Professional Community for Car Dealers, Marketing, Advertising and Sales Leaders
The National Do Not Call Rules (DNC) have been around for quite a while but I find that a surprising number of dealership employees think that the rules don’t apply to them. I often hear statements like “Hey, we’re not telemarketers, we’re just doing follow-up”. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. So I thought it was time for a refresher on the rules and some suggestions on…Continue
There’s no doubt that it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to maintain your online reputation, and it may be tempting to look for ways to ease the burden. One way is to hire a company that specializes in reputation management. There are plenty of companies out there that offer seemingly quick and easy ways to improve your online ratings. Unfortunately, some of these…Continue
Added by Jim Radogna on March 24, 2013 at 6:03pm — No Comments
The problem is that the game has changed and consumers have access to much more information and choices than ever…Continue
California recently joined New York in requiring that all sales commission pay plans be in writing. This may seem like common sense since many dealers realize that from a legal and practical standpoint, all commission agreements should be in writing whether it’s required or not.
Even if you already utilize written pay plans, the questions are how well are they…Continue
But as they say, it’s not how much money you make but how much you get to keep that counts. Auto dealers are a favorite target of regulators hunting for advertising…Continue
Dealership compliance concerns have traditionally focused primarily on the sales and finance processes. However, the unprecedented growth of digital marketing, social media, and online reputation management has invited new regulations and created additional legal challenges for dealers to contend with. Following are six areas that…Continue
In the course of day-to-day business, dealerships collect personal information from consumers, including names, addresses, and phone numbers; bank and credit card account numbers; income and credit histories; and Social Security numbers.
Shortly after I began writing this post, an article popped up on my Google Alerts about another dealer group, accused of deceptive marketing by their state attorney general’s office, having to pony up a six-figure settlement. Not surprising at all, I’m used to seeing these types of articles on a regular basis. Another day, another enforcement action against a…Continue
What’s the big deal about advertising that the dealership will pay off a trade-in no matter what the customer owes? It’s a true…Continue
Keeping the lawyers at bay used to be a whole lot easier for dealerships. Unfortunately, new technology brings new challenges. A recent high-profile lawsuit involves a large dealer group named in a class-action lawsuit for allegedly failing to honor a text message opt-out request. The suit, launched by a former employee, is seeking damages of…Continue
Sweepstakes, contests, and giveaways have become increasingly popular among dealerships. These promotions can be a great way to get word out about your company, increase your social media presence and develop leads. However, entry into a poorly considered sweepstakes or contest can be a trap for the unwary dealer. These promotions are governed by a variety of federal and state laws as well as social networking sites’ terms of service. The FTC receives thousands of complaints from consumers…Continue
Added by Jim Radogna on October 3, 2011 at 5:55pm — No Comments
It’s no secret that auto dealerships have frequently been forced to defend themselves against discrimination claims by employees and agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. As a result, many dealers have instituted comprehensive human resources programs to avoid potential problems. However, new technology brings new challenges.
As the use of social media grows, more and more dealerships are using the internet to screen potential employees. Many managers…Continue
Added by Jim Radogna on August 29, 2011 at 11:18am — No Comments
Chances are, since you’re reading this post, your dealership or company is involved in social media. That’s good - it’s hard to imagine how difficult it will be moving forward for organizations that have not embraced social networking. Although Social Media is relatively new (and certainly exciting), its meteoric growth has unfortunately caught the early attention of the legal powers-that-be.
Despite the widespread use and misuse of social networking at work, 45 percent of all…Continue
It was bound to happen. The tremendous growth of digital marketing and social media was an invitation for government regulation. For instance, the Federal Trade Commission recently updated its truth-in-advertising guidelines, which were last revised in 1980, to address the commercialism of the Web. Federal and state regulators are taking the position that social media is not a loophole for deceptive marketing practices and are actively enforcing and cracking down on social media deception.…Continue
I recently saw a vehicle advertised on a dealer website that caught my attention. This pre-owned car was advertised as a “CarFax One Owner”. Upon further investigation, I discovered that the “one owner” was a rental car company.
Even though the “one owner” statement may have been technically true, the description of the vehicle blew my mind: “With just one previous owner, who treated this vehicle like a member of the family, you'll really hit the jackpot when you drive home…Continue
Added by Jim Radogna on May 20, 2011 at 5:38pm — No Comments
There are a number of good reasons for operating an ethical and legally compliant dealership, not the least of which is staying out of a courtroom. Perhaps the most important - and most often overlooked - reason is increased customer satisfaction. There are times when an employee may feel that he or she came out the winner by bending the rules a little, but what about the dealership’s reputation? What about the customers who were mislead? It seems like there might be some losers in the…Continue
The vast majority of dissatisfied customers who threaten to call an attorney never do. For the few that follow through, the results can be devastating. While it’s true that many customers’ complaints have little or no merit, there can be a real danger if the wrong plaintiff’s attorney gets involved.
You may be thinking “we have lawyers of our own and insurance for that sort of thing, so bring it on”. Well, here’s the problem: many lawsuits that stem from seemingly…Continue
Added by Jim Radogna on February 20, 2011 at 4:11pm — No Comments
Added by Jim Radogna on January 30, 2011 at 5:38pm — No Comments
As I read through dealer websites, I’m often surprised at how many advertising violations I find. You would think that website providers would make sure that this doesn’t occur, right?
You should never assume that the company that creates and maintains your website follows all the laws and regulations governing advertising compliance. State advertising laws vary and the responsibility for compliance lies with the dealership, not the vendor. Here are some examples of what I’ve run into…Continue