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Top 5 Mistakes Made When Requesting a Quote for Autoglass Replacement or Repair

As an Auto glass Replacement/Repair Technician for 22 years, I have experienced thousands of incoming calls requesting quotes for cracked windshields and rock chip repairs. Time and time again these top 5 mistakes are repeated due to miscommunication that unfortunately winds up having the incorrect part ordered, dissatisfied customers, time and gas wasted, quoted amount higher than prepared for, a reschedule needed, and so on. All of that can easily be avoided if you only follow these 5 tips:

*please note “us” and “we” = the autoglass industry collectively

1: What’s it Called? It’s funny how just one little word can be used, or rather misused, and if not clarified can lead to disaster. Let me explain; In this industry a windshield is a windshield – but surprisingly in the customer’s “world”, that little piece of glass can be called glass, window, windscreen, etc. And in fact has been called by customers”the driver’s side glass” meaning the crack is on the driver’s side of the windshield. Backglass is what we call the backglass, however this has been called window too. But it is without a doubt the door glass that is the most miscommunicated. “My door” to us can mean your actual car door, your door regulator, etc. When we hear “my window is broken on the right side” we hear your passenger side doorglass is broken. A customer is capable of saying “the glass is broken behind me”…now, usually at this time detective work is needed..Could this be the rear doorglass??? We must dig deeper.

Top Mistake #2: What’s In a Year? You would be surprised at how many people really have no idea what they are driving around in. Specifically the year, make, model, style, doors, etc. Specifically, it is the YEAR that really causes problems! Customers who tell us the wrong year, and we purchase the glass, show up, and it doesn’t fit properly, have no idea that even just a 1 year difference can cause us to bring you the wrong part! And sometimes being able to run back to the warehouse, get the correct part based on year, and rush back to you can be impossible and we are forced to reschedule!

Top Mistake #3: What Do You Drive? Do you have 2 or 4 door, sedan, coupe convertible, etc? Is the Model New? (ex; as in NEW Optima vs Optima). Is the Model you have an Explorer..or an Explorer Sport Trac? If a customer says they have a Jeep, we need to know if is it a Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, or Wrangler. To top it off a Cherokee has 2 and 4 door that each could require a different glass. Have a Kia Rio? or is it a Rio5? Okay, you get the picture. It matters..really!

Top Mistake #4: How Much? Usually a quote is like this: “$150 plus tax, so $163.88 out the door”. Or we might say: “your total out the door is $163.88 that includes tax”. But that funny little word gets lost in translation quite a bit. So a customer goes to pay and says, “but I was quoted $150…” The “plus tax” is not heard. What most customers don’t realize is that in this industry most auto glass shops will quote as “that will be $150”.. before sales tax is included. Then after the job, you are told $163.88, to which the customer is understandably upset because that is not what you were quoted when you called. Always ASK “is that quote INCLUDING SALES TAX?”

Top Mistake #5: Arrival Time is When? We are always careful with this little sentence because we know how busy you are and how every minute of every day is full for all! Time is precious! Since we are not the cable company (ya’ know, “be there between 8am & 6pm”) we like to give a time of arrival. But the miscommunication is that the assumption of the time of arrival given is in the customer’s mind; the tech will arrive and be done by that time given. But what most customers don’t know is that sometimes installations just don’t go as planned. Techs can be there for an hour or 4 if issues arrive. So arrival time is just that, when the tech will arrive… and now the fun begins. Just relax inside and we will get everything all fixed up for you! But please do NOT schedule your day so that you are driving it away right after the tech is done…NO! That is just NOT SAFE!! There is a “safe drive-away time.” Each vehicle is different..so ask!


So that’s it! The Top 5 mistakes that can and will happen if not handled & communicated properly between you, the potential customer and glass shops/technicians.


1. Windshield or Backglass? Doorglass…which side? (front, back/rear, passenger, driver’s?)

2. What Year is your vehicle?

3. What Make/Model/Style is your vehicle?

4. What is your “out the door” (otd) quote? Make sure it includes sales tax.

5. What is the Arrival time & “Safe Drive-Away Time”

Next Article…”Top 5 Mistakes on Insurance Claims”

Future Article…”Decoding the Vin# Know Exactly What Year Your Car is”