VPA Newsletter November 26, 2014
VPA Voice Newsletter

The VPA Voice
"Giving a Voice to Industry Members"
March 5, 2015

Director’s Corner

In our most recent Board meeting we discussed many things, including achievements over the last couple of years, some of the challenges we face in the industry such as Attorney General actions and plaintiff class action lawsuits, along with a wide range of potential initiatives and opportunities for providing more and better benefits to our members.  The VSC industry has changed over the years and the VPA recognizes we have to reprioritize our goals in light of these changes so we can provide our members with the best services and benefits possible.

In taking the VPA to the next level we will strive to provide our members and their staff with excellent support to address the issues we face as an industry.  We will continue to encourage our members and non-members to use best practices in the sale of VSC’s, and offer suggestions regarding compliance issues when they arise.  We will continue to provide forums like the Administrator’s Councils where members can engage each other on matters of mutual interest and concern, including providing documents that assist members in their mission. We will continue to seek out our members’ feedback for their perspective and viewpoints, giving them an opportunity for their voice to be heard, and their knowledge and experience to be shared.

Some of the goals and priorities for 2015 that will enhance member benefits and create new opportunities for growth include:

  • Strengthen BPA Call Monitoring Program to reach more call centers each month
  • Provide members access to BPA monthly reports on participation (See below link)
  • Implement BPA CMP evaluations to include cancels and refunds
  • Monthly webinars on VSC current events/regulatory updates
  • Revision of certification process to encourage greater participation
  • Call center outreach program to ensure all members and their staffs have the opportunity for their voice to be heard
  • Attorneys General outreach program to possibly establish early warning system
  • Provide more educational materials and resources on VSC issues
  • Provide compliance education and training for new members

In order to facilitate some of these ideas the VPA is expanding its staff. We are in the process of hiring two new full-time staff persons to execute our mission and goals: (1) a Project Manager, who will proactively develop creative integrated programs for internal and external audiences, including interacting with members, non-members, vendors and consumers. And (2) a Communications Coordinator, who will create, develop, implement and maintain a creative outreach strategy focusing on members, non-members and consumers. For more information on these positions, see below and visit the Careers page on the VPA website.

The goal this year is for the VPA to provide its members with the best possible benefits and tools to enhance VSC sales throughout the industry. If you know of anyone who might be interested in either of these positions, contact Chris at chris@vpanet.org.

VPA Regulatory/Legislative Updates

As an Association dedicated to upholding the highest standards in the vehicle service contract (VSC) industry, we continue to monitor and track proposed and passed bills and regulations that pertain to our industry.  This month’s summary is provided to the VPA courtesy of the law firm, Reed Smith, LLP. Below is a summary of relevant bills. For additional information and a brief description of these bills, please visit the February Legislative Monitoring Report available to members only on the VPA website.

Arizona introduced legislation that would amend and expand the state’s current contract law, expanding the definition of “service contract” to include services such as paintless dent removal and windshield crack and chip repair.

Oklahoma has introduced legislation amending the Service Warranty Act to include a prohibition against the sale of vehicle service contracts unless the sales rep is licensed.  If passed, this law would extend to all call centers doing business in Oklahoma. If enacted, this law would become effective in November 2015.  After meeting with the Oklahoma AG in Washington DC, we have reached out to the Oklahoma Department of Insurance to further our discussions with them about this proposed legislation.

Hawaii introduced a new section within the state’s current Service Contract Law that would require providers to specifically disclose to contract holders submitting a claim for the first time that if a covered claim is paid within the prescribed “Free Look” period, that the contract holder is no longer entitled to a full refund.

Maryland introduced a bill that would allow for new ancillary benefits to be included in a vehicle service contract. If enacted, this legislation would take effect in October 2015.

In February, the Supreme Court of New York found One Source Networking, Inc. used unethical and deceptive tactics to cause consumers to purchase unnecessary extended warranties on vehicles.

Results from Call Monitoring Program

As mentioned in previous newsletters, we are publishing the results of the BPA Quality call monitoring program. In doing so, we’re allowing our member base to see which companies are participating and in compliance, as well as identify those who did not provide us with calls despite our requests.

Results from the call monitoring program can be accessed in the Members Resources section of the VPA website.  After clicking this link, click on January 2015 Call Monitoring Program Results, then click save and you will be able to view the results.  This information is only accessible to current members. 

Details on Project Manager and Communication Coordinator Positions

If you know anyone who might be interested in either of these positions, please submit a resume and salary requirements to Chris at chris@vpanet.org.
Project Manager
We are expanding and creating a new position for a dynamic, hands-on Project Manager to provide strategic support for our Board of Directors and Executive Director.  The Project Manager will proactively develop creative, integrated programs for internal and external audiences, including interacting with members, non-members, vendors, and consumers.
Job Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. The association monitors and evaluates random calls obtained from call centers to assist and educate the marketers on how to be in compliance with the Association's Standards of Conduct (which are based on state and federal laws).  
    The Project Manager will:
    • Work with the Association's third-party contact center to implement, maintain, and develop the Association's call monitoring program (CMP).
    • Develop and maintain periodic reporting tools for sharing information on the CMP. 
    • Work with the contact center on an ongoing basis with implementation of the CMP program.
    • Assist members and business partners with obtaining and maintaining access to the third-party contact center portal for uploading and accessing files.
    • Respond to member issues regarding the CMP.
    • Motivate, train, and provide members with feedback regarding participation in the CMP.
  2. Work with contact center to implement, maintain, audit and report on CMP cancellations program.
  3. Develop, implement, maintain and report on complaint resolution program.
    • Develop and maintain excel reporting system to track complaints.
    • Work with members, business partners, and consumers to resolve complaints.
    • Monitor and prepare reports on Attorney General complaints.
  4. Manage Association website
    • Work with PR firm to develop and maintain website
    • Work with members on content and access issues related to website
    • Respond to consumer questions related to website.
    • Experience with managing websites is preferred.

*Salary commensurate with experience.To see full description, visit our Careers page

Communications Coordinator
The Association is expanding and is creating a new position for a dynamic, hands-on Communications Coordinator (CC), to provide strategic support for our Board of Directors and Executive Director.  The CC will proactively develop, implement, and maintain a creative outreach program strategy focusing on members, non-members, and consumers. The CC will have strong skills in communication, professional/business writing, event planning and general administrative support. The ideal candidate must be an excellent writer, and possess extensive knowledge of and experience in social media. 
This position also requires project management skills in monitoring seminar, webinar and compliance program logistics, planning and details.  The candidate must have experience in professional/member correspondence and possess strong PowerPoint skills. 
Job Duties and Responsibilities:

  1. Webinars:  develop ongoing program for periodic webinars for members on topical issues in the industry.
    • Recruit appropriate persons to deliver webinars on topics of interest.
    • Work with PR firm to embed webinars on website.
    • Promote webinars to members and non-members.
    • Prepare press releases announcing webinars.
  2. Compliance Issues:  Develop, implement and maintain program assisting and educating members on Association Standards of Conduct compliance issues.
    • Research current topics relating to Vehicle Service Contract industry, and address issues through outreach program.
  3. Newsletters: Work with members, business partners, and consumers to develop appropriate topics for the Association monthly newsletter.
    • Work with PR firm to write, prepare, and edit newsletter content.
    • Work with PR firm on distribution issues related to newsletter, including maintaining and updating email blast to members and non-members. 
  4. Social Media:  Develop social media program for informing and educating members and consumers on topical issues and events (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, etc.)
  5. Strategic Communication Plan Development- Synthesize information from a variety of sources (internal and external) and make judgments as to whether it presents a threat or an opportunity and make recommendations on appropriate communication actions. Execute the plan and make recommendations for improvement.
  6. Meetings with Call Centers:  Set up regular meetings with call centers to help educate them on VPA projects and topical issues of concern.
    • Develop and create periodic surveys to address member and non-member issues.

*Salary commensurate with experience.  To see full description, visit our Careers page.