The windshield plays a critical role in the safety of your vehicle. Not only does it serve as the window to your view of the road and can protect you from flying debris, but it also is important in maintaining the structural integrity—and safety—of the vehicle itself.
A proper windshield installation is vital to ensure you and your passengers are as safe as possible in your vehicle, which is why you should have any windshield work done through an accredited business. Don’t get us wrong, there’s nothing wrong with independent technicians, as long as they’re associated with an actual business. The “independent technicians” to be wary of are those that do not have a legitimate business and don’t carry business insurance.
Due Diligence with “Independent Technicians”
Theoretically, anyone can remove and install (or attempt to install) a windshield with the right tools. But the process is much more technical than it seems, and replacing a damaged windshield in accordance with safe standards can get really, really technical. Qualified auto glass technicians are highly skilled at their craft.
There may be someone you know or heard of who fancies themselves an independent windshield technician. They may very well be excellent at replacing or repairing auto glass, but how can you know for sure? If this independent technician is not affiliated with an auto glass business and can’t prove certain credentials, such as Auto Glass Safety Council (AGSC) certification (more on that later), it is likely not worth the risk.
Ultimately, don’t let a “cheaper” price tag fool you. The chances are, if an independent technician is if offering you some kind of amazing deal, such as a $99 replacement, you’re probably going to get what you’re paying for.
Glass.com Vice President of Operations, Daniel Snow, talks with industry expert Bob Beranek about what to do if you think you’re a victim of a faulty windshield replacement.
Hi, we’re here with Bob Beranek. He is an expert in the auto glass industry and we’re here to ask him some questions. So what if a consumer suspects they might have had a bad replacement done? Are there any telltale signs they can look for? And is there any remediation they can do?
If they’ve had a bad replacement you will probably show leaks. Either an air leak or a noise of some sort, or a water leak. Another indicator might be break in the glass where there is no impact point. That usually means that the glass was put in incorrectly. The best remediation, of course, is to take it back to the company that did it. Explain to them your complaint and demand that they fix it.
Be Wary of Scammers
Scams can come in all forms nowadays, and the world of windshield repair and replacement is not immune.
Windshield scammers have been known to set up at gas stations, car washes and other public places. There, they approach bystanders in hopes of fooling them into believing there is something wrong with their windshield. They will typically tell you that your windshield needs to be repaired or replaced, even if it doesn’t have visible damage. They’ll also try to sell you on the idea that you won’t have to pay anything—that your insurance provider will cover it 100 percent. You should be very skeptical if this is the case.
These scammers may also go door-to-door, as they did recently in Florida. According to a report, a woman reported two men after they showed up at her house and claimed that her windshield had water damage and needed to be replaced. They convinced her to order a new windshield and set up an appointment before she saw a social media post online warning about the ongoing scam.
According to the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, in other types of scams, scammers inflate real damages or charge your auto insurer for multiple windshield replacements.
Even if you’re not being affected directly financially (as in losing money from your bank account or paying up front), these charges can eventually catch up to you. This could be through raised insurance premiums or loss of coverage, among other things. More importantly, it puts you and your family’s safety at risk, as the “technician” could be untrained or using low-quality material for the job.
Who to Trust?
There are countless auto glass and windshield replacement companies in existence, and many are probably right around the corner from you. There are a few criteria that separate the best ones from the others, and one key qualifier for the superiority of an auto glass and windshield replacement company is its standing with the AGSC. This is a not-for-profit organization, founded and supported by companies in the auto glass replacement industry. It is dedicated to the safe and quality replacement of auto glass.
The Council, which is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards development organization, has developed North America’s only auto glass replacement standard. This addresses procedures, education and product performance. All companies that are registered and certified by AGSC meet or exceed the Automotive Glass Replacement Safety Standard (AGRSS Standard). They also undergo periodic audits by an outside auditing agency that checks that they are performing their installations to these standards. Look for the AGSC badge on Glass.com, which indicates which companies are registered.
If you are unsure where to look for a quality company, consult Glass.com for members of the AGSC and the National Windshield Repair Association (NWRA), which also has a list of certified technicians on its website. When shopping for your repair or replacement, get more than one written estimate, and never accept “off-the-book” repairs. Don’t let a person pressure you into letting them do the job, and do not pay a technician until the work is complete.
Ask About the Windshield Warranty
Before agreeing to have a technician or company repair or replace your windshield, ask what kind of warranty covers their work. This is another reason to go to a trusted and certified business, as an independent windshield technician may not be able to offer one.
Find an Auto Glass Repair or Replace Business Today
Glass.com can help you find a reliable and legitimate auto glass business with certified technicians today. Many companies offer in-shop or mobile services. Use the search bar on our home page to enter your zip code and get on your way to fixing your windshield.