Your Good Name
    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.
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
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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

Customers often make decisions during a vehicle sale transaction that they come
to regret after the “ether has worn off”.  Perhaps they read the contract more
carefully after they get home or showed it to a relative, friend, neighbor, etc.  The
customer may notice some imperfections on the vehicle in the light of day and have
it inspected by a mechanic or body shop or run a vehicle history report.  If there is
a concern, some customers will let the dealer know while others will just chalk it up
to (bad) experience.

Now, if the dealer is lucky enough to get a chance to rectify the customer’s
concern, how will the complaint be handled?  Will it be “Sorry, all sales are final” or
“You signed the contract”?

What about the customer that doesn’t bother to report the concern?  You can be
sure they’re telling somebody about the transaction.

    These after-sale situations can cause potential customer satisfaction

  • The customer sees your advertisement for a price lower than was charged
    for the vehicle.
  • The customer discovers additional charges on the contract for items that he
    or she thought were included in the price of the vehicle.
  • The customer discovers that F&I products were sold at much-higher-than-market prices.
  • The customer discovers additional charges on the contract for items that he or she never agreed to
  • The customer gets a call from the lender who asks for verification that the vehicle has a sunroof – and it
  • The customer discovers that the price of the vehicle was raised to cover negative equity on the trade-in
    when after being told that the dealer agreed to purchase the trade-in for the full loan balance.
  • The customer gets a call from the lender asking for verification of an income amount which is much higher
    than what was written on the credit application.
  • The customer discovers that the vehicle purchased had undisclosed prior damage.
  • The customer runs a vehicle history report and discovers that the vehicle purchased was an undisclosed
    previous rental, a prior demo, flood damaged, etc.
  • The customer brings the vehicle in for repairs and discovers that the warranty or service contract coverage
    or term was misrepresented.

Don’t put your business and reputation that you have worked years to build at risk. Take compliance seriously.  A
focus on compliance and training will protect your company, your employees, your customers and, most
importantly, your good name.