Back in August of 2006, I was mystery shopping on Edmunds. I wanted to see what type of responses I would get if I requested a price quote for a Mercedes-Benz E350. I of course figured I would get my own lead (since I purchase my New Car lead from AutoUSA), but was hoping that I would get a response from one of my competitors as well.
I did receive my own lead and rightfully so. I called up my AutoUSA rep and explained that it was a test lead and they had no problem replacing it with another valid lead.
Then in Feburary of 07, something weird happened and AutoUSA sold me the same lead again..same name, same car, everything exact. Keep in mind, I NEVER used the same name to shop for another vehicle within that time frame. At first I thought it was a glitch with my eLead CRM. But when I logged into my AutoUSA account and there is was!
I found this to be a little disturbing and was very disappointed in AutoUSA since I usually get my best leads from them. Receiving my own lead after mystery shopping was expected. Buying the exact lead again made me question.
Monday morning 4/29/2007 I log into my CRM only to find Maire Zahn, the same lead in there AGAIN! Same name, same vehicle, SAME LEAD! Let me point out again, I DID NOT USE this name to mystery shop. It would have been Sunday and I was doing yard work all day so there is no way I used my Sunday to mystery shop dealers.
Basically I had been SOLD the exact same customer lead 2 times over from AutoUSA. I’ve heard this happens quite often from someone that is a veteran in the 3rd party lead business. Apparently it’s common practice for many Lead vendors to resell leads to dealers after a period of time of the initial request. Their thought is; since many dealers do not execute the right amount of follow-up and in order to uphold their services and reputation, it’s a good idea to resell the leads after a period of time. Maybe they run the customer leads up against a DMV database of customers that have bought vehicles in the last 90 days?
Anyways, I again called my AutoUSA Rep to point out the fact that this was the second time. For some reason, he quickly got on the defense and said (and I quote) " That’s part of the business". WOW, I was not expecting that type of response. I was only calling to point out what happened and maybe who they are buying this lead from is reselling to them. Whatever the case maybe, something isn’t kosher here.
I’m not accusing AutoUSA of anything specific here and I’m really surprised I’m having this issue with AutoUSA. Like I mentioned before, I usually get my best leads from them. BUT I am disappointed that a quality lead provider is participating in such possible tactics.
Have you experienced this? What’s your feedback?