Auto Service Centers May Be Armed and Dangerous!

February 27, 2007

Auto repair has consistently finished among the top 3 spots of the Consumer Federation of America’s Annual Complaint List, www.consumerfed.org . Only to be out done by car purchasing and home improvement.

According to the NADA, National Automobile Dealership Association, 58.5 percent of auto dealership profits come from service and parts. The auto dealership sector of the service industry boasts an annual revenue of $85.2 billions. With more than 238 million vehicles in operation in the U.S. every year, the industry appears sustainable and strong.

With that being said, I believe dealerships and independent service centers are entitled to turn a buck, however not at the expense of innocent consumers. We all have experienced or witnessed, the under preforming service and the over charging cost of auto maintenance. Most of the time this is a result of being put into a passive position, due to lack of knowledge, fear or desperation.

People tend to fear what they do not know, therefore they defer to others. We put our trust into these others and when that trust is taking advantage of, this is were the problem exist. Do not get me wrong all service centers, whether independent or a dealer, are not dishonest. However, there are plenty to go around. Unfortunately, without performance measurements they all must be considered armed and dangerous.

Example: If we were on a football field and I told you there were 100 land-mines buried on the field and I wanted you to run the length of the field, would you?

The football field is the service and repair industry and the land mines are the dishonest service centers. If you are like me, you would first want to know where the land-mines were located before running down the field.

So, how do we fix this problem. We must police the service and repair industry. If you find a good service center tell as many people as possible. If you discover a land-mine service center alert others about them. And never, never, never patronize a land-mine service center.

Visit www.MyDealerReport.com and help police the service and repair industry.

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Website Issue Resolved

February 26, 2007

Late yesterday, Sunday Feb 25, 2007 to early afternoon Monday 26, 2007, we experienced some database issues. Our servers were just recently upgraded for higher speed capability, due to the demand on it. There were some key IP address issues, resulting in our databases in-connectivity to the user interface. However, all is well now. Hopefully, not too many of our users were affected. But if you have any feedback or concerns resulting for this brief unfortunate down time please contact us immediately, customerservice@mydealerreport.com.


Consumers are the Best Form of Advertisement

February 22, 2007

Due to the massive amount of user generated content these days, advertisers find themselves playing second fiddle in influencing consumer purchases. The car business has especially been impacted by this new trend. They have been accustomed to putting on a dog and pony show in-order to lure consumers into their dealerships. However, the dog is tried and the pony has been shot!

Today, nearly 75% of consumers cite word-of-mouth recommendations as the most influential factor in their car-buying decisions. Bill Stephenson, VP at Nielsen BuzzMetrics has been quoted as saying “Car shoppers seek out the opinions of other consumers who have relevant experience”. And according to Competeinc’s Marketing Director, Cynthia Stephens ” Consumers find the opinions of other consumers, not brands or advertising, valuable in helping them narrow their decisions”.

Word-of-mouth has always existed, however technology has allowed it to explode. Consumers not only have the ability to receive the opinions of friends and family, but now they can receive the opinion of every consumer. This old fashion word-of-mouth meeting technology has put car dealerships in a position of accountability.

However, this could benefit dealerships, as well as, the consumer. Dealerships are able to honesty assess themselves through the eyes of the consumer. Dishonest dealerships will be identified, therefore allowing trustworthy dealerships to separate themselves from the bad and ugly.

Consumers benefit by reducing the chance of being victimized by fraud, purchasing a vehicle in a low sales pressure environment, reducing the time spent purchasing a car and increasing the chance of significant savings.

Please visit our website www.MyDealerReport.com and discover which car dealer has been naughty or nice.


Consumers, Truly Control Chrysler

February 21, 2007

I was reading an article yesterday about the continuous woes of the automaker Chrysler Group, (Daimler to repair Chrysler). This article highlighted numerous problems that Chrysler faces and why their woes may not end anytime soon. Its parent company DaimlerChysler has revealed a recovery plan to help Chrysler Group drag itself out of the pit and back to acceptability.

Most investors and analysts have doubts about this recovery plan. So do I! But I have doubts for a different reason, “Dealership Behavior“. The funny part is all the industry experts and executive never seem to mention customer service as a key factor in lagging auto sales. They blame large overhead cost or vehicle design, but never customer service. How a consumer perceives an automaker’s brand is directly influenced by their actual car
shopping experience. Automakers and industry experts are making the same mistake many auto dealerships make, ignoring the importance of a great consumer shopping experience.

I believe we are now seeing how a manufacturer’s production output maybe controlled by consumer-dealership interaction. However, the auto industry believes that if you build something nice and shiny, we will buy it. Why cook me a gourmet dinner, then serve it on a dirty plate. The Chrysler Group’s woes, as well as, the rest of industry is a build up from years of neglect.

Last November our company, MyDealerReport.com, released a report, U.S. Automobile Dealership Behavior Index Scores, showing how all the automakers ranked in their consumer-dealership interaction and Chrysler Group came in towards the bottom of the pack at number 12 out of 15. Isn’t that odd.

I am saying all these things to let the auto industry know, you forgot your most important asset again, the consumer, not the shinny things (vehicles). We, the consumer truly control your fate. So therefore, start listening to how we want to be treated. Stop trying to produce our loyalty with new shinny things and earn it with customer service.

Visit us at www.MyDealerReport.com


Why I do, What I do…

February 20, 2007

I was invited to do a radio show interview this week about our website, MyDealerReport.com. The host of the show asked me why I create this website. Was it for the money? Was it because I need forgiveness for my car salesmen days? Well, money is always a motivator and forgiveness is always needed. However, I think my true reason for starting MyDealerReport.com stems from my first bad car buying experience.

It was the one of the most stressful experiences I encountered. I was only 17 years old, my grandfather was kind enough to co-sign for me a Mazda 323. This was my first car and I was truly excited, until we had to sue the dealership. The car broke down the very same day it was purchased. So we demanded that the dealership fix the car. They fixed it, 30 days later. Nevertheless, I was excited once again when I pickup the car, until a mile down the road where it broke down again. This time we told the dealer to give us our down payment back and take the car. Well, two years later after suing the dealership we received our down payment money back.

Everyday we receive tons of user comments that are very similar to my own personal experience. Now this tells me something important. It tells me that in 18 years nothing has changed in the auto industry. Consumers are still be defraud and abuse by dishonest auto dealerships. Now are all dealership bad, well according to our website No. But the real question is, how do you know who to trust? Well, now you see why my team and I had to create MyDealerReport.com, to help prevent others from experiencing the same car purchasing ordeal I did. I know what some people are thinking, “But you became a car salesman and dealership owner”. Well, my answer to that is, others now get to benefit from both of my experiences. First, as a victim and later as a ________ (Fill in the Blank). Furthermore, who better to help auto consumers than a victimized recovering car guy.