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I recently read a posting someone made referring to an article at MSN Money reprinted from US NEWS entitled “5 sneaky car dealer sales tricks” they did not like saying that these types of articles confuse the public and asked why do they have to say that we are always on the bottom of the food chain. (Or top of the complaint chain)

 I started in the Automotive Industry in 1977 and the same things were being said then and here we are 36 years later and it hasn’t changed. The simple fact that nearly everyone owns an automobile makes the Automotive Industry a target of accusations of misdeeds and unethical conduct. And as in any business in many cases the shoe fits.

 Being one of the largest Industries in this country is why we hear more bad news about the car industry and don't hear as much about products like replacement windows, security systems or anything still sold door to door, or online scams where the most deceptive sales strategies and outright frauds are utilized.

Fortunately most People ultimately form their opinions and make their decisions based on their personal experiences. So safe to say with the number of sales made in the Automobile Industry people for the most part are satisfied customers.
The reach that multi-channel marketing provides today can work against a company or can give companies an opportunity to use this type of bad PR to their advantage by engaging people socially on how they conduct business.

 In this case a dealer might use this in some form of advertising: unfortunately these things happen in every industry sector and it is unfortunate, but we would like to let you know that we have been a member of this community  for over (15) years and have a track record of treating our customers fairly and honestly. Come and take a look and let us make you a satisfied customer.

The simple fact that the Dealer is talking about it gives them an air of credibility. By putting a positive spin on this negative press you just might turn the tide to your advantage and gain a few new customers.

Personally I would like to go on the list of complaints about the amount of lousy customer service being given by almost every large company today in order to add every cent of profit they can to their bottom line. The ironic part of this is, is that we keeping filling their coffers and letting them get away with it.

And this includes Airlines  (they out and out lie to you about delays and problems and then don’t want to help or what about that bag of peanuts and cup of coffee you get now on that 3 ½ hour flight. And in Retail (try finding someone to help you or what about standing in line forever to pay for your purchase or the terrible customer phone service (if you can find a number to call)- I feel better already.
The point here is that negative feedback and PR can offer an opportunity to engage and find of a way to turn those negative events into something positive and productive.
By Bill Cosgrove
DealerNet Services

Here are some statistics for your review:

“The complaints filed with BBB are not only a barometer of customer satisfaction, but the rise in complaints also shows that consumers are increasingly relying on BBB for assistance in resolving disputes with businesses,” said Stephen A. Cox, President and CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. 

The cable and satellite TV industry received the largest number of complaints with 30,985, a 5 percent decrease over last year. The cell phone industry ranked second with 27,293 complaints but saw a 29.6 percent decrease over 2009. Rounding out the top three, new car auto dealers received 24,698 complaints, an 8.1 percent decrease over the previous year.

Following are the top 10 industries by volume of consumer complaints filed across North America with BBB in 2010:

 Industry Total Complaints Rank by number of complaints1  Percentage increase over 2009  Percentage of Resolved Complaints2
 Television - Cable, CATV & Satellite  30,985  1  -5.0%  98.6%
 Cellular Phone Services & Equipment  27,293  2  -29.6%  92.1%
Auto Dealers - New Cars  24,698  3  -8.1%  87.4%
 Banks  22,648  4  -24.3%  98.5%
Collection Agencies  15,876  5  .5%  80.2%
Auto Dealers - Used Cars  14,520  6  6.1%  70.6%
Auto Repair & Service   13,178  7  3.5%  65.6%
Furniture - Retail   13,018  8  -1.1%  79.1%
Internet Shopping  12,950  9  -39.8%  61.4%
Mortgage Brokers  9,545  10  17.8%  81.0%