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Over a period of many years of car-ownership (dating back to 1971 now I come to think of it!) I've had several reasons to call out Autoglass, all the time through my insurance.
I've had two broken windscreens, fortunately both in the era of laminated glass being ubiquitous, and therefore was able to pick my moment to have the repair done. I shudder to think what the 'bad old days' must have been like when you had to punch out a broken safety-glass* screen at speed just to get safely onto the hard shoulder. You can bet your life it would have been raining at the time.
(*Safety glass - the stuff that breaks into little cubes and is still fitted to most side and rear windows. I say 'most' because my previous car, a Citroen C4 had laminated glass all around.)
I've also had a broken side window, courtesy of some idiot who thought he'd break in just to see if the Met Police card on the dashboard warning of no goods worth nicking inside was true.
Most recently, my wife's car, a Smart, picked up a stone chip, which whilst not large, did show the tell-tale signs of turning into a crack if allowed to.
I'll deal with how these two most recent incidents were dealt with as they are freshest in my memory.
CHRIS, WHY IS THERE GLASS ALL OVER THE PASSENGER SEAT?
Ah yes, those fateful words uttered to me by another Ciaoista/Dooyoo-er as we emerged in the dark from my local pub.
Fortunately, whoever the light-fingered bastard was, there was no paintwork damage, just glass everywhere. I did lose a mobile phone over it, despite it being well hidden from view - makes mental note, never leave the Bluetooth turned on, this is like squawking 'steal me' over a 20 yard radius. Anyway, once home, I made two phone calls, one to disable the phone and the other to my insurers. This second call had to wait till morning for obvious reasons.
Come the next day, my insurers were more than happy just to let me ring Autoglass direct, confirm that I had comprehensive insurance and book the work in.
I was quite impressed how flexible Autoglass were prepared to be, but in the end I chose to meet them on my driveway to get the repair done. The prospect of driving to work, something I only do on Mondays held no joy as I'd have been parked in a street with no window on the kerb side! Their 'time-slots' enabled me to get home in time and still work. Losing pay would have been the final insult - lose a day's pay AND pay the £75 excess. Just what the doctor didn't order!
I always wince at the thought of having some of the car's interior trim removed; this is the stuff that squeaks and rattles are made of. However, the only major difficulty was in getting as much of the broken safety-glass out from the bowels of the door frame as possible. Despite Mr. Autoglass' best effort which included improvising all sorts of slimmer and slimmer vacuum pipes, there was inevitably still going to be some glass granules inside the door. He had warned me that this was frequently the case with opening side windows. I think Duck Tape also figured large in the equation as he tried to affect a seal between his actual vacuum hose and a short length of 22mm PVC pipe.
My heart sank. The thought of the door sounding like a South American percussion instrument filled with dried Capybara droppings every time it slammed filled me with no pleasure.
There was however some light at the end of the tunnel. Every time the door slammed, a bit of glass deposited itself on the car's door sill having fallen through one of the drain holes in the base of the door. Not wanting to scratch the paint, I put good ol' Duck Tape on the sill and waited for the glass to stop coming out.
It was then that I decided to widen the tunnel and let some more light in! I discovered, if I removed the rubber bump stop from the lower corner of the door, I could see the remaining glass granules through the hole created, and by parking in an uphill direction (or by putting the car up ramps) I could coax all the glass to the rear end of the door, whereby it could be guided to the drain hole with my pinkie through the sizeable hole where to bump-stop had been.
I didn't hold this against Autoglass - after all, they can't allocate all day to these things and they'd gotten rid of most of it, and without taking the door off and tipping it upside down, I don't suppose they'd have been able to do anything else. Sometimes, a little 'self-help' is needed to get things 'just so'.
CHRIS, WHY WON'T THE WIPERS SHIFT THAT FLY?
"Err, that's not a fly, it's a chip" - albeit a small chip which had then spread to a mere 5mm crack in one of the layers of laminate. I don't often remember TV ad jingles, but 'Autoglass Repair, Autoglass Replacement' sprang easily to mind.
I rang my insurers, John Lewis, who gave me another number to ring. However, this is just their own way of putting you through to Autoglass. The call was answered very rapidly after a short recording telling me I was being put through to Autoglass via John Lewis Insurance. No tedious buttons to press, no menus to listen to, nothing. No "if you want the mark of the beast removed, press 666, if you're bound and gagged press 3 with your nose'. None of that this time, just a real live person!
I'd already been onto Autoglass' web site so I knew that a chip in the driver's field of vision had to comply with certain parameters to be repairable. Fortunately ours was a nice co-operative chip, being at least 6 cm from the edge of the screen and sufficiently small without being 'too small to fix'.
Just as promised, Autoglass turned up dead in the middle of their 8am-11am timescale and after applying numerous gadgets and unguents to the screen had lessened the effect of the chip to the extent that you have to go looking for it now!
The service was friendly and polite and all over in 15 minutes. As this was 'only' a repair, no money changed hands, and indeed had it been a replacement, my current insurers would only have charged me £60, not the previous £75.
The work came with a lifetime of the car warranty. I don't suppose if it cracks again whilst the car is being scrapped that anyone will complain!
In a few words, boy am I glad that most comprehensive insurers include Autoglass as a 'must have', with no loss of no-claims-bonus and only a nominal fee (have you seen the price of a real new windscreen!?) to pay in the case of a replacement.
I visited Autoglass's website after my car got shot (Manchester - say no more) with a BB or pellet gun. The damage was about the size of a penny in a fairly innocuous place just next to the rear view mirror. Autoglass are one of my insurer's recommended glaziers. After answering the questions about the damage online and provisionally booking the repair for the next day, I was called by one of their admin staff to confirm the appointment. Shortly after this phone call I was called again to ask if I wanted the repair done that same day instead - convenient for me but something about this gave me the impression that Autoglass's technician rostering might be a little disorganised.
The first technician arrived at about the agreed time and set to work, although after about ten minutes he said he'd tried but couldn't repair the windscreen because of the nature of the damage - the damaged area of glass just crumbled outwards when he tried to inject the resin and the windscreen would now have to be replaced. I asked whether it'd be a genuine manufacturer's windscreen that'd be supplied and was told laughingly that 'We supply the manufacturers' - quite a vague answer that was to be disproved the next day. The technician phoned his office and arranged a new appointment with me the next day for full windscreen replacement.
The second technician arrived bang on time just as I was removing the windscreen wipers from my car in readiness. He inspected the car and asked me to sign a pre-work inspection form which highlighted various small blemishes he'd found on the car (all of which I was aware of already). After I gave him a brew he started work immediately and I was surprised when I saw he'd got the old windscreen off within ten minutes, although I noticed he didn't put anything down inside the car to catch the dust and dirt that inevitably came from under some of the exterior panels. This has allowed a lot of dirt to enter the air-vents in my car with obvious consequences. After an hour or so he'd finished and cleared up, we went through the post-work inspection form, he told me what I could and couldn't to (time before safe to drive, washing etc) and payment was made. This work is timed to take longer than the one hour this technician took.
After he'd gone I was able to inspect the work properly. At that point I noticed that the plastic 'scuttle panel' (the exterior cowling at the base of the windscreen) wasn't refitted flush to the outside of the windscreen at one side, there was about a 1/4" gap. I got my Haynes manual out and looked how to remove and refit this panel, it was a simple matter of removing the wiper arms, disconnecting the washer jet hose and then undoing two lots of clips to remove. Once this had been removed I looked to see why it wouldn't sit flush to the windscreen, this was immediately apparent - several of the plastic clips were broken and one of the clip's mountings had been broken off and then bodged back on with some (still wet) adhesive windscreen sealant. There are also marks on the scuttle panel where the technician had obviously pryed at it with a screwdriver which wasn't needed. This is poor workmanship and could have been avoided if the technician had simply asked me if I knew how to remove the panel, or whether I had a manual which described removal (both of which I did).
I've not yet decided whether to contact Autoglass to complain - I wouldn't want one of their technicians to work on my car again, yet a new panel from an authorised dealer will cost me about £180. Having the windscreen replaced on my car was a job I really didn't want to have to have done, I'd have rather they'd been able just to fill it with resin even if it was still noticeable - there are some horror stories about metal damage following windscreen replacement. I was in two minds whether to take my car to a main dealer (expensive but quality service? Although my dealer subcontracts its glazing work to another company anyway) or to have Autoglass do the work (replace windscreens day-in day-out). In the end I plumped for Autoglass and can only hope that their skill at the actual task of fitting vehicle glass is better than their handling of my car's body panels.
I give one star out of five to Autoglass because their second technician was dishonest in trying to hide his shoddy work. Both techicians seemed a little arrogant - I'm technically minded and quite capable of performing moderately difficult work on cars with the limited tools available to me - I wish I'd done some of the work myself now or at least watched the second technician like a hawk, because I'm not impressed with the workmanship which leaves my car now needing unnecessary repairs.
I was recently driving along the motorway minding my own business when I heard a really loud noise that sounded like something sharp hitting my windscreen. Whilst driving I searched all over the place to see if I could see any damage and was really annoyed to see that I had a chip with some fractured cracks coming from it in the middle of my windscreen hiding behind my mirror. I was even more annoyed as about 15 minutes before I had been thinking that I was pleased that nothing had gone wrong with the car recently...totally jinxed it!
I immediately knew the people to call were Autoglass as I had seen their adverts literally everywhere and after reading through my insurance documentation I realised they were the recommended company to go through in order to repair the windscreen. Bearing in mind that I am a relatively poor student I was freaking out about the price it was going to cost me!
I was pleasantly surprised to find that you can order a repair for the windscreen by visiting the website and just answering the questions related to the type of chip. In order for your windscreen to be repaired the chip has to be smaller than a £2 coin and has to be more than 6cm away from the edges of the window.
It is also usually not able to be repaired if the chip has occurred on the driver's side of the car as you obviously need completely clear vision when driving. The driver's side is classed as covering the piece of glass that spans the steering wheel. However they are able to attempt to repair the chip if it doesn't span more than 10mm across.
I was really pleased that they were able to fix the chip in my windscreen rather than replace the whole piece of glass as the price difference was enormous. As I have fully comprehensive insurance with Direct Line it meant I only had to pay the £10 excess and they would cover the other £60 needed to repair it. Had the windscreen had to be replaced then I would have been paying the full amount. I was also pleased because it didn't affect my No Claims Bonus as it was caused by accident and I didn't have a black mark on my record as a driver.
The repair guy came to fix the car the next day as online when filling out all the details of where I wanted the car to be repaired, I was able to select a time slot for the very next day which I was content with as that meant the car was road worthy again quite fast. He arrived exactly when he said he would and quickly set about getting all the equipment and paperwork out that he needed so he could get the job done as soon as possible for me.
He was extremely friendly and talked me through the process, including explaining to me that it was a possibility that the crack might get worse while he was working on repairing it, meaning that I could need a new windscreen should this happen. I of course then spent the whole half an hour praying that it wouldn't break as I could barely afford the £10 let alone another £60.
I am amazed by what they are able to do to fix a break or chip in a windscreen and now it is barely noticeable and when you run your finger over the glass it almost seems like there was never a chip at all.
I would sincerely recommend them to anyone as they have a life time guarantee on the chip for as long as you own the car, so should the windscreen break from that point again they will replace it free of charge and combined with the fact that their workmanship is fast and efficient, you really can't go wrong.
I was driving on a dual carriageway when a truck was overtaking using the second lane I was behind the truck. There was a sudden burst of debris from the tyre of the truck. Unfortunately a small stone whipped and chipped the windscreen on the passenger side.
I phoned up Autoglass saying that I had chipped my window and they said they would come and fix it at home or I would have to come to their garage. I couldn't find a time which would suite me and the driver within the next two days. So I made an appointment the same day at the Autoglass garage.
Everything was done professionally. I went gave my car and sat for about 30 mins in the reception and the engineer called me over and said it was fixed, signed a couple of papers for Autoglass to claim the money from my insurance.
Note- you normally don't have to pay because most of the time the insurance policy covers windscreens.
Also the chip has to be away 30cm from the driver's line of vision, and if it is within the drivers line of vision then it cannot be more than 1cm long.
It cant be bigger than a £2 coin.
Has to be at least 6cm away from the edge of the windscreen.
But there is a risk the chip could widen whilst it's being repaired, and if the chip widens and is unrepairable then you will have to replace the whole screen. The engineer is not at fault with this.
Having had a nice stone skip across my windscreen and put three large chips across my line of vision, I needed a windscreen repair done quickly a few days before my car's MOT.
I tried booking an appointment on-line for one of their technicians to visit me, however they were fairly booked up for a few days and wouldn't be able to do it before the MOT. Helpfully they phoned up and confirmed that someone would be available at the local branch that afternoon to perform the repair, so I drove down straight away and the job was finished within half an hour.
The quality of the filling-job was very impressive. The guy did warn me beforehand amongst all the disclaimer speech that it was primarily a structural repair and may still be visible once completed, but you have to look very closely to even see it now.
They take care of all the paperwork with your insurer, etc, so you just pay your excess (if you even have one for windscreen repairs) directly to them and that's it.
So about 2 hours after I first went to make a booking and £10 worse off, I had a windscreen that looked as good as new!
We had to use Auto Glass Tuesday for the first time and this is a review of our experience with them.
On Monday afternoon we had a knock on the door, it was a neighbour saying someone had thrown a stone and it had hit my OH's rear window and smashed it. As you can imagine we were in a bit of a shock and quite upset as we were supposed to be going out that evening. OH rang the police and then his insurance company and they gave him the phone number to ring Auto Glass.
They answered the phone pretty quickly and took all the details but then said they couldnt come out on Monday as they had to get a new window from Leicester as they don't stock them locally (we are in Medway, Kent, and the car is a Ford Mondeo). We were a bit upset about this too but there was nothing we could do about it except move the car to a friends drive over night after securing it with some plastic and sticky tape. We had been told that we could expect the Auto Glass person to arrive in the afternoon on Tuesday.
Tuesday morning my OH rang the local Auto Glass office to see if they could give us a better idea of when to expect them as he didn't want to bring the car round outside too early as we can't par right outside our house and he was worried someone might get in it. They said we could expect them between 1 and 3 pm. So he went and got the car in time.
At 1 pm on the dot Auto Glass rang to say it was too wet out as it was raining and they couldnt do the repair in the rain so could we bring the car in to the local branch. This wasn't really too much of a hinderance as luckily OH is off work this week on holiday (some holiday it was turning out to be) but it was still putting us out a bit.
When we finally found the place the person atthe reception was very friendly and polite and said he would call the fitter out to speak to us.
The waiting room was nice and warm and there was a machine where you could help yourself to a hot drink if you wanted. There were a few seats there as well if you wanted to wait for the car.
The fitter came and said it would take about 2 hours to do the windscreen and we didnt want to wait that long so we left him the keys and went for a walk to the nearest town. They said they would ring when they had finished it but after an hour and a half we decided to head back and see how they were doing.
The reception fella said it was nearly finished and they were just hoovering out the old glass and it would be ready.
The window looked nice and shiny when we finally got the car and we had to pay £60 which was the excess on the insurance.
Everything seemed fine until we got home and OH opened the boot to get some bits out. As he lifted the boot up we could hear glass moving about. We saw some little bits still in the creases of the side of the boot and got these out but when he moved the boot there was still a noise. We realised they must have left bits of glass inside the shell of the boot door and there is no way to get them out now unless we have the window replaced again.
Another thing that we were upset about was that there was still broken glass in the back of the car on the seat and also in the boot. The insurance people had said that Auto Glass would get out all of the old glass from the car but they hadn't done it properly.
We have sent an email to the insurance company telling them about this and are still waiting for a reply.
I suppose the summary is that we are not happy with the results although the window is done and it took the time they said it would and it wasnt their fault it was raining and we had to take the car there but they were a bit shoddy in leaving the broken glass pieces in ther car.
I was driving home after taking my Granddad for a meal for his birthday and a chipping flew up as another car passed me. The chipping hit my windscreen (do they ever hit anywhere else?), but I couldn't see any additional chips in the screen (there was already 2 or 3 small chips in my windscreen). I parked up at the local supermarket and popped into to get some supplies, however when I got back to the car and sat in the drivers seat I could see a crack which most definitely hadn't been there before! It came down from the middle of the top of my windscreen in a 20 - 30cm arc. I wasn't impressed! I think the chip must have spread when I shut the car door to go into the supermarket.
As soon as I got home I found my insurance details and called Direct Line as my car has full comprehensive insurance. As it was past 5pm on a Saturday during a Bank Holiday weekend, I was told that it would be Tuesday at the earliest before Autoglass could come out. I wasn't thrilled at this, but fully understood and felt better when the operator told me that as long as the crack in the windscreen didn't interfere with my view there wasn't a problem and that the glass would not shatter in on me. I was given the option of them coming to my home to replace the windscreen or going to my place of work. Since I work from 8.30am until 4.30pm I asked if they could come to my place of work, so that I wouldn't need to take any time off (it didn't occur to me to ask if they could come after work!). I just had to pay £75 excess and Direct Line would cover the rest of the cost. I gave my card details over the phone, along with 2 contact numbers (mobile and work) and my work place address so they could find me. I was also asked if there was anywhere I could park my car under cover at work in case it rained. I told the operator that there was a possibility but that I would need to ask at work on Tuesday morning, so the operator said Autoglass would phone to confirm this if it was wet. I was given a time slot of between Midday and 4pm on Tuesday and that it would take 2 hours.
Tuesday arrived and at 12.45pm so did the Autoglass van. I was slightly surprised because it was absolutely tipping it down and they hadn't phoned to confirm if I was able to park my car under cover. As luck would have it, we had enough space to park my car in the loading bay of the building and this also gave the Autoglass man enough room to set up my new windscreen and his tools as needed.
After I had parked my car under cover, the Autoglass man asked me to stay with him for a few minutes while he made a pre-work inspection of the front of my car. Basically, they do this to insure that no marks made prior to the work can be attributed to them. He made his inspection (which came back with no marks!) and asked me to sign a sheet to say I'd seen him do the inspection and agreed to the service. The Autoglass man then told me it would take him around 45 minutes to complete the work and that he'd come and find me afterwards, so I left him to it.
True to his word, almost exactly 45 minutes later the Autoglass man came to say he'd finished fitting my new windscreen. Again, he needed to do a post-work inspection and needed my signature. He showed me the windscreen and I could see no new marks had been made to me car. The Autoglass man then explained that I shouldn't drive my car until after 2.30pm (which was about an hour away - not that I could leave work until 4.30pm anyway!) and that I shouldn't pressure wash it for a few days. He then gave me my car keys and an "Advice Note" (a bit like an invoice) which had my details on and what checks he'd made (including checking my windscreen wipers, the vehicle exterior and interior etc). He told me it was now fine to park my car outside, but not to go anywhere in it just yet, then he went on his way.
Getting into the car after work at 4.30pm, I noticed just how sparkly clear my windscreen was... It seems such a long time since it was so clear! The rain (which was still pouring) just ran off my windscreen with ease. One thing I did notice though was the smell of glue/sealant, but I kind of expected that (I simply drove with the window down a bit).
Autoglass turned up during the timeframe they said they would and did an excellent job. The Autoglass man was friendly, efficient and knowledgeable, and I was happy that Direct Line had chosen them as one of their service providers.
Obviously, I hope you never have to use Autoglass, but I certainly had no problems with them fitting my new windscreen and I'm pleased with the work they've done.
Last week my windscreen developed a crack after being hit by a stone, great! After going through my insurance documents I realised that I did infact have glass cover which was a slight relief so after phoning them and explaining what had happened they put me through to Autoglass. I explained what had happened to the man on the other end of the phone and he asked if I thought it could be repaired or needed a new windscreen. I explained the crack had got bigger and bigger as the day progressed so I would need a new windscreen. He said that wasn't a problem and took details such as my car, my reg, my name, address, telephone number etc. He then asked if I was able to make the payment of my glass excess (£70) which I did and then informed me the dates and times that were available for a technician to come to my house to replace the windscreen.
I was informed that there was no available slots until the following Monday (today was Tuesday) so it was quite a long wait. I was a bit annoyed about this, especially as I knew there was an Autoglass centre about 10 miles away from my home. I imagine if you go into them it can get sorted out a lot quicker although I wasn't given this option. So I accepted the Monday slot and was not given a particular time slot that they would be here in so assumed I had to wait in all day. However, I was advised that the car was safe to drive so it wasn't as though I was stuck in for nearly a week!
Monday arrived and Autoglass arrived at about 10:30, he showed me the new windscreen which had a sunstrip-unlike my old one. I wasn't keen on this but decided to put up and shut up although he did tell me he could order me a new one. He did a quick check on my car and marked on a piece of paper any scratches my car had and then asked me to sign. I then left him my keys and he got on with it himself. He took about 50 minutes to replace the entire windscreen and Autoglass also perform a number of checks including your windscreen wipers.
When he was finished he knocked on the door with another form to sign and explained what he had done along with a number of safety issues such as not to drive it for an hour and not to wash it for 24 hours. He left my car very clean and tidy, and even replaced my tax disc and vehicle permit!
I've had no problems with the windscreen and would use autoglass again. Although having to wait a while the technician was very polite and helpful and it was a quick and easy process. If you do not have glass cover on your insurance I would recommend shopping around as I have been told that RAC are significantly cheaper!
This, in a sense, is an odd consumer review; usually we choose who to buy products and services from - in this case, on three separate occasions, I actually had little or no say in the matter.
Under any circumstances I can only image glass replacement - especially on a car - as falling into the category of a "panic purchase". In that respect, this review may offer certain comfort for those, like I, who are placed into the hands of Autoglass through their insurance company, in our case that being via a fleet policy with Zurich.
As far as I understand the situation, you do not HAVE to deal with the glass replacement company that your insurer recommends, however, in not doing so you are considerably delaying the repair as authorisation is sought for payment from the insurers. Using their nominated repairer, in this case Autoglass, makes the whole process as stress free and quick as possible, I can only however hope that my experiences with this company are representative nationwide.
WHO ARE AUTOGLASS, WHAT DO THEY DO?
Not wishing to patronise at all here, and I suspect probably around 75% of you reading this will at least have heard of Autoglass, Autoglass are what it says on the side of their vans - a car glass repair and replacement outfit. They also carry out associated and glass connected tasks such as fitting sun roofs, this however is a very minor string to their bow.
According to their website: "Autoglass® is the UK's leading vehicle glass repair and replacement company, serving more than 1.5 million motorists each year, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year".
This is a very well established company in the car replacement glass industry; there are 109 branches across the UK and a total number of 1200 mobile fitters. I am not quite sure how big "our area" (Brighton & Hove) actually is, but I was surprised when the fitter who dealt with my windscreen last week informed me that there were 8 fitters working in this area alone.
Rather than go into great further detail about this company, their fitters training (they operate the only UK automotive glass fitting National Skills centre), their glass quality (all OEM - original equipment manufacturers), I will refer you to their website at www.autoglass.co.uk.
Autoglass' philosophy towards glass replacement as far as I am concerned is spot on - they do not replace windscreens that can be repaired, their policy is always to repair first, which in my case was exactly the course of action taken.
WHAT BROUGHT ME INTO CONTACT WITH AUTOGLASS?
My experiences with Autoglass really actually only flesh out the paragraphs above, however, there is no substitute for personal experience......
......wind the clock back to September 2008.
Two days after collecting our new Subaru Legacy in September, we were driving on a main dual carriageway when there was a loud bang as a stone thrown up from another vehicle struck our windscreen just above the passenger side windscreen wiper.
Our brand new pride and joy, with less than 100 miles on the clock, had a nasty chip in its windscreen with two small cracks spreading from it. I called my insurance broker the following morning to ask who Zurich's nominated glass repairer was. He told me to contact Autoglass, providing me with their national contact number - 0844 875 2490. They would, he told me, take care of the whole claim and that I would not have to contact Zurich for authorisation on the claim.
Incidentally, Autoglass are authorised to carry out repairs up to the cost of £1000, beyond that insurance company authorisation is required.
I called Autoglass and made an appointment for a technician (I refer to them as fitters!) to visit my workplace in order to repair my windscreen. When booking the repair, the operator asks if the chip is bigger than the diameter of a 5p piece and / or if the chip is within 6cm of the edge of the windscreen. If the answer to either is yes then a repair is not possible - you require a full windscreen replacement.
The operator informed me that the "technician" would be there between 9.00am and midday. She also took both my work and mobile telephone numbers, in order that the fitter could call to confirm that the car was available, prior to attending. In the event he called me at 8.40 to ask if he could come a little early.
THE MAN WITH THE VAN AND SOME IMPRESSIVE TOOLS!
Another mobile call to inform me that he was on site and had found my car. I went out to the car park to discuss a mix-up with regards to the paperwork, in this case the VAT payment, I should explain......
......If you have this work done as a private individual, Auoglass will not take a penny from you for a chip repair. Neither will it affect your precious no-claims bonus. However if, like mine, your vehicle is owned by a VAT registered company, then you have to hand over payment for the VAT - the insurance company picking up the bill for the actual work.
In September this was more of a problem as the glass fitter himself had to take payment, then seek authorisation for the work - I am pleased to tell you that now all this is pre-authorised by credit card over the phone when you make the appointment - the fitter can turn up and simply get on with the job.
Back in September, apart from the phone calls, the chip replacement really was a very painless fifteen minute job.
Many years ago I had a similar repair done on a Vauxhall Cavalier. That was less than successful, a small lump was left on the screen and the chip was no less visible than before the repair was carried out. In short, I had wished that the screen had been replaced. The company that actually did that repair was Silver Shield, the Autoglass repair turned out to be altogether more satisfactory.
THE CHIP REPAIR
Before carrying out the work, the fitter explains that there is no guarantee that the chip will repair rather than actually cracking as resin is injected under pressure. He was confident that with the position of my chip this would not happen, but had to make me aware of the possibility of the screen cracking and requiring a full replacement.
This is a very simple process, the fitter cleans then grids out the chip, attaching, with a rubber sucker, a small mirror on the inside of the screen enabling him to see the chip clearly. Once satisfied that the chip is fully cleaned the impressive resin gun comes out. This is compressor driven - power being taken from the back of the van - not your socket - it injects resin under pressure into the chip. The resin also flows into any cracks spreading from the chip, effectively sealing them. The excess resin is then scraped off with a razor leaving the surface totally flush with the glass.
Even with the fitter still on site, I was impressed with the quality of the repair. I knew where to look for it, but anyone else getting into the car would never have spotted the chip that had now been repaired. He did tell me that over the coming three or four days the chip would actually become less visible as the resin set hard. That was entirely true and after a week I was even myself unaware of what had previously been a very visible scar on my windscreen.
The fitter was polite, good humoured and thoroughly professional. I did however comment that the cost of the chip repair seemed excessive, currently £69.95+VAT, for fifteen minutes work. His opinion was that the actual cost of doing this should be no more than about £20, but that the insurance companies were happy to pay it instead of the cost of a full windscreen replacement......
......read on, dear reader......
THE BIG BANG - I'LL SPARE YOU THE THEORY!
There we were last Monday, less than six months later, and splat! Driving down the A1M something hit the screen sounding like a large squashy fly rather than a stone. My wife and I were both amazed to see a large chip, with three small cracks radiating from it. This time it was above my head on the drivers' side, just to the right of the rear view mirror.
Now knowing the routine - and cursing my luck, only once in the previous twenty eight years and now twice in six months - I called Autoglass.
Same routine, different fitter, only this time a totally different outcome!
On this occasion I had an appointment for between 1.00 and 3.00pm. I was at home for lunch at 12.30 and the fitter rang to ask if he could do the job now, I had to delay him until my return to work at 1.00pm. When he arrived I told him that I had had a repair done six months ago: "oh well you know the routine then, I'll give you a call when I'm finished" he said.
Five minutes later my mobile rang; "I think you had better come out, there's a bit of a problem......"
There was now a huge crack from the top of the windscreen going more than half way down towards the passenger side. The fitter said that in all his years of doing these repairs he had never had a 'screen "explode" the way mine just had.
"YOU'LL BE NEEDING A NEW SCREEN IN THERE!"
"Yes, I will, and the sooner the better!" He did tell me that the car was safe enough to drive like this and that the screen (being laminated) would not "come in on me". Very reassuring, but I had a broken windscreen and my Legacy Saloon is a very rare car indeed.
Asking the fitter what would happen next, he told me that the local Autoglass branch (Brighton) would call me to make an appointment to have the replacement screen fitted. You may well imagine my surprise when a young lady called me five minutes later to say that they would be up to fit the new windscreen between 2.00 and 4.00pm the following afternoon.
Yes, I was impressed! I did have the presence of mind to enquire if they had the correct windscreen with a heater element in it, she reassured me that it was an original screen for my car.
A CRACKING GOOD SHOW! HOW DO THEY DO THAT?
Another day another Autoglass fitter. This time I am having 'the full monty', a new windscreen fitted!
This time the fitter rang to say that he was in the area and could he come at 11.00am rather than the appointed afternoon time. I was more than happy to get it done before lunch, knowing that the car could not be driven for an hour after the replacement anyway.
Before starting, the fitter has to inspect the car very carefully with the owner for any existing chips or damage. He was extremely thorough indeed; spotting two tiny stone chips which I was not aware were there. All paint chips or marks are noted on the order form which the fitter brought with him and I am requested to sign the form stating that I have inspected the vehicle with him and authorise the replacement to be done.
The fitter informed me that the job would take about an hour and I asked if he minded my watching him do this as I had never had a windscreen replacement carried out and was curious to see how it is done. It was a bright, sunny day and he actually seemed happy enough to have my company.
Unfortunately I did not have a proper camera with me, so progress was documented on my mobile phone camera - just this once it came in handy!
What followed was, for me at least, 90 minutes of sheer fascination, I simply had no idea that fitting windscreens was such a skilled, or technical job.
OUT WITH THE OLD......
.....well maybe not so old, but it certainly had a mighty big crack in it!
Before removing the windscreen quite a lot of stripping down has to take place under the bonnet and inside the car. The windscreen wiper arms have to be removed and then all of the plastic and rubber mouldings at the bottom of the screen. Once done, the rubber sealing strip around the screen is removed.
The windscreen is taken out by using a large cheese wire cutter in order to split the seal from the glass to the bodywork. This is not a fast process, large rubber suckers are attached to the inside of the screen, a flat knife put through the bottom of it enabling the cheese wire to be connected to winding gear both outside and inside the screen. The wire is then manually wound right the way around the screen until it is no longer bonded into the car. Traditional glazing suckers are then attached to the outside of the windscreen allowing it to be lifted clear of the car.
Further careful preparation takes place before the new screen can be offered up prior to fitting. All of the previous black sealing compound is carefully scraped away with a razor leaving a good bonding surface for the new windscreen.
......AND IN WITH THE NEW
With the damaged windscreen stowed in the back of the Autoglass van, the new one can now be fitted. Since arriving on site, it has been sitting face down on a trestle stand in front of the car - presumably to equalise the temperature. A coat of bonding material is applied both to the windscreen and frame on the car, this before a large electrically powered gun comes out to apply a good beading of the same material to the windscreen frame on the car. Before removing the screen from the trestle a new rubber trim seal is pressed into place around it, the old one having been discarded with the windscreen.
A large suction pad with an arm attached is placed on the passenger side door glass and a similar unit on the new screen. This allows the fitter to single-handedly swing the windscreen into position on the car. Once he has pressed it into place all the way around, ensuring a consistent fit, all the disassembled parts can be replaced onto the car - including, obviously, the rear view mirror from the old windscreen.
Once done the fitter asks me for the keys so that he can make sure that the windscreen wipers work properly, which they do. Finally I am asked to inspect the car to make sure that there is no damage at all and that everything works and fits as it should. I then have to sign the bottom of the form to say that the work has been carried out to my satisfaction.
AFTER THE SHOW IS OVER
A hanger is left over the rear view mirror with some important information. This refers to the setting of the adhesive. It states that:
1) the car should not be driven for an hour after the installation is completed, the fitter also writes in a time before which the car should not be driven.
2) After installation you should not press upon or push the windscreen.
3) You should not take the car through a car wash for at least 24 hours.
Before starting work the fitter had also handed me a customer satisfaction form, which I gladly filled in and handed back to him before he left.
The work that I have had carried out by Autoglass, on both occasions, has been covered by our fleet insurance policy. However, a warning here to anyone who does not have glass cover included in their motor insurance policy - GET IT!
Windscreens in modern cars are very expensive! The total cost of the replacement screen on my 2009 model Subaru Legacy was £738.45 including VAT.
THANKS AUTOGLASS, I CAN SEE IT ALL CLEARLY NOW
Panic purchase or not, an expensive insurance claim or not, I can only say that in my three separated dealings with Autoglass over the last six months I have been very impressed with their level of service and professionalism. Compared to so many companies connected to the motor trade, in my experience at least, this appears to be one company who know how to treat their customers. They do what they say they will, when they say that they will do it. If all of our experiences in the motor trade were as painless as this, then running a car would be a more pleasurable experience all round.
Telephone: 0844 875 2490
Richada / Dooyoo - March 2009
My windscreen caracked on me in may this year, so i called the AA and they put me through to autoglass as they would billmyinsureance company after paying the £60 exess. Alfter talking to them to arrange a date, they came out on the date given and on time so good start so far.
After that it was downhill fast. to start with, the replacement screen had a huge chip in the bottom-right hand corner,which the girl noticed by the way!! I pointed this out to her, just as she was about to rip my old screen out, and not looking in the slightest bit interested or concerned, she just said "oh, sorry" and rang her manager to tell him about hte problem and that I would not accept the replacement screen. They gave me a date of mayday bank holiday this year, and i said no, as i was going away that weekend, so they then told me to contact the yeovil branch-yes,i had to do the chasing! - to get my money back. This I duly did and they said I could contact head office (!!!) so i rang head office and they said it was a mistake on the barnches fault and they shouldnt have handled my payment. so they said they would contacty me in ten minutes.
Ten minutes cane and went, twenty minutes came and went and ater half an hour i called them back and asked them why they hadnt called me. after waxing lyrical about someone being off sick and being busy they suggested to call yeovil branch myself and the phone rang, and rang and rang! no reply!
after a day of this they head office called me and said" is that the yeovil branch"? "No it H*&&^ well isnt"!!! i said. Just about sums them up when they cannot even remember the telephone number of one oftheirown brances!
To cut a long story short, i got my money back, went to a local firm who did the screen the following day-job done!
To sum up then, my experience of autoglass's customer care is non-existent, and i felt that I was treated beyond contempt.
So, there I was recently, driving happily down the motorway when... WHAP! A car threw up a small stone which flew into my windscreen and chipped it. It wasn't a big chip (around the size of a finger nail) and nor was it dangerous. However, it was just on the edge of my vision all the time when I was driving, so was a bit of a nuisance; and, of course, as with all such chips, it's best to get it seen to straight away in case the crack starts to spread.
I approached this with some fear and trepidation. Although I was insured for free repairs to windscreen cracks under my car insurance, I feared I would have to complete a mountain of paperwork to get this simple task accomplished. It turns out, I needn't have worried. For once, the whole process was hassle free from start to finish. I checked my insurance documents and found that there was a special hotline to ring for authorised repairs using Autoglass.
The hotline for once lived up to its name. I dialled the number and within less than 5 rings, the phone was answered. The person who took the call was friendly, thorough and efficient. She took my details and the details of the problem, then booked me an appointment... for 4pm that same afternoon (bear in mind, it was already well after lunch by this point - I'd been anticipating an appointment sometime within the next millennium.) Talk about fast service! She even took the time to assure me that my car was fitted with extra tough glass, so that there was no danger of the windscreen shattering and it was safe to continue driving. We arranged that I would call in at their local office where it would be fixed on the spot in around 30 minutes. The whole call was on also on a freephone number and took less than 2 minutes from start to finish. An impressive start!
At this stage, I experienced my only problem, which was not Autoglass' fault: I couldn't find them! Although the woman I had spoken to on the phone had given me their address and postcode, and although I was armed with a map, I drove round and round the labyrinthine system of roads in the place where I live trying to find where they were hiding. Anticipating such problems, I'd left myself plenty of time to get there - over 40 minutes for what should have been a 15 minute journey - but ten minutes after my appointment time, I was still no nearer finding them.
In the end, I returned home defeated and rang them up, apologising profusely. Like the telephone helpline, the local branch was incredibly friendly and helpful. They waved off my apologies, thanking ME for bothering to let them know I wouldn't be coming! A new appointment was arranged swiftly for two days later and to avoid me having to take any more time off work, they arranged to come out to my place of work and repair it. An hour long appointment window was booked and they promised the repair man would ring me when he was on his way.
At this point, my natural, in-built scepticism kicked in. I've come across "promises to ring" before, and they almost never happen. I had visions of spending most of the morning on the phone trying to track down the elusive Autoglass man.
Wrong again. True to their word, at 9.30am, he rang to tell me he would be there in 20-25 minutes. Still slightly sceptical, I made my way over to my car to wait... and a few minutes after I arrived, the Autoglass van pulled up.
Like all the other Autoglass staff I had dealt with, he was friendly, polite and courteous. He examined the chip and confirmed he could repair it, explaining that a slight mark might remain, as some dirt had got into the glass in the meantime. He told me what he was going to do (although, in truth, I didn't really understand what he said!) and that it would take around 30 minutes and then got down to work. He worked quickly and efficiently, and, sure enough, around 25 minutes later, the chip was fixed. The quality of the repair was excellent. As he predicted, there was still a slight mark, but to be honest, unless you knew it was there, you probably wouldn't see it.
Best of all, there was very little paperwork to complete. All the forms he brought along with them were pre-filled with my details, so all I had to do was quickly scan them and sign twice and that was it - job done.
It's difficult to fault the service I received from Autoglass. I spoke to two different helplines (usually such a nightmare) and one of their repair technicians and, without fail, they were all incredibly friendly, courteous and efficient. It's nice to see that some companies can still say the words "Customer Service" and actually back up their words with their actions.
© Copyright SWSt 2008
Autoglass as the name suggest specialise in glass, they repair or replace any type of glass on any model, shape or age of vehicle. They have 121 branches nationwide and help around 1.5 million motorists a year, they also have 1200 technicians who can come to your home and do the repairs there 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year.
If your windscreen is cracked they aim to repair it rather than replace it, this saves you money and saves them time. It will usually not cost you a penny for the repair work; Autoglass will simply contact your insurance company and claim their fee. On the website there is a section that runs you through a series of simple questions that helps them determine whether or not they suggest you repair or replace you windscreen. If you have a chip they can repair, but if it is a crack with spikes larger than a £2 coin they will likely replace the screen, also if the blemish is in your line of sight as a driver they will replace it.
If they do decide to replace your screen you will only have to pay the excess fee on your insurance policy, for me it would be £60 through Direct Line, luckily however I had mine repaired. I did however have to pay a fee of £10; this is however my insurance companies policy and not Autoglass's. I found the site very easy to use, once I had established my screen would only need repairing I had to book a date. There is a clearly marked tab at the top of the website that says 'Book an appointment', all you do is click on this and follow the simple instructions, one question it will ask you is if you have cover at your home to do the work under. If you do not like me they may ask that you take your car in to get the work done, this is because the resin takes 20 minutes to dry and if it rains the repair work would be ruined.
Even though I didn't have over however they still agreed to book an appointment, it was at 12 o clock on a Saturday. I had just finished in town when I got a call at 10:30am from the technician saying he could slot me in then if I took my car in, considering the branch was on the way home I agreed. I pulled in to the car park and was swiftly welcomed by the young gentleman who was going to do the work, he took me into the lobby and asked me to sign a form which stated that the repair work may actually increase the size of the chip or crack; this would inevitably lead to a replacement. This did actually happen to my granddads Jaguar and he had to get it replaced so don't think it WON'T happen to you, it might very well do.
He took the car around to the garages whilst I waited in the lobby, I was given the SKY TV remote and told I could use their computer for the internet, I was also given seven tokens for their coffee / tea machine, it was like being at home. Twenty minutes later the car was brought back round to the front and although the crack wasn't entirely gone a few of the crack lines has disappeared. I signed another form to agree that the work had been completed to my satisfaction, handed over the £10 and then I was back on the road.
Overall I was very pleased with the Autoglass service; they were swift, professional and did a very good job. Who knows whether my chip would have increased in size over time, at least now I feel a bit happier that it will not suddenly expand over my whole screen, especially in the colder months that are approaching. I would advise anyone with a sizeable crack (don't laugh) to approach Autoglass, £10 and 30 minutes isn't much to pay to save yourself a lot of potential hassle.
My experiences with Autoglass are few and far between, however on the two occasions that I have needed to call Autoglass I received such a good service that I thought I should write them a review to show just how good they are!
I first used Autoglass in November 2005 after I bought my Vauxhall Corsa with a chip in the windscreen. I had heard many adverts on the radio about chips and how you should get them repaired before they turned into cracks, so having been made slightly paranoid that my windscreen was going to shatter in front of me I called the free phone number and arranged for Autoglass to come to my house (at my convenience!) to repair or replace if needed my windscreen.
*** The Phone Call ***
I phoned Autoglass on the Monday afternoon, my call was immediately answered by a lovely lady who asked me about the chip and my insurance and she explained to me that if I was covered by Fully Comprehensive insurance then the chip would be repaired for free, or if the windscreen needed replacing I would only need to pay my excess for the replacement. We then arranged what day, time and place; either work or home would be best for them to come out to me. I agreed on Wednesday morning between 9am and 1pm at my home. The lady then told me I needed to have my insurance certificate ready to show the technician when they arrived. She then confirmed the date and time with me and ended the phone call.
The phone call itself lasted only around 3 - 4 minutes and it was a complete pleasure with a real person to talk to and not a computer and everything was explained to me in a way that was easy to understand. So all I had to do now was wait until Wednesday!
*** Wednesday Morning ***
Well me being me... I stayed in bed until the doorbell rang! This was about 10:30am! "Fantastic they're here on time!" I thought, so I got up and opened the door to a smartly dressed autoglass man who was already having a look at my chip, he asked to see my insurance document and also if I could open the car so he could look at the chip from the inside... I gave him the keys as I was in my PJ's! He had a look inside and explained to me that he should be able to repair the chip using a silicone solution, however there was always a risk of the windscreen cracking and if this happened I would need a replacement and this would cost me my excess on my policy. I agreed to this and left him to it while I went and got dressed.
10 Minutes later I re-open the front door to have a nose at what's going on, and to be honest I haven't got a clue what the equipment was they were using, but it was like a little sucker attached to the window where the chip was and this was filled with silicone which he was slowly filling the chip with. He explained to me that he had cleaned inside the chip as best as he could, however depending on how long the chip had been there would effect how visible the chip would be after repair. Upon taking the sucker off he did all his checks and cleaned my window for me and told me it was fine and my window was now as strong as new! I had a look at where the chip had been and although you could still clearly see the mark, you could also see that it had been repaired and it was a good clean repair.
So, being the satisfied customer I signed the documents to say the work had been carried out and I was pleased with it, I was given a receipt; this was also my guarantee for the work and the autoglass man was on his way. The whole procedure was over in about 30 - 40 minutes and I had the peace of mind that my car was safe again.
*** Did It Last? ***
Yes, I kept my Corsa until January 2006 and I had absolutely no problems at all. I could always see where it had been repaired but other than that there was nothing to complain about.
*** My Second Experience ***
I have used Autoglass again since this experience as I bought a Peugeot 106 in January 2006 and whilst I was driving round one night in February a stone flicked up and hit my screen, but due to it being dark I didn't realise that a chip had again occurred. This time I wasn't as good and I kept delaying calling Autoglass... Big mistake! I finally called them in July and this is how it went....
The phone call was as before, I had everything explained to me, the only difference was I was told and autoglass person would call me back within 2 hours to arrange a time. Sure enough about 30 minutes later I had a phone call, again this was very polite and we arranged a suitable time and place, this time it was on a Saturday between 2pm and 5pm.
So unable to go out on Saturday afternoon I went and collected my partner in the morning and we sat in watching movies until Autoglass arrived... unfortunately they were 30 minutes late. However the man did apologise and got straight to work on my window.
This time it wasn't so simple as he was repairing the chip, it cracked, this was due to the fact that I hadn't got it repaired and the chip had grown, this meant I was going to need a replacement windscreen. The man explained I would need to pay him £50 excess and that he had a replacement in the back of his van that he had brought out just in case so he would be able to replace it immediately. So I agreed... not that I had much choice! And the autoglass man got underway with his replacement while I walked down to the cash point.
Now being the curious person I am, I sat on the step watching him replace the window and I even did a little video on my phone! First he removed all the seals and then used two suckers to lift the glass out, he then took this to the back of his van and came back out to removed all the old sealant so he could put the new sealant on, after putting the sealant on he got the new windscreen out the back of his van and simply fitted it in place with two large suckers, these helped hold it firmly while it set, he then put some new seals on the outside and cleaned the window. PERFECT!! Job done, all that was left was the paperwork. I signed this, got my receipt and guarantee, the man explained that I couldn't use my car for about 2 hours just to give the sealant time to set properly and that I should avoid bumping off things like kerbs for at least 24 hours to enable everything to set properly. This all took about an hour to complete.
I followed his advice and again I have no complaints. My new windscreen is still in position, I have avoided gaining any chips and I am still really pleased with the service I received.
*** So Would I recommend? ****
Yes, I would highly recommend Autoglass, they are very efficient, they know what they are doing and they do it quick and well. I would also recommend from personal experience to call them the moment a chip appears as it is free to repair (if you're fully comp insured) and it will cost you your excess if you need a replacement!
0800 36 36 36
Thanks for reading!
I first heard about Autoglass a few years ago on a TV advert and vaguely remember hearing that any windscreen chips would not cost a penny to be repaired as the cost would be covered by your insurance company. Little did I know that a few months later within a space of 2 months I had to call out Autoglass twice, for a window replacement and a chip repair!
A few weeks ago I was driving along when I heard a loud bang. It scared the living daylights out of me and I instinctively put a hand up to my face as I heard glass shatter. After the initial bang I looked at my driver's side window and there was a small hole in the corner of the window and the rest was starting to crack in a rippling effect. It didn't take long for the whole window to resemble a mosaic picture of glass, about ready the fall into the car.
I looked around and there was no one around so couldn't really understand what had happened and what caused the glass to smash. Fortunately I pulled over and within seconds the whole window imploded into my lap. I was lucky enough that I was only about 5 miles from my house and able to drive home.
As a company, Autoglass have 121 branches throughout the UK and 1,200 glass technicians. Technicnas can come to your home, place of work or at the roadside to carry out repairs. They are also open 365 days a year and help over 1.5 million motorists per yer.
You can book and appoinment with Autoglass either by phone on 0800 011 3676 (which I did) or you can book online at www.autoglass.co.uk. Repair costs vary and these depend on whether you have a chip or a crack in the window, whether it is a side window that has broken or a windscreen/rear window (heated or not) and most importantly if your car insurance covers you for glass damage. Autoglass will always try to repair windows which have are chiped and is free if you have fully comprehensive cover, however I was told that if a chip is larger than a 5 pence piece then it is likely you will have to have the window replaced.
I contacted Autoglass around 4:30pm on a Sunday afternoon (why is it that when anything goes wrong with a car it always happens when local garages are shut?). Their number can be found in the Yellow Pages and my call was answered very quickly without having to go through a list of options, which makes a welcome change.
I was told I would be contacted within an hour and 20 minutes later I was phoned by an Autoglass technician who said that availability for my replacement window was not a problem (I have a Ford Fiesta) and that they could replace my window the same night between 10pm - midnight. I was asked if I wanted this option or if I would prefer if it was fixed the next day. I needed my car to be done the same night as I needed my car for work the next day and was not made to feel guilty at all considering they offered to replace the window late at night.
I had to pay a £75.00 excess charge which was paid over the phone and the rest was covered by my insurance company - no need for me to contact them as this was sorted by Autoglass. The best thing is that it doesn't affect my no claims or my insurance this year when I renew. I was informed by the technician that if I didn't have glass damage cover on my insurance it would have cost me around £150.00 for a replacement driver's side window.
Autoglass came to my house around 9:45pm and it took around 45 minutes to replace the window. The technician was very helpful and I did apologise because it was so late, he said it wasn't a problem as he was working the 3pm - 1am shift. He vacuumed up the glass and also any that fell on the drive and made very little mess.
A few weeks later I had to take off the door panel, but only because my door was rattling as there were still pieces of glass in there and I am still finding little bits of glass in my car even though I have vacuumed lots of times!
I have also used Autoglass was when I had a chip on my car windscreen and though it was about a ¼ size of a 5 pence piece, it was big enough so that it needed to be repaired quickly so that it didn't turn into a crack. This was done for free through my insurance and Autoglass sorted it all out.
Overall, I would highly recommend Autoglass. Their service is very professional and efficient. When you contact them by phone you are not placed in a queue and get to speak to an advisor straight away and they will do their best to have your window repaired or replaced as quickly as possible. In terms of cost, there are no charges for glass chips or crack repairs (if you have the cover on your insurance) and I paid £75.00 for a replacement driver's side window - which to me is reasonable. Also, all repair work does not affect my insurance or no claims which is a bonus. There are other companies out there who provided window replacement, however I won't hesitate to contact Autoglass again (however I do hope that I don't have any more chips or broken windows!)
Thanks for reading xx
© sweetdaisy 2008
Autoglass have 15 branches nationwide here in the Republic of Ireland, the nearest outlet to me being only about 5 minutes brisk walk (or two minutes drive) from my front door.
What I like most about Autoglass is their level of service and expertise. They know what they are about, and simply get on with the job in hand with the absolute minimum of fuss and bother.
A couple of years back some louts thought it would be great fun to throw an empty lager bottle up my drive into the rear window of my Jaguar XJ6. (They must have been lager louts. Heh, heh.) The car was an older model, and I immediately rang around looking for a glass supplier that could repair it in a hurry.
I was getting a right royal pain in my a*se as everyone I rang was telling me the same old story.
"Sorry. Don't have it in stock. Special order. It'll be at least a week!"
That is, until I rang Autoglass. The guy on the phone couldn't have been more helpful. He told me they didn't have it in stock, but that if I gave him half an hour or so he thought he could most likely source it for me. As good as his word, he rang back within 20 minutes to say he'd found the replacement at another depot, that he could have it within 2 hours, and did I want to make an appointment for their mobile fitter to call out to me that very afternoon to effect the repair.
"Eh. Yes please!!!!!"
The fitter arrived on time, removed the broken window, fitted the new window, and cleaned all the broken shards of glass out of the interior of the car. All within an hour or so of arriving!
It wasn't cheap! If memory serves, I believe the total bill was in the region of 490 Euro. But I'm covered for glass damage on my car insurance without it affecting my no claims bonus, so I wasn't that concerned about the cost if I'm completely honest.
I didn't even have to part with any cash on the day. (Apart from giving the fitter a few bob to buy himself a drink) I simply signed a couple of forms to say the work had been carried out to my satisfaction, and verifying the price charged, and Autoglass billed my insurance company directly.
I've used Autoglass on one other occasion since, to repair a small stone chip on the windscreen of my current car, a BMW 525 TDS. This is something else I like about the company. Other glass repair outfits will immediately tell you that your windscreen needs replacing straight away, presumably to maximise their profits on the job. Not so with Autoglass. If they can safely repair it rather than replace it then they'll tell you so, and not try to rip you off!
Oh, one other point that's worth mentioning. Autoglass run a 24/7 service, and will help you out at the roadside if needs be in order to help you complete a journey.
© KenJ January 2008