The VPA Voice - VPA Newsletter
         
 

The VPA Voice
"Giving a Voice to Industry Members"
January 29, 2013

Director's Corner
 

"Success in business requires training and discipline and hard work. But if you're not frightened by these things, the opportunities are just as great today as they ever were."
   – David Rockefeller
 

I'd like to kick off the first VPA Voice of the New Year by thanking everyone for all of their hard work and continued support. It's very gratifying that the VPA has made so much progress with many new and exciting programs in the works. Earlier this month I traveled to Jefferson City to discuss updates on VPA progress and some of our new programs with John Huff, Director of the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration; I also met with Michelle Corey, President and CEO of the St. Louis Better Business Bureau. Both of these meetings were very productive with discussions about our efforts to implement new protocols and procedures for improving the image of our members, and our member's continued efforts and contributions to the industry and the community. Overall, the meetings were positive, upbeat and productive. It was a great opportunity to focus on the VPA's success and highlight the great work of its members and business partners, without which we would be stuck in the status quo. We have a lot to look forward to in 2013.
 

Wishing you prosperity in the New Year,
 

Chris Carenza
Executive Director, VPA
email: chris@vpanet.org


 

Marketer Certification and Recertification
 

During the past few months we have been working on Certification and Recertification, with one of our primary goals in 2013 being to increase the number of Members in the Certified Marketers Council (CMC). We have actively sought out feedback from current members of the CMC, as well as all members in the Association as we have reviewed and updated protocols and procedures for the process. With this feedback in mind, one of the immediate updates in the program is that all current certified members will have 90 days from February 1, 2013, within which to get recertified under the updated program.-In addition, any company that started the certification process before, but did not finish, will have 90 days within which to obtain an approval recommendation from their auditor, or will have to start the process over from the beginning. In order to accomplish this for your company we suggest you contact an auditor immediately, along with submitting your application to the VPA, to get that process started. The VPA is excited to announce that this month we are in the process of certifying more new law firms (see below) to serve as auditors, and that we anticipate a number of call centers will be getting certified for the first time. If you would like more information on certification and recertification, please contact Chris Carenza at chris@vpanet.org.
 

 
 
 

Certified Auditor Training
Upcoming Webinar: February, 2013
 

The VPA will be hosting a webinar in February for anyone interested in the certified auditor training process and potentially becoming a certified auditor. Right now we have several firms signed up to participate and are already in the process of training. We will have a new class of auditors who can certify marketers by the end of the month. If you are interested in attending the webinar or would like more information, please contact Chris Carenza at chris@vpanet.org as soon as possible.
 

 
 
 

$3-6-10 Contract Fee Program
 

The VPA is in the process of sending invoices to administrators under the new contract fee system. After the initial invoices are sent and the VPA ensures they are correct, invoices will be sent regularly each month. The VPA's revised contract fee structure of $3 for certified members, $6 for members and $10 for nonmembers is currently in effect. NOTE: For purposes of new members and new certification approvals, from now on the VPA will use the 21st day of each month as the cut-off date for determining the current active membership status regarding any company that is intending to change their status; which means if you are going to join the VPA or get approved for certification by the Board, you need to do it BEFORE the 21st of any month in order to gain the benefit of your new status.
 

 
 
 

Call Storage Program
 

The VPA's new call storage program, which is a free service to all participants, creates a "call recording vault." Skyline Graffix, the program developer, plans to complete the full functionality of the program by the end of February. The VPA has been reaching out to members who want to be the first to utilize this program. The next step will be to link the call storage cloud to the BPA call monitoring program. This connectivity will eliminate the need for call centers to find and send call recordings to the VPA each month.
 

 
 
 

Call Monitoring Program
 

The VPA is wrapping up contract discussions with BPA Quality about taking over call monitoring duties. BPA Quality is an independent third party with more than two decades of experience in the industry. We are in the process of finalizing the contract and scheduling training with BPA employees. If you would like to provide any feedback that might be helpful in this process please do not hesitate to contact Chris Carenza immediately at chris@vpanet.org. We expect to get this program up and running by the end of February.
 

 
 
 

Website and Mailer Review Programs
 

Mailers were due from all companies on January 25, 2013. Once mailers are submitted, the VPA will review the mailers and check their compliance against the Standards of Conduct, as well as applicable state and federal laws. In addition, the VPA urges companies to continue to send any non-compliant mailers received from competitors. The VPA will provide companies who have submitted mailers with a review at the end of February and will continue to investigate.
 

The VPA has sent punch lists to marketers regarding compliance of their websites. We are in the process of following up with companies to check the status of suggested revisions. Once that process is complete, the VPA will address any issues with companies who have failed to revise their website or address theissue appropriately. If you have questions, please contact Chris Carenza at chris@vpanet.org.
 

 
 
 

Consumer Testimonials
 

We will periodically publish letters/comments from consumers like these which were received from consumers who were very grateful for our involvement in helping them resolve their conflicts:
 

Chris,

I would like to take the opportunity to express to you how thankful I am for your help as well as those in your offices' help. When I first contacted you I was worried and felt that I had been taken advantage of by 1 or more companies and after our first phone conversation as well as the emails we exchanged I feel as though I have been able to make a educated decision. I am also thankful that your office will be able to properly investigate both companies' tactics and address their issues so that no other consumer will be made to feel the way I felt by them.

Thank you again for all you do.

Clarice
 

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Chris,

This Thanksgiving has meant more to me than ever before and it was totally because of the selfless assistance you gave me in my darkest hour of need. For over two years I had been paying "ABC Administrator" (no longer a VPA member), to warrantee my 2006 Lincoln Town Car for after market mechanical damages. Although I paid them faithfully and consistently, they denied my claim on September 6, 2012 with the excuse that I had missed one payment a year earlier. After an exhaustive search through my bank records, I proved that no such payment had been missed. Once that had been resolved, they tried every trick in the book to avoid repairs on my transmission and alternator. Every day for over three months, I had to endure excruciating hell because "they" refused to fulfill their duties and obligations to my valid contract.

Throughout this ordeal, Chris Carenza and VPA guided me through one of the most torrential periods of my life and did so with unrelenting attention to details, with conduct above and beyond any normal measures. They acted on my behalf, and insured that one way or another my Lincoln would be repaired according to the details of my contract. Chris, without your aid and assistance, there is absolutely no doubt my situation would still remain unresolved and to this day, I would be without vital transportation.

A mere Thank You will not adequately express my gratitude nor will I ever forget the time you spent dealing with this trauma as though it were your own. You will remain in my heart and in my prayers for as long as I live. Blessings to you, your family and your staff.

Sincerely,

Joe S.