I will start this blog post by inviting Autoglass to sue me if I say anything that is not true or that is defamatory in this post.
I would also advise you that I would be very wary of every using this company. They have visited my mass market car on 5 occasions now to fit a rear window. They have not managed to do that yet, but they have successfully forged my signature, not once but twice. Not a very sensible move in any circumstances, but definitely not when my day job as a lawyer is prosecuting fraud.
Thursday 14 April 2016
I was due to drive from London to Newcastle for a funeral. On leaving home at 0600 to get in the car, I discovered the rear window had been smashed. Not as I initially thought in a break in, but as a result of debris during a storm. Early morning calls to my insurers and Autoglass resulted in them ordering a replacement rear screen and booking the job in for Monday 18 April between 0800 and 1300.
Later that day, a technician came to clean the broken glass and to make the car weatherproof by putting a piece of Perspex across the back window. Said technician removed the rear windscreen wiper and also the opening struts for the window, and put them in the boot of the car, after carefully labelling which was the left and right strut. Job done and the West Ham supporting technician bade me a cheery farewell and got in his van. He sat outside my home for some time, presumably doing paperwork. He said he would be emailing me a receipt later.
He was true to his word. I received the email later that day. Close perusal of the document shows it had been signed twice by “Peter Bennett” the customer. The only problem was not only had I not seen this document but I had not signed any other document. I did not peruse the document until the Monday and immediately notified Autoglass.
The reason I perused the document on the Monday is because of events that day….
Monday 18 April 2016
The Autoglass technician came for the appointment. I had arranged to take time off work for the work to be done. The technician arrived at around 11 am, looked at the car and said:
He had been sent with the wrong glass
He was not qualified to fit the correct glass
He contacted his depot and I was advised customer services would contact me that day to deal with my complaint. They did not and it took 4 phone calls from me and still no contact from customer services.
Eventually I did speak to someone from the local booking team and with the help of my neighbour I arranged a new appointment for the following Friday.
At around 18:00 that day I called Autoglass to be advised that customer services had gone home. As a result of this, I decided to write a letter of complaint setting out exactly what had happened and reviewing all the paperwork. It was then I made the discovery of the forgery of my signature twice. The same document also claimed the technician had checked the seatbelts and other things inside the car were working. Interesting that because the technician never went further inside the car than the boot and was unable to have made the checks he claimed, especially as:
I was with him the whole time he did the work
I had the car keys, so he could not have carried out checks that needed the ignition turned on
So on this one document we have evidence of 2 forged signatures and evidence of falsification of work done. Serious allegations you may think. A reputable company would no doubt be quick to contact the customer, to reassure the customer and to investigate the allegations.
I ended up that day writing 2 different letters of complaint, about different issues, but both referring to the criminal offences. Those complaints were emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Again, a reputable company would at the very least acknowledge those complaints, if they could not be responded to. At the time of writing this blog post some 8 days later there has been no response whatsoever.
Tuesday 19 April 2016
Despite numerous attempts to speak to customer services, I was constantly told someone would ring me back, no one ever did. When I got home from work that evening, I rang again to be told that customer services had gone home. I was also told that one operator had recorded that I had threatened to make a complaint to the police regarding criminal damage by Autoglass. What criminal damage? I have no idea, I have never suggested any damage was caused by Autoglass. Seemingly more dishonesty by Autoglass staff, this time reporting allegations of threats that have no credibility.
Now on Tuesday night, I was due to take a disabled couple to a football match, but owing to the fact my car had not been repaired, I was unable to take them. This was obviously no fault of that couple, but they suffered because of Autoglass’s incompetence in failing to managed to order the correct glass.
I spoke to Directline my car insurers and the company who contracted with Autoglass to provide the glass replacement service. They were concerned about the situation and were to follow it up.
That evening, I sent a further letter of complaint to Autoglass and also emailed Directline with the details of the complaints and forgery.
Response to that third letter of complaint? None from Autoglass, but Directline spoke to Autoglass who advised them the matters were being investigated.
Friday 22 April 2016
The third visit of Autoglass and the technician took one look at the car, said he had the wrong glass and left having not done the job. My neighbour had wasted her morning waiting in for Autoglass to do a job for me!
Autoglass depot contacted me and said the way forward would be for them to contact Renault to find out what the correct glass is! Now call me demanding, but wouldn’t you have thought this would be what a competent company would have done from the outset, or at least after getting the wrong glass the first time.
It gets better, Autoglass then rang to say they were coming back that afternoon as it had been the correct glass after all. Autoglass seemed rather surprised to learn that I was at work and would not be rushing home at no notice to be in that afternoon. Eventually, I managed to cancel my plans for the weekend, so I could be at home Saturday morning to allow Autoglass to attend to finally fix my car.
I also spoke to Customer Service at Autoglass and was advised verbally they had my complaints and their legal team were looking into the criminal allegations. Remember those, the forgery of my signature twice by Autoglass and the falsification of the work they had done on the form.
Now, could it be that if I had been asked to sign the form I would have noticed that they were alleging they had done work they had not done? I am not saying anything, but some would draw their own conclusions.
Saturday 23 April 2016
The 4th visit by Autoglass and the first thing the technician asks is have Autoglass provided a replacement wiper because it is likely the old one had seized in removing it. Guess what? They had not, so the job could not be completed. A 4th visit and still the job not done. This time because they had not ordered the necessary part. Strangely the technician knew that a wiper would be needed before he even looked at the car. It is obviously a common issue.
A new appointment was necessary and once again my neighbour came up trumps and agreed to remain home on Tuesday 26 April 2016 so the job could be done.
Tuesday 26 April 2016
Firstly, I still have not been contacted by Autoglass regarding the criminal offences that their legal team are “looking into”. This is interesting as I have no idea what they are looking into because no one has asked me for any details of the job.
I was contacted by Directline today and their customer services representative advised she had also been told the same thing by Autoglass. No details given to her of what exactly they were doing. It looks to an observer that Autoglass are simply trying to delay matters in the hope that I will go away. They have no real intention of dealing properly with the criminal offences committed by their technician. They can’t take any action against him at present as they have not got any details from me because they will not contact me to get those details.
I received a call from the Autoglass technician at 11@48 to say he was on his way to the car. At 11:58 my neighbour contacted me (she was key holder) to say technician was there. I received no more contact until I arrived home at around 20:00 tonight to find my car in exactly the same condition it was left on Saturday.
My neighbour advised me that the technician said he never had the necessary parts. She told him she was going to call me. He said not to as he would call me to explain the position. Neither he nor anyone else from Autoglass has bothered to contact me.
Not only was this another failed appointment, but the actions of the Autoglass technician denied me the opportunity to contact Autoglass today rearrange the appointment. If the technician had not lied to my neighbour about intending to contact me, she would have contacted me herself and I could have spoken to Autoglass.
As it was, by the time I got home, it was not possible to speak to anyone at Autoglass who was able to rebook an appointment or discuss the matter. I was told someone would call me in the morning from customer services…..now where have I heard that before….
I wonder what would have happened if I had not rang Autoglass this evening, as they appear not to want to contact me regarding the unfinished job.
I have emailed yet another letter to Autoglass to the email@example.com address and also to the customer services manager at Autoglass who claims to be dealing with my case.
So where are we now?
12 days after reporting the claim, my car has not been repaired
4 letters of complaint written, but not one of them has been acknowledged
Serious allegations of criminal behaviour on the part of Autoglass representatives completely ignored.
Both myself and my neighbour have spent days at home waiting for Autoglass to do work which they have failed to do or failed to complete
I am surprised that Autoglass issue vans to their technicians, horses are what cowboys normally ride
So be warned, Autoglass are unable to carry out simple replacement of broken rear windows and are more worryingly they are quite happy that their representative falsify documents and forge their client’s signatures
A couple of extracts from the Autoglass website reveal the following gems:
The quality of our technicians
Our National Skills Centre in Birmingham – the first ever automotive glazing training centre accredited by Thatcham and the IMI – provides every technician employed by Autoglass® with a rigorous training programme to ensure the highest quality of workmanship.
Autoglass® is also proud to hold the ISO 9001:2000 Certification of Quality Assurance
I wonder if they teach their technicians to :
Falsify documents claiming to have done work they haven’t done
Lie to customers / key holders
Now what about their legendary customer service. Their website boasts:
We’re here to help
At Autoglass® we do everything possible to get things right first time, every time. However, problems can occasionally occur and if one does we guarantee that we will act quickly to put matters right. In the unlikely circumstance that you do experience a problem simply call our dedicated Autoglass® Customer Care Line NOW on 0800 011 3896 FREE to speak with one of our Customer Care Advisors.
“Problems occasionally occur and if one does we guarantee that we will act quickly to put matters right”
“Problems occasionally occur…”? – only if occasionally is 5 times in 5 visits to complete one job that should take less than 2 hours to complete. Oh and the job is still not completed
“….if one does we guarantee that we will act quickly to put matters right”? – Not sure this guarantee is worth the paper its printed on. Not only will they not act quickly, neither will they put matters right.
The website just adds proof that Autoglass cannot be trusted with anything they say or do.
So Autoglass, can I expect a writ for defamation? Remember that a defence to allegation of defamation is truth….
Autoglass–Better at Forgery than Car Window Repairs