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Vehicle Protection Plans

Automobile Service Contract

Automobile Service Contract Company Names

The automobile service contract industry is very particular about company names. Certain company names are misleading to consumers and must be avoided by all VPA members.

As a result, educated consumers can look at a company name and immediately know whether the firm is familiar with and adhering to industry standards.

For example, an automobile service contract company called "Car Manufacturer Warranty Extension, Inc." or "Extended Car Warranties, Inc." is not playing by industry rules, as defined in the VPA's industry Standards of Conduct. The first name inappropriately suggests that they have some affiliation with the vehicle manufacturer -- a clear violation of industry standards.

Both company names also incorrectly refer to a vehicle service contract as a "warranty" when they should know better. By law, a service contract is not the same thing as a warranty since it is impossible for a third-party to extend the original warranty included in the initial purchase price.

VPA Rules on Automobile Service Contract Terminology

Based on the fact that name games are fertile ground for dishonest automobile service contract providers, the VPA has created specific rules to protect consumers and to instruct our members in ethical naming and branding practices.

All VPA members are required to obtain DBAs for all names under which they conduct business and are prohibited from using names that are deceptively similar to other businesses. Association members are likewise prohibited from using the words, "warranty", "dealer", "dealership", or "manufacturer" in their company names or to imply that they are associated with a vehicle manufacturer.

VPA members must submit a comprehensive list of DBAs to VPA auditors and must agree to discontinue the use of any name that is flagged as a violation of the VPA's Standards of Conduct.

The Advantage of VPA Certification

As a consumer, you need to know that your automobile service contract provider is proactive about incorporating ethical industry standards into every aspect of their business. Many VPA members take the additional step of becoming VPA certified companies.

The VPA certification process is a robust, third-party review that is designed to evaluate compliance with the Standards of Conduct as well as applicable laws and industry best practices. By purchasing an automobile service contract from a VPA certified company, you gain access to the industry's highest standard of excellence.

Becoming an Educated Consumer

Educated consumers are the vehicle service contract industry's best defense against unethical business activities. The VPA recommends that all consumers educate themselves about the various types of vehicle service contracts and avoid buying products from providers with names or messaging that is intentionally deceptive.

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