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Home Forums Marketing For Auto Repair Shops Anyone signed up to share maintenance information with Carfax?

  • Anyone signed up to share maintenance information with Carfax?

    Posted by mpreston on June 20, 2011 at 7:17 pm

    Has anyone signed up with Carfax to have their customers maintenance and service history shared with Carfax? I was wondering what your thoughts were. Are there any privacy concerns? It is my understanding that we would only be sharing VIN and service history. No personal information of our clients.

    Unknown Member replied 13 years ago 7 Members · 6 Replies
  • 6 Replies
  • guy

    June 20, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    What gets sent to CARFAX largely depends on what software you are using. I’ve heard of different data being provided based on the contract the software company has with CARFAX.

    In Protractor’s case, we send the date, repair order number, VIN, plate, state/province, service facility name (address and phone number), odometer, year, make, model, sub model, engine and the title of the job.

    We do not send labor detail, parts detail, dollar amounts or any customer personal information.

  • doesil

    June 23, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Unless you plan on hiring an extra person to keep up on it I dont see it

    practical, and if you did it part time that would degrade the value of

    the car. j

    Nope I dont see it as a good idea.

  • ronhaugen

    June 23, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    We have been doing it for over a year now. It has yielded 2 new customers who purchased vehicles we had serviced for a prior owner. Not a “silver bullet” marketing piece, but worth doing with a cost of zero.

  • mylesj

    June 23, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Lots of shop software programs provide data to Carfax. If your software has a VIN decoder in it then there is a high likelihood the data is going to Carfax. Carfax offers a free VIN decoder to software developers in return for information on each work order. I surveyed my users and about 95% voted no. They did not want any data leaving their shops for any reason. Many of them use the free decoder at CarQuest (paste VIN in and copy result back to vehicle record)

    In the short term having everyone know about the history of a vehicle is a good thing. The problem is a long term one. All of the data companies (Carfax, JDPower, RLPolk) slice and dice this data for resale. Age and composition of the local fleet is important information for proper parts stocking for your zip code/city/region. Aggregated data is also used when nationals are evaluating new locations. If your zip shows a higher proportion of frequent services in an area of concentration for the national chain you may be inviting competition. This kind of analysis used to happen from state registration records which are no longer available in most jurisdictions. I used to have a license to search state records here. We were bonded and could not use any information about the owner of a vehicle other than the zip code where the car was registered. We could, for example, tell a guy the top zip codes for Subaru registrations in a given area. Other customers were looking at the age of certain brands in certain zip codes to judge the relative economic conditions in that zip code. Inferred marketing is a big business.

    You pay the data aggregators to collect your data which is then resold. They charge you lower prices than they would if the data were not resold. Carfax gets the shop management software developers to do the work and you get charged as part of your shop management program rather than directly by Carfax.

  • Alan Ollie

    June 24, 2011 at 12:48 am

    I see cars that have messed up carfaxes because the dealerships write damage on LF fender or undercarriage damage car towed.

    How do you tell your customer 3 years later sorry .

    One of our customers won a $4500 lawsuit from a local Audi dealership for this mistake .I advertise the fact that your data is private and will not be posted on the internet.

    A few people have said they read about data sharing on my website and would not go to a dealer or chain type of re[air center ever again.

  • Unknown Member

    Deleted User
    June 29, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    Thank-you for the “under the surface” explanation. I was pretty sure I didn’t like this – somehow just didn’t feel right in my gut. I’ve learned that big companies NEVER do small companies any favors without something in it for THEM.

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