VPA Newsletter June 11, 2015
VPA Voice Newsletter

The VPA Voice
"Giving a Voice to Industry Members"
Thursday, June 11, 2015


Director’s Corner

As we head into summer, it’s a busy time for the VPA. Next week I’ll be at the National Association of Attorneys General Summer Meeting in California, hosted by Kamala Harris, and the following week attending meetings in Jefferson City with the Missouri Department of Insurance and the Attorney General’s Office. We’ve welcomed a new member to our office, Project Manager Libby Himes, and we’re busy planning the Annual Meeting which will be in Las Vegas in September. Join in the preparation and let your voice be heard by simply providing feedback on the brief survey that will be sent out today. This is your chance to have a say on the format, topics to be presented, types of speakers and generally how the meeting will be presented this year!

We’ve been busy working on some of the goals and priorities for 2015 which will enhance member benefits and create new opportunities for growth. We recently added a new Project Manager (see below), and a new Legal Counsel (see below), and are continuing our search for a new Communications Coordinator. Now that our Legal Counsel is in place we’ll start our program of regular webinars on VSC current events and regulatory updates, and continue our outreach to Attorneys General and other important regulators. We plan on visiting as many call centers as possible in the next few months to give you updates on our progress and get your feedback on what you’d like to see from the VPA.

As a trade association we bring together a diverse group of people who have common issues, goals, and enemies so we can deal with them in the normal course of business:

  • We are in the process of drafting a legislative and lobbying plan to address various states issues (recently we were very successful lobbying Oklahoma on their agent licensing bill);
  • Monthly webinars with VSC regulatory updates and current events;
  • Guest speakers with presentations on outside-the-box marketing and sales strategies;
  • Guest speakers on new technologies, social media and internet marketing;
  • Guest speakers on business analytics;
  • Educational and risk management programs to help with new state laws, licensing, and how to work with state divisions of insurance;
  • Continue Attorney General outreach program through National Association of Attorneys General, Republican Attorneys General Association and Democratic Attorneys General Association;
  • Revising the Standards of Conduct and the certification program;
  • Considering revisions to the original By-Laws; and the possibility of revising how the Board is constituted which could be possibly voted on at the Annual Meeting;
  • Organization outreach and growth to attract new members.

Our goal this year is to equip members with the best possible benefits and tools in the industry. Your feedback is very important to the success of the Association. Please send your thoughts on the topics above to Libby at Assistant@vpanet.org, or to Chris at chris@vpanet.org.

Best regards,

Chris Carenza
Executive Director, VPA


Annual Meeting Announcement: Back to Las Vegas!

Mark your calendars! This year’s Annual Meeting will start with a reception on Tuesday evening, September 8th, with the full program on Wednesday, September 9th, in Las Vegas at Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. This year we have plenty of advance time so we sent a survey to each of you for your feedback (send a note to Libby at Assistant@vpanet.org, if you didn’t receive it yet).

The specific agenda and format will be determined by your responses. We will analyze the results and design an Annual Meeting that you suggested in your responses. The survey answers are due on Tuesday, June 16th. We will update you on the results and more specific plans shortly after that.

We’re excited to be returning to Vegas, and as in years past, this event will be an exciting learning experience packed with great speakers, networking, industry updates and information to help your business succeed.

We’re currently in the process of securing sponsorships for the event. If you’re interested in sponsoring a portion of the Annual Meeting, please see below and visit the VPA website to see available opportunities. For more information, contact Chris at 312-667-5654 or chris@vpanet.org.


Welcome Libby Himes, Project Manager

The VPA is excited to announce a new addition to the team, Libby Himes, who has joined the VPA team as a Project Manager.

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. 

“Having worked at VSC call centers for the majority of my career, I’m excited to utilize my skill set and experience here at the VPA.” Libby will be working closely with member companies and our contact center to manage the Call Monitoring Program, developing a complaint resolution program to efficiently resolve complaints with members, business partners and consumers, and various other duties in her new position.

Feel free to say hello to Libby and welcome her. You can reach her at 314-667-5654 or Assistant@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, Greenspoon Marder PA. Below is a summary of relevant bills. For additional information and a brief description of these bills, please visit the June legislative update available to members only on the VPA website.

Oklahoma Senate recently amended a bill which had originally required the licensure and appointment of sales representatives. This bill has been amended to remove the license requirement and amended bill is currently making its way through committee.

Utah House Bill 24 was signed by its Governor on March 27, 2015. This new law, effective October 1, 2015, will amend the state’s service contract to allow certain ancillary benefits to be offered under a vehicle service contract. With the law, the definition of a service contract is amended allow for services such as paintless dent removal, windshield crack or chip repair and key or key fob replacement.

This new legislation also provides for offering Vehicle Protection Product contracts. In this case, the VPP product must be limited to deterring or preventing theft. Registration is required for VPP contract warrantors and such contracts must be insurance under a reimbursement insurance policy.

In Massachusetts, a bill recently introduced proposes to amend the state’s existing service contract law by allowing contracts covering motor vehicles. The bill amends the definition of service contract to apply to consumer products, rather than tangible personal property, and now would specifically include motor vehicles and would allow service contracts to include services such as paintless dent/ding repair, windshield crack repair and interior component repair.

Certain states including Texas, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Georgia are concerned with the compliance in a variety of areas including mailings, telephone sales, pricing and cancellations and refunds. See the full report for more information.


Cancels and Refunds:

Pennsylvania Attorney General Files Lawsuit Against Former VPA Member

The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Protection filed a lawsuit against Ivy League International Ltd. and Guardian Web Company, LLC, which operated under the names AA Auto Protection and AA Auto Warranty, for alleged failure to provide consumers with proper cancellations and refunds.

The suit alleges that the company failed to offer refunds to consumers who properly cancelled their vehicle service contracts and was selling warranties administered by Administration Plus USA, which is no longer in business. Further, the lawsuit alleges that AA Auto Protection advertised itself as a Gold Certified Member of the VPA, when they were not.

As an association committed to promoting regulatory transparency and compliance, it’s disappointing to see a former certified member of the association allegedly misrepresent itself to consumers. It serves, however, as a reminder of the importance of providing timely refunds and cancellations to consumers, which is an important issue within the industry. This action illustrates that failure to properly handle refunds and cancellations is one of the quickest ways to become a target for a law enforcement/regulatory agency.


VPA Legal Counsel

The VPA wants to take this opportunity to thank MacMurray, Petersen, and Shuster, LLC, for their many years of service as the VPA’s Legal Counsel. And especially for all of the time and effort that Helen MacMurray personally invested in assisting with the beginning of the Association, and helping to keep the VSC industry viable for so many years. Their contribution to the VPA and the industry as a whole is greatly appreciated, and will always be remembered.

The selection of the new Legal Counsel included a four-month search with extensive interviews of interested firms, including the largest firm in the world. After an exhaustive selection process, the VPA is proud to announce that our new Legal Counsel will be Greenspoon Marder, a firm with 11 offices that serves clients throughout the United States.

The firm maintains a dedicated Regulatory Compliance Department and extensive knowledge of the industry. The two Greenspoon Marder attorneys who will be our primary contacts are:

Robby H. Birnbaum

Robby is a certified auditor with the VPA, and has extensive knowledge of regulatory and VPA Standards of Conduct issues. Mr. Birnbaum has represented companies before many Attorneys’ General Offices nationwide (including Missouri and Florida in the VSC industry), the FTC, CFPB and many insurance agencies, and:

Rose M. Schindler

Rose has a strong regulatory, compliance and legal background. She has held senior positions with both the SEC and FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority). Ms. Schindler is knowledgeable about Do Not Call legislation and the VPA’s Standards of Conduct, and has performed extensive reviews of mailers for the VPA, drafted legislative updates for the VPA newsletter and provided legal guidance to the VPA.

It’s also worth noting that Greenspoon Marder has been ranked among the top 200 law firms in the nation by American Lawyer for 2015. Congratulations to all of their attorneys for their hard work and excellent client services, and welcome aboard!


Call Monitoring Program Results

To further promote compliance among our members, we are continuing to publish the results of the BPA Quality call monitoring program. To view results from the call monitoring program, please see the April Call Monitoring Report available in the Member’s Resources section of the VPA Website. This information is only accessible to current members.


Proposal for VPA Sponsorship Levels for 2015 Annual Meeting

*Diamond Sponsor @ $5,000.00 includes:

  • 5 free registrations for annual meeting
  • mention in 2 issues of the VPA Newsletter
  • mention in VPA handout literature at annual meeting (possibility of including your company literature in VPA handouts)
  • mention in emails to members & non-members before and after the meeting…
  • recognition of Sponsorship on ID Name Badge
  • recognition from Executive Director at the podium during meeting
  • your logo on Sponsor’s Banner at meeting
  • designation recognition for a specific event, i.e. reception, speaker, luncheon, etc (on first-come, first served basis)

*Platinum Sponsor @ $3,000.00 includes:

  • 4 free registrations for annual meeting
  • mention in 2 issues of the VPA Newsletter
  • mention in VPA handout literature at annual meeting (possibility of including your company literature in VPA handouts)
  • mention in emails to members & non-members before and after the meeting
  • recognition of Sponsorship on ID Name Badge
  • your logo on Sponsor’s Banner at meeting
  • designation recognition for a specific event, i.e. reception, speaker, luncheon, etc (on first-come, first served basis)

*Gold Sponsor @ $1,500.00 includes:

  • 3 free registrations for annual meeting
  • mention in 2 issues of the VPA Newsletter
  • recognition on ID Name Badge
  • your logo on Sponsor’s Banner at meeting
  • designation recognition for a specific event, i.e. reception, speaker, luncheon, etc (on first-come, first served basis)…

*Silver Sponsor @ $500.00 includes:

  • 1 free registration for annual meeting
  • mention in 2 issues of the VPA Newsletter
  • mention in VPA handout literature at annual meeting (possibility of including your company literature in VPA handouts)
  • recognition on ID Name Badge
  • designation recognition for a specific event, i.e. reception, speaker, luncheon, etc (on first-come, first served basis)…

*NOTE: All sponsors will have the opportunity to put an item(s) in the VPA giveaway bag that will go to all attendees.







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