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LEARNING GUIDE PROGRAM TITLE: Warranty Administrator DUTY: Maintain Customer and Manufacturer Relations

COMPETENCY C-1: Negotiate Payment Responsibility INTRODUCTION: As a Warranty Administrator, you must be able to negotiate payment responsibility. This competency will require that you be able to work with the manufacturer or OEM to provide them sufficient information so that they will pay a legitimate warranty claim. This learning guide will provide you with the working knowledge and practical skills required to perform this competency.

PERFORMANCE OBJECTIVE: Given the need to maintain customer and manufacturer relations, negotiate payment responsibility to meet the RVDA standards of excellence outlined in the Performance Test on pp. 20-21.

ENABLING OBJECTIVES: 1. Practice providing vehicle/accessory information to obtain a repair authorization. 2. Practice obtaining additional information if requested by the manufacturer. 3. Practice determining what to do if the authorization request is denied.

PREREQUISITES, IF ANY: • •

Knowledge of information required for a warranty claim. Knowledge of how to open and read a repair order

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LEARNING EXPERIENCE #1 ENABLING OBJECTIVE #1: Practice providing vehicle/accessory information to obtain a repair authorization. Learning Activities

Special Instructions

Read the Information Sheet titled “Overview of Repair Authorizations” on pp. 3-4. Review the procedures for obtaining repair authorizations in Discuss with your mentor or Service Manager any procedures you do not your dealership’s operations manual. understand. You may wish to discuss with your Service Manager each manufacturer or OEM’s history in authorizing repairs for your dealership. Demonstrate your knowledge of providing vehicle information to obtain a repair authorization by completing the Self-Check on p. 5. Check your answers against the Self-Check Model Answers on p. 6. Practice providing vehicle information to obtain a repair authorization with a co-worker. Ask your co-worker to use the checklist titled “Providing Information for Repair Authorizations” on p. 7 of the Practice Exercise as a guide for assessing your progress.

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Ask your mentor to suggest a coworker who can observe and help you with your practice sessions and the Practice Checklist.

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INFORMATION SHEET OVERVIEW OF REPAIR AUTHORIZATIONS If a repair to a customer’s vehicle or accessory is needed, it may be under warranty. If it is under warranty, the manufacturer or OEM, not the customer, will pay the labor and parts/materials charges to the dealership. Sometimes it may be necessary to negotiate with the manufacturer or OEM to get them to pay for a needed repair or part, thereby saving the customer the expense. Each manufacturer or OEM provides contact information that explains how he or she prefers to be contacted regarding authorization. While some prefer fax or phone, many prefer you contact them by e-mail for the quickest response. The information you need to contact a manufacturer or OEM is in your dealership’s operations manual (which may be online) or on the authorization request form. While each manufacturer or OEM determines what information they want or need from the dealership to complete a warranty claim form, most of it is fairly standard. The list normally includes: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

The make and model of the vehicle or purchased components The vehicle’s or the accessory’s serial number The vehicle’s mileage (for purchased components) The customer’s date of purchase The type of repair needed, including the amount of time required by the Service Technician Any parts or other materials that will be required (possible shipping or sublet charges) Photo’s of defective part(s) or material(s)

Most of the information you will need to provide the manufacturer or OEM is on the repair order. Sometimes you may have to walk out to the vehicle to obtain a serial or part number if it’s not provided or is illegible on the repair order. TIP Review the warranty claim requirements for the manufacturers you do business with. Keep a list of their requirements so that your dealership’s reimbursement will not be delayed or challenged. The steps to performing this task are as follows: 1. Review the manufacturer or OEM’s information requirements and contact information. Be prepared with the information you need to make the contact. If the repair orders are in electronic form on your computer, you can access the information you need by selecting “update repair order” on your service menu (Fig. 1 on p. 4). 2. Obtain the needed information. Most information is normally found on the repair order or in the flat rate manual.

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INFORMATION SHEET (continued) 3. Contact the manufacturer to provide the information they need to authorize the repair. Most OEMs require pre-authorization to determine specifics for authorization. The information needed would include the vehicle information, the amount of Service Technician’s time and dollars requested for authorization, and any parts or materials being requested. If sublet work is included, be sure to provide that information as well. Keep in mind there may be more than one repair needed, so you will need to provide the correct information for each repair. The information is usually submitted electronically.

Fig. 1. Sample update work order screen with information needed for a repair authorization. (compliments of Brock Whinnery)

TOOLS, EQUIPMENT, SUPPLIES, AND MATERIALS The following tools, equipment, supplies, and materials are needed to provide information to obtain a repair authorization: • • • • • • •

Computer Repair order Flat Rate manual (OEM/supplier policy and procedure manual_) Phone, e-mail or fax Manufacturer’s (OEM’s) contact information Copy of manufacturer’s (OEM’s) warranty claim form Digital camera

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INFORMATION SHEET (continued) WORKER BEHAVIORS Worker behaviors play a key role in providing warranty claim information correctly. The behaviors important to your success in completing this task are: • • • •

Accuracy Attention to detail Politeness Professionalism

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SELF-CHECK DIRECTIONS: Check your knowledge of providing warranty claim information by responding to the following questions. For True/False questions, circle “TRUE” if the statement is correct, and circle “FALSE” if the statement is incorrect. For multiple choice questions, select the response that is most correct. For short answer questions, write a brief response to the question. Check your answers with those on the Self-Check Model Answers page that follows.

1. All manufacturers request the same information for a warranty claim. TRUE FALSE 2. The Service Technician determines the amount of time a needed repair will take to complete. TRUE FALSE 3. Most warranty claims are paid by the customer. TRUE FALSE 4. All of the following information is normally needed for a warranty claim except: a. b. c. d.

Dealership’s name Vehicle mileage Vehicle serial number Vehicle’s condition

5. Describe the steps to providing information to obtain a repair authorization.

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SELF-CHECK MODEL ANSWERS DIRECTIONS: Compare your answers to the Self-Check with the Model Answers provided below.

1.

FALSE

2.

TRUE

3.

FALSE

4.

d.

5.

MODEL ANSWER

While most of the information requested may be standard among manufacturers or OEMs, each may have its own unique requirements.

Most warranty claims, if authorized, are paid by the manufacturer or OEM, not the customer. The vehicle’s condition is normally not requested (although some manufacturers may ask for it). The steps to providing information to obtain a repair authorization are: 1. Review the manufacturer or OEM’s information requirements and contact information. 2. Obtain the needed information. 3. Contact the manufacturer to provide the information they need to authorize the repair.

Level of Performance: Your responses to the items on the Self-Check should match the Self-Check Model Answers. If you missed some points or have questions, review the Information Sheet, or if necessary, consult with your mentor.

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PRACTICE EXERCISE DIRECTIONS: • Review your ability to provide information to obtain repair authorizations using the following checklist as a guide. • Discuss with your co-worker the fundamentals of this task. • Practice each stage of providing the required information. • Ask your co-worker to use the checklist to evaluate your ability to perform this task.

Providing Information for Repair Authorizations Level of Performance

Topics

Yes

With Help

No

When providing information to a manufacturer or OEM to obtain a repair authorization, the learner… 1. Reviewed the manufacturer’s or OEM’s information requirements and contact information. 2. Obtained the needed information. 3. Contacted the manufacturer or OEM to provide the information they needed to authorize the repair.

Level of Performance: When you are finished with this Practice Exercise, you should be able to comfortably discuss and perform any of the actions included in it. Your ratings on the checklist for this Practice Exercise should be Yes for all items. If you received With Help or No ratings for any items, review your performance with your mentor.

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LEARNING EXPERIENCE #2 ENABLING OBJECTIVE #2: Practice obtaining additional information if requested by the manufacturer. Learning Activities

Special Instructions

Read the Information Sheet titled “Overview of Additional Information Requests” on pp. 9-10. Discuss with your mentor the different kinds of additional information a manufacturer or OEM may request before authorizing a warranty claim. Demonstrate your knowledge of obtaining additional information for warranty claims by completing the SelfCheck on p. 11. Check your answers against the Self-Check Model Answers on p. 12. Practice obtaining additional information for warranty claims with a co-worker. Ask your co-worker to use the checklist titled “Obtaining Additional Information” on p. 13 of the Practice Exercise as a guide for assessing your progress.

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Ask your mentor to suggest a coworker who can observe and help you with your practice sessions and the Practice Checklist.

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INFORMATION SHEET OVERVIEW OF ADDITIONAL INFORMATION REQUESTS A manufacturer or OEM does not always issue an authorization for a requested repair when you first make the request. Sometimes the manufacturer wants additional diagnostics performed on the vehicle or accessory before authorizing a claim, or they may want to verify that it is not a frivolous claim resulting from customer negligence. When a manufacturer or OEM requests additional information regarding a warranty claim, you need to understand why they are doing so. Obviously, they do not want to pay for something that is not truly justified under the current warranty. The manufacturer’s warranty claim representative is charged with making sure anything the manufacturer or OEM agrees to pay is legitimate. They are simply protecting their financial interests! Experience has shown that sometimes further diagnostics reveals a repair is actually the direct result of the customer’s negligence. If the Service Technician didn’t realize this when he originally diagnosed the customer’s repair, you would be requesting authorization for the manufacturer to pay for something that is actually the customer’s responsibility. Having a manufacturer or OEM request additional information from you is not something you should take personally!

Fig. 2. Additional diagnostics may help the manufacturer or OEM decide if they will authorize a warranty claim.

This is where it may be necessary for you to negotiate with the manufacturer to obtain authorization for the repair. If, for example, the repair will require more time than originally estimated by the Service Technician, you might want to provide the manufacturer or OEM the customer’s purchasing history from your dealership. In order to keep a good customer, the manufacturer may decide to authorize additional time or parts to complete a repair so the next time they go to purchase a vehicle, the customer will choose the same manufacturer because they’ve taken care of him or her in the past. Or, you can negotiate with the manufacturer or OEM to split the additional repair time needed (make sure that has the approval of your Service Manager first!). • •

Document and save all correspondence between dealer and OEM as well as between dealer and customer. Make sure an accurate, organized, and up to date customer sales and service record system exists within the dealership.

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INFORMATION SHEET (continued) Follow these three steps to obtain the additional information requested by the manufacturer or OEM for a warranty claim: 1. Communicate any additional diagnostics that need to be performed to the Service Technician or Service Advisor. It is important to communicate the requested information accurately, so be sure to take notes when you are talking to the manufacturer or OEM’s representative. This will prevent the possibility of incorrect diagnostics being performed which the dealership will end up paying for. 2. Provide the additional information requested to the manufacturer or OEM. Once the additional diagnostics are performed or the requested information is obtained, communicate that information accurately back to the manufacturer. NOTE: In some dealerships, the Service Tech may be expected to provide the additional information directly to the manufacturer or OEM. As a Warranty Administrator, you must have full access and record any communication between the Service Tech and OEM directly. 3. Obtain the authorization number from the manufacturer or OEM for the required work. Record the number accurately because that is what your billing department will use to collect the authorized amount from the manufacturer. Of course, it’s possible the manufacturer or OEM will use the additional information you provided to decide they won’t pay for the requested repair. That will be the subject of the next learning experience - determining what to do if the authorization request is denied. TOOLS, EQUIPMENT, SUPPLIES, AND MATERIALS The following tools, equipment, supplies, and materials are needed to obtain additional information for repair authorizations: • • • •

Phone, fax or e-mail Computer Repair order Notes summarizing the OEM’s request

WORKER BEHAVIORS Worker behaviors play a key role in accurately obtaining the additional information requested by the manufacturer or OEM. The behaviors important to your success in completing this task are: • • • • •

Accuracy Making good customer service a priority when making decisions and communicating with the customer Attention to detail Thorough Persuasiveness

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SELF-CHECK DIRECTIONS: Check your knowledge of obtaining additional information to meet the manufacturer’s request by responding to the following questions. For True/False questions, circle “TRUE” if the statement is correct, and circle “FALSE” if the statement is incorrect. For multiple choice questions, select the response that is most correct. For short answer questions, write a brief response to the question. Check your answers with those on the Self-Check Model Answers page that follows.

1. Manufacturers are trying to protect the customer’s interests, while the dealership is trying to protect their own financial interests. TRUE FALSE 2. You should not take it personally if a manufacturer or OEM requests additional information or diagnostics before authorizing a claim. TRUE FALSE 3. When a request for additional diagnostics is received from the manufacturer, you should contact the: a. b. c. d.

Customer to let them know the manufacturer is challenging their repair request. Sales Manager to let him/her know the manufacturer is playing hard ball. Service Technician to communicate what the manufacturer is requesting. Service Manager so he/she can decide what to do next.

4. After the additional information requested by the manufacturer is provided, you should: a. b. c. d.

Negotiate on behalf of the customer for approval of the request. Threaten to discontinue doing business with them if they don’t approve the request. Assume the manufacturer will approve the request. Have the customer make a follow-up call directly to the manufacturer.

5. Describe the steps to providing additional information for a warranty request.

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SELF-CHECK MODEL ANSWERS DIRECTIONS: Compare your answers to the Self-Check with the Model Answers provided below.

1.

FALSE

Manufacturers are trying to protect their own financial interests, while the dealership is trying to protect the customer’s interests.

2.

TRUE

3.

c.

You should contact the Service Technician to convey the request for additional diagnostics.

4.

a.

You should try to negotiate on the customer’s behalf to have the request approved for payment by the manufacturer.

5.

MODEL ANSWER

The steps to providing additional information are to: 1. 2. 3.

Communicate any additional diagnostics that need to be performed to the Service Tech or Service Writer/Advisor. Provide the additional information requested to the manufacturer or OEM. Obtain the authorization number from the manufacturer or OEM for the work.

Level of Performance: Your responses to the items on the Self-Check should match the Self-Check Model Answers. If you missed some points or have questions, review the Information Sheet, or if necessary, consult with your mentor.

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PRACTICE EXERCISE DIRECTIONS: • Conduct the activities listed below using the following checklist. • Continue practicing until you achieve a Yes rating for every item on the checklist provided in this Practice Exercise. • Ask your co-worker to check your practice using the checklist below.

Obtaining Additional Information Level of Performance

Topics

Yes

With Help

No

When obtaining additional information as requested by the OEM or manufacturer, the learner… 1. Communicated any additional diagnostics that need to be performed to the Service Technician or Service Advisor. 2. Provided the additional information requested to the manufacturer or OEM. 3. Obtained the authorization number from the manufacturer or OEM for the required work.

Level of Performance: When you are finished with this Practice Exercise, you should be able to comfortably discuss and perform any of the actions included in it. Your ratings on the checklist for this Practice Exercise should be Yes for all items. If you received With Help or No ratings for any items, review your performance with your mentor.

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LEARNING EXPERIENCE #3 ENABLING OBJECTIVE #3: Practice determining what to do if the authorization request is denied. Learning Activities

Special Instructions

Read the Information Sheet titled “Overview of Warranty Claim Denials” on pp. 15-16. Review a manufacturer’s warranty claim form from a company with whom your dealership does business. Identify any information that explains why claims may be denied. Review your dealership’s experience with denied claims for warranty reimbursement. What were the most common reasons for claims being denied? You may wish to contact the Warranty Claims Department at one of the manufacturers with whom you do business. Ask them what your dealership could do to reduce the number of claims that are denied.

Discuss with your mentor if there’s anything your dealership could do to reduce the number of claims denied. Ask your Service Manager or mentor for a contact name and number to perform this activity.

Demonstrate your knowledge of determining what to do if an authorization request is denied by completing the SelfCheck on p. 17. Check your answers against the Self-Check Model Answers on p. 18. Practice determining what to do if a warranty request is denied with a co-worker. Ask your co-worker to use the checklist titled “Dealing With Warranty Claims” on p. 19 of the Practice Exercise as a guide for assessing your progress.

Ask your mentor to suggest a coworker who can observe and help you with your practice sessions and the Practice Checklist.

Arrange to complete this Learning Guide titled Negotiate Payment Responsibility by asking your mentor to evaluate your performance using the criteria in the Performance Test on pp. 20-21.

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INFORMATION SHEET OVERVIEW OF WARRANTY CLAIM DENIALS As indicated in the previous Learning Activity, not all warranty claims are approved for payment by the manufacturers/OEMs. Estimates from dealerships suggest the number of denied warranty claims range from 10% to 30% of the claims submitted (your dealership may be higher or lower than these estimates). Some of the more common reasons given for denial of claims include: 1. Mileage exceeding warranty limits 2. Warranty exceeding the time period covered from date of purchase 3. The need for the repair being due to customer negligence (abuse, failure to provide preventative maintenance, accidents, etc.) 4. Failure by the dealership to provide the required information If a manufacturer or OEM informs you that a claim is being denied, you should inform the Service Writer/Advisor (or the designated person in your dealership) who will contact the customer. The customer can then decide if he or she wants to proceed with the repair at his/her own expense. Another option would be for the Service Writer/Advisor to appeal the denial by contacting the manufacturer or OEM directly. At this point, the matter is really a decision made by the customer and the Service Writer/Advisor. However, a Warranty Administrator can do a number of things to ensure a claim is not denied due to failure to provide the required information. As you review your warranty claims, make sure all of the following information is provided accurately: 1. Job operation code - this information is available from the flat rate manual or from within your dealership’s work order software. Make sure each job has a code, much like each medical procedure a doctor uses has a medical code. 2. Repair time/hours - repair times are usually counted in tenths of an hour such as 3.5, 6.2, 7.8, etc. Manufacturers also refer to the flat rate manual for what are acceptable times to complete a repair. 3. Parts required - an item-by-item listing of the parts (and their part numbers) used in connection with the repair. Add dealer purchased materials (sealants, nuts, and bolts), which you may need to supply receipts. 4. Sublet invoice - an invoice from the sublet contractor showing any and all work performed at the dealership’s request (if used). 5. Model and serial number - the model and serial number of the customer’s unit. 6. Customer signature - this indicates the work was actually performed for a customer so that claims for “dummy work” cannot be submitted. C-1: Negotiate Payment Responsibility

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INFORMATION SHEET (continued)

Warranties benefit the customer, but they must be coded properly for the dealership to obtain reimbursement.

TOOLS, EQUIPMENT, SUPPLIES, AND MATERIALS The following tools, equipment, supplies, and materials are needed to determine what to do if a warranty claim is denied: • • •

Computer or hard copy files of completed repair orders Manufacturer’s warranty claim form (may be online) Flat Rate manual (OEM/supplier policy and procedure manual)

WORKER BEHAVIORS Worker behaviors play a key role in correctly determining what to do if a warranty claim is denied. The behaviors important to your success in completing this task are: • • • •

Accuracy Performing work carefully Detail oriented Tactfulness

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SELF-CHECK DIRECTIONS: Check your knowledge of determining what to do if a warranty claim is denied by responding to the following questions. For True/False questions, circle “TRUE” if the statement is correct, and circle “FALSE” if the statement is incorrect. For multiple choice questions, select the response that is most correct. Check your answers with those on the SelfCheck Model Answers page that follows.

1. You should immediately file an appeal with the manufacturer or OEM if a warranty claim is denied. TRUE FALSE 2.

Most warranty claims can be processed without a customer signature. TRUE FALSE

3. Which of the following is not normally required when filing a warranty claim? a. b. c. d.

Authorization number Customer’s signature Service Technician’s signature Unit model and serial number

4. The most probable consequence of failing to code a warranty claim correctly and completely is: a. Payment to the dealership will be delayed. b. The dealership may not get reimbursed completely for work already performed for the customer. c. The dealership will get a warning letter from the manufacturer. d. The customer will have to pay more. 5. If you receive word from the manufacturer or OEM that a submitted claim has been denied, you should: a. b. c. d.

File an appeal Contact the customer Inform the Service Advisor Contact the Better Business Bureau

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SELF-CHECK MODEL ANSWERS DIRECTIONS: Compare your answers to the Self-Check with the Model Answers provided below.

1.

FALSE

You should convey the denial and the reason(s) to the Service Writer/Advisor or designated person who will contact the customer for a decision about the pending repair work.

2.

FALSE

A customer signature is required as proof to the manufacturer that the work was performed.

3.

c.

The Service Tech’s signature is not normally required.

4.

b.

While all of the choices are possibilities, the most probable consequence is that the dealership will not be reimbursed completely for the work already performed.

5.

c.

You should inform the Service Advisor (or designated person) who will contact the customer.

Level of Performance: Your responses to the items on the Self-Check should match the Self-Check Model Answers. If you missed some points or have questions, review the Information Sheet, or if necessary, consult with your mentor.

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PRACTICE EXERCISE DIRECTIONS: • Conduct the activities listed below using the following checklist. • Continue practicing until you achieve a Yes rating for every item on the checklist provided in this Practice Exercise. • Ask your co-worker to check your practice using the checklist below.

Dealing With Warranty Claims Level of Performance

Topics

Yes

With Help

No

When determining what to do when a warranty claim is denied, the learner… 1. Informed the correct person within the dealership of the denial and the reason(s) given. 2. Ensured proper completion of the manufacturer’s warranty claim form (paper or electronic) to include: a. Authorization number. b. Job operation code. c. Repair time/hours. d. Parts required/used. e. Invoices (sublet work, parts, etc.). f. Unit model and serial number. g. Customer’s signature.

Level of Performance: When you are finished with this Practice Exercise, you should be able to comfortably discuss and perform any of the actions included in it. Your ratings on the checklist for this Practice Exercise should be Yes for all items. If you received With Help or No ratings for any items, review your performance with your mentor.

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PERFORMANCE TEST Date

Learner’s Name: Competency: C-1 Negotiate Payment Responsibility

Test Attempt 2nd 3rd

st

1

Mentor’s Signature/Approval

OVERALL EVALUATION

Directions: Your mentor will provide you with one or more opportunities to negotiate payment responsibility. You are to perform the actions needed to deal with the situation(s) in a way that meets company requirements and ethical business practices. Your mentor will evaluate your performance using the criteria listed below.

Level Achieved

PERFORMANCE LEVELS 4 – Can perform this skill without supervision and with initiative and adaptability to problem situations. 3 – Can perform this skill satisfactorily without assistance or supervision 2 – Can perform this skill satisfactorily, but requires some assistance and/or supervision. 1 – Can perform parts of this skill satisfactorily, but requires considerable assistance and/or supervision. Mentor will initial level achieved.

PERFORMANCE STANDARDS For acceptable achievement, all items should receive a “Yes” or “N/A” response.

Yes

No

N/A

When providing information to a manufacturer or OEM to obtain a repair authorization, the learner… 1. Reviewed the manufacturer’s or OEM’s information requirements and contact information. 2. Obtained the needed information. 3. Contacted the manufacturer or OEM to provide the information they needed to authorize the repair.

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PERFORMANCE TEST (continued) PERFORMANCE STANDARDS For acceptable achievement, all items should receive a “Yes” or “N/A” response.

Yes

No

N/A

When obtaining additional information as requested by the OEM or manufacturer, the learner… 4. Communicated any additional diagnostics that need to be performed to the Service Technician or Service Advisor. 5. Provided the additional information requested to the manufacturer or OEM. 6. Obtained the authorization number from the manufacturer or OEM for the required work. When determining what to do when a warranty claim is denied, the learner… 7. Informed the correct person within the dealership of the denial and the reason(s) given. 8. Ensured proper completion of the manufacturer’s warranty claim form (paper or electronic) to include: a. Authorization number. b. Job operation code. c. Repair time/hours. d. Parts required/used. e. Invoices (sublet work, parts, etc.). f. Unit model and serial number. g. Customer’s signature.

Level of Performance: All items must receive a YES or N/A response. If any items receive a NO response, consult with your mentor to determine what additional activities you need to achieve competency in the weak area(s).

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Sample Learning Guide Lesson  

Warranty Learning Guide. Section C: Lesson C-1

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