The VPA Voice - VPA Newsletter

         
 

The VPA Voice
"Giving a Voice to Industry Members"
March 21, 2014

Director's Corner

I hope this issue of The Voice finds everyone well as we finally head into Spring. This newsletter contains important updates from the Association as well as some information to help our members continue to adhere to the highest standards of compliance within the industry.

The VPA will be coming to a television near you! The Association and the role of Certified Marketers will be featured in a television segment that will air later this month. Details are below – but I encourage you to share this video with your networks. Not only does it showcase the need vehicle service contracts fill for consumers, but it also showcases some of our own efforts to improve the industry as a whole.

As always, the VPA exists to help you. Our door is always open.

All the best,

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

 
 

Mavaro Expelled From VPA

The mission of the Vehicle Protection Association is to promote regulatory transparency, education and accountability compliance for the marketing and servicing of vehicle service contracts. As such, the VPA recently concluded its investigation of Mavaro for alleged multiple violations of the VPA Standards of Conduct by expelling it from the Association. Initially, the VPA Board suspended Mavaro for 30 days for violating the SOC's. During this time, Mavaro failed to fully cooperate with the VPA investigation and cease violating the SOC's. Consequently, on March 18, the Board voted to expel Mavaro from membership in the VPA. Among its many SOC violations, Mavaro failed to renew its entity license with the State of Missouri.


VPA Regulatory/Legislative Updates

Federal Trade Commission Announces $3.4 Million Settlement with Company Using Illegal Lead Generators

Earlier this month, the FTC announced that it had a reached a settlement with a company that used lead generators and called millions of consumers on the FTC's Do Not Call (DNC) Registry. The FTC is serious about compliance for companies using lead generation, a standard we hold ourselves to within the VPA as well.

Here are some takeaways companies using lead generators need to consider:

  1. Conduct preliminary and ongoing due diligence on all lead generators to determine how leads are generated and whether they are complying with applicable laws and regulations, including the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR).
  2. Your lead generator contract should require leads to be generated in a manner that complies with all laws and regulations, including the TSR. Additionally, the contract should specify that you will not pay for non-compliant leads and give you the right to terminate the contract in the event of the lead generator's non-compliance.
  3. Monitor consumer complaints to help assess whether the lead generator is violating any laws.
  4. Cease conducting business with any lead generators found to be generating leads in a non-compliant manner.

It also important that you are able to document the due diligence and remedial measures you've taken. In the event of an investigation, you'll want to be able to prove everything you've done and show that there was no way for you to know a lead generator was violating the law and/or that you terminated the relationship as soon as you discovered that the lead generator was violating the law.

If you have any questions, please contact Chris Carenza at chris@vpanet.org.


Annual Meeting Announcement

Meet Me in St. Louis – May 13-14!

Remember to save the date! This year's Annual Meeting will be held May 13-14 in St. Louis. As in years past, this event will be an exciting learning experience packed with great speakers, networking, industry updates, tools and information to help your business succeed.

The VPA has already received calls from companies interested in sponsoring portions of the event and is in the process of securing all sponsorships. If you are interested in a sponsorship, please visit the VPA Website to see available opportunities. For more information, contact Kari or Chris at 314-667-5654 or kari@vpanet.org or chris@vpanet.org.


VPA Makes Television Debut

Video Promotes Certified Marketers

The VPA, Certified Marketers and the value of vehicle service contracts will be showcased in an upcoming episode of In View, an educational TV program hosted by Larry King. The show will be broadcast on the Fox Business Network and illustrates how consumers are keeping their vehicles longer and how the VSC industry has stepped up to help consumers maintain their automobiles after the manufacturer's warranty expires. The episode details the efforts the Association has made to promote compliance within the industry, and points out the value of working with certified marketers. Tune in to the Fox Business Network on Saturday, March 29 at 1 p.m. EDT and PDT to watch the whole episode or visit the VPA website for a sneak peek.


Member Showcase

In a slight deviation from our usual member showcase we would like to bring to your attention that Ken Brotherton is going to be leaving Pinnacle Automotive at the end of next week. Ken has worked with the VPA extensively over the years, including serving with great distinction as the Chairman of the Certified Marketers Council for over two years. "Ken has always been a sincere advocate of compliance; and it was a great honor to work with him on many projects," said Executive Director, Chris Carenza. We wish him "All the Best," as he moves on to his new career with Edward Jones.