CCC’s Arrogance. Let’s Put Them Out of Business

December 23, 2008 by · 23 Comments
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

After almost three weeks the rest of the industry is finally catching on to CCC’s disturbingly scummy behavior. Collision Week had an article on Friday. Today I was sent a copy of a press release from the Database Task Force. Their frustration is clear. Many people have fought long and hard to get CCC to eliminate the bumper refinish prompt. Many act surprised and shocked that CCC would reverse its decision to do the right thing and rid the industry of the opportunity for insurers to screw collision repairers. I’m surprised that everyone is so shocked. I predicted this might happen more than a year ago.

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Letter to CEO of CCC Information Services

December 3, 2008 by · 9 Comments
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

Dear Mr. Githesh Ramamurthy:

Let me congratulate you on your latest version of CCC Pathways. Version 4.5 is absolutely no improvement over 4.4. In fact, your developers seem to have taken a step or two backward. In the little pamphlet that comes with your monthly update you list some of the new features. The heading for that section states,

CCC Pathways® latest release–version 4.5–introduces several enhancements to make estimating easier and support good relations between DRP repairers and insurers.

Could you please explain to your customers, Mr. Ramamurthy, just when did CCC become diplomats? Why do you feel the need to create better relations between repairers and insurers? And when did CCC become a tool for the DRP culture. Being a Republican who donated money to the Romney campaign this year, you should be a supporter of self sufficiency and independence. Supporting the DRP culture is contrary to those beliefs. Obama would be a big fan of the DRP culture if he had ever heard of it.

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CAPA Parts: Good News and Bad News

December 1, 2008 by · 11 Comments
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

First, I want to issue a warning to those of you using aftermarket hoods. I just had a serious failure of a CAPA certified hood made by Gordon for a 2000 – 2002 Toyota Echo. A couple of months ago we repaired an Echo that hit a deer. The customer didin’t want the vehicle totaled and we ended up putting a CAPA certified hood on the car. The hood actually fit nicely. Last week the car was back after hitting another deer. This time it hit dead center of the hood. The damage was to the front and top, not like it had just rear ended another car, but soft damage. You’ve all seen this type of damage before. It certainly should not have compromised the structural integrity of any hood. But as the following pictures show, this minor impact peeled this hood apart.

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Some Random Thoughts

August 15, 2008 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

New Web Host

I apologize to those who have found this site down the past couple of weeks. My web host decided to upgrade its servers without letting anyone know. I’ve had other problems in the past with this particular web host and this time they pissed me off so I changed hosts and had to move my entire site to other servers and then manually rebuild my database (something this blog will not run without) before anything would work again. And typical of the collision repairer community, no one bothered to send me an email to let me know the site was down.

Insurers Pay For Hypocrisy

Everyone who buys car insurance knows that the more miles you drive the more you pay for insurance. Simple logic dictates that more miles driven corresponds to more chances for accidents. Well the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) have released a paper urging politicians and regulators not to equate fewer miles driven due to high gas prices with fewer damage claims. Huh? What you have here is a panicked insurance industry getting together and coming up with some unintelligible report trying to convince government overseers that it’s OK for them to charge you more because you drive a lot of miles, but it is not OK for the government to force insurers to charge you less because you are now driving fewer miles. And if that is hard for you to understand, it’s because this is so far from making sense that even insurance industry can’t understand it. They all must be bright red from embarrassment.

Progressive’s Peak is in the Rear View Mirror

Progressive’s income for July 2008 is about 30% less than it was for July 2007. Gee, ya think? Looks like they have fooled just about everyone in the country who can be fooled, and their phenomenal growth has turned to phenomenal shrinkage. Didn’t anyone tell Progressive about shrinkage? Look for long lines of former Progressive managers at your local unemployment office. The folks at The Hartford, Nationwide, Travelers and all the other companies so impressed with Progressive trained monkeys are probably feeling pretty stupid about now.

Screw Green

If I read another headline about some body shop going green I’m gonna puke. You want to go green? Get your head out of your “insurance partner’s” ass and start charging realistic prices. Stop stealing other shop’s work. Start doing something for your industry, and not just yourself. Plenty of green will come your way.

CIC Making You Proud

Your so-called ‘leaders” at CIC (Collision Insurer Conspiracy) have been doing the grown up thing and discussing the fairest way of determining who gets on who’s DRP list. In case anyone is thinking, “Gee, I wonder what Shortell would say.” here’s your answer. The fairest thing to do is to eliminate DRP’s and let the market (the customers) decide where their car’s get fixed. What a concept!

I’ve got a column about dealership body shops coming soon. Stay tuned.

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Connecticut’s New Association Buys Pencils and Saves the World

July 23, 2008 by · 8 Comments
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

Thursday, July 17th, CCRS, the new collision repairer association in Connecticut had what appears to be their first meeting. Considering there are only a handful of members, there couldn’t have been much to discuss. Click here to visit their website and move to the bottom of the page to see a list of members in a scrolling text box. Also be sure to read their mission statement, and even more exciting, their “vision statement.” Ohh, I’ll save you the trouble of looking for it. Here it is for you to absorb. Be sure to swallow whatever you have in your mouth before you read this, lest it exits through your nose.

CCRS Vision:

Our Vision of this industry is one:

Where every business within the industry is treated as a knowledgeable, trustworthy professional worthy of respect, with every employee, manager, and owner contributing to insure that their integrity in action and deed is upheld; 

Where every employee has the education and training to provide a quality, timely repair on every vehicle thereby receiving the respect of peers, employers, and customers;

Where every customer receives a quality, timely repair at a fair and reasonable price by the professionals who made the repairs as well as the professionals who administered the claim;

Where every insurer believes they have received a quality repair at a fair settlement for quality work in a reasonable time, and in a respectful manner due any professional relationship;

-where all services that are performed are paid for and all services paid for are performed;

And where ethics and morals, respect and appreciation are the norm not the exception.

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Just What Connecticut Needs: Another Association

July 14, 2008 by · 7 Comments
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

Last week all the Internet news sites for the collision repair industry posted a press release trumpeting the formation of a new auto body association in Connecticut. That’s great news. Especially considering that this new association will be representing the DRP whores of the state. That they need an association can only mean one thing: The Auto Body Association of Connecticut has been very successful in threatening the DRP business model. Most shop owners, even those with some DRP’s will agree that DRP’s are bad for the industry. Most shop owners who participate in one or two DRP’s do it only out of necessity–to survive. But this new association is for the professional DRP whores who thrive on stealing work from you by colluding with insurers to steer customers into their shops. Let’s take a look at who is behind this stupidity.

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More on Parts Piracy

July 8, 2008 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

Coincidentally, today I received the Insurance Industry trade magazine ABRN in the mail. On the front page is a story about an new House Bill, HR 5638, that attempts to clarify the current patent laws and exempt aftermarket parts manufacturers from prosecution for stealing other manufacturer’s hard work.

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Part Piracy

July 6, 2008 by · 5 Comments
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

For years I have have wondered why auto manufacturers have allowed their designs to be copied and sold, depriving them of deserved income. Come to find out, most have not been patenting their designs. Lately, though, some manufacturers are challenging the unclear rules against making auto parts off limits to the band of pirates who simply copy other’s hard work. More and more they are applying for design patents on their body parts. And, boy, does this approach have the lazy pirates squealing.

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Stand Up to Progressive

February 11, 2008 by · 18 Comments
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

There’s a great article in Hammer and Dolly this month by Erica Eversman about Progressive’s newest tactic of charging body shops for rental costs that exceed what Progressive thinks is reasonable. Actually this is nothing new. Progressive has tried this in the past. And Traveler’s tried it several years ago with me. What does appear to be new is the use of attorneys and collection companies to intimidate body shop owners. Erica offers some great advice to protect yourself from this latest scheme to take your money. While I agree with her advice about documenting the calls and finding out exactly who it is trying to collect this money, I have some better advice. My advice has more “teeth,” and, frankly, will be more enjoyable. When someone calls trying to collect rental money it’s very simple. Tell the person on the other end of the phone to “Go F*** yourself.” and hang up.

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Steering Into the Abyss

February 5, 2008 by · 8 Comments
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

Without steering there could be no concession based DRP’s. Without concession based DRP’s there would be no need for steering. While insurers defend their tactics as good marketing it is little more than a conspiracy to deprive you of well needed and deserved income. It’s one thing for an insurer to recommend a repair shop to an insured who hasn’t already chosen one, or to an insured who asks for advice, but once a vehicle is in your shop, any attempt by an insurer to get it moved to another shop should be criminal. Though it is not criminal yet, I’m about to give you a method for retaliating through the court system. And since insurers have no fear of being sued, a different target would be more suitable.

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