State Farm has sent out a new offer and acceptance program agreement that updates the old one. It becomes effective October 19.
According to the letter from Bob Bischoff, glass claim services manager for State Farm, with the agreement, the updates are designed "to ensure that the program remains a model for consistency in customer service, compliance to consumer choice and other regulatory guidelines, and open to participation by all qualified glass service providers and provide our policyholders with their choice of the best in auto glass services by encouraging competition, improving efficiency through the use of technology, and, over time, affording our customers access to information regarding the qualifications and professional credentials of their chosen glass service provider."
One change is that the contract now is held at the company level only, eliminating the need of having contracts for each service center.
The big change is that new agreement is an electronic agreement and communications of the program will be conducted via email and the METRYX industry services registry.
"The METRYX industry services registry, hosted by LYNX Services, provides glass service providers, State Farm, and ultimately our policyholders the ability to exchange a great deal more relevant information than has been possible or practical in the pass. Through the industry services registry, glass service providers will be able to specify their company's service area and offering, as well as post differentiating information about credentials and capabilities."
All current information on file for companies participating in the State Farm
program have been loaded into METRYX. According to the agreement, new applicants
to the program will also find their current company profile on the registry.
To enable all retail glass service providers to enroll or re-certify in the State Farm program, a State Farm-specific section has been activated within the METRYX industry service registry, according to Chris Umble, vice president, strategic initiatives for LYNX Services. "Companies will not need to complete multiple profile for the various programs available to them through METRYX," he explained. "One set of company profile data, including their certification and professional training achievements, is all that's required to enroll in all programs including State Farm. The only step that requires specific action relative to State Farm and other programs is electronic completion of the enrollment or re-certification section."
Here is the complete text of the overview of the letter Bischoff faxed to O&A program participants.
"In the eight years since the launch of the State Farm National Offer and Acceptance Program, the program has promoted broad participation among automotive glass service providers. Thousands of qualified service provider companies representing more than 10,000 servicing facilities, participate in the program. Since the beginning, the program has increased service to State Farm policyholders for the repair or replacement of auto, light truck, RV and customized van glass.
"The auto glass replacement/repair industry has undergone a number of changes over the past eight years. Like many industries, it has become increasingly connected and efficient through new technology. It has become increasingly mobile and responsive through the growth in cellular phone use. And it has become increasingly sophisticated in terms of the kinds of technical training and professional accreditation available to industry participants.
"It is in recognition of many of these changes that State Farm is updating its Offer and Acceptance program effective October 19, 2005. The updates are designed to ensure that the program remains a model for consistency in customer service, compliance to consumer choice and other regulatory guidelines, and open to participation by all qualified glass service providers. The updates are also designed to provide our policyholders with their choice of the best in auto glass services by encouraging competition, improving efficiency through the use of technology, and, over time, affording our customers access to information regarding the qualifications and professional credentials of their chosen glass service provider.
"However, the new O&A program is much the same as the old, and will be familiar to current participants. LYNX Services will continue to be the designated third party administrator, the program remains open to all qualified glass service providers, and our policyholder's preference of glass service provider will continue to be honored."
Bischoff will give a presentation regarding the new State Farm O&A at the AGRSS Conference in Las Vegas in October, and there will be a seminar about the METRYX system at the AGRSS Conference as well. For more information about the AGRSS Conference, which is scheduled for October 16-17, 2005 at the Rio All Suite Hotel & Casino, visit http://www.agrss.com/conference.php.
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