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Dear Autobytel, Dealix, Edmunds and KBB,
I would like some answers from you on a serious matter. Please continue reading...
Saturday I was experimenting with TrueCar to check out pricing on vehicles in Rochester, NY market. I used my real name, I used an e-mail address that I typically direct junk mail to and I used a phone number that was one digit different than my own. I was also using a computer with an IP address that would reflect my previous shopping habits.
I received TrueCar pricing information from dealers on the e-mail address I used to submit the leads, but noticed there were no Rochester dealers using TrueCar. The closest dealers using TrueCar were in Syracuse and surrounding communities.
Early Monday morning I start receiving e-mails from third party lead providers thanking me for submitting my information. The e-mails were on the same vehicles I shopped on TrueCar. Coincidence, I think not! Now here is where it gets interesting, my data had been corrected to reflect my current e-mail, and my current phone number. I also started receiving phone calls from dealers. I am guessing my information could have been taken was from the DMS of the dealership where I last purchased my Infiniti.
My questions to you, where did my lead originate from and how did you get my information?
I have been communicating with KBB and they are telling me that a lead was filled out on their site. I know that is not possible since I was not on their site.
I plan to get to the bottom of this even if it requires me to spend thousands in attorney fees. I would prefer one of you come clean and provide me with the answers.
If I was a betting man, I would bet that TrueCar sold my information to a company that in turn sold it to you. Could there reasoning for doing this be due to the lack of the Rochester, NY dealers using TrueCar? What is the going price for selling lead information these days?
Below are images of the e-mails I received from your companies. I look forward to hearing from all of you regarding this matter. If you need more information, please reach out to me.
My guess is Charlie is low on the totem pole and has no clue about what happens at the executive level.
I have been on the phone with KBB and they tell the lead was filled in on their site. Then Sean from Edmunds states that the laed originated from your zip code and was entered on their site.
You all are up to no good and it's been unmasked. This will be your demise. Say goodbye to your stock options pal!
My good friend who works for Edmunds told me at Digital Dealer that Edmunds wants nothing to do with TrueCar and in fact is plotting to go after TrueCar and take them down. Was I misinformed or was he just defending his company?
Autobytel has been contacted as I reached out to an executive out there who I have relationship with.
One of two things is happening. Either the 4 third part lead generators mentioned in this thread are blowing smoke up my... or they are just pawns in the sinister web TrueCar has spun. It has been confirmed by multiple sources that when filling out a lead on TrueCar the information is populated on other 3rd party sites.
I am looking for some feedback from the 4 third part lead generators mentioned here. Have you done the research in regards to the origination of your leads?
Our used vehicle manager approached me Saturday morning because he was getting email replies to a lead that was submitted through TrueCar and he thought someone was playing a joke. He received 15 email replies from various sources between 10:34am and 10:45am. He was inundated. No wonder our customers are frustrated by the time we get them on the phone, I would be to.
On a side note, I have been surveying our TrueCar customers. I am asking them questions about buying timeframe and comparason shopping.
1. The first group of responders are an OVERWHELMING number of customers admitting that they were working a deal at another dealership and used TrueCar because the commercials say that you can get a 'best price' and they wanted to see if the price their dealer quoted them was competitive. We were not able to come but within $50 or so on most quotes. And most of our TrueCar leads are 50+ miles away so not much motiviation to drive for $50.
2. The second group of TrueCar customers are the builders; they build vehicles we don't have on our lot, they build vehicles we don't have in our region and some build vehicles we don't have on our planet. In these cases, most leads do not contain package discounts and correct incentive dollars and the invoices don't match anything we can find. The price quotes are typically off by about $3,000. So not only do we need to rebuild the vehicle, but we have to level the customers expectations. They had been lead to believe that they could buy the vehicle they built for the price quoted and in a LOT of cases it's just not realistic, it isn't going to happen.
3. The third group are the nosy neighbor shoppers, people who say "Who are you and where are you from" when we call. Then proceed to tell us that they aren't buying a vehicle they just wanted to see how much their neighbor/boss/mother/brother/pastor/butcher/baker/toilet seat maker paid for their new car.
This lead source provider has mis-lead the consumer into believing that there's a magic number, a deal of a lifetime, a miracle out in cyberspace and all they have to do is submit their information and they can get the magic number. The consumer will eventually realize that your best price, your best deal, comes from sitting face to face with your dealership salesperson/sales manager; That there is no magic number in the cyber heavens.
Thanks for sharing your findings Penny...much appreciated!
Penny, this is an absolutely perfect synopsis of what is happening at our dealership level. True Car is SOOOOO frustrating for both our clients and us here at the dealer.
Scott Painter had his people call me. Scott Painter wants to have a call with me. What do you all think? Should I do it? You think he wants to offer me a job? Perhaps fly me in to show me his operations to try to prove to me that he is legit? Please let me know your thoughts and opinions. If anything comes out of this to anyone is that even little ole me can get the personal attention of someone as huge as Scott Painter. This comes to show you that if you use the internet the right way you can get attention from the way up.
I would absolutely accept the invitation. Let us know what you decide.
I’m not sure why you would have gotten another request.
It appears the TrueCAR website sends out notifications to you even when we visit the site and ‘just out of curiosity’ go through the process of selecting features and packages for vehicles on the Ford site.
We apologize if you continue to get notifications stating we are interested in buying at this time. We are not clicking anything on the site to specify that….we are just checking out pricing and options….not wanting to purchase or lease yet.