Consolidators: Auto Glass Now Opens Two New Locations
Strong social media campaign results in formation of fledgling organization designed to distinguish the pros from the hacks.
A desire to hold professional paintless dent repair (PDR) techs accountable fueled by a strong social media campaign has led to the formation of a new non-profit group of PDR professionals.
Fed up with shoddy paintless dent repairs, a handful of professional PDR technicians formed PDR Nation to put a spotlight on qualified PDR pros from all over the world who are not afraid of being held accountable for the quality of their work.
PDR Nation was largely formed due to the efforts of five founding board members who came from two distinct camps of these craftsmen. The chairman, Ryan Hampton, is a “hail tech,” and the vice chairman, Sal Contreras, is a “door dinger.” Currently, 16 board members, advisors and administrative staff serve PDR Nation’s growing membership and continue to build the evolving infrastructure of education and testing to certify more technicians.
“Through all the communication we did on Facebook, we decided to organize into a non-profit organization so we could certify ourselves and prove we’re insured and have experience and have taken tests,” says Contreras.
The organization started on Jan. 1 and already has 120-plus techs signed up as members. These members routinely trade photos via social media of hack work done by unqualified individuals to reinforce the need for shops and insurers to know who they’re working with.
“That’s why we decided to get the best of the best together,” Contreras says. “What has happened to our industry is that a lot of corners are being cut. Our type of work can create an unsafe situation. Work is not being done right where holes are being drilled in cars to get to the dents and dents are being pushed to the point where the paint is almost cracking and then being sanded down just to make it look better.
“It’s crazy the type of repairs being done that are unsafe. People shouldn’t be driving those cars because they would whistle if you drove them down the road because so many holes are drilled into the car. Guys will post a pic of a hood with 50 holes in it and say, ‘Look what the lowest bidder did!’”
PDR Nation’s website features a “tech finder,” education for consumers and body shops on how to select a qualified tech, a tutorial on how to estimate properly, and a tech review system.
“With Yelp and other online review sites out there, we decided to build one ourselves so people can write reviews of our members, which could be suicide for them if they don’t do the highest quality work,” says Contreras. “That’s what has been attracting techs from all over world because they’re basically saying, ‘Yeah, I’ll put myself up to be accountable and that way they know I’m not a ‘fly-by-night’ guy in a town working for a large insurer and butchering up cars. Because at some point someone is going to tell on me that I’m doing that.’”
Contreras says PDR Nation’s message to insurers is that its members can be selected and tracked and qualified as to whether or not they’re capable of doing the job.
“Otherwise, it’s just going up to the lowest bidder, and that’s when you have a lot of unsafe repairs,” he says.