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Unhappy Car Buyer Gets 110,000 Views on YouTube - Mossy Toyota Complaint Video

I was browsing through the website of a prominent dealer-chasing law firm this morning (I know, I have weird hobbies), and came across a posting about a dealer with a link to a YouTube video. This dealership is part of a good-sized group that is very well-regarded in the area. As I am personally acquainted with this dealer group, I can attest to their integrity and dedication to customer satisfaction. So, when I clicked on the YouTube link, I expected to see another unconvincing customer with a bad case of buyer’s remorse. Well, I wasn’t disappointed – the customer bought a cheap older car and expected it to run like a brand-new Mercedes.

Not surprisingly, the video attempted to make the dealership look terrible and completely at fault. But here’s the thing - this video wasn’t an amateurish clip of a customer ranting and raving, it was obviously professionally done. So well done in fact that I suspect most consumers viewing the video would find it believable.

Then I noticed the view count on the video. Just short of 110,000 views so far, most of which are from the last month or so. Needless to say, I was astounded! One car deal, one customer, one dealership, over 100 thousand views? No way, this has to be a mistake.

Sadly, it’s no mistake. Here’s how it happened:

The video was produced by a consumer group who naturally had an agenda of their own. While the customer’s initial complaint was that the car had problems and he wanted his money back, a good portion of the video dealt with how the customer was saddled with an unfair arbitration agreement by the dealer. Now, according to the clip, the poor customer can’t get his day in court, has had to wait years for his arbitration hearing, has little or no chance of winning in arbitration because it’s skewed towards the dealer, and all kinds of other nonsense.

The arbitration issue is what caused this video to go viral. Consumer groups and plaintiff’s attorneys have been lobbying against arbitration agreements for years. This is just another sneaky way to promote their agenda. There are now links to this video on consumer sites, legal blogs, you name it. The worst part is that the video shows up on page one when you Google the dealership or search on YouTube. It’s just a darn shame.

Views: 408

Tags: Mossy Toyota, Toyota, arbitration, auto, auto dealer, auto dealership, autos, car, car buyer, cars, More…damaged car, flood car, mandatory arbitration, used car, used cars


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Comment by Rob Hagen on September 1, 2010 at 6:34am
Hey Keith! Good to see you as well! I read it on awhile back. Let me see if I can find the study they referenced in the article.
Comment by Keith Shetterly on August 31, 2010 at 12:51pm
Hey Rob! Good to see you on here. What study are you referencing on reputation?
Comment by Rob Hagen on August 31, 2010 at 12:37pm
@Anthony, yes you should have a process in place to monitor what people are saying about your dealership online and then a regimented process to address negative concerns and thank positive ones. People know we are not perfect and sometimes just listening will bring a situation to a resolution.
Comment by Rob Hagen on August 31, 2010 at 12:35pm
Two Keith Shetterly sightings in a day! It must be a great day!

@Nicholas, reputation management is a more appropriate term than social media because customers are making decisions these days based off your reputation. For example, we created a program for one of our dealers to increase their Google reviews. The first full month after it was implemented, their service business went from an average of $90k a month to $143k and has since ben continuously ben $135k to $150k each month since. They ask every customer about what brought them there and Google reviews is the answer countless times.

Dealerrater's popularity is an example of the importance dealers and customers are putting on reputation management. There is another company coming into the same field named Relyable that should make things interesting.

A study was done not too long ago that said one positive referral is worth 200 traditional media impressions! With that knowledge, it should seem obvious that dealers need to focus as much resources as possible on obtaining as many positive reviews as possible!
Comment by Anthony Rome on August 23, 2010 at 7:52am
Good point, although if you were in this situation, what would you do to turn it around? Shouldn't all dealerships have a strategy/plan in place for this kind of damage control?
Comment by Keith Shetterly on August 16, 2010 at 10:24am
Nicolas, I'm "all in" on hard work and optimism. Essentially, putting more effort into positive reviews will help greatly, for example. You said Rob Hagen is valuable?!?!? :) I had drinks with him in Houston, and he was a hoot!
Comment by Nicolas Warren on August 16, 2010 at 10:14am
I understand where you're coming from, Keith, but the hard worker and optimist inside me believes that situations like this can be turned around.

Yes, I 100% agree that situations like this are exactly what reputation management is for and why Rob Hagen and Ralph Paglia are so valuable.
Comment by Keith Shetterly on August 16, 2010 at 9:46am
I guess I just disagree with tossing this into the "it's the standard USA short-attention-span" so it'll go away idea. still shows up on the SERP for another Toyota dealer, for example. And if YouTube kept the video up, it could easily be around for page 1 of Mossy for some time to come. Isn't that all why Reputation Management evolved in the first place?
Comment by Nicolas Warren on August 16, 2010 at 9:20am
The overall economy took a nosedive in 2008, but I'd be curious to hear how the business has rebounded.

Events like this that hurt a reputation and get people talking can be very long lasting, but I would imagine that news like this could be eclipsed by another positive event pretty easily. Additionally, Toyota's reputation-building ads are clawing at the hearts of families in a big way.

Mossy needs to fight back with social media.
Comment by J.D. Rucker on August 15, 2010 at 12:18pm
@Ralph - all of the above.

@Keith - YouTube Insights gives traffic stats and sources. In this case they used videovisitors(dot)com, omnigy(dot)com, and internal YouTube PPC.

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