The VPA Voice - VPA Newsletter
         
 

The VPA Voice
"Giving a Voice to Industry Members"
February 27, 2013

Director's Corner
 

This issue of The Voice covers many topics as we travel full speed ahead into 2013. We have addressed many of your issues regarding the marketer certification and recertification programs, and we are in the process of adding new attorneys to serve as auditors to assist in that process. We are also excited to announce that we are in the final stages of implementing the new call storage and call monitoring programs, which will be a great benefit to everyone. You'll find more VPA updates and important information below.
 

As always, the VPA is here to help give you a voice. We are committed to promoting self-regulation and achieving a level playing field for everyone in the VSC industry. Please feel free to contact me at any time to discuss how we can be of service to you.
 

Sincerely,
 

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


 

Marketer Certification and Recertification
To Promote and Protect!
 

Over the past few months, the VPA has been working on a certification and recertification program as a means to promote and protect our members in the industry. One of our primary goals for 2013 is to increase the number of members in the Certified Marketers Council (CMC). We are excited to announce that four new attorneys recently attended a webinar for auditor training, and are in the process of taking their test to become a certified auditor. Once all attorneys are certified, there will be seven auditors available to VPA members in different regions of the U.S., including Missouri, Florida and Ohio.
 

As we have reviewed and updated protocols and procedures for this process, we actively sought out feedback from current members of the CMC, as well as all members in the Association. With this feedback in mind and as we announced earlier, 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 meet the certification and recertification deadline, we suggest you contact the VPA immediately to get that process started.
 

If you would like more information on certification and recertification or would like to discuss auditor preferences, please contact Chris Carenza at chris@vpanet.org.
 

 
 
 

VPA's Mailing Address
 

Please make sure you have the correct mailing address for the VPA. We are still receiving mail forwarded from the old address in Delaware, sometimes 3-4 weeks after it was originally sent. In fact, we just received a tax document originally postmarked Jan. 30! Please inform everyone in your organization to send all VPA correspondence to this address: VPA, 408 N. Euclid Suite 3SW, ST. LOUIS, MO 63108.
 

 
 
 

Certified Auditor Training Webinar Recap
 

The VPA is excited to report that this month's certified auditor training webinar, hosted by Michele Shuster and Nick Whisler, was a huge success. The new auditors who participated said the webinar was very informative and the extensive coverage of the Standards of Conduct was tremendously helpful. Thank you to everyone who took part in the webinar.
 

 
 
 

$3-6-10 Contract Fee Program
 

The VPA is in the process of sending invoices to administrators under the new contract fee system. Since rolling out the revised contract fee structure of $3 for certified members, $6 for members and $10 for nonmembers, we have received a lot of positive feedback. Our goal is to make this process as efficient as possible. During this transition and as we tweak the process, we welcome your feedback and thank you for your patience. REMINDER: 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. This means if you are going to join the VPA or get approved for certification by the Board, your application needs to be entirely complete 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, presented to the VPA Board on Thursday, Feb. 21. The demonstration was seamless in illustrating how the system works with individual call centers. Now that the system is up and running, the VPA is in the process of following up with other members to get everyone signed up. If you would like more information on the call storage program, please contact Chris Carenza at chris@vpanet.org.
 

 
 
 

Call Monitoring Program
 

The VPA is in the final stages of transitioning the call monitoring program from the VPA's legal counsel, Helen Mac Murray of MPS Lawyers, to BPA Quality, an independent third party with more than two decades of experience in the industry. Just this month, Chris Carenza traveled to New York where he met with BPA Quality. He was impressed with the facility and the personnel overseeing the call monitoring process. While on the premises, Helen and Erica Sherrick hosted a webinar from Ohio for Chris and the BPA Quality team. The program is expected to be up and running by the end of this month. If you would like to provide any feedback that might be helpful in this process, please do not hesitate to contact Chris at chris@vpanet.org.
 

 
 
 

Regulatory Update
 

In the last few months, Florida has arrested several individuals for violating the criminal code for telemarketing without a license. Florida State Statute 501.623 requires all businesses and individual salespersons engaging in telephone solicitation be licensed by the state of Florida. The Florida Telemarketing Act and criminal penalties can be found here. Unless exempt, you must have a license to call from or into Florida. Please contact your attorney or Helen Mac Murray if you have any questions about the Act.
 

 
 
 

Annual Meeting Announcement

Viva Las Vegas!
 

Mark your calendars! The Annual Meeting will be held on September 15-16, in Las Vegas. This event is the premier gathering of organizations involved in the vehicle service contract industry. We will have more details as the event nears.
 

 
 
 

Public Relations Update
 

As you know, the VPA's mission is to promote regulatory transparency, education and accountability for marketing and servicing automotive service contracts. In keeping with our mission, the VPA is in negotiations with Larry King to be featured on his new program, In View. The idea behind this partnership is to tell the VPA's story in a way that sheds positive light on the Association and industry in general. Stay tuned for more information.