Are Dealers Being Set Up Again by one of the Dirtiest Players? Is it another trick?
DISCLAIMER: It is only fair before you read this to say out front that I personally despise I consider them the 'lowest' and 'the dirtiest' of all of the vendors that ever took money from dealers while they used our own data against us to slander dealers and hurt us with the consumers and take your profits. These people, in my opinion, are the worst. I could be wrong. 
CARCODE SMS - Is this another dirty Plot to steal your customers and lower your profits? .... Just like with CarGurus' free trial, Dealers tell me "Hey Jim , it's FREE, what harm could it do?" Are we such "Dumasses that Free Stuff will cause you to Sell Out your Dealership?"

In case you're NOT aware of it. "TEXT" marketing and communicating with consumers in general is on Fire. Texting is the next wave, already replacing email and other forms of communication.

SO, Edmunds is offering a FREE service (watch yourself) called Car Code. It is a seemingly 'innocent' and seemingly beneficial plug-in for a dealer's website that allows consumers to have a number to TEXT directly with the dealership. Edmunds points out (correctly) it is compliant with all federal regulations, with proper opt-in/opt-out and other legal safeguards.

It is a HUGE data drain on your customers. Are you giving Edmunds access to all of the dealership data on your sales.... prices, offers, transactions, even your customers' identities? I have heard from reliable sources that this is a HUGE Data theft if you bite and sign up for it. Am I wrong? I am told they are amassing huge amounts of information here. Does their agreement and THE PRIVACY RELEASE YOU SIGNED GIVE THEM THE RIGHT TO SELL YOUR CONSUMER INFORMATION TO OTHER DEALERS AND UNKNOWN THIRD AND FOURTH PARTIES? 

THERE'S NO DOUBT that Cars, TrueCar, CarFax, and every other vendor is lining up to take over your service department business. Will this CAR CODE SMS of Edmunds give them more inside information on your service customers, your R.O.s, your prices and traffic? IT'S Free now but what happens when all of a sudden they turn on you? (as they have done in the past with Price Promise and other questionably anti-dealer programs) Just read Edmunds website, or Google-Up the Words "Car Salesman" and you'll see the dirty slander Edmunds promotes against us. Apparently, from the content on their website they continually maximize for Google placement to keep the public mad at us, Edmunds apparently hates us. Why are some fools so ready to trust them with your data they have used against us in the past repeatedly? All of this is Just My Opinion based on the Fact that I have an intelligence level higher than an Earthworm. AM I WRONG? Let's hear your opinions? JIM ‪#‎AlphaDawg‬ 

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Comment by Zachary Dunn @YourAutoGuyZach on May 13, 2015 at 1:34pm

Great discussion, Jim. I don't want my data given away. Privacy is a major concern. 

Comment by James A. Ziegler on May 13, 2015 at 1:32pm

Well Jim Kristoff that sounds well and good, and I agree that companies SHOULD disclaim in Bold Print that they are NOT Selling your customer data they're lifting from the fact you do business with them... YES, they should Do That BUT, they can't because MOST of them are Selling Your Customer Data and Identifiable information to Every Swinging Richard that pays them. There is a major Customer Theft Party going on and The dealers are the raw meat. Your Supposedly TRUSTED Vendors are Raping Us and Stealing our market....

Comment by Jim Kristoff on May 13, 2015 at 1:25pm

First of all...let me be FTC compliant and state that this is just MY opinion, and I could be wrong.....but these companies are NOT transparent in their dealings with the Automotive Dealers....Dealers should do business with companies that state, in their contract, that they will not share or sell the dealerships client data in any way shape or form with anyone else....

Comment by Keith Shetterly on May 13, 2015 at 1:04pm

Anybody thinking opt-in on text from a consumer-initiated sales conversation (NOT marketing) requires all that stuff is seriously misinformed. Anybody thinking that it is safer to use a vendor that also then studies the contents of those texts and shares that with partners (who share it with whomever) is doing the "content sniff" of Facebook, etc. has not considered this issue. I'm not a lawyer, and I don't have an opinion about I *do* have an opinion that I'm tired to my bones of folks trying to educate with tone rather than content. Thank you, Jim, for bringing this to the attention of those who need to consider it. 

Comment by James A. Ziegler on May 13, 2015 at 12:39pm

NO, I'm suggesting That is one of the most Anti-dealer and untrustworthy vendors in the business. 

Thank you for your condescending tone here BUT truthfully we got their number. "Confessions of a Car Salesman" and other anti-dealer propaganda on their site is eternally optimized for google to keep it in front of the consumers.  Edmunds, of course that is my opinion; that these people and people that support them are suspect. 

Appreciate you dropping by Chris.

Comment by Chris K Leslie on May 13, 2015 at 12:30pm

Text marketing is absolutely on fire and so is the ability to get you and your dealership in a lot of hot water by not abiding by the rules and regulations that are governed by the law. So having a double opt in platform is absolutely necessary to comply with these regulations.

Carcode was born out of the annual conference Hackomotive that holds every year. It allows startups to compete by building stuff using the edmunds API.

First of all There is not another third party vendor out there that fully opens up their API to allow the startup and tech community to build fun, interesting and new things. Secondly, the sharing of information or data is vitally necessary to develop and innovate new answers to current questions/problems. Sourceless acquisitions stifle the growth of our industry and in the long run hurt us even more. 

I am not in favor of or against Edmunds nor do I feel like I need to drudge up some old article from 14 years ago to validate my stance. However, I do know that at this time there are exactly 71,200,000 results for the search term

"we may disclose information we may have or know about you, including person information without notifying you"

It is part of every standard privacy policy on the internet. Just click on the link to see for yourself

So Jim, let me ask you a question. Are you suggesting that the entire internet is out to get us and we are dumbasses for using free things like Facebook Pages and Twitter?

Comment by steven chessin on May 10, 2015 at 3:01pm

Even if Edmunds does nothing wrong, what if they are hacked ? Or any vendor provided with confidential data ?  

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