Smash or Bash ?
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  1. #1
    XTC
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    http://smh.com.au/news/national/smas...631203206.html

    Always said the space shuttle was build by the lowest bidder ... so who has their Froggie with the NRMA.

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    Smash repairers running scared

    By Jonathan Pearlman
    December 6, 2005

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    SMASH repairers who have signed up to the NRMA's controversial web-based quotes system have received death threats, a parliamentary inquiry has heard.

    The head of NRMA Insurance, Rick Jackson, yesterday told NSW Parliament's Staysafe Committee that police were investigating threats against repairers who had agreed to make online bids for repairs.

    An NRMA spokesperson said 18 repairers had received threats and two had been assaulted, one by two men in balaclavas.

    Under a scheme introduced earlier this year, NRMA customers do not seek their own quotes for damaged cars. Instead, assessors at repair centres examine the car and put photos and descriptions of the damage on a website. NRMA's preferred repairers can then bid for the work.

    The scheme has angered the Motor Traders Association, which says it will force repairers to under-bid for work and result in unsafe and shoddy repairs.

    The Staysafe Committee is looking into the scheme's safety, including the use of second-hand parts and smash repair assessors who are not mechanics.

    One repairer in south-west Sydney, who refused to be named, told the Herald he had been followed and received threats to firebomb his shop.

    Another repairer, in Sutherland, said he had received three telephone threats since signing up to the system in July.

    "The first call threatened my life, the second said the shop would be burnt down and the third said: 'We know where you live and we are coming after you,' " he said.

    There have also been seven cases of harassment or surveillance of NRMA staff and an attack on a claims centre in Newcastle.

    An NRMA spokesperson said the company had employed 36 security guards at repair centres and at the homes and businesses of its preferred repairers.

    A series of firebombs and threats against NRMA employees in 2001 was believed to have been linked to the company's initial introduction of a preferred repairer system.

    NRMA's parent company, IAG, announced yesterday that it had launched proceedings in the Federal Court against the MTA for spreading alleged misinformation about the scheme, including advertisements in local newspapers.

    The Staysafe Committee's chairman, Paul Gibson, a Labor MP, said he was concerned the proceedings might have been intended to intimidate people from speaking out against the scheme.

  2. #2
    1000+ Posts kermit's Avatar
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    Which is why the smash repairer I use doesn't do work for NRMA. You just can't assess a vehicle properly by looking at some small jpeg. I suspect the reason they have been attacked is because if the NRMA gets this up then all future business with the NRMA will be in this fashion, thud changing the industry radically.

    I read, or was told, that for those insured with Suncorp you can take your car to their assessing centre then they farm the work out to one of there repairers (I gather based on the lowest bid). You the customer don't know who has actually done the work, but Suncorp, like everyone else, offer a lifetime guarantee on the repairs. So for those that see cars as an appliance - obviously no one on this forum - it doesn't really matter.
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  3. #3
    Fellow Frogger! Ralph's Avatar
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    Under a scheme introduced earlier this year, NRMA customers do not seek their own quotes for damaged cars. Instead, assessors at repair centres examine the car and put photos and descriptions of the damage on a website. NRMA's preferred repairers can then bid for the work.

    The scheme has angered the Motor Traders Association, which says it will force repairers to under-bid for work and result in unsafe and shoddy repairs.
    Why not? Every other buisiness has to tender for work. The MTA has come out with the usual worst case scenario reply. There shouldn't be a problem if the NRMA guarantees the work.

    Matt.
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  4. #4
    Fellow Frogger! Kyle's Avatar
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    Personally, I like to know who is working on my car

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    Fellow Frogger! Clogzz's Avatar
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    If you don't know who's repaired your car, where then do you go to pick it up ?
    2003 C5 2.0i AL4 205,000 km 76372389

  6. #6
    Fellow Frogger! Industrie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kermit
    I read, or was told, that for those insured with Suncorp you can take your car to their assessing centre then they farm the work out to one of there repairers (I gather based on the lowest bid). You the customer don't know who has actually done the work, but Suncorp, like everyone else, offer a lifetime guarantee on the repairs. So for those that see cars as an appliance - obviously no one on this forum - it doesn't really matter.

    Suncorp does work like this, but, you can nominate your own repairer. Suncorp just won't guarantee the repair. If it's dodgy, you then need to take it up with the repairer only. I've had two claims through Suncorp, once on someone else's insurance when they hit me & more recently to have paint cleaned off my car after the ute in front of me lost an industrial tin of white paint. Both times I chose my repairer & the place I use is not a Suncorp place.

    I'm pretty sure that the law allows you to choose your own repairer. At least in QLD anyway. Otherwise it's considered restrictive trading, or anti-competitive.

  7. #7
    Fellow Frogger! johnh875's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph
    Why not? Every other buisiness has to tender for work. The MTA has come out with the usual worst case scenario reply. There shouldn't be a problem if the NRMA guarantees the work.

    Matt.
    It is not the tendering side of things they are worried about, that happens already. It is having to tender based on a photo then being held to the quote presumably - would you buy a car based on a photo? I can see their point, it would depend on how much room to move there was for variations - and the cost of administering such a system would eat into savings I would think.

  8. #8
    1000+ Posts U Turn's Avatar
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    I personally would like to have a choice in repairer, but if NRMA wants to go this way and guarantee the work, and their clients (i.e those insured with them) are happy with it, then I don't see the problem.

    I however do have a problem with an industry so disgusting that it threatens the business and lives of those who go against its opinions. There are many in the crash repair industry who are honest, ethical good people, but the industry and the powers that be in it, are peppered with corrupt digusting people (use the term "people" quite loosely). Similar to the tow truck industry where there both industry players were threatened (and I think there were some cases of deaths), as well as oil etc being purposely put on roads to cause an accident, with a tow truck waiting not far away....
    Take the long way home....

    - 306 gti6

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