The Competition Is Getting Desperate

Introducing the Straw Man & the Real Deal

Several years ago, Carpenter Bus, in partnership with The Plateau Group, Inc., spent considerable time and effort to come up with an innovative, industry-unique Extended Service Contract for our customers that covers both drivetrain and non-drivetrain components.

At the time, no legitimate company offered an extended service contract on buses beyond a simple drivetrain policy. Items like rear A/C units, electric door motors, lift components, and other items that every bus owner knows to be expensive to repair, were simply not covered. And what the manufacturers of these components did offer were for short periods of time and did not cover labor.

Together, Carpenter and Plateau determined to create and offer an extended coverage for these items covering parts and labor. The result is CarpenterCare. Even today, it stands alone in covering these non-drivetrain components on buses. No other bus dealer has anything like it.

Add to that, the extended coverage on the drivetrain components as well – engine, transmission, suspension, steering and much more – and you have happy bus owners with peace of mind, year after year.

So what does our competition do?

One dealer, after unsuccessfully trying to come up with a similar contract for their bus buyers, decided to employ the old “Straw Man Strategy” – create a caricature of the real thing and then destroy the caricature. In this embarrassing and carelessly-reasoned attack, which they distribute, they revealed their desperation in trying to persuade potential customers that there was something really bad about getting extended coverage at no cost to them.

It’s a hard sell, but they tried anyway… and failed miserably. Turns out, the customers are not as dumb as our competitor thought.

So here’s the comparison between their Straw Man and our Real Deal.

The Straw Man: CarpenterCare is different than a Genuine Manufacturer-Provided Warranty, so therefore, “Beware!”

The Real Deal: So… to begin to persuade the customers that something sinister is afoot, our competitor’s opening argument is that there’s a difference between CarpenterCare and a Manufacturer-provided Warranty.

Did I miss something, or is that as ridiculous as it sounds? Is anyone out there experiencing a gripping foreboding and need to beware?!

Elmer, your premise is correct – there is a difference between the two, just like A is different than B. However, CarpenterCare is not “instead of,” but in “addition to” a Genuine Manufacturer-Provided Warranty. With CarpenterCare, you don’t have to choose between the two; one doesn’t cancel out the other. You get A plus B, at no additional cost.

Every bus dealer passes on new bus coverage from the manufacturer on the chassis, but when that coverage ends, CarpenterCare keeps going.

The only need to beware is when the manufacturers’ warranties come to an end and you don’t have extended coverage.

Elmer, this is truly an embarrassing start in your attempt to persuade of grave danger. First, you tripped and fell down on your way to the batter’s box, and then a swing and a miss. Strike one! Say after me, “A plus B, at no additional cost.”

And to the customers, here’s a simple question: what coverage would you rather have, since there is no additional cost – 3 years or 5 years – 36,000 miles or 60,000 miles? The choice is yours.

The Straw Man: Before “signing up for coverage,” watch out for this red flag: there are some parts that CarpenterCare doesn’t cover (… with accompanying beaming looks of glee, and shouts of “Gotcha!”).

The Real Deal: Two problems here: 1) CarpenterCare is free – we are not asking our customers to buy anything, and 2) surprise, surprise, every Warranty or Service Contract, including manufacturer-provided warranties, is going to have exclusions. It’s really not some deep, dark secret. I’m sure your customers know that. They’re smarter than you think!

We are upfront about what CarpenterCare doesn’t cover. It does not cover normal wear and tear items like tires, wiper blades and upholstery.

So, strike two!

The more you tie your hopes to such flimsy notions, the more your credibility will sink. It’s not working. And your customers are watching.

The Straw Man: Well, using CarpenterCare “can drastically slow down repairs,” and the Contract Administrator “can and will deny repairs for multiple reasons.” Why, they won’t even begin to look at the claim unless the claimant first presents all the service records (payment receipts, exact dates, etc.).

The Real Deal: Really?
Regarding the “drastic slow down” in getting repairs done, would it make any difference to you to know that in the years that our customers have used CarpenterCare, 99% of the claims are approved the same day as they are submitted, and most of them are approved within 20 or 30 minutes from being submitted? That’s hardly what I would call a “drastic slowdown.”

And, regarding claim denials, would it make any difference to you that our insurer has never even asked our clients for service records much less denied a claim for that reason?

Strike three…You’re out!

Friendly advice: think about trying to regain some of your lost credibility by coming up with something better than CarpenterCare for your customers. Then make the pitch. If your customers ever get the idea that you’re really not looking out for their interests, forced retirement may come early.

The Straw Man: “Most importantly,” to insure that the warranty pays claims, the bus buyer will have to spend thousands of dollars more on maintaining the vehicle than the manufacturer requires!

The Real Deal: “Most importantly!” Talk about added heft… wow, this might be what sinks the ship!

For those who haven’t seen this sheet, our competitor presents a comparison chart that supposedly shows the cost to service a bus to comply with CarpenterCare in one column, and the cost to service a bus to comply with the Manufacturer’s warranty in another. The annual difference, they figure, is $640 more a year under CarpenterCare. Then they multiply that times 7 to get $4,480. (It’s got to be true, it’s in a published comparison chart!)

So we ask Elmer, “Is this really your most important warning against added coverage?” Elmer, somebody in your organization went to a lot trouble to create a comparison chart between what you suppose our contract requires and what the manufacturer requires. I’m guessing that he’s got at least two hours into making up facts, doing the math, creating the table and getting it printed.

So, I almost hate to reveal what the Real Deal actually says, especially in front of your own customers. But here goes: CarpenterCare only requires the vehicle owner to comply with “manufacturer-recommended” oil changes and services. There is simply not another set of service requirements that the contract requires. Are you sure you want to keep using that comparison sheet?

Thud!! “What’s that?”

The Straw Man just fainted and fell to the ground. Ew, that’s got to hurt! Our competitor’s most important red flag warning just evaporated into thin air! I hope there’s a Straw Man hospital somewhere close by: this guy’s in critical condition!

Game over!

Carpenter Bus invites anyone with questions about our FREE CarpenterCare coverage that we offer on all new buses, to please contact Jon Baldwin at 615-376-2287 x234, or

Click here to view or download more detail on CarpenterCare.

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