One Site Dominance Doesn’t Trump the Internet

October 26, 2010

MyDealerReport, Yelp, Insiderpages, JudysBook, CarDealerCheck, Dealerrater, Edmunds, Google Places, Yahoo Local, CitySearch and etc, all control your online dealer reputation. The question most dealers have been asking themselves is “Which one of these sites are the most important?”. Well the answer is all of them are equally important, now that Google Places has started to aggregate reviews from across the Internet. Also each of these sites draw their own audience which makes it even more crucial to manage them all.

Having a relationship with 1 or 2 of these sites only makes you favorable to a small population on the Internet. So what,  you have good ratings on MyDealerReport or Dealerrater, what happens when users slam you on Yelp or Insiderpages? Here at MyDealerReport.com we had to be honest with ourselves. Are we being truthful with our dealer partners if we tell them that building up 40 – 300 ratings on our site will manage their reputation? No! In fact we are now telling our dealer partners that they need to be concern equally with all online review sites.  Believe me this was a hard pill for us to swallow, because we would like to think of ourselves as the only review site that matters.

If a dealership is 1 review site heavy when collecting reviews they will be betting that user (consumers) will not post reviews anywhere else on the Internet and these odds are worst than Roulette. Look at the Google Places screen shot below (Click to Enlarge):

Click to enlarge

 

If there is a review posted on any of the above sites mentioned, it will be displayed on Google Places. Having 1 site domination will not remove the other sites from the equation. Unfortunately, no one review site can now claim to be the only show in town. And unfortunately for dealers they have to manage their reputation across all of these sites. It is nice to have a great looking Facebook page and a twitter account, but it doesn’t erase your bad reviews or guarantee positive ones either.

The great thing is most of these sites allow you to communicate and respond to user reviews for FREE. Sites like MyDealerReport.com, Yelp, Insiderpages, CitySearch, Yahoo Local, Googel Place and CarDealerCheck. So don’t let any of us fool you in to thinking that our one site is bigger than the Internet.

Yeah we can brag how we dominate on Google Places by showing you the following screen shot (Click to Enlarge):

Click to Enlarge

However, we would be snowing you by saying this is how all of the Google Places will appear if you use MyDealerReport.com. Therefore, don’t be fooled by screen shots, be smart and cover your *** before you get shoot.


Paying For Dealer Ratings Is A RIP-OFF!

September 23, 2010

Let me get straight to the point and list the ways paying for dealer ratings is a rip-off:

1. Feeding the Beast: why would you pay a site to collect ratings on your dealership, shouldn’t they be paying you for the content?

2. Committing Suicide:  why would you send your customers to a site that forces you to pay them? The more you send your customers to these sites the more of your content the site owns. And they charge you to manage your content, lol.

3. Fools Gold: you are building traffic and credibility for sites that force you to pay to play. Giving them your customers builds their traffic and then they use the stats to entice you. Who is fooling who?

4. Domestic Abuse: if you don’t pay to play with these sites, they punish you. This is called old fashion Extortion and/or a shake down. They use your competition against you (FEAR).

Okay what is the solution? You know I have a solution. And the solution is FREE!  To manage your dealer rating account should be Free. The same above can be said for a free system, except there is no payment involved. Feed the free Beast, create free Gold,  save your Life and stop Abuse. When you invest into a Free system their is no threat of not paying to play. When you do a deal with the DEVIL you never win, you just get burned.

http://www.MyDealerReport.com  – your Free alternative….


Car Dealers Ignore Consumers!

January 8, 2009

We have been experiencing a great number of consumer inquiries to car dealers on MyDealerReport.com over the past few months, however they have been unanswered by dealers.  If you are a car dealer, this is the wrong time to drop the ball, especially with the present condition of the economy.  Listed below are just a few of the miss communication sent for dealers through our site:

Dealer Name: J** ***** DODGE 
DealerID: 7036
Contact Name: Ericka ****
Contact Email: ***********
Message: Need Help, I traded in my truck in 2002, with *** ***** dodge. I need to prove that I did this. I do not have the paper work. I do have the title on the Jeep that i bought. Can you help me? I have tried almost everything. Ericka ****

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Dealer Name: ****** Toyota Co
DealerID: 195
Contact Name: Anealia ****
Contact Email: ************
Message: Can you please have Jason fax me the complete information and breakdown of features. I will be driving 5 1/2 hours Sunday to come see the 2005 Toyota Highlander Limited Gold 43,000 miles. I just want to make sure it has everything I am looking for and will have the power I need. The ad on the internet is not detailed and according to the info I have got from Jason it is not correct on the internet. My fax is 850 229-****. I did not want to keep calling everytime I had a question about a feature. Thank you Anealia ****

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Dealer Name: VW-HONDA
DealerID: 537
Contact Name: Ron *******
Contact Email: *************
Message: I’m leasing a brand new 2009 Honda Accord V6 from your dealership and had a concern regarding the feel of the transmission when it shifts back and forth from ECO mode to normal mode. I brought the car in on November 26 and during the test drive, the service tech explained how the transmission works and that 2009 is the first year it’s been introduced into the Accord. However, it’s very annoying to feel the continous hesitation/surge as the transmission switches modes. After the test drive, I asked the service manager, Ben, if other customers had similar complaints and he replied in a very cavalier manner…Ya, a few. So the message I took away from this experience is that the Honda Accord V6 has a transmission issue due to its introduction of new technology in the 2009 model and the customer will just have to get used to it?! This new feature should be seamless to the driver. I also own a new Nissan Murano which has the Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT) and it’s as smooth as silk. Honda ought to take a lesson from Nissan on tranny’s. It is what it is, but, I’m not happy with the Honda product.        

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Dealer Name: INFINITI OF ******
DealerID: 1853
Contact Name: Isaac ******
Contact Email: *********
Message: I am looking for 2008 G35x w/Sunroof (NOT PREMIUM PACKAGE) I will lease this car TODAY! $349/mnth 36 months 30k/mi/yr Up front: $944 TOTAL: ($595 Bank Fee, $349 1st months payment) COLOR PREF: Black/TAN/WHEAT Please advise, Thanks        

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Dealer Name:  Chrysler Of *******       

  DealerID: 34022       

  Contact Name: Steven ******       

  Contact Email:  ***********       


Message: Dear Mr. ******, My name is Steven ***** and I would not contact you unless I felt it was important you know my interactions with your dealerships. Specifically, Dodge of ******** where I purchased a pre-owned 207 Dodge Caliber less than 2 mos ago. (Oct. 2008). Since my purchase I have unforunately not enjoyed the vehicle for one minute. And to this date, NONE of the problems I reported at the time of purchase and others which have developed have been resolved by the ******* location and even by the ******** Service Dept. I need to start w/ the purchase which at the time I informed the Salesperson (Dennis) that there was something wrong w/ one of the tires and there was a rattle in the driver door. However, during my time w/ Dennis he received a personal phone call which greatly upset him and he was bascially unable to continue assisting me. So, Trish (Mgr.) took over and assisted consummating my purchase. My credit is weak and I am paying a high interest rate – which I understand. I pd. $1000 down and have already made my first payment. Within the wk. I brought the car into ******** for repair (losing some work time in *******) including the tires. However, the car was returned to me without any of the rapairs (incl. problems w/ the ac/heater) properly completed. In addition, the tire issue remained (thumping). I brought the car into ******** again shortly thereafter on a Sat. for the same repairs. Again, nothing was fixed though the Service Mgr. acknowledged all of the tires were worn on the inside and were bad, but I needed to speak w/ Trish. I travel frequently for business and do not have alot of time to spend dealing w/ a situation like this. Realizing the ******* dealership was incapable of dealing w/ my problems, I brought it to ******* last wk. (and more time off from work). Again, nothing was fixed. However, the dealership was kind enough to give me a free oil change. I asked about the tires and the ******** Mgr. (Dave) said I would need to speak w/ Trish. I called Trish and she said I was out of luck and they do not warranty tires. When I infomred her I had told Dennis the day about the tires on the day of my purchase, she responded I had not told her and she wouldn’t have sold me the vehicle if she knew. She offered no other assistance. I have been trying to alter my schedule again to return the car to Paramus to fix the old problems and new incl. the rattle, heater and an electrical problem which ****** could not find, etc. However, this morning a hose broke on the **** Turnpike which engulfed the car in smoke. After 1 1/2 hrs. getting it on a flatbed and up to ****** (where it now sits) I am paying for a rental car. In addition, the tow truck co. lost my keys and so I am going to have to pay the dealership an addl. $200 to replace the keys. The lost keys is not the dealership’s fault, but at this point the work time lost and out-of-pocket costs have become alarming and very upsetting. What is most upsetting is the dealership’s inability to address the problems w/ the vehicle and the lack of responsibility taken by the ********* location regarding the bad tires on the car sold to me. I know this is a very lengthy email and I appreciate you reading it. My goal was to hold the car into ’09 and upgrade, plus I will be receiving a co. car (VP of Sales) next yr., and I would have happily returned to your dealerships to purchase new/more vehicles. I bought 4 vehicles from one dealership in the past. I do not want to pursue other avenues incl. Lemon Law, etc. rergarding these unresolved issues and would hope the dealership would take responsbility for the tires and go the extra mile to see the problems with the vehicle are taken care of at the time the vehicle is brought in for servicing. thank you again for your time and I look forward to your response. Sincerely, Steven ***** 508-***-****        

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Dealer Name: ***** ******* DODGE
DealerID: 7033
Contact Name: Wesley ********
Contact Email: ****************
Message: James/Justin, I have dealt with *****  ******* Dodge on five occassions, and every time it was terrible service. I am under the impression that I can reach David ****** himself to fill him in on all my different experiences, and will. The most recent experience was dealing with a trade in on my Kia, which I took negative equity on, which I didn’t have an issue. We set up the deal to finance the 2005 Dodge Ram at 12.9 percent through ***** ****** Finance group as a temporary means until I got approval from my bank, which I finally did. The next day I brought in the preapproved. At that point your finance department cashed the check for 10458 dollars from my bank, but failed to pay the 3689 dollars off on my Kia, so my bank added that value to the 10458. And now I am being slammed with a loan of over 14000 dollars, very incorrect and unsatisfactory. I am an upstanding member of the community; I volunteer for many Oklahoma City Community events, I teach for ************* College in ******* City, which has close ties with the Dept of Commerce, and I also teach with ******* College, which has close ties with numerous business’ in the ******** City area. My wife is a government worker on ****** with close ties to some of the main executives at ******. I am also a Premium Support Manager at ****l with numerous connection at the 3000 plus employee facility. I expect my Kia to be paid in full. If interest has accrued to my 14000 dollar plus loan, I expect David ****** to pay that difference. I was also shipped out with a vehicle on complete E for fuel, now how is that for customer service. Again, like I said I have had several bad experience with ***** ******* Dodge. You need to take more pointers from ***** Nissan East, which I always recommend over any other dealership in ****** City, and will do when I contact David ******* himself. Get with your financing department and get this fixed. Customer Experience is the number one reason we stay in business. I deal with over 180 different customers a day, and if I fail at customer experience I am out of a job, as such anyone in a customer facing relationship would be. You can consider this a top level escalation. Wesley ********, displeased.        

___________________________________________________________________

 

Dealer Name:  DODGE INC
DealerID: 5106
Contact Name: Joe *******
Contact Email: ***************
Message: Hello, I am Nancy *******’s grandson and she has arranged for me to look at a 1999 Chevy Malibu at your lot, however today I haven’t been able to find transportation there. I was just writing in case she had sent notice that I’d be coming. I’m not sure of the hours on Saturdays, but I’d guess it’s just a half day. Sorry about the problem, I can arrange transportation for sometime Monday. Thanks.                                                 

 


Our CEO’s Latest Speaking Engagement: JD Power Automotive RoundTable

October 29, 2008

Just released the video of my participation on the JD Power Automotive RoundTable http://tinyurl.com/6khtlx 3 wks ago in Vegas


Buying a warranty at the time of sale: Rip-off or Bargain?

October 21, 2008
Guest Blogger

Amber Watson Tardiff

We’ve all been there.  You just made the decision to purchase a new car.  You’ve finally come to terms with having car payment for the next four to six years.  You may even be feeling sick at this point as you get ready to sign the paperwork. 

And no sooner than you sit down, you’re hit with the infamous sales pitch that goes a little something like this: “Will you be purchasing an extended service plan —because if you don’t take advantage of our offer TODAY, the price will double or even triple when you go to buy it later….”

Then you panic.

As a former finance and insurance manager, I can spot that panic from a mile away.   But I also know what it’s like to be in your shoes as a consumer.

So is there any truth to the manager’s insistence that you have to buy a warranty at the time of sale?

Honestly, it depends.

In most cases, the warranty cost will not significantly jump within the first 12 months/12,000 miles that you own the car.  Therefore, if you are unable to buy a warranty at the time of sale, you can generally come back with a credit card down the road and still find a significant savings than if you wait until the expiration of your factory warranty.

However, there are a few situations where buying the warranty at the time of sale makes good financial sense for you, the consumer.

The number one reason to purchase your warranty at the time of sale is to include it in your monthly car payment.  Comprehensive warranties can cost anywhere between $800- $2500.  Therefore, it’s much easier to tack on an additional $25 a month to your payment than come up with one lump sum down the road.

You should also consider buying a warranty at the time of sale if you plan to keep the car for more than 3 years.  Your business manager isn’t lying when he/she tells you the price can double or triple right before your factory warranty expires.  If you have any doubts, ask the manager to quote the price for a car that already has 3 years/36,000 miles on it.  You’d be amazed at the increase.

Finally, I’d highly recommend buying a warranty at the time of sale if your car is pre-owned.  In most cases, dealerships sell “wrap” coverage that extends the remaining factory warranty or provides better coverage to match an existing powertrain warranty.  Either way, these plans are discounted and you usually can’t come close to the price of a “wrap” after you decline the initial offer.

 

So based on the information above, it’s clear that buying an extended warranty at the time of sale isn’t for everyone- but it’s certainly not a gimmick either. 

It’s up to you to evaluate your circumstances and plans for the vehicle.  If you’re the type of person that keeps their cars and doesn’t have spare change laying around for a $2500 car repair, than budgeting an additional $25 in a payment is the way to go.  Then again, if you buy cars like a woman buys shoes, forget it.  Educate yourself on GAP insurance instead (because that’s definitely something you’ll need!)

The bottom line is, don’t be put off by the sales pitch.   Yes, the dealer wants to make money, but some of the things they offer are for your good.   To come to a site like MyDealerReport.com means you’re on the right track, so take the time to learn what products they are offering and what kind of savings you will get for immediately signing on the dotted line.

You may visit Amber’s personal blog at www.caringlegalservices.com

Also vist us at MyDealerReport.com, http://twitter.com/MyDealerReport, http://mydealerreport.tumblr.com


All dealerships are just not created equal.

October 16, 2008

 

Jessica Rosenberg, Guest Blogger

Jessica Rosenberg, Guest Blogger

Is anything more derailing than getting into your car in the middle of an over scheduled hectic morning only to find that it just isn’t working? Whatever the problem seems to be, you sit there, behind the wheel, hands at 10 and 2, and you utter silent prayers to the car gods and you chant a little encouraging mantra to your stubborn vehicle, and then you close your eyes tight and hope that everything is going to be just fine when you try starting the car again.   It never is.

So, there you sit, wondering what to do. After calling your spouse/parent/friend/boss to vent about your terrible luck, you finally realize you have to deal with the car. (If you’re me you call the closest dealer because one time an independent repair shop tried to swindle you out of a couple thousand dollars and you no longer want to take the risk.) You don’t call your usual dealer because they are really far away, and in any case, it’s all the same, isn’t it? So you call and make an appointment. You find a way to have your car towed and you wait for The Call.

You know The Call, right? The one where you discover just how bad the damage to your wallet is going to be? You wait impatiently to learn if you’ve won the busted car lottery: a cheap easy repair that can be done while you wait, or if the dealer is the big winner: horrible damage, exorbitant fee, and multiple parts that need to be ordered from the other side of the world.

I got into my car one hectic morning a few weeks ago and the steering wheel wouldn’t move. A bit of an issue since between home and my desired destination there were quite a few twists and turns. After going through the usual rigmarole I discovered that the total repair cost was going to be $1500. Ouch. We hesitated for a bit and then asked the dealer to go ahead with the repairs. Over a week later, bright and early on a Monday morning, we called to double check that the car was indeed ready and we headed over to pick it up.

I dropped off my husband and sped away with a cheery wave. Not 15 minutes later I got a frantic call from him. “The car is dead.” Not exactly what I’d expected to hear. Turns out a staff member had left the glove compartment open all weekend and the battery was completely drained.

Now, at this point you’re probably thinking, “Well, mistakes happen. Whatever.” And had the story ended here I would have wholeheartedly agreed. But of course it didn’t end there. Upon discovering the dead battery, the repairman acted as though my husband was responsible, despite the fact that the car had been on their lot for well over a week by this point. And then, when my husband asked what they planned to do about the situation, the man answered “Well, we can give you an estimate for a new battery.”

I’ll spare you the sordid details, but suffice it to say that my husband left in a rental car, courtesy of the dealership, and our car now sports a brand new battery. All that to say that dealerships are not all created equal. A little research conducted before handing over your keys might spare you a massive headache. 

Jessica Rosenberg usually blogs at It’s my life… and The Lemonade Stand. Swing on by to read about more of her (mis)adventures and discover her what she thinks about pretty much everything. 

Also Visit:  www.MyDealerReport.com, MyDealerReport twitter, MyDealerReport tumblr page, CEO’s twitter


Experience Matters!

September 29, 2008

I came across an article a couple of days ago.  The article discussed the results of the JD Power 2008 Escaped Shopper Study, which discovered that 80% of new car buyers don’t buy the top car on their list because of a negative dealership experience.  I wrote numerous blogs and had numerous debates about this very subject.  The dealership is the first impression of the manufacturer’s brand.  However, if you listen to the auto industry insiders they will say the vehicle and price is what sells the consumer.  I say this is the old way of thinking.  This is the very reason why the old lead system is suffering.  

The article uses an example concerning Sony.  Sony would be concerned if consumers desired to buy a Sony product, but chose to purchase another brand due the bad experience with a retailer.  So why hasn’t the auto industry showed an aggressive concern regarding consumer experience?  Now to be fair their are some auto industry people who recognize this and have expressed a desire to resolve this issue.  However, we need the whole industry to start buying into this reality.  Click on the article link above and read the consumer comments at the bottom of the article.  These comments are extremely powerful.