To help alleviate the automotive aftermarket’s incessant, pervasive and burgeoning returns problem, Motorcar Parts of America (MPA) has launched an industry-first, warranty-reduction program for starters and alternators.
Designated “Call Before You Return,” the program features a tested and proven method of reducing returns for MPA’s Pure-Energy and Quality-Built new and remanufactured starters and alternators by borrowing some of the best practices from other industries and developing them into a preventive returns procedure specifically for the aftermarket.
“Misdiagnosis is common with the installation of starters and alternators even though the units are good,” says Rick Mochulsky, MPA’s Senior Vice President of Sales. “There are literally a multitude of tricky faults that may occur that have nothing to do with the integrity of the starters or alternators. With starters, the problem can range from a bad battery to poor wiring connections. With alternators, the problem can range from a defect in the control module to a slipping drive belt.”
In order to prevent technicians from returning good units, which wastes their time and their customers’ time, MPA attaches prominent red “Call Before You Return” tags that have to be removed before installation can proceed. If a starter or alternator appears not to be working, customers are instructed to call a dedicated, toll-free tech line rather than return the part to the reseller. The tech line is manned seven days a week by ASE certified technicians.
“By making a simple phone call, our ASE experts can quickly guide technicians through the system diagnosis processes and pinpoint the cause of the issue so that they can wrap up a job and move on to the next,” says Mochulsky. “Additionally, our staff can assist with installation questions, verify application information, supply cross references and answer vehicle specific issues.”
Selwyn Joffe, MPA Chairman, President and CEO, thinks the program could start a trend in the aftermarket because it addresses the problem proactively. “The best way to reduce returns — that siphon profitability from the entire distribution chain and, worse, destroy consumer confidence — is to prevent them in the first place. From a shop’s most practical point of view, why tie up a service bay waiting on another part when you already have a good part in hand?”
Joffe adds, “Our ‘Call Before You Return’ program has been field tested and test marketed proving that intended repairs can be completed successfully rather than getting entangled in the time-consuming web of return logistics and the hassle of handling and servicing unnecessary warranties.”