The auto glass repair and replacement industry has been looking for answers this past week as reported issues with Safelite’s website were seemingly gumming up the works for companies and their day-to-day operations.
According to the owner of one company, who wishes to remain anonymous, the reported issue first brought to light late last week hit smaller shops particularly hard.
“We are able to file claims and be assigned claims, but we can’t bill them,” the owner says. “This undoubtedly will call cash flow issues down the road.”
The owner also says that approvals through Fast Track were “impossible,” and that available workarounds resulted in expending extra time on the process.
“All of the small shop challenges are the same with this situation,” the owner says.
Peter Brown, president of Tiny & Sons Auto Glass Co. in Massachusetts, says the website went down last Thursday and that claims could not be downloaded or invoiced for two straight days. Furthermore, there were also difficulties securing pricing and labor approvals. While the site was back online Monday, Brown says it continued to be “sporadic,” adding to the frustration that can come from having to go through a third-party administrator.
“Every once in a while it will drop out and we’ll have to wait for it to come back up,” he says. “It’s very cumbersome because a lot of people call in to set up their appointments thinking we have received their information, but we haven’t.”
Brown believes Safelite has grown at such an accelerated pace over the past half-decade that the backend of its systems is still playing catch-up.
“The people I deal with at Safelite Solutions are amazing,” Brown says. “The problem is they have one software, one login. When that system goes down, everything shuts down.”
According to Brown, the word around the water cooler is that inclement weather in Ohio, the state in which Safelite is headquartered, brought about the problem. In response to an inquiry from AGRR magazine and glassBYTEs.com., a Safelite representative said the issues experienced with the site stemmed from maintenance.
“We were doing maintenance on the site, which was complete on Sunday evening,” Safelite says.
On Thursday, Jan. 26, the shop owner said there was a “degree of improvement” with respect to the site, but that they still couldn’t get approvals through Fast Track.
“As of yesterday afternoon, we could bill jobs,” the owner says.
No additional information on the maintenance was immediately available.