Richmond, Virginia – March 15, 2017 – In reaction to the recent legislation, Senate Bill 544, proposed in West Virginia and reducing the consumer protections related to collision repair parts, the Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association (WMABA) strongly urges representatives to vote “NO”.
After years of efforts to push forward similar protections in both Maryland and Virginia, the WMABA has utilized the neighboring state of West Virginia as an upstanding example of how a state can protect consumers when it comes to the collision repair parts used during the collision repair process. Having the majority, if not all, of the warranty period covered, those consumers with newer vehicles do not have to argue with insurers about what is best for their car and can get the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts without any out of pocket expense. This is something not afforded their neighbors, who applaud this type
Screenshot from Maynards Auto World, Facebook showing company parts sales.
of protection and disclosure.
The broken record just keeps playing along… As you can see by the Part 2 of the sections you responded to about marketplace and daily business practices, it’s more of the same. While that can make you feel down, understand that it’s helpful to know you are definitely and sincerely NOT ALONE!
The most derogatory and hurtful of all statements made to a repairer is “You’re the only one.” The only one who charges X for anything, performs it that way, or needs to adhere to a particular OEM requirement or recommendation. I love statistically valid statements, and being the only one is an impossibility.
Not being the only one isn’t usually any help if you don’t know two things: 1, who are the other ones; 2, how do you overcome that argument. At the time of this writing we are a couple days away from a Mike Anderson meeting in Maryland. You’ll undoubtedly get the earful next issue on that, but I have no question in my mind that he’d say you overcome these things with facts. Present all the facts. Facts are the best way of negotiation there is.
But what if facts aren’t enough? I’m sure he’d say you’ll have to involve the customer. If you want to make the difference in price, then it will either be paid by the customer or the insurer will need to delineate the argument to them. It will involve the only one argument, but facts to the customer will come down to whether or not they agree with your case or theirs. Sometimes it will come down to an argument between them.
What if you don’t want to cause the riff? Other repairers are using a hold-harmless agreement. You want to use Aftermarket parts against the OE recommendation, or not have the pre- or post-repair scan performed? Then sign on the dotted line. (The customer, that is.) If you put the option to the customer to pay the difference and they just can’t come up with it and the insurer won’t budge, then why should the repairer be on the hook of liability? This is another option.
Many repairers wilt at the thought of telling the customer bad news. It just feels bad. But if you were a doctor, where you first do no harm, then even tough news is still required to be shared. A doctor wouldn’t come out of surgery and say everything went great if you died on the table 4 times and will need further medical attention! You have a form of Hippocratic oath when you assure the customer you are going to fix their car right.
Facts are facts, and that should be the basis of conversations with both customers and insurers. You don’t have to give them every gory detail, but is something went wrong they really have a right to know. It is their car, not ours. In the age of what is too much information, maybe we should get on board. The more people know of repair issues […]