There are hundreds of people every day who notice new damage to their windshield, which can be caused by any number of sources. Flying debris while driving, inclement weather such as hail and automobile accidents all can be common causes of windshield damage, leaving many drivers without proper protection if the windshield’s integrity has been compromised. The strength and stability that the windshield provides against the natural elements and in the event of an accident are paramount to your safety, so it comes as no surprise that most people are concerned with any damage that they might find or believe exists.
Unfortunately, many have used these fears as a way to cheat people out of their money or to perform fly-by-night windshield repairs that do not live up to the standard we should expect. Unprofessional work done to a windshield can leave it in as bad of shape structurally as it was before the repairs were performed, and the same can be said about windshield replacements. Anyone who wants to know when windshield repair is necessary and what scams some people have used to trick others should continue reading to find out more.
Car Wash Repair Scam
You may find yourself at a car wash one day and are ready to clean your automobile when you suddenly hear someone approach you and offer to do a free inspection of your windshield. At first, this may sound innocuous enough, but the tone quickly turns grave as the individual suddenly find one or more pieces of damage to your windshield. The agent will then tell you that the repairs can be performed for free and only require your insurance claim information to quickly make the repairs. In just a few minutes’ time, your car has supposedly been repaired and you are ready to safely continue on your way.
This is a classic insurance-based scam that some “auto repair technicians” use to make quick money through insurance claims. While you almost always will never have to pay out of pocket costs, the so-called damage to your windshield is almost never there – let alone actually repaired. The scammer in this case will often file your insurance information as a claim and collect the costs “owed” to them for services. In some cases, they will file multiple claims and this can lead to an increase in your auto insurance premiums. If someone supposedly finds damage to your windshield, kindly thank them for their inspection and procure services from a qualified technician instead.
Another scam of sorts is caused by the fact that the auto glass industry – at least in terms of installation and repair – is highly unregulated. Virtually anybody can claim to be an auto glass technician and perform repairs without actually being qualified. Sites and organizations such as the Auto Glass Safety Council have attempted to bring to light these concerns and provide consumers with a trusted name in identifying professional and qualified technicians, but many people are still unaware of these issues and can easily be convinced to have shoddy work performed.
The risks involved with these types of repairs and replacements can be numerous and even fatal. A small crack that has been repaired improperly may at first appear to be under control, but could soon rupture and damage the windshield beyond the point of a simple repair being needed. In an even worse situation, a new windshield that has been installed improperly can become unhinged during an accident, leaving you with no protection and possibly resulting in you and others being ejected from the vehicle. For reasons like this, it is always imperative that you track down qualified auto glass technicians that are certified by recognized associations in the industry.
Even with a qualified auto glass technician, scams and fraud have been known to occur. The most common example of this is a small chip or other area of damage on the windshield that can almost certainly be repaired, but is instead described by the technician as requiring a complete windshield replacement. Since the cost of replacement is much more than a repair and often insurance will cover either, technicians use this as a way to earn more money through the claims process. Much like the first result, the biggest worry is that an added cost for a claim could result in an increase in your premiums. Always remember that most cracks smaller than a dollar bill can be repaired and check with a second technician if you do not feel a recommendation for replacement is truthful.
A variety of scams regarding auto glass and windshield repairs can occur if you do not know what to look for from your technicians. Never agree to have work done outside of a shop (unless you have specifically requested the technician come to your home) and do not be tricked into agreeing to a full replacement of glass whenever a simple repair is needed. The dangers that faulty or compromised auto glass can present are real and worrisome, but so are the dangers of scammers seeking to make a quick buck. By being aware of this, you can be careful and proactive in any of these situations.