Boycott Author Explains Position

The author of the flyer that was circulated last week via e-mail among the auto glass industry calling for an industry-wide boycott of the National Auto Glass Specifications has issued a statement clarifying the intent behind and creation of the flyer.

In an e-mail to AGRR magazine, Andy Phillips stated that during the Super Bowl, [he] was working the numbers for the NAGS price changes, trying to figure out how his company could survive another significant change in insurance glass replacement pricing.

"I was worried about supporting my family ... I was worried about my employees. I was thinking of all the people who have put their heart and souls into this business for many years. I was angry [and] frustrated," he said.

To vent his anger, he started writing, creating a two-page flyer calling for an industry-wide boycott.

"It made me laugh. I e-mailed it to a few friends late Sunday [night] and then sent it off to a few more people I know on Monday [morning] via e-mail from my office. Who would have thought that 4 days later it was all over the country and posted on our industry web-site?" Phillips said.

"Please note: This is not a conspiracy. There are no secret meetings, no price fixing ... no plotting in smoke-filled rooms. The flyer was intended for a limited group of people. It has obviously reached a larger audience," he continued. "These are my words and my words alone. This is not the statement of any group, organized effort, or trade-association. It also has nothing to do with the company where I am currently employed. It was just me venting my frustration."

Phillips' frustration, though considerable, is on par with that expressed by others on the AGRR message board. He detailed his frustration in his e-mail:

"Many auto glass retailers have no idea of what to do regarding the new NAGS price set-up. They have no idea of the actual impact it will have on their businesses and families. It is scary to think huge numbers of auto glass retailers could virtually be gone in the blink of an eye. I hope people are thinking and making intelligent choices for the future of their business and family. PLEASE base these decisions on your own situation. We all have different markets, customers, and economic environments. What may be a "good" decision for you may not be for me. So take a serious look at your business and make intelligent choices for your business based on what is best for you, your employees, and customers.

"I have been in the auto/glass business for 20+ years. I will admit for the longest time the auto glass price structure has made no sense to me whatsoever. In the early years, I totally agreed with the insurance industry that they needed to pay more reasonable prices. For the past 10 years we have seen continually eroding prices. The companies I have worked for have done everything possible to live with eroding prices and a non-stop rise in operating expenses. We are at the bottom of the price bucket right now; we cannot give any more. No legitimate company can continue to provide current levels of service, quality, and safety without making cuts that potentially will be harmful to either its employees and/or customers. There is nothing left to give.

"Auto glass distributors are making no profit at best. Distributors/manufacturers are refusing to adopt the new NAGS price structure. Manufacturers are having to look at off-shore W/S production to meet the price demands of distributors and retail auto glass installers. National auto glass retailers are either losing money, being bought out, or closing. Local glass shops on running on "cash-flow" and not profits. You can't make it up in volume in our business. Doing more [for] less dollars does not work!

"No service industry in the United States can come close to providing the service levels provided by the auto glass industry day-in, day-out, every week, month and year. From auto glass distribution having virtually any part for any car available at a moment's notice to the auto glass retailers who get jobs done in hours and then bill the jobs electronically the same day. I would like to see other service industries try to do what we do everyday. No one can come close. Don't we deserve some credit for that? I personally am not asking for the world; just pay us fairly for the level of service we provide.


"So I apologize if my "flyer" made any one crazy; that was not the intent. This is not an organized effort! It is just the ravings on a frustrated industry veteran who is too old to get a job doing anything else. If I opened some eyes and ears then I guess I am glad.

"Good luck to everyone as they forge ahead into a new era for our auto glass industry!"

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