Safelite Files Suit Against Colorado-Based Safevue Auto Glass for Deceptive Practices and More
January 11, 2012

by Penny Stacey, pstacey@glass.com

Safelite has filed a lawsuit against Denver, Colo.-based Safevue Auto Glass for alleged misrepresentation to customers, trademark infringement, consumer fraud, deceptive trade practices, unfair competition, unjust enrichment and more.

The company alleges that Safevue’s telemarketing employees "have at times falsely identified themselves as representing Safelite or calling on behalf of Safelite."

"Consumers have been actually confused or are likely to become confused by Safevue's telemarketing calls in which it is 'passing off' as Safelite and mispresenting that it is affiliated with or an agent of Safelite," writes the company in its complaint. "Safelite does not make outbound, unsolicited, telemarketing 'cold calls' to consumers for the purpose of advertising and promoting Safelite's goods and services."

The company further alleges that consumers who have received such calls have called Safelite to complain. In one instance, in October 2011, Safelite officials allege that the Safelite representative who took a complaint call from a consumer then called Safevue with the consumer on the line.

"Safelite's representative asked whether [the Safevue representative] worked with Safelite AutoGlass," writes Safelite. "The woman responded, 'We do work with them. They handle most of the insurance claims. We are a separate entity, though. What can I help you with today?"

The complaint further alleges that the Safevue representative then advised the Safelite representative that the companies previously were connected but had broken apart.

The suit also cites several instances in which Safelite alleges Denver area residents received calls from telemarketers who identified themselves as representatives of Safelite, but were calling from a number believed to be used by Safevue.

Additionally, Safelite alleges that Safevue conducts "illegal rebate and referral practices." Safelite cites information on the company's website as an example and says it advertises that the company will pay agents "up to $50 for every insurance approved windshield repair or replacement" referral. Further, Safelite accuses Safevue of advertising in a brochure that it will pay consumers "up to $100 to repair or replace [their] windshield[s]."

"Safevue's offers to pay insurance agents or others as an incentive to refer customers and its offers to pay cash to consumers for performing repairs when the repair is covered by insurance is illegal under Colorado law," alleges Safelite.

The company further alleges that Safevue's name "is likely to cause confusion, to cause mistake, or to deceive consumers as to the source of origin of defendants' goods and services," and that this could constitute trademark infringement.

Safelite is seeking a jury trial in the case.

At press time, Safevue representatives had not responded to the complaint. Company officials declined to comment on the case.


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