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Old 02-23-2013, 01:08 PM
Brian Martin,Freelance adviser
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Originally Posted by 69 widetrack View Post
I like your analogy of looking at what you do through the eyes of another professional. So true, the best accolade is the one coming from your peers. It's all about giving a damn about what you matter the field, laziness doesn't cut it if your sweeping the shop floor or painting a car. I loose respect for the painter that gets pissed off when you offer advice, I know I was and am only to happy to get it when I need or needed it...that's how I learn and learned. The old guy that did it back in the day may not always be right but, he's worth a listen, just like the younger person that may have that revolutionary idea that can alter the way things are done. Especially with water born base coat coming on strong, a totally new method of painting and it brings a whole new challenge to tinting. It's going to be the new generation of painter's that sets themselves apart from the applicator with new ideas, a new way of looking at things. I try not to discount anyone's just never know when you might learn something.

Does the person that accepts the less than adequate paint or body work ever ask questions about the job that they paid for or that they inadvertently paid for through their insurance. The answer is yes...just last month, my neighbor had a front fender and bumper cover replaced...who did he go to for an opinion regarding the quality? He came to me, was it acceptable, not on my watch. Why did he take it to the shop he took it to? The insurance company virtually insisted that he take it there otherwise they couldn't warranty the job. I let my neighbor know that in no way does the insurance company warranty the work, the shop that did the work does and the reason the insurance company recommended that particular shop was because they get a kick back. I also let him know that because it's his car, he has the right to take it to whatever shop he wants, it's his car...that's why he pays insurance.

I have to tell you Ray, that insurance company may very well warranty that job! That is exactly one of the marketing techniques used by the insurance companies as of the last number of years. When you go to their "direct repair" shops (called all sort of things like "Preferred" or "Certified" and others) the insurance will give the repair a lifetime of ownership warranty! This is the language they use when speaking to the insured or claimant "If you our Preferred shop you will have a lifetime of ownership warranty on all work performed" insinuating that if they go somewhere else they won't. Our shop has a lifetime of ownership warranty on everything we do. So that is our sales pitch when they come in with an insurance company that we aren't a "direct" with, "They may tell you if you go to their shop you have a lifetime of ownership warranty, well we offer that as well and have been here for 34 years". It works pretty well. But not everyone will listen and they will go to these "direct" shops like sheep when they are told by their insurance company. Often these shops do a good job and like ours have the equipment and training required by the insurance company to maintain a high standard of repair. But on the same respect.........they may be pushed by that same insurance company to use substandard parts made in Taiwan and China. The insurance companies are speaking out of both sides of their mouth in this regard, and I see some big law suits with them loosing in court as one of the largest in American did a decade or so ago.
Anyway, they don't get "Kickbacks" per-se they have contracts with the shop for lower labor cost and discounts on parts, plus they have the control of pushing them to use the aftermarket parts or loose the account!

So, the insurance company warranties the job huh? Yep they sure do and so if you have your car fixed in California and move to Arizona you can go to a "direct" shop of your insurance company there and get something corrected, and the insurance company picks up the tab. We have repaired cars for people who had the car originally done at another local "direct" shop, and another shop in the area has repaired cars we have done where we couldn't make the customer happy. Be it real "warranty" long after the car was repaired or simply that the customer wasn't happy with the repair quality, it has went both ways with us and another local "direct" shop for this insurance company.

Like I said, the insurance companies play unbelievable games when it comes to these direct shops, I really would love to see the numbers, many don't add up for me. Like using these AM or used parts, they will push and push that you have to use these used and aftermarket parts. Though often these parts take longer to get (used that is) and when they come they are in bad condition, the AM ones often don't fit and are simply not useable. It needs to be documented that you tried and all along the insurance company is paying the rental car for the customer. I really would love to see the numbers as turn around time is one of the most important to keep cost down for the insurance company and profits up for the shop. Yet these games they play keep people in rental cars. We have seen people stay in rental cars for a month while the insurance company plays games with us. We have had two cars just recently that did this, if the insurance company would have repaired it as we said to begin with the car would have been long gone in a week or so. They would have saved about $550 in rental, that is more than the difference in parts prices they were trying to avoid.

Anyway, I could talk all day long on this stuff, very odd in my opinion but I can see where some bean counter finds that it saves $12 on every job and that gets him a big bonus.

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