I n d e p e n d e n t ’ s D a y
“By Your Powers Combined …”
by David Zoldowski
In 2008, the Independent Glass Association (IGA) published a steering
comic book that featured IGA Man, a hero fighting to inform the public
of their right to choose their auto glass providers. While IGA Man may
be the auto glass industry’s hero, every hero needs a sidekick or, in
some cases, a group of fellow heroes equally as powerful. Great hero forces
like Captain Planet and the Planeteers and the X-Men were only truly great
when their powers were combined.
The same concept can be applied to our fight for an industry free of steering.
While we at the IGA have plenty of passion for a just system, there certainly
is something to be said for strength in numbers. The industries affected
by the issue of steering are more than most would guess, which leads me
to ask, “Why have we not joined forces?”
Glass replacement surely is a different ballgame than collision repair,
but the problems remain the same. Many of us are losing jobs, customers
and revenue because of unfair steering practices and we all want to do
something actively to change this. No matter the difference in industries,
the principle of the matter remains the same; well-trained, professional,
hard-working and ethical businesses are being cheated out of the opportunity
to serve their customers and meet their needs properly and safely.
The best way to conquer steering is to surround the issue from all sides
and that’s where a coalition of steering survivors can change the nature
of this battle.
“Glass replacement surely
is a different ballgame than collision repair,
but the problems remain the same.”
The Incident Report Form
The IGA’s Steering Incident Report Form is a great tool for keeping tabs
on the steering activities of insurance companies and the responses have
been rolling in. This great response has led me to wonder what kind of
information we could be collecting if all industries affected by steering
were using a tool such as this. It could increase, to a substantial degree,
the amount of information that would be coming in from all sides and we
all know that in this industry knowledge is power. If you are not familiar
with our online steering report form you can visit www.iga.org
and click on the “Report Steering: More Details” link. (You also can visit
the form directlyat www.windshieldsafety.com/grievance/.)
Recently the IGA spoke at a meeting of the board of directors of the Society
of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) and discussed some of the tools
we have created to combat steering. We found that the collision shops
were very interested in how they could implement some of these practices
While we all must continue to battle the individual steering cases that
come through our shops, the fight to change legislation and inform consumers
can become multi-industry. At the IGA, we are hopeful that other industries
will take our outstretched hand and join with us on the way to our goal:
fair and free business.
David Zoldowski is the president of Auto One in Brighton, Mich.,
and president of the Independent Glass Association (IGA). Mr. Zoldowski’s
opinions are solely his own and not necessarily those of this magazine.
© Copyright 2009 Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved.
No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.