A Cautionary Tale: Glass Repairs At The Car Wash

I have been going to the same car wash for over 10 years. Even before we started my company, we were still over on the west side of Denver, so Octopus Car Wash was always convenient. Sometimes I would go places closer to home when I was desperate, but Octopus did a decent job for a decent price, so I’ve stuck with them.

Ten years is a long time.

During that time, there have been people on site, outside companies – who repair glass while your car is being cleaned. I had never had the occasion to use their services, so I’ve always turned them down.

Which is actually pretty surprising, considering I live in Colorado. See, Colorado puts sand down over snow in the winter, so chips and cracks in the windshield are quite common. In some ways, I see how having a glass repair company on site makes perfect sense.

Last week I went to have my car washed. And I had a chip.

The OnSight Auto Glass repair guy hustled over, noticed the chip, asked me what insurance company I had, and immediately assured me they would cover it.


After my car was finished being washed, the glass guy pulled me over to his phone. He said I needed to talk to my insurance company really quick, but “don’t worry, the repair is already done.” Um, OK.

THEN my insurance company proceeds to tell me that OnSite is not one of their vendors, no warranty coverage would be extended by THEM, etc etc. I look to the OnSite guy, trying to understand the legal mumbojumbo and he waves me off. “Don’t worry about it,” he mouthed. Um, OK.

THEN, I go out to my car, late to get back to work, and see the chip is now a small crack. Um, OK.

THEN, after a 100+ degree afternoon, I get in my car to go home, and YOU GUESSED IT – the crack was halfway across my windshield.


I called the number on my official On Site Auto Glass paperwork.


“Ahhh. Is this On Site Auto Glass?”


I explain the situation. And the passing of the buck begins. I am given the manager’s phone number.


“Ahhh. Is this On Site Auto Glass?”


Again, I explain.

And then I am told about the standard glass repair warranty.

This is where you need to pay attention, friends. Because supposedly this is a universal truth that we all should be born knowing.

If a chip repair leads to a crack, or any other problem, you most likely will be given a CREDIT towards the cost of a WHOLE NEW windshield.

Credit for a repair that your insurance company paid for. Um, OK.

“Even though I had no idea about this policy?” Yes.

“Even though I was given the impression that you were a vendor approved by my insurance?” Yes.

“Even though the work was done before I talked to my insurance?” Yes.

“Even though I never even signed your paperwork, thus never acknowledging your warranty?” Well, if that is the case, we don’t even have to honor the credit.

“Who else can I speak to about this?”

And then I was given Safelite’s number, who supposedly had jurisdiction over the warranty. Who I spent 15 whole minutes on the phone with, wholly confused. See, they gave me great customer service, trying to locate OnSight as a vendor of theirs, but they were not.

Guess who I called back?

Guess who it got ugly with?

Guess who I hung up on?

Guess who I called the next morning?

Yes. I called the car wash I had been going to for 10 years. Because, I am sorry – he needed to know the dealio. And he did get the owner of OnSite to call me. And that owner did offer me a new windshield “at cost.” After I got so upset with him I thought my head was going to pop off.

But sorry. Not enough for me.

Guess who I *will* be buying my new windshield from?

You got it, Safelite.

Oh, and I am in need of a new car wash spot too. Any recommendations?

This article has 34 comments

  1. zipper

    That is insane, Aimee!

  2. Megan

    At cost might have been OK except for it sounds like a big big headache. I hate customer service nightmares!

  3. Ms. Maxwell

    Aaaaaannnd, your post already holds position #9 on a Google search for OnSight Auto Glass. Go Greeblemonkey! Don’t mess with Aimee!

  4. Anonymous

    That was part of your week form hell last week huh? – m

  5. Sizzle

    That is sucky with a side of suck. Grrr. This is why I never was my car. 😉

  6. creative-type dad

    That’s crazy!!! That place sounds like a huge scam.

  7. Corrin

    Reporting them to the Better Business Bureau always helps with negotiations.


    Safe lite is awesome. I would also start filing paperwork against the other window repair company.

  9. monstergirlee

    Well that just Sucks. UGH.

  10. Jenn

    I love the part about them answering the phone, “Hullo?”

    So professional.

  11. Warren

    Good information. Perhaps it will help someone else avoid similar problems.

  12. Kezza

    I like WaterWorks at 3rd and Lincoln. I brought my super muddy car there a few weeks ago (so muddy you couldn’t read the back plate)…they put in through once, dried it off and rubbed down the interior, then put it through AGAIN without me having to ask, and dried it and cleaned the inside a second time. All for $7.99.

  13. Anonymous

    What a crazy story. That seriously sucks.

  14. Anonymous

    Found this on a google search for car washes. Wow. This sucks ass!!!!

  15. Veronica

    That is terrible, Aimee. Onsight really messed up. Octopus too. Hope you get better luck with Safelite.

  16. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    David – you raise valid points, except I would like to address a few things.

    First, I am not Tom Martino, I am a parent blogger and just expressing my opinion. Take em or leave em. Tom is a professional reviewer who goes out and is paid (very well, I am guessing) to cover all the facts. I just went to the car wash and had an experience I felt people should know about.

    Second, the reason I had such problems was several fold. The WAY the system was set up – glass people approaching me in the car wash line, gave me no opportunity to read a warranty, ask questions, or do anything other than verify that my insurance would cover it… because the line was moving and I had to move my car with it. The person from On Site gave me the very definite impression that they were a representative of my insurance company, he never showed me any warranty info, never told me about any warranty, never told me that I would have to speak to my insurance, etc. Again, partly due to the fact that we were moving through a car wash line at the time. The problem was intrinsic to the situation.

    And as for wanting a “free” windshield, that is not true. I wanted my window fixed and replaced after it was cracked and mishandled on site and after I was treated poorly by the OnSite Auto Glass staff.

    The point of this post was for people to understand the dangers of having similar things happen to them a should they choose a repair while having their car washed … and for friends in Denver to help me find a new place to wash my car. Period.

  17. David Rommonoff

    Sounds like you failed to read the warranty information and attempted to get a free window, you should have gone down to them and talked too who ever was in charge, I had the same thing happen with safe light and their policy is the same, after complaining they sent me to some other guy. Maybe you should stop blaming the car wash and own up for your mistake. It’s real easy to blame others when you mess up. Your learned your lesson, read the policy. That’s the universal truth, you made a choice that no one forced you to, didn’t ask enough questions when you had the chance and when you got screwed you get pissed? I’m better off subscribing to tom martino, at least he checks everything out first before he complains about being screwed over.

  18. Anonymous

    Really? No warranty? You didn’t bother asking any questions? Hmmm.. I think the morale of the story should be your need to read all the paper work handed to you, ask questions, and be fully aware of what you get into, you could have said no and asked questions.. Seems to me asking the right questions and showing things down works have helped. We are rushed everyday, we can’t blame others for the choices we make, no one held a gun to your head.

  19. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Hi Anonymous. Welcome to my blog. Think what you will about the post – my point was actually to help people learn from my mistake and to NOT let yourself be pressured into making a car repair when you are being scooted through a car wash line, and that you may not get all the facts straight in such an environment. Take it or leave it.

  20. Anonymous

    Wow I like davids comment. We need to smarter with our buying decisions. I use octopus car wash all the time, great service, great price, and friendly staff. It is also my understanding that the Carwash and the glass company are a separate entity. I just wave the glass guys along, you should do the same.

  21. SUEB0B

    I get what you are trying to do here, Aimee. INFORM your readers so they can AVOID a problem like this. I don’t know why that is so hard for some people (ahem) to understand).

  22. David

    What we take from this is that maybe you should learn to read all the facts and get straight answers from AnyOne working on MY CAR… Really.. You let someone even touch your car when you were being hurried? That’s not informing folks, it’s closer to broadcasting your failure to be aware of your surroundings and responsibilities.. What if he dented the hood or messed up something else? Scratched the paint? They would have then told you sorry, insurance doesn’t cover this here’s a free wash… You’re right I take this as a reminder to not be dumb and let people walk all over me…

  23. Anonymous

    Nice post Aimee, I took some time reading and have come to this conclusion. Some of your readers don’t share the same ideas that you do and that is good. Customer service is always a hit or miss situation. I’ve spent any years a a customer service rep and I know that you can’t please everyone all of the time and it looks like you were the miss. I can’t say I would find a whole other Carwash but I would stay clear of the glass company. Information is a good thing but that particular Carwash has been there for a very long time, they must be doing something right.

  24. Anonymous

    I’ve used Onsight auto glass and they did a great job and saved my windshield from cracking out and my insurance covered it.

  25. Anonymous

    That’s the standard warranty in the industry I also had a repair fail and was responsible for my deductible.

  26. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Love all the anonymous comments, guys! Keep em coming!

  27. zipper

    Cracks me up how you are obviously being targeted by the glass company themselves, or at least just one person over and over, with these silly “anonymous” comments. Trust me, Aimee – your readers know you were just trying to warn us about your experience. Keep on keepin on.

  28. Steve

    I have a question is it the warranty a standard practice of this industry?

  29. Anonymous

    Ha, nice move zipper, apperently everyone who is giving their opinion that goes against amiee works for the glass company! Why don’t you check the ip of everyone and swallow your own words?

  30. Aimee Greeblemonkey

    Well, ANONYMOUS… I actually don’t know Zipper, because they do choose to remain semi-anonymous, but if you actually read my blog, you would see they are a very regular commenter. And in my comment policy I state I won’t stand for attacks on my readers… so it’s getting close to where I am going to start deleting comments on this thread, just a warning.

    I have stated my opinion about the situation, period, which I have the right to do on my blog. The End.

  31. Anonymous

    what a bunch of crap this is

  32. Anonymous

    aimme has issues!

  33. glass replacement Seatac

    now that would be done by an expert to repair car windows.

  34. Shane Mcnerney

    I am very sorry to hear of your experience. As someone who started his own glass service, I previously worked for a a company that treated their customers and employees poorly. They eventually suffered the consequences .
    My goal was to make every customer happy and go the extra mile. This goes to prove, is a customer is unhappy,or burned, they will tell everyone. You should have been treated much better, and if that tech had done his job, your windshield would have looked great, and not ,cracked out. My company (Kiss My Glass) pays for your wash if you’re unhappy and offers free headlight restoration with any chip repair. We have a very high referral rate do to our great service and other companies should learn do do the same.

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