July 21, 2004 (Vancouver, BC) – ICBC and Autostock International’s Speedy Glass business unit have reached an agreement to settle an action brought by ICBC against Speedy Glass for failure to comply with ICBC’s Glass Express program policies.
The allegations were that Speedy Glass branches in British Columbia waived deductibles for auto glass repair, and paid referral fees to dealerships and body shops. ICBC and consumers were charged in accordance with ICBC’s approved price list. However, waiving deductibles and paying referral
fees contravene ICBC guidelines to which Speedy Glass had contractually agreed.
Speedy Glass has agreed to pay ICBC the amount of waived deductibles and referral fees, and all of ICBC’s investigative and legal costs. A number of Speedy Glass shops will continue to be suspended from the Glass Express program with time periods varying by shop, while ICBC has reinstated supplier status for all shops.
“The senior management team at Autostock International and Speedy Glass has cooperated fully with ICBC and we are satisfied with the steps taken by them to resolve this matter,” said Bill Goble, ICBC’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “Deductibles play a key role in helping to keep claims costs down and therefore premiums low for all customers.”
“When these allegations were brought against us, we were extremely concerned because it has always been our policy to comply with the policies and procedures set out by ICBC,” said Stephen Schober, Autostock International President and Chief Operating Officer. “We immediately launched a full review of our procedures, and retained Ernst & Young to undertake an audit of our accounting records, in consultation with ICBC. We were shocked and embarrassed to discover that certain Speedy Glass shops had breached contracts with ICBC.”
Schober continued, “We were pleased, however, that the Ernst & Young review found that other allegations made by former employees in affidavits supplied to ICBC about Speedy Glass’s accounting practices were unfounded.”
As a result of Autostock International’s internal review, a number of employees have been disciplined and two staff members that were found to have participated in the prohibited practices have resigned from Speedy Glass. Speedy Glass has implemented additional internal controls to ensure that in future, all employees adhere to the terms of the Glass Express program. Autostock International has also established an Ethics Officer to provide guidance to its employees.
ICBC’s Glass Express Program allows most ICBC customers to have all aspects of their glass claim handled directly at a participating shop without having to first attend a claim centre to obtain a repair authorization.