How many Vendors is YOUR DEALERSHIP Paying who are Selling your Customer Data to Other Vendors for Cash?

So once again I ask the question at the heart of the matter.... Mr./MRSCAR DEALER PAY ATTENTION HERE.... How many Vendors are YOU Paying who are Selling your Customer Data to Other Vendors for Cash? AND... is your customer information ultimately being sold by vendors you paid to other car dealers who are your competition?

Isn't it amazing how all these cockroaches scatter when you turn on the lights? For years I've been writing and blogging about this pack of self-righteous criminals pilfering through the dealers' data and stealing your customer information to resell and abuse. They called me every name in the book and slandered me. NOW, all of a sudden we're seeing multiple proofs and suspicions spotlighting the blatant criminal activity and suspected activities of these shady vendors disguised as alleged dealer partners. 

It's time to intensify the hunt and flush out all of them.Not singling out any specific vendor here BUT aren't we all getting a little sick and tired of Technology Pirates stealing your business while you pay them to lower your profits and defame your good name while all the while they are selling your customer information to other vendors and ultimately selling your customers to the competition?

Whether the customer filled out a form on some alleged Lead Providers page using your inventory as bait, or it was lifted or scraped off of the dealers' websites: When are we as dealers and car people going to rise up as one and say to them ... "Get the Hell OUT of Our Data?"

They're buying and selling your information to each other, reprocessing it and selling it to your competitors and then doing it again to your competitors competitors

AND, As I am About to Prove... Many of Your Manufacturers are in on the Scams. WE need to look at how many manufacturers are reselling Junk Leads mixed in with Organic leads that they know have a Low Closing Ratio? How many Manufacturers are forcing their dealers to take low-percentage leads they bought cheap that only have a close rate of 3.8%? Some Manufacturers middle management is deliberately making a huge profit off of their dealers reselling leads they know are worthless mixed in OEM Website organic leads that have a much higher closing ratio.

None of these vendors is contributing anything to your business you couldn't do yourself without them and redirect the money to profitable things.


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Comment by James A. Ziegler on May 13, 2015 at 7:24pm

Even this old Blog has come back to life.... 

Comment by James A. Ziegler on November 27, 2013 at 5:21pm

If you pull enough threads the sweater begins to unravel.

It's humorous to me reading the self-righteous and pious damage control spin Dataium is putting on their settlement with The State of New Jersey for allegedly reselling consumer information.   I am wondering how many other states and agencies will now take a harder look at what's happening in our industry. No judgment from me in writing on Dataium either way, they settled and thats that... for now. 

Dataium Settles <---- Click There

AND then, there's the growing scandal with alleged misconduct and alleged fraud and alleged illegal activities with Digital Air Strike. 

I have already been contacted by two manufacturers' middle-management telling me bluntly to "Back Off" writing or saying anything about Digital Air Strike. 

I am NOT saying the charges made against Digital Air Strike officers are True or False. That is NOT the issue. The issue is simply stated, if anything they're saying about Digital Air Strike is True, it is bad for the dealers and bad for the industry and bad for the the dealers. What we have NOT seen is a public statement from Digital Air Strike categorically denying charges against them made on the Blogs and Social Media. All I am saying is that if only half of what is being said about Digital Air Strike is only half-true it is a disaster. 

The unsigned Blogs list government records and case numbers and other documentation which on the surface appears to be very genuine and extremely verifiable. Even though the Blogs are unsigned, they are saying it it is the work of a malicious competitor... I say "Who Cares if it's a competitor or not. Is The Information True or False?"

"If Toyota, General Motors, Chrysler,Ford and several other manufacturers got into to bed with these people, approved them as a preferred vendor, and enticed dealers to do business with them; ARE these same manufacturers going to stand up and take responsibility if these charges turn out to be true?  OR... is it more an issue now of covering your backside because it is a cluster and your incompetence might be showing?"

Here is the link to the major blog at the center of the growing scandal.... Click Here  and Click Here too and you might as well click here too to see what they're referring to. 

I predict there is a wave of exposes' and scandals about to hit our industry as more and more people take a serious look at what these vendors are, or are not doing, to our business. Dealerships and your business are at risk. I am just proud to have been the conduit that started the ball rolling and opened the door to Pandora's box several years ago. 

Comment by James A. Ziegler on November 27, 2013 at 3:31pm

Thanks David, It's time all dealers got an attorney involved and have a professional audit of every vendor who is accessing their DMS. 

1. What data are they taking and what do they need it for?

2. Who are they sharing that data and customer information with?

3. Are they taking more data than they need to perform the services you hired them for?

4. Are they taking data on customers that you sold or serviced that had nothing to do with their services? In other words are they taking all of the information?

Comment by David Blassingame on November 27, 2013 at 10:27am

Great article Jim,

We started looking at our vendor contracts a couple of years ago and discovered they all had language that said we had given them permission to share "information" with "affiliates". When we called them and said we would not allow that to continue, they immediately sent us new agreements with no "sharing" provisions.   Hint:   A good place to start is with your DMS provider.

Comment by James A. Ziegler on November 26, 2013 at 2:14pm

That's commendable Jeff VanOrnam, I could name the entire list of crooks, scoundrels, and data pirates posing as reputable vendors. They all have that same self-righteous, pious, denial that they are indeed the 'Good Guys'. When you start peeling back the onion however, tears come to one's eyes as their true nature is revealed. 

I actually believe you wholeheartedly just by the very fact you felt compelled to answer this blog. I wish others were as honest. JIM

Comment by Jeff VanOrnam on November 26, 2013 at 1:50pm

I'd like to comment as a credit report and compliance vendor with access to complete credit data of every applicant that our customers obtain once a credit app is taken and one or more bureaus are accessed thru our application. CBC prides ourselves on protecting the data of our customers and their customers and would never jeopardize that trust we've established over the last decade.  I have to wonder myself what vendor/s would do such a thing.

Comment by James A. Ziegler on November 25, 2013 at 2:14pm

Are any of the companies sending feeds out of your computer... any of them... getting PAID by the companies who are receiving those feeds. Of course, I already know the answer. 

SO, in other words, unbeknownst to the dealer, have you paid a company to offer you services and they are selling your information to other companies right under your nose?

Comment by Ken Luna on November 25, 2013 at 1:07pm

Very important that the dealer get a statement in writing signed by an officer of the vendor's company that the vendor will only use the data in servicing their specific dealership. It should either be in their contract or at least on a document tied to the contract. Dealer's must read their agreements and insist on this. No reputable vendor is going to refuse this requirement.  

Comment by James A. Ziegler on November 25, 2013 at 9:54am

This issue is going to be explosive (FINALLY) I predict a renewed groundswell of dealers and government agencies will turn the spotlight on the activities of formerly trusted vendors scraping websites, using dealer inventory as bait to switch, pirate landing page websites, redistributing customer identifiable information they took from forms and reselling it to God knows who... ultimately compromising the customers' identity, violating trust and privacy, and putting the dealerships in harms way with great liability for security breaches in information trusted to them. 

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