Ruining Your Reputation
    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.
Copyright© 2008-2010 Automotive Dealers Network. All rights reserved.
Jim Radogna is the President of Dealer Compliance
Consultants, Inc., a San Diego, California training and
consulting firm. He has more than 20 years of
broad-based management, training and consulting
experience in the automotive industry.
Jim Radogna
President/Dealer Compliance Consultants
email:
jradogna@automotivedealersnetwork.com
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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.