The VPA Voice - VPA Newsletter
         
 

The VPA Voice
“Giving a Voice to Industry Members”
August 2, 2013

Director’s Corner
 

This issue of The Voice features many updates on our ongoing efforts, including the call monitoring program, as well as important new information regarding the VSC industry. Be sure to take a look at the Regulatory Updates section, which includes links to July’s Legislative Monitoring Report and Memo. The VPA is currently accepting nominations for the Board of Directors with the nomination period closing Aug. 16. Registration forms for the Annual Meeting in Las Vegas are now available on the VPA website. Remember, ticket prices are discounted if you register before Aug. 19.

The VPA is committed to promoting self-regulation and promoting and protecting its members. Please feel free to contact me at any time to discuss how we can be of service to you.

All the Best,
 

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


Administrator's Council Meeting
 

All of the major members were in attendance at the second annual Administrator’s Council meeting, held on Tuesday, July 30 at the Missouri Athletic Club West in St. Louis.

Our keynote luncheon speaker was Tracy Hardgrove, Vice President, Operations and Administration for the Better Business Bureau of Eastern Missouri and Southern Illinois, who provided many useful tips for ways to get a higher BBB rating. Following the open question forum with Ms. Hardgrove, Helen Mac Murray updated everyone on ways to minimize administrator liability for marketer compliance violations and Robby Birnbaum gave an overview of current events in the VSC industry. There was a discussion with progress updates on current certification and recertification issues, along with a panel discussion presentation by Jason Schmuck and Carter Patterson on invoicing and the $3-6-10 program. Attendees were able to ask questions and offer feedback and solutions during an open forum discussion. The meeting wrapped up with “The Marketer’s Perspective,” presented by Ken Brotherton, chairman of the Certified Marketer’s Council.

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

 
 

Board of Directors Nominations

The VPA is now accepting nominations for the next Board of Directors. If you or someone you know would like to be considered, please fill out the nomination form located in the VPA Member Resources section of the website. Forms must be signed, scanned and emailed to Chris Carenza at chris@vpanet.org by Aug. 16. Only one nomination is allowed per company and the member must be in good standing with the VPA. Shortly after the nominations have been collected, we will be sending out an email with ballots and information about the voting process.

 

Regulatory Updates

VPA Legislative Monitoring Report
 

As an Association dedicated to upholding the highest standards in the vehicle service contract (VSC) industry, we are always monitoring and tracking proposed and passed bills and regulations that pertain to our industry. We would like to share with you here July’s Legislative Monitoring Report and Memo, which describe the potential impact of all bills and regulations, assesses whether they primarily affect providers (i.e. administrators), marketers or both, outlines the movement of the bills and regulations, and contains links to the text of the bills and regulations.

Oregon Senate Bill 577
 

The July Memo and Legislative Monitoring Report outline a new state bill that was signed into law in Oregon. Oregon Senate Bill 577 relates to maintenance agreements; adds specifications for service contracts and vehicle protection products that are subject to regulation; relates to warranties and surety bonds; and provides that a service contract does not include coverage for repairing damage to or replacing components of a motor vehicle's interior or exterior paint or finish unless the service contract provides the services described in this paragraph in connection with the sale of a vehicle protection product.

For more information on this new law or other bills and regulations, please take a look at the July 2013 Memo and Legislative Monitoring Report in the Member Resources section on the VPA website.

Texas VSC Law Related to Outbound Calls
 

Texas passed a law a couple of years ago prohibiting outbound calls to sell VSCs without an established business relationship (EBR). The prohibition applies regardless of whether the person’s number is on the DNC list.

N.C.W.C., Inc. filed suit to challenge the validity of this law. The case was dismissed last November pursuant to a settlement; however, N.C.W.C. and its attorney were unwilling to provide the VPA with the settlement details. We made a public records request to Texas and received the details. Essentially, the parties agreed to dismiss the case because the Texas Dept. of Licensing and Regulation issued an opinion stating that the rule only applies to intrastate calls.

The majority of VPA members only make outbound calls pursuant to an EBR; however, this is still something that may be of interest to certain members. If you have any questions, please contact Chris Carenza at chris@vpanet.org.
 

 
 

Call Monitoring Program
 

The VPA would like to thank everyone who participated in the BPA Quality Builder webinars last month. We received a lot of positive feedback and are excited to see the call monitoring process become more automated and efficient.

BPA Quality has provided step-by-step instructions (listed below) for you to use when uploading files to the BPA Quality Secure FTP Server. These instructions apply only to the web interface for the SFTP server and will allow the transfer of one file at a time. You will see prompts that will guide you should you choose to use an FTP client so that multiple files can be transferred at one time. Please follow the instructions specific to the FTP client you are using.

Connection/Login:

  1. Open an Internet browser and enter the following web address into the address bar: https://sftp.bpacalls.com/
  2. Enter your username and password. If you do not have a username or password, please contact the VPA to obtain one.
  3. After logging in, you will see the main page.

Upload:

  1. Click the “Upload” button at the bottom left of the page. Another window will pop up that allows you to select the file you wish to upload.
  2. Click the “Browse” button and navigate to the location of the file you wish to upload.
  3. Highlight the file and click “Open.”
  4. Click on “Upload” to begin the file transfer.
  5. Repeat steps 2 through 4 for each file you wish to upload.
  6. When you have completed uploading all files, click “Close.” You will be taken back to the main page.
  7. On the main page, you will see a list of files on the FTP site. Verify that all files you just uploaded appear in the list.

Note (optional): To create a folder on the FTP site, click “Create Directory,” give the new folder an appropriate name and click “OK.” You can “dig” into the new folder by simply clicking on it on the main page. Click “Parent Directory” to go back to the main directory.

If you have questions about this process or need a username/password, please contact Chris Carenza at chris@vpanet.org.

 
 

Annual Meeting Announcement

Sept. 15-16, 2013

Viva Las Vegas!

Reserve your spot now for this year's annual meeting at Bally's Las Vegas Hotel & Casino! Registration forms for the annual meeting are available on the VPA website. The cost is $250 per attendee; register before Aug. 23 and reserve your spot for $125.

The annual meeting will kick off on Sunday, Sept. 15 with a welcome reception from 6-8 p.m. The reception was very well-attended last year and provides a great opportunity to network with members and non-members in the industry. Preceding the welcome reception will be a Board meeting held from 3-5 p.m. On Monday, Sept. 16, the day will begin with a Sponsors Forum held from 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. If your company is interested in participating in this expo-style forum the cost to reserve a table is $250 for members and $500 for non-members. All entities in the industry, including vendors, marketers, administrators, data fulfillment providers and payment providers are welcome to participate in the forum, which will be open to all attendees. Following the forum, the program and agenda will begin with lunch served from 12-1 p.m. and continue throughout the day concluding at 4 p.m.

Last year’s annual meeting set a record for attendance, and we’re expecting even more participants this year. In our next newsletter we will announce more exciting details regarding speakers, topics of discussion and the agenda. This meeting promises to be an exciting event packed with great speakers, countless networking opportunities and important industry updates. Sign up now!

 
 

Public Relations Update

We’re excited to announce that the InView Profile Series project has been successfully wrapped. Beau Reinberg and John Carroll graciously hosted the video shoot at the Atlas call center, with many participants offering their time and talent. We gratefully acknowledge their cooperation and assistance in helping the VPA move forward with this big step in improving the image of the industry. We anticipate being able to preview the finished product at the Annual Meeting this year!

 
 

Regulatory Guide

The VPA’s legal counsel, Mac Murray, Petersen & Shuster LLP, has authored a comprehensive online Regulatory Guide that interprets the latest telemarketing legislation and regulations. The guide is organized by state and includes Federal and topic-specific regulations. Each topic has the author’s interpretation of the law with links to the actual statutes. There is search functionality that will search specific sections or the entire guide for keywords or phrases. The guide includes topics such as calling time restrictions, Do Not Call information, Caller ID rules, wireless rules and more. The Regulatory Guide is available for a discounted price exclusively to VPA members. To learn more about the Regulatory Guide or make a purchase, visit the website.