In 2019, this newsletter has covered several issues about which personnel in the dealership should be aware. This quiz tests your knowledge of several important issues covered this year.
Click on the question to reveal the answer.
No. There is no right for a consumer, at this time, to demand that personal data maintained by a business be purged. That will change under certain circumstances for California consumers in 2020. Other states may follow with legislation patterned after the groundbreaking California Consumer Privacy Act.
No. The FTC Information Safeguards Rule, as originally enacted, allowed businesses flexibility to determine their plans for protecting non-public personal information of consumers. Some businesses subject to the Act have complex protection procedures such as multi-factor authentication. Others that consider such steps overkill do not. Unfortunately, that may change. While claiming it is maintaining flexibility for businesses to design their own Information Safeguards programs, the FTC has proposed an amendment to the Rule that dramatically increases the mandated procedures regarding electronically maintained records. The proposed revision would require all businesses to adopt the safeguards only the very largest finance sources have seen fit to implement such as enhanced controls to authenticate access to data by authorized individuals, encryption of all customer data, multi-factor authentication for accessing customer data, maintaining audit trails, and policies and controls to monitor the activities of authorized users. The revision has been open for comment, and the National Automobile Dealers Association has been critical of the proposed elimination of flexibility for businesses to determine the policies best suited to their operations, especially concerns about the very steep costs of implementing changes and the annual costs to maintain those changes.
Yes. Employees are on social media, and they are using their own social media accounts to communicate with customers. While this would seem to be a laudable initiative, regulators view social media posts with prices, payments, or offers as advertising which must comply with federal and state advertising laws. Too often, employee social media posts do not. Employees should direct customers to the company’s website to view offers with appropriate disclosures. How do you make a case that the dealer should not be responsible for advertising that violates federal or state law done by an employee on social media? Have a social media policy that makes employees aware of the dangers of social media advertising. Train employees, monitor compliance, and take action against violations.
Yes. Most indirect finance agreements require that upon an early payout of a customer’s obligation, a dealer shall refund unearned charges for voluntary protection products, including non-credit related products such as extended service agreements where there has been a repossession or total loss. When you receive notification of an early payoff, notify the administrator for your voluntary protection products so appropriate refunds can be processed.
No. Hackers are skilled at hijacking computer communication systems to await transactions in which they can insert false money delivery instructions. The wire transfer instructions you receive by email may be from the dealer who sold you vehicles, or it may be from a foreign hacker posing as the seller. Never process a wire transfer based on email instructions without contacting the seller to verify the instructions by speaking to someone you know or that you know to be at the correct place of business.
No. To be effective, a release must be backed with consideration. Providing merchandise or paying a liquidated sum which you already concede you owe is not consideration to support a release. You are only entitled to a release, and it is only effective, if you provide consideration that is not already owed. In this case, a simple receipt will suffice.
Yes. If the supplier will not budge on this issue, you should be concerned. Dealers should understand the problems caused when personnel simply sign supplier agreements and you must litigate when you do not get that for which you bargained in a remote court. Even where you have a strong claim or defense, the expense of hiring a lawyer in another state to learn about your dealership, the transactions, and the claims and defenses of the parties, can be substantial. Make sure you are only required to litigate in your jurisdiction where the supplier came to you to do business.
No. During the Obama administration, the federal government was critical of handbook provisions that could be construed, no matter how tortured the interpretation, to inhibit employees from discussing work conditions. That has changed, especially regarding civility requirements that require employees to treat others as they wish to be treated.
Yes. The form which carries an expiration date of August 31, 2019 is the current form I-9. The U.S. Customs and Immigration Service has published a notice extending the authorization to use the form until replaced. A revised version is under consideration, but until a revised version is released, use the one which shows it is expired.
No. No matter how the information comes to management, if there are grounds to believe that an employee has been subjected to sexual harassment, the dealership should implement its policy to investigate and take necessary action regarding the incident. A complaint by the person claimed to be the subject of the harassment is unnecessary.
No. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, pulling a credit report for employment purposes can only be authorized by a clear and conspicuous disclosure in writing in a stand alone document before the report has been pulled that a consumer report may be obtained for employment. An authorization in an employment application will not allow you to pull a credit bureau report on an applicant. You may only do so based upon a stand alone authorization.
Yes. The right to obtain retail compensation for warranty labor and parts is an important workforce development issue. If you have a heavy concentration of warranty or recall work for which your technicians will not consider themselves fairly paid, you may have trouble attracting and keeping good service employees. Ensuring that you are adequately compensated for warranty and recall work will encourage your technicians to do that work and will lead to a more satisfied work force.