Report: #180614

Complaint Review: Toyota Dealer

  • Submitted: Sat, March 11, 2006
  • Updated: Tue, March 14, 2006
  • Reported By: McKinney Texas
  • Toyota Dealer

    Dallas Ft Worth, Texas

Toyota Dealer ripoff Toyota Dealers Actively Sharing Customer Data Puts Unknowing Buyers at Major Dealing Disadvantage Dallas Ft Worth Texas

*Consumer Suggestion: Sharing within the same company is legit.

*Consumer Suggestion: Dealers...tend to be goobers when it comes to technology

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

Anyone, customers, and especially current or former car sales reps, general managers or sales managers for Toyota in DFW Metroplex or elsewhere, please comment on the following:

Each time I buy a car or truck, it becomes more apparent that customer data is compiled, shared and used by multiple dealerships as follows: Name, address, email address, phone numbers, date, time, and location of customer visit to dealerships, actions recorded, price and trade-in information, deal specifics, outcome of visit such as sold, walked, pended, etc., descriptive information about the customer, the customer's approach to buying, customer style, or nickname, (not always favorable, such as timewaster, tirekicker, grinder, etc., beware, liar, etc.,) perhaps other more unflattering adjectives than these, and to be fair, there may be references made to serious buyer, good prospect, stuff like that.

The advantages to Toyota dealers for doing this are obvious-the result most likely is not favorable for the consumer, as it appears to be a 'blackballing' and monitoring effect, where dealers can control active customers without the customer being aware of the practice. Unless a dealer is desparate for a deal, or makes a math error, it's possible to mutually hold the price line and trade-in value line, knowing that the active buyer will ultimately buy from one of them and if consistent in their practice, one of the dealers will get top dollar, provide lowest possible trade-in amount, etc. Seems like this compression effect on buyers would benefit Toyota dealers big-time where many dealers are owned by one company.

Buyers may not have much time to shop and sellers have all the time in the world to slow walk you through the process. And in the case of Toyota, they have a great product, with great resale value(unless you want to trade one in, and great reliability except for when they are squeezing you to buy an extended warranty).

As a result, it's easy for the dealer to tell you to go ahead and shop around if you want to, knowing that unless you switch to Honda, you most likely will come back, possibly out of concern for the sales rep who you may like and have empathy for, especially for the ones that are honest and fair with you, have sold to you before, etc.

I am not suggesting this practice isn't legal, or, that it is only implemented by Toyota, but think that if accurate, more customers need to be aware of it so buying a car is not so one-sided in favor of the seller. As an example, if you have been to two Toyota dealers in the morning, and go to two more in the afternoon, and, they are documenting those visits in the sales system on a timely basis, YOU WILL be considered a liar if you tell the third dealer you ".., I just started looking, this is my first stop...", etc. I am not paranoid at all, thanks for not labeling or attacking me. BTW, if dealers aren't doing data capturing, sharing, etc., they are not as effective as they could be, but I tend to think they use the process.

Dallas, Texas
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/11/2006 01:53 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Suggestion

Sharing within the same company is legit.

AUTHOR: Mike - (U.S.A.)

When all the dealers are owned by the same company, of course you're dealing with the SAME COMPANY when you go to different locations. The same big boss can decide your price and "fix" it to all the locations.

Dealers would not want to tell competetiors (owned by a different company) about a potential bad customer. Let the other place do what they can with him and hope he doesn't come back here.

If the different companies were conspiring to fix the price of new cars (which is illegal) they wouldn't do it customer by customer. They'd just say "OK, so we don't kill each other out there, let's agree to never sell a 2006 Ubermobile for less than $XXXX."
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

Dealers...tend to be goobers when it comes to technology

AUTHOR: B. - (U.S.A.)

You ~might~ be right about sharing of info...perhaps in extrememly rare cases (like a salesman at one dealership calls his buddy in another dealership about a wacko customer, or someone trading in a Hummer H1 or a Ferrari, or a reeeealy hot looking girl with a blank check from her rich daddy...stuff like that)

But overall, my impression of car dealers is that most of them are goobers when it comes to technology. They have a hard enough time figuring out how to use a fax machine! (I was self-employed and I did computer, copier, and printer repair for several different dealers years ago...and it was a nightmare). Talk about d-u-m-b people. Maybe I just had the customers with the IQ's in the...uhh...ahem, let's just say they weren't the brightest bulbs on the tree.

To implement a real-time system where a salesmen talks to a potential customer, immediately enters their name/info into a database along with all of their trade information...and that database is immediately accessible by other dealers...? Hmm. I kinda doubt it. Not saying that it's not possible - it certainly is. But car dealers are a lot like real estate agents. There are a LOT of them. Many are in it as a transitional career. There are some good ol' boys that make a lot of money, and a lot of others that get all the leftovers. And the dealership owners spend tons of money on advertising and stuff like tent sales, giant 40' inflatable gorilla rentals, direct marketing, etc...not on office furniture, copiers, and computers :)

As ol' Paul Harvey says...."for what it's worth"
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