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What’s Been Happening?

I have been writing for AGRR for the last two years as we posted on the Windshield Repair Journal Website. I have been doing a great deal of work for the industry since I became an officer of the NWRA in October of 2010. I became the Vice President with Kerry Wanstrath as the president. Although Kerry is a competitor we are good friends and work well together. We developed the Xtra Bond and X-Phobic products in 2007 and 2008. Kerry and I have done a great deal of work for the NWRA over the last two years and we know that you repair professionals and consumers will begin to see the fruits of our labor soon.  Kerry stepped down and I was voted in by the board as president in 2012.

The NWRA Board is finally made up of repair people.  For the longest time many board members made more money replacing windshields than repairing including the president. Because they replaced they just went along with the turning (by force) of the industry into a repair and replacement industry.   When we started the NWRA the windshield repair only industry was at its peak. When the windshield manufacturers took over adjusting claims with their anticompetitive six-inch criterion and brokering the jobs the windshield repair only industry was virtually wiped out. While the repair only industry was being wiped out the NWRA did absolutely nothing. Not even a letter to an insurance company, TPA, attorney general, insurance commissioners , antitrust division, nothing. Well that has all changed now.
Having a strong repair advocate like myself and a board of repair people has enabled me as president to get the following done a few months:

  1. Revamped the NWRA website. Check out the consumer section which informs consumers about all of the benefits of windshield repair , what is repairable and  what good repairs should look like. We also warn the consumers that their insurance companies and their TPAs will deceive them into an unnecessary replacements and that both the TPA and insurance company are unjustly enriched when they do so. We also inform consumers that the insurance and TPA National Warranty on a repair is non-existent (The Phantom Warranty) and that it is used as a tactic to steer and mislead the consumer.  We also tell consumers to  beware of getting bad repairs from shops that replace and  give them a warranty that is only a credit toward a replacement at that shop only i.e. like the  Safelite/Belron’s Lifetime Bait and Switch Warranty. www.thesamba.com. You will also see there is a direct link to each State Attorney General so that consumers can report anybody or entity that tells the consumer that a crack longer than a dollar bill/six inch is not repairable, does fraudulent repairs, steering and the  Phantom Warranty. When your customer has been or almost becomes a victim of these insurance TPA sponsored scams, get out your computer on the spot and have them report it to your state attorney general.
  2. Revamped the ROLAGS Website -Check out the ROLAGS Website too.  There is also a consumer section here which you can use to your advantage to prevent consumers from being steered and deceived. Checkout the improper repairs which I will not hesitate to call fraudulent. All of those consumers called their insurance company for a repair so you know who they got. Yes they billed the insurance company for those non-repairs and that is called insurance fraud.
  3. Adding a Conflict of Interest Policy to the By-Laws. No board member may advertise, promote or tell consumers anything contrary to the ROLAGS. This will keep true and honest repair people on the board.
  4. See the insurer section of the ROLAGS website. That is our message to the insurance companies and the TPAs.
  5. Letter sent to TPAs Concerning the Phantom Warranty requesting they cease any mention of a warranty on a repair claim because the credit goes to the insurance company and the consumer gets nothing. The consumer gets a credit toward a replacement minus their deductible so they get nothing no matter what the deductible is.
  6. Certification - The certification program after two years of work by the entire board is now seeing record numbers of technicians becoming certified. I recommend you become certified as it will matter in the near future.
  7. Consumer Class Action firm is investigating Safelite for replacing repairable windshields. www.findjustice.com/cases/consumer-protection/
    This is my doing and I will report more on this at a later date.

So if you want to support and help me join or re-join the NWRA and become a NWRA Certified Technician. I promise you will not be disappointed.

Steering Tip - When you think you are going to have a job steered tell the consumer to search Safelite Complaints on the internet and you will save the job. There are pages and pages of complaints for bad repairs, bait and switch, Phantom Warranty complaints, spreading the damage into a crack and doing poor replacements and here are hundreds of BBB Complaints: http://www.bbb.org/centralohio/Business-Reviews/auto-repair-windshield-glass-shops/safelite-autoglass-in-columbus-oh-6005167/complaints

Ultra Bond's Resin Test is Now the ROLAGS Resin Test

One of the resin tests and I would have to say the most relevant test on whether a resin is going to hold in the real world is now in the windshield repair standard. The test called Resistance to Thermal Cycling is the test Ultra Bond has been doing for years. For many years we relied on a one year field test in a four season climate with un-garaged vehicles. This was time consuming so we developed a duplicate of this exposure which can test the resin in one day for very little cost. In fact anyone can do it for less than one hundred dollars of equipment and the cost of three 12 x12 laminates. As a ROLAGS Committee member I gave the details to the committee for the benefit of the industry and the committee duplicated the test and confirmed it separated resins that would hold in the real world versus those that would not. Fact - the main cause of resin failure in the field is because of temperature and the failure is resin breaking its links/bond to the glass. When glass gets cold the molecules contract and when acrylic gets cold it gets brittle and loses elasticity. This can cause molecules to break their links. When glass is heated the molecules expand very fast much faster than the acrylic resin and this can also cause the resin to break links if the resin does not have some flexibility. The only place resin is under mechanical stress is from the installation stress in an edge crack in the approximate four inch edge area.

Drills and Drill Bits 

The drill determines the life of the drill bit. Higher RPM drills do the drilling instead of the drill bit. The Cordless 4.8 volt Dremel is a good drill for not making a mistake but it chews up drill bits because the RPMS are lower and the bit is doing the drilling instead of the drill. The more powerful Cordless 7.2 volt Dremel will increase a drill bits life by 300%. And our new 12 volt will increase drill bits life by 500%.  We got over 50 drills per bit with this drill. You have to get use to more powerful drills as you can go too deep very quickly. A corded 12 volt is more consistent than a cordless because it does not have a battery reducing the RPMs after each use. We now have two types of drill bits and three drills. The roundhead is recommended for the 4.8  Volt Dremel  and a heat strengthened 171 tapered with a point that will last for over 50 holes with the 12 volt corded or over 40 holes with the  7.2 volt Cordless Dremel.

Christmas/ New Year Special
By two resins and get a Free bottle of Rain Resin

rain-resin-400.jpgRain Resin has been an overwhelming success in the field and has saved many jobs. You need not let the weather dictate your schedule.  How to use – for small breaks or breaks with little moisture use 4-5 drops of resin and do  2 to 4 vacuum pressure cycles so to  mix the resin with the water. When done discard any resin left in your injector as the water absorbing chemicals may be depleted. For a large break that is filled with water use 8-10 drops and do 3-4 vacuum pressure cycles mixing the resin with the water and again discard any resin remaining in your injector. Offer good till January 31, 2013.

 

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References

   FAQ
   Before/After Photos
   Incorrect Resin Photos
   Correct Resin Photos
   Fundamentals of Windshield Repair Adhesives
   Repairable Windshield Damage
   Windshields are Made to Crack
   Windshields Repair Standard (ROLAGS)

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