to their pricing. The customer service representative (CSR) was reading a script and told the customer she would be responsible for any cost above and beyond what Plymouth was willing to pay. I asked for the claim number (or dispatch number) to do the job. They basically held this information hostage unless she agreed to be responsible for any additional cost over what Plymouth would pay. The customer would not budge for a good while. She said I was her glass shop of choice.”
The glass company owner asked for a LYNX supervisor and explained the situation.
“I said the CSR did her job and read the script. The customer was being very patient,” Cotton says. “The supervisor also refused to give me the claim or dispatch number unless the insured agreed to be responsible for the cost above what Plymouth was willing to pay. The insured finally said she couldn’t stay on the line forever.”
Fifteen days later, Cotton says he received another Plymouth Rock customer.
“The exact same thing happened. They (the TPA) would not give me the claim number,” he says. “These jobs come to me by word of mouth.”
He says a similar situation occurred with Amica.
“I coached this potential customer in hockey when he was a kid,” says the owner. “He looked up glass companies and wanted his glass replaced through me. He was insured through Amica. We did a conference call and we were connected to LYNX. The LYNX CSR kept telling the guy that he would not get a lifetime warranty if he went with Village Glass Smith. The guy ended up having someone else show up to do his windshield. I was the original company of choice.”
Responding to the allegations, Chris Umble, vice president of sales initiatives for LYNX Services, says “LYNX clearly honors customer choice as that is the hallmark of our practice and reputation. Each of our clients have specified scripts and practices that we utilize to fulfill their obligations to customers with claims. Any actions that may or may not have been taken can only be ascertained through research of specific claims history. The allegations, as reported, do not align with the operating parameters that we adhere to, so we would welcome the shop in question to contact us with specifics so we can investigate.”
Brendan Dowding, a spokesperson for Amica, adds, “When filing a glass claim through Amica’s Glass Partnership Program, it is entirely up to the customer where they choose to have repairs done. If they don’t have a repair shop in mind, we can refer them to a network of shops. It is always the customer’s choice where to have their vehicle repaired.”