Just What Connecticut Needs: Another Association

July 14, 2008 by
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.

The press release, found in the Insurance Industry publication, ABRN, states, “The recently formed Connecticut Collision Repair Specialists (CCRS), a new state association committed to industry unity while preserving repairer rights, has become the latest Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) state affiliate. CCRS says it is committed to making unity and repairer rights a reality in their state, which has witnessed a flurry of legislative activity in regard to such issues as labor rates, steering and direct repair programs.”

Note the words “unity” and “repairer’s rights.” Don’t be fooled. Unity means unity with their pimps, the insurers, and “repairer’s rights” means the right to steal work from you through steering.

Lisa Siembab is apparently the executive director, whatever that means. According to her profile in some who’s who vanity website, she started the association in April 2008 and is the only member. Looking deeper into her background you find she was in charge of marketing for the “Responsible Push back” gang at Carstar. She is also involved, or has been in past, with CIC, the “Collision Insurance Committee” we all look to so proudly to represent and protect our interests.

In addition to that fine resume, Larry Siembab (I’m assuming is her husband) owns a Carstar DRP shop in Berlin Connecticut. Now, this guy has a track record. Read here his testimony during a public hearing for Connecticut’s anti-steering bill. He’s also listed on that who’s who vanity website as senior director of insurance relations for Carstar. Well, isn’t special? Fox in the hen house. The pimp of Carstar’s DRP whores. He owns a body shop in the town where Progressive set up shop. How much you wanna bet he’s one of those handful of slick businessmen who jumped into bed with the most hated insurance company in the industry. Sorry Larry, but that’s all the information you listed on the vanity site. If you had listed your positive qualities, I would have added them to the article. I’m sure you are hard working, honest and charitible person, but having relations with insurers? Sends a chill down my spine.

I had heard rumor of a DRP association starting up here in Connecticut. I should have known Carstar would be behind it. The big DRP whores in this state are not happy with the direction the ABAC has steered the debate over DRP’s and the consumer shellacking that is the result. Regardless of the apparent failures in the legislative arena, we in Connecticut have been very successful at building a coalition with the Attorney General, many legislators and more importantly, the press. Many see the handwriting on the wall. The AG has come right out and said he wants prostitution in the collision industry to end. He wants the DRP business model outlawed. He has seen first hand the hard selling techniques insurers use to steer customers to their DRP hack shops.

The press eats this stuff up. They love stories of big business trying to screw the consumer. Every time we contact them with an example they oblige us with coverage. The DRP culture leaders in DC are so threatened that they tried to hire our own media consultant away from us. Thankfully, our guy has integrity and refused to work both sides of the issue.

Rhode Island has a DRP association. I had the pleasure of meeting with and talking to one of the leaders at a meeting I was speaking at a few years ago. This fellow, as with most DRP whores had an interesting philosophy about our industry and what it takes to prosper. He truly believed that the insurance company was his real customer.

Last year I applied for an appraiser job at another shop in Berlin CT, a shop that at one time had a great reputation, but had lately moved to the dark side. Based on my rants here on my website, the guy discouraged me from applying. He told me our philosophies were different. He now had just about every DRP out there and he considered the insurer his customer. I wonder if Progressive interviewed these clowns before the chose the Berlin CT area for their brothel.

It should be interesting to see if this new association will list its membership on its website, if it ever has one, or if it will try to protect the identity of its members to save them the embarrassment. Then again, many folks with a short circuit in their thought process can’t be embarrassed by anything. The term “misfit” comes to mind.

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7 Comments on Just What Connecticut Needs: Another Association

  1. Mastertech on Mon, 14th Jul 2008 4:29 pm
  2. Another weak attempt to justify thier individual business decisions. He He. I don’t know how working at a loss is a great business decision. But hey what do I know..

  3. Bob Isham on Mon, 14th Jul 2008 4:57 pm
  4. I think having an association that is 100% DRP is a great concept. They won’t have to infiltrate the regular groups and spy on the honest, hard working shop owner who realizes who the real customer is.

    Carstar is married to Hartford but we all know insurers are “fair weather friends” and H Hartford will bleed them dry before tossing them out the door like a cheap $3.00 trick.

  5. Ben Bellizzi on Thu, 11th Sep 2008 7:51 pm
  6. hey john, why would you even be talking about whores…n pimps…what company do you work for…o thats right no bbody even knows…maybe you should shut your mouth and stick to writing pointless blogs, that has no effect on anything u idiot.

  7. John Shortell on Fri, 12th Sep 2008 10:53 pm
  8. Well said Ben! Very coherent. You’re an asset to your industry.

  9. Bob Isham on Fri, 12th Sep 2008 7:47 am
  10. John, it would appear that Ben Bellizzi is one of the shops you were describing. Of course these shops prefer more dignified terms like “servicing their masters”. They just don’t get it. A man can’t serve two masters. They chose the insurer and the good guys take care of the REAL CUSTOMER who is the vehicle owner.

  11. Ben Bellizzi on Fri, 12th Sep 2008 1:19 pm
  12. Hey John actually i dont work for any of these companies…so dont talk about things you dont know about…leave it up to people who know what they are talking about

  13. John Shortell on Fri, 12th Sep 2008 10:56 pm
  14. Glad to see you are following this conversation. Let me know if I can sort it out and explain it for you.

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