December 6, 2010

WIKI Leaks Hits the Glass Industry

By Paul Bieber

We got hacked. Wiki leaks has emails from glass shops to their vendors.

They were sent to me for advance review, (like they sent the government leaks to the New York Times) and told me I can release them on Tuesday, which by sheer coincidence is the day I usually publish my blog.

Being the fine gentleman I am, the names have been changed to protect the industry. I have kept the names in a secure mayonnaise jar on top of my computer.

Email exchange #1: Bill’s Glass Shop and Paul’s Tempered Glass

Bill’s: Hi Paul, on our order A5678 for a shower door enclosure, the customer has complained about a faint scratch in the bottom corner. I went back and looked at it, and indeed, with the halogen lights at full brightness and the dog barking, I could see the scratch. I kicked the dog and then couldn’t see the scratch. Why would this affect seeing the scratch?

Paul’s: What kind of dog was it? Was it just a bark or a howl?

Bill’s: It was mutt, that looked like a cross between a golden retriever and a yellow lab. A big dog.

Paul’s: That’s it. A big loud bark will make the glass vibrate and then the scratch will show up in the halogen lights. Our warranty only covers dogs up to 35 pounds. Sorry, Bill.

Email exchange #2: A conversation between Bill’s Glass Service and Molly at Acme Tempered Glass.

Bill: Hi Molly, what is your tempered shower glass warranty on the size of the dog as far as seeing scratches.

Molly: You are barking up the wrong tree. We don’t have a dog warranty on our tempered shower doors.

Bill: Well, Paul’s Tempered has a 35-pound limit in their warranty. And I’ve got a scratch that shows up in halogen lights with the roar from a 70-pounder.

Molly: Bill, you really do have to start drinking decaf.

Bill: Honest, that is what Paul told me. He won’t make me a new door and the customer won’t pay me. What do I do?

Email exchange #3: A conversation between Molly and Paul.

Molly: Hi Paul. Just went over a crazy set of emails from Bill’s Glass about a dog warranty. Am I missing something here that is new in the industry?

Paul: Hi Molly, yes you are. We found out that we can get out of half of our warranty claims by limiting the size of the dog in the house. People with big dogs have the money to redo things on their own. They don’t need our free replacements.

Molly: What do you do if they have cats?

Paul: Cats go by quantity, not size. Anyone with 3 or more cats doesn’t get warranty service, because we say the cats scratched the glass, not us. With all those sharp paws, the cats are easy to blame.

Molly: This is amazing. What does the government say about this warranty style?

Paul: They wanted us to raise the limits, and set up a chart to check on when they cats were last clipped at the vet, and to weight each dog in the house on a quarterly basis and send in a report of the weights of all of our customer’s dogs to the census department who would cross-check that against dog licenses in every town and village in America. We figured that if we did the report, it would still be cheaper than honoring our warranty claims.

Molly: We don’t do that here at Acme. We just replace the glass when it is delivered with a scratch.

Paul: You’ll never make it kid. It is a rough and tumble world and you need every advantage you can. Here is one for you…limit your warranty to customers who have dogs over 35 pounds. That way we can split up the market and make sure we don’t have to ever give a replacement. I’ll show you how to handle the dog census report.

Molly: That sounds like a great plan. We have to make sure that no one reads these emails!