ACtion Magazine - May 2013 - (Page 6)

Outlook Andy Fiffick MACS Chairman I Eleven million dollar judgment t seems we hear almost weekly about yet another auto shop accused of selling customers something they really don’t need, from TV news ‘investigative reports’ and from newspaper headlines. We can thank the dishonest few in our business, plus journalistic sensationalism, political grand-standing, and the speed of social media. No wonder the public thinks we’re all crooks. It has gotten so bad that sometimes we fret over letting clients know about something they really need to keep them safe on the road. As if that wasn’t enough of a concern for our industry, now we’re drawing the attention of lawyers. A Philadelphia court just convicted a Toyota dealer of negligence for missing a bad ball joint during a safety inspection. The jury decided the ball joint caused the crash and awarded $11 million to the victims, thus enlightening litigators that we can be held liable for NOT trying to sell something. So we really are in a catch 22. If we recommend needed maintenance or repairs, we can be accused of up-selling and taking advantage of a consumer. If we don’t recommend maintenance that’s really needed, we can be held liable if something goes wrong! This could be a very slippery slope if the legal profession jumps on us like they do the medical industry. I can imagine the TV commercials now: “Did you have your brakes repaired? Did you have a car accident? You may be due a settlement worth thousands! Call 123456-7890 now!” Or maybe this As if that wasn’t enough one: “Did you spend thousands of dollars repairing your transmission? of a concern, now we’re If so, you may be entitled to drawing the attention of a settlement because you were not informed by your maintenance lawyers. provider that timely service could have prevented the repair. Call now, operators are standing by!” I know this is an exaggeration and a little funny, but I’ll bet that Toyota dealer isn’t laughing. Besides, frivolous litigation is often the norm, not the exception, and even if there’s no merit in the case, we still have to spend money to defend against it. So how do we protect ourselves against accusations of overselling or not recommending needed repairs to keep from being held liable? How do we as good, honest, reputable shops separate ourselves form the not-so-honest in the eyes of the consumer? How do we protect ourselves from a lawsuit? For my staff, the answer is simple; adhere to factory maintenance schedules and sell only what is needed. We also document everything. If we recommend maintenance or repairs, we back it up with facts and proof (including photos). We note everything on the invoice, and if the client declines our recommendation, we note that too and get the client to sign it. We also document everything in the notes-and-recommendations section of our shop management system. Great documentation, legitimate facts, and pictures may just keep you out of trouble. ❆ Sincerely Mobile Air Conditioning Society Worldwide (MACS) Andrew Fiffick Chairman & CEO Elvis Hoffpauir President & Editor-In-Chief Jacques Gordon Managing Editor Marion Posen VP Sales & Marketing Laina Casey Graphics & Design Manager Corporate Offices Mail To: P.O. Box 88, Lansdale, PA 19446 Ship To: 225 S. Broad St., Lansdale, PA 19446 Phone: (215) 631-7020 Fax: (215) 631-7017 E-mail: May 2013 Volume 13, Number 4 ACTION magazine is published eight times per year by the Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide, 225 S. Broad Street, Lansdale, PA 19446. While MACS Worldwide takes reasonable steps to make sure that the information reported in ACTION is accurate, errors can still occur. The accuracy of all information contained in ACTION should therefore be independently evaluated by the reader. Since conditions of its use are outside of the control of MACS Worldwide, MACS Worldwide assumes no liability for the use of such information or any damages incurred through its use or application. Nothing contained in such information is to be construed as contractual or provide some form of warranty on the part of MACS Worldwide. The opinions expressed in guest editorials are not necessarily endorsed by MACS Worldwide. MACS Worldwide is not responsible for any claims made in or by advertisements or press releases published in ACTION. All company names, products and product names, emblems, logos, images, trademarks, service marks and trade dress appearing in this magazine are the property of their respective owners and are protected under federal laws of the United States and international agreements. Unauthorized use is prohibited. The ACTION logo and MACS globe emblem are property of MACS Worldwide. Reproduction of contents without permission is prohibited. Send requests for permission to copy or reprint to or to ACTION Magazine, Box 88, Lansdale, PA 19446. Non-member subscription rates: one year (seven issues) – U.S. $25; Canada/Mexico $40; international surface $45; international air $55. Send subscription mail, including address changes, to ACTION, P.O. Box 88, Lansdale, PA 19446 or For advertising information contact Marion Posen: marion@ or 215-631-7020 x304. H.G. Roebuck & Son, Inc. 4987 Mercantile Road Baltimore, MD 21236 Andy Andy Fiffick 330-220-8384 6 ACTION • May 2013 ISSN 1949-3436 2004-12 IAMA Awards Winner

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ACtion Magazine - May 2013

Action Magazine - May 2013
Freeze Frame
Virtual View
Under the Southern Cross
Leonard's Law
News & Updates
What Is Happening in the Auto A/C Industry?
New Equipment, Tools and Service Parts for 2013
Striking Customer Service Gold
Asociation News
Quick Check
New Products & Services
Last Watch

ACtion Magazine - May 2013