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I popped up to London the other day for a meeting with Auto Windscreens. It was a beautiful autumnal day, although I left it a bit late to take a picture (left).

Crossing the Thames at this time of year over one of London’s magnificent arching bridges – when the sun is out – is an experience I always enjoy. The glinty warm orange of the sun; the silent grey running of the Thames: it’s always a breathtaking contrast.

It’s been a while since I’d met with both Anna Melton and Tony Johnston from Auto Windscreens. So there was much catching up to do with past histories.

When I last saw Tony he was md of Velo, a boutique leasing company based at Marlow, Buckinghamshire. Since then, the company has merged with Leasedrive to form LeasedriveVelo. Tony stayed for a while before exiting – and now heads up sales & marketing at Auto Windscreens, the windscreen replacement company.

They have big ambitions for the small business market. Tony was saying that small businesses always seem to get ignored for the big corporate companies.

But small businesses, the economic backbone of Britain, run cars and vans too; and need help when a screen needs repair or replacing. Why not extend big company facilities to the smaller business?

So Auto Windscreens has made it easy for a small business to access the company’s services. There’s an area on the website – at www.autowindscreens.co.uk – where small businesses can set up an account online. (Or by phone, if you prefer.)

In return you’ll get special reduced prices on windscreen repairs and replacements with 30 day payment terms. With mobile repair units as well, it sounds a very positive step for small businesses.

Away from the strictly business side, Anna was recounting some of the customer stories their technicians have to tell…some of which are too unbelievable and cannot be repeated here. But I did like this.

A women couldn’t get the windscreen wipers to work on her car. She drove to an Auto Windscreens centre where a technician found a pair of knickers had become entangled with the blades and were wedged in the wiper recess below bonnet. Disentangling the knickers, the technician asked if the said knickers belonged to the lady?

“Oh,” said the woman, somewhat (I presume) embarrassed, “I wondered where they had gone. I used them to clean the screen this morning, but couldn’t find them later!”

Ah, for the want of a screen scraper…

And why you don’t need a screen scraper if you’re a girl

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