Is it legal to pay customers to replace a windshield? | Automotive

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Is it legal to pay customers to replace a windshield?

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- David Horton of Discount Travel said twice a week, the employees in his shopping center are solicited about replacing a windshield.

"They're trying to encourage you to change out your car windshield for payment, no questions asked," said Horton.

Horton said it is a high pressured sales pitch where consumers are promised $100 upfront. He said it is frequent and always a different person.

"They come from one small strip mall to the next and they come into each and every business," said Horton. 

Suspicious, but is it illegal?

Better Business Bureau Tom Stephens said he has heard of the scheme before, but he has no complaints on record. Stephens said this a buyer beware.

Tom Lee, of Lee and Cates, said when it comes to replacing a broken windshield, Florida consumers can get it done at no cost.

"If you have comprehensive insurance," said Lee, "not your other glass, but your windshield is covered 100 percent if you have comprehensive coverage."

Lee said he too has heard of others paying consumers up front to replace their windshield and then filing a claim with their insurance company, but he doesn't know if it is illegal.

"I know they don't have a physical location in Jacksonville," said Lee. 

How are they able to do it?

"I don't know their business model," said Lee. "If they can still afford to give you a hundred dollars, I don't know how they do that.

First for you:

If you're approached with the 'we'll pay you to replace your windshield scheme':

-Contact your insurance company first

-Ask for references so you know the quality of their work.

-Ask about warranty -- who will provide service if there's a leak?

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