Hey CCC! Welcome to the 21st Century.

November 15, 2007 by
Filed under: Collision Repair Industry 

I can’t freakin believe it. CCC has finally decided to remove their moronic prompt when replacing or repairing a bumper cover. For those of you who use another estimating system I’ll give a quick explanation. When writing an estimate in Pathways, choosing to repair or replace a bumper cover causes the software to ask some stupid questions. One of the questions, presented as a prompt with a Yes or No answer, asks if you will be painting the bumper cover off the car, or in a separate procedure. If you click the Yes button, no overlap is taken from the refinish time of the bumper cover or the next chosen panel. And if you have a clear coat cap set, the clear coat time of the bumper is not included in that cap. If you choose No, the bumper cover is treated like any other panel that needs no special attention.

Over the years I have sent numerous emails and made several phone calls trying to get them to remove the prompt that asks if the bumper is painted on or off the vehicle. After much pressure from industry groups they decided to pull a fast one on us and change the prompt to “Is the bumper to be refinished in a separate procedure than the other panels?” That’s even worse, because it is more ambiguous than “Is the bumper going to be refinished off the vehicle?” To make matters worse, the default answer is No. In other words the No button has the focus by default, so a lazy appraiser just hits then Enter key and POOF!, you’re screwed out of about $50.

CCC has vigorously defended this clever little feature, claiming ignorance of 21st century technology that requires bumpers to be refinished separately, or with additional materials. Come on now, who actually believes that CCC is ignorant of these paint procedures? They’re full of it. CCC knows that if it takes away this little gem, a gift to all those insurers using Pathways, those insurers will not be happy. It’s going to cost the companies that instruct their appraisers to never hit the Yes button some serious money. OK everyone, let’s all give a great big AAAWWWW… Don’t you just feel sorry for the insurers?

Apparently the pressure has gotten too great. With written statements from every paint manufacturer telling CCC that you don’t paint bumpers on the vehicle, and you should use some sort of flexible additive, CCC is finally forced to relent. The small handful of collision repairers who care enough about their industry and are smart enough to make a difference, lobbied for this change for years.

I just received my November update, and contained within is a very secret document. Shhhh….., this is “Confidential.” Yes, that’s right Confidential. That’s what’s written in big bold capital letters across the top of their little square sheet of paper explaining this prompt, what it did, what it meant and why it was there. And “as soon as practicable” CCC will remove the prompt. From then on there will be no overlap taken on bumper cover refinish, and the clear coat time will not be figured into their arbitrary clear coat cap. I wonder if the materials will still be figured into their asinine materials cap?

Until they make this change, estimators should respond by clicking Yes at the prompt. Well, duh! Anyone writing estimates for a body shop who would actually click No should probably be wearing a bib and protective helmet. They’ve been beating their heads against the wall wondering where all their profit went for years now.

What they mean by “As soon as practicable” is anyone’s guess. As a software developer myself, I can assure you that it will take one of their programmers about two minutes to make the change. They could have done it already and included the updated software with this latest data update. See, they want you dumb ass body men to think that it will be some major production to make this change.

So the big question here is, “Why the “Confidential” stamp? “Shhhh… Don’t tell anyone we are finally doing the right thing. It could be embarrassing.” I wonder if insurance companies received this notice. Could this be confidential because CCC hasn’t figured a way to gently break the news to their insurance partners? Hmmm…? If they just went ahead and spent the two minutes it would take to make the change the insurance companies would know already. Imagine the look on the face of the guy at Geico responsible for their estimating system when he gets this news. Don’t be surprised if Geico switches to Mitchell in the near future, or one of the insurer convinces CCC to revive the prompt.

Gee, I wonder if I will be prosecuted for betraying this confidentiality?

Sarcasm aside, I do want to personally thank and congratulate CCC for making this change. It is unfornate that it took public embarassment to motivate them to act. But the end result was the only right thing to do.

I also want to thank the small handful of shop owners who pushed this issue for the past several years. Those of you who just keep plugging along every day without contributing anything to benefit your industry should be very thankful that there are a few people with the brain power and the balls to take on the problems in our industry. With momentum gaining for a national governing body that enforces industry standards (Erica Eversman’s project) those of you who sit back and do nothing for the industry could soon find yourselves working as outlaws.

Get involved.

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7 Comments on Hey CCC! Welcome to the 21st Century.

  1. Skippy on Fri, 16th Nov 2007 5:12 am
  2. It’s about time….

    when are we going to be able to email an estimate from the print menu? Maybe another ten years or so. I have made about fifty other simple recommendations to make their system better but they all go on deaf ears. Their service sucks.

    FYI — does anyone else notice that CCC’s billing process is always a month ahead of the updates? I got Novembers update on the 15th, meanwhile they send Decembers invoice on November 10th. In other words, the day you decide switch systems they already beat you for a month or more of service.

    Do what I do: hold back 2 or 3 payments until they send you a nasty email about being cut off (which just actually makes you current)…. then trickle a payment a month to them. Maybe if we apply some financial pressure they will make the changes a little bit more quickly. Information providers and insurance companies are the only ones I know of that expect payment before the service is provided.

    If your shop doesn’t need CCC’s mailbox for the DRP’s, cancel your subscription and run the update from another shop when their done with it. That can really save your shop some bucks.

  3. Bob Isham on Fri, 16th Nov 2007 7:39 am
  4. Great article. Surely you can expect CCC to make some tweaks to the database and some P page changes that will benefit the insurance industry. They may even roll them out months before they make the software changes on the bumper scam. That little “bumper trick” probably cost the dummies in our industry about $100 million a year. I always confronted the insurer and got paid fairly but of course “I am the only one”.

    Bob Isham
    New Image Paint and Body
    Tempe, Arizona

  5. Roger Walling on Fri, 16th Nov 2007 8:35 am
  6. I don’t use the CCC system so I am not familar with it but I did take up a subject that used to be taught in school many years ago, Math! When I write an estimate from my system, or I recieve one from an appraiser, I do the Math. If it doesen’t come out the way I want it to, I change it to give me my desired profit.

    Its a very simple system and it works for me. Of course you have to be able stand on your own two feet and demand your rights as an independent business man and a few extra shots of Testosterone helps.

    The trouble with many “business men” is that they are to busy painting a fender or chasing used parts rather than picking up a pencil and really makeing money. Let your painter do the painting, your job is in the office if you truley are a business man/woman.

    Many a shop owner will tell me that they can’t afford to hire a painter, thats why they have to do it. I try and tell then, thats why they can’t afford it, but they don’t get it.

  7. Victor on Sat, 17th Nov 2007 7:45 am
  8. Yes, Insurance companies did receive this same notice..so I’m also not sure who the Confiedential notice was intended for. My only concern with the change is directed to the low quality shops who paint bumpers on the car with the same paint as the rest of the vehicle. Insurers are now forced to pay these shops for work and materials that they don’t deserve. I liked the choice of being able to either pay or not pay for the correct procedure based on the shop I was dealing with…just my 2 cents.

  9. Ins Employee on Mon, 19th Nov 2007 2:35 pm
  10. Yes, my employer sent out a notice that this change was being made, it will happen in the Jan 2008 update.

    […] 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. […]

  11. Calling Progressive’s Bluff | on Mon, 6th Apr 2009 9:47 am
  12. […] yeah, remember my prediction about CCC’s announcement that it would get rid of the prompts for bumper covers? I said it would be slow in coming. Well here we are a couple of months and updates later and […]

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