Have Dealer Review Sites Gone Awry?

Tracy Myers
For the record, let me state that I am an advocate of legitimate dealer review websites (the key word here being LEGITIMATE) such as DealerRater, CarDealerCheck, CitySearch, etc . For the most part, they serve their purpose well and allow consumers to share their experiences…both good and/or bad… with other people. The growing concern that I have is with review sites that allows the reviewer to remain anonymous or sites that won’t allow the business in question to respond. Surprisingly, one of the biggest violators of this is Google. On June 21st, 2010, Dane posted the following review on Google Reviews named Don’t buy from Frank Myers‎‎. ”Frank Myers wasted my time and 299 for training and never received job placement or my money back.” As soon as I received word via Google Alert that the “review” had been posted, I sent them a message because I felt that the reviewer in question had violated the Comment Posting Policy. It reads, in part: Don’t impersonate any person, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with a person or entity. You see, the “reviewer” in question had never been hired by my dealership. They had only attended and paid for a training program conducted by an outside company. When he was told he wasn’t going to make the cut, I handed him a check for the 3 days he gave my dealership. We shook hands and he told me how surprised he was to have received a check. He thanked me and that was the last I heard from him…until today. This afternoon, someone/something by the name of Google posted the following response. It was aptly named ‎Last I checked, you need to do a good job to keep a good job. “Sounds to me like Dane just wasn’t cut out for the work Frank Myers has won more awards than I can count. They have raving fans both by customers AND employees. Pretty low to leave a negative comment as a disgruntled ex employee rather than a customer.” While it’s difficult for me to imagine that the folks at Google actually responded to this review, it’s still very cool that someone did. They obviously feel the same way I do about it…if you’ve got a problem with a business or an employer, be an adult and talk to them face to face. Stop hiding behind the review sites and posting negative nonsense that accomplishes nothing. If you don’t get your issues resolved after you’ve spoken to the business/employer in question, then post all you want. And Dane…if you read this, please know that I will happily speak to the training company about reimbursing you your money for the class you took. They are also eager to work with you on your career placement opportunities that was discussed. Please call me so we can schedule a time to speak face-to-face. I am positive that we can get this misunderstanding resolved.
Bart Wilson
This is a problem that I don't know can be fixed. It is nearly impossible for the review sites to verify the reviews like we can on DrivingSales. If they pull reviews because the dealership complains they lose credibility. I think the answer to this is to insulate your dealership from the possibility of a bad review. If you have seven positive reviews that bad review won't have a huge impact. And when customers read that bad review it will look like an anomoly. Don't worry about the disgruntled (almost)employee. Customers searching reviews will see it doesn't make any sense.
Tom White Jr.
Pretty cool that Google responded like they did. : )
Tracy Myers
Bart, I am in complete agreement and I do understand that they must have credibility to remain viable in todays marketplace. The good news is that I sent Google a message saying that the complaints were from someone that claimed to have been employed by us. Since they were never technically an employee, they were impersonating an employee of my dealership (which is in violation of their code of conduct). So...Google took 3 of the reviews down but the "almost employee" has since gone to a message board and asked all of his cyber friends with Google accounts to go post negative reviews. I'm working on getting those down as we speak. The irony is that I spoke to the reviewer in question this morning and we have worked everything out. He has since deleted his negative comment and revised it with a positive. Read it here (his name is Dane): http://tinyurl.com/27se8cd
Tracy Myers
Yes Tom...Google stepped up. :)
Mark Dubis
By working with dealers, www.Carfolks.com provides valid and objective dealer reviews but offers a platform for dealers to work with customers to fix and address the issues. And it is the only auto dealer review site offering a free profile page and free leads to auto sales professionals. Dealers inviting all their customers to share their experience on Carfolks.com avoid the issue Tracy had with Google. Mark Dubis http://carfolks.com

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