- July 13, 2010 at 12:48 pm #5268
Has anyone using Mitchell Manager been receiving calls from Carfax about getting your customer’s repair history from your database? I just wanted some feedback as I would like to know how this could affect us in a negative way before I allow this to take place. Is this a good thing? Pros, cons any comments….
Little Falls Auto Service & Transmission
- July 15, 2010 at 12:19 pm #12366
I was contacted about a year ago and initially agreed to the program, but after I slept on the idea I reconsidered for two reasons. First was I was not comfortable with another party having access to my database and snooping around in my server, and no way to monitor what the were accessing or exporting. The second was there was really nothing in it for my shop. I figured that if they were using my database then I should get some no-charge reports for customers having an inspection done for a car purchase. They still wanted to charge me their going rate. I passed.
- July 15, 2010 at 1:04 pm #12370
The new Mitchell version 6.4, that everyone will be using soon, has a decode button next to the VIN entry area. This is very handy, you enter the VIN and the vehicle model, engine, trans, etc fields populate automatically. My understanding is that Carfax is providing this information. In return they are gaining at least some of the repair info from your computer. Might be a legal issue down the road I would think.
- July 15, 2010 at 1:16 pm #12372
I like the vin decod but my data is for my eyes only and the dealer will have access to when services are done.Then they could send mail to the customer for the next service. I would think that the personal info would not be released but the car vin data would. we check CARFAX all the time to see if a customer is a dealer type.Dealer type after a warranty is over is the best.
- July 15, 2010 at 2:33 pm #12373
I know that there is a similar program involving AAA Approved Repair Shops and CarFax.
With that program, when someone does a CarFax report, services from the indie shop show up in the report along with a link to the indie shop website (just like it does with dealers) making it easy for the new car owner to continue having the car serviced at the same shop.
5355 Plainfield Ave. NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
- July 15, 2010 at 2:59 pm #12374
Tom Ham wrote:
> I know that there is a similar program involving AAA Approved Repair Shops and CarFax.
> With that program, when someone does a CarFax report, services from the indie shop show up in the report along with a link to the indie shop website (just like it does with dealers) making it easy for the new car owner to continue having the car serviced at the same shop.
The rep that I spoke to several times did not inform me as to any links back to my website for the service. Would be nice if you could review the data before it was sent off to CarFax.
- July 15, 2010 at 5:16 pm #12376
I just spoke with the regional Mgr. for Mitchell. Yes inded Carfax is providing this info. If you turn on the function it will provide what the repair is and who did the repair. It will not give the price details. It is to steer customers to the servicing shop to find out the details. I will forward any more info as I recive it.
- July 15, 2010 at 10:35 pm #12378
You guys might want to google “carfax lawsuits”. It seems that carfax is not what they claim. I care not to be involved with companies that exhibit a different ethic from ours. My software supplier asked me for the same access in return for the vin decode and we declined. I, too, don’t like opening a port to people who I don’t ENTIRELY trust.
- July 16, 2010 at 12:14 am #12379
If it was me I would join the Mitchell managment forumn and let them know how you feel, or call Mitchell and let them know. As someone who has used this great program and continues to I would not turn this feature on. It,s about choices and staying plugged into your buisness .
- July 16, 2010 at 12:44 pm #12381
MIKE NEWELL wrote:
> If it was me I would join the Mitchell managment forumn and let them know how you feel, or call Mitchell and let them know. As someone who has used this great program and continues to I would not turn this feature on. It,s about choices and staying plugged into your buisness .
I am on the Mitchell Forum, and I have STRONGLY voiced my feelings about this. Particularly, they continually told us of this great feature that was coming “VIN Decoding”, but failed to let us know there would be a really big “catch” if you wanted to use it. I don’t like any part of it, and will not use it.
Plus, I’m not a fan of the company supplying the VIN decoding.
- July 20, 2010 at 7:14 pm #12385
Which all sort of blends nicely into a question I’ve been pondering for awhile… VIN Decoding IS available on the NAPA ProLink website and for the Exhaust Diagrams. It apparently isn’t rocket science and doesn’t cost a million dollars. Why can’t Mitchell (who I can readily access NAPA stuff through…) offer VIN Decoding to me without having to go through a third party (like CARFAX who, I’d suspect, is paying Mitchell for the right to gain access to OUR info.)? I also don’t expect to ever turn on that link – but I fear it will be crammed down my throat someday…
- July 20, 2010 at 8:49 pm #12387
steve steeb wrote:
>I also don’t expect to ever turn on that link – but I fear it will be crammed down my throat someday…
I don’t think that will happen, but if it does, I for one will replace our shop software, as much as I like their product and the PITA replacing it would be.
- July 20, 2010 at 11:22 pm #12388
I thought it would makes sense for Mitchell 1 to comment on this discussion and hopefully clarify a couple things. First of all, we chose the CARFAX VIN decoder because it’s the best available. CARFAX continues to invest considerable resources into building a database of individual VINs, while other providers use formulas to guess at vehicle configurations. In the coming months, we plan to integrate a new service from CARFAX that will allow our Manager SE users to populate and decode VINs by supplying the license number, saving countless hours and greatly reducing the potential for input errors.
Of course, there are tradeoffs. But let’s be clear about those. In exchange for using the VIN decoder, users agree to share service history with CARFAX only for vehicles for which the VIN has been decoded — not the entire database. The shared history only contains the date, mileage, and services performed. No prices or customer information is shared. That data then appears in the CARFAX reports along with the name of the shop that performed the service and the URL of its website if they’d like. Many shop owners view this as valuable advertising and a way to piggy back on the multiple millions of dollars CARFAX has spent and will continue to spend promoting its report.
Hope that clarifies the picture at least a bit. If you’d like to ask me any questions directly, please do at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you still opt against using the VIN decoder, that’s fine too. That’s why we built that option into the program.
GM, Shop Management Solutions
- July 21, 2010 at 1:58 pm #12389
Thanks for clearing up some of the details. I will continue to de-code my own VIN’s (darn it!).
- July 21, 2010 at 4:15 pm #12390
I do not open my database for anyone on a random basis. In fact we have our POS system on one computer and our financial software on a separate one with no access across the network and plenty of firewalls on both. Do you really want to give unfettered access to a company who has had its legal problems with honesty in the past? Do you really think there is no reward to Mitchell from Carfax other than a thank you card? This is 2010 and we all have to be ever vigilant. Caveat emptor. “Let the buyer beware” was coined by the Romans way back, folks.
- July 22, 2010 at 5:03 pm #12392
This is being done without permisson from the vehicle owner isn’t it? Should I post a sign letting them know or get a release? Have the legal issues been investigated on this? I just smell a lawsuit in this when someone is selling a car, probably on Craigslist and the pontential buyer waves the report in his face showing the alternator that was installed is a reman not new like he advertised. Probably a class action suit against Mitchell, Carfax and everyone who participates. Crazy? farfetched? Read the news lately? I hope someone has checked into this.
- July 22, 2010 at 8:07 pm #12393
Here are some specific excerpts from the CARFAX Q&A document:
Q. By participating in this program, would CARFAX be collecting any personal consumer information that would violate any personal privacy laws?
A. No, CARFAX does not collect person consumer information through the Service Link Program. CARFAX has developed and grown its VIN-based vehicle history service for over 20 years. Today, CARFAX works with more than 20,000 public and private data sources. CARFAX follows all government regulations and privacy laws pertaining to personal information and only uses VIN specific data, which does not include personal information.
Q. Do other repair shops tell customers that their information will be provided to CARFAX?
A. CARFAX receives information from thousands of repair locations, none of which notify consumers. CARFAX complies with all federal and state privacy laws.
- July 27, 2010 at 3:21 pm #12394
I’m amazed at how how “Brainwashed ” Carfax has the consumer! I looked into this too and it sounded nice….here’s the BIG catch. Let’s say for instance you bring a car in and forget to get the mileage or enter the mileage incorrectly…we’ve all had it happen. Carfax will put a huge caution flag on the report “Warning odometer discrepency” Now this is going to appear when your customers trying to sell their car or trade it in. Your customers going to call carfax and tell them their report is bad right?… They will and then carfax replies “Sorry we only list the information that is reported to us. ” I’ve had it happen. Who will the customer be mad at? They blame the information supplier (that would be the shop owner) and accept no responsibilty for checking it. I’ve had this happen several times. We’re a independant auto dealer. I’ve found cars that the frames we’re sprung and carfax was clean and “One Owner” The really have the consumer blindsided. I refused to use carfax…my service writers will check manually before I let carfax have information. I’m really surprised Mitchel can’ get a VIN decoder without having to enroll a company like carfax….I think they just took the easy way out.
- July 27, 2010 at 4:09 pm #12395
We will not use the feature Carfax is a horrible company , but money buys you the right to stay in business being this way. Carfax and it’s protected way’s is able to run under the radar. Look at the Ohio lawsuit Carfax had. Yes I know thier is two sides to every story , but We have enough bad experiance first hand. Tim Mitchells keeps taking in monies and linking more and more companies to help the DIY’s instead of progress in the professional shop’s needs.
At the end of the day we all have to sleep and will be Judged only by one person!.
- August 6, 2010 at 7:41 pm #12398
I was approached by CarFax with the same offer – a trade of the VIN decoder for building in a function that automatically sends the VIN and date and mileage of service for each invoice.
I surveyed my customers and got a resounding NO.
Several shops are happily using the Carquest VIN decoder via cut and paste. That should work with any Windows application.
- August 9, 2010 at 1:56 pm #12399
> Q. Do other repair shops tell customers that their information will be provided to CARFAX?
> A. CARFAX receives information from thousands of repair locations, none of which notify consumers. CARFAX complies with all federal and state privacy laws.
I have read through this thread and found it very informative, but I do have a question regarding the above Q & A. Who is actually the responsible party to inform the customer? Since it is the auto repair facility that has the contact with the customer and we have agreed to share this info with CARFAX I would think it is our responsibilty to inform the customer, not CARFAX. This is important because if it is our responsibilty than the liabilty falls on us, which means eventhough CARFAX is complying with the law, are we? Also just because “thousands” of repair locations are not notifing customers doesn’t mean it is ethical or legally acceptable.
Maybe I am being a stickler on the wording but I do appreciate any clarification you can provide on this matter.
Thanks for being involved in this thread!
- August 10, 2010 at 8:37 pm #12401
Perhaps since this is all so above board and legal, Mitchel and Carfax would not mind indemnifing the shops against possible legal problems?
- August 19, 2010 at 2:55 pm #12402
I see some posts came in while I was on vacation; I’ll endeavor to get some additional information.
- August 19, 2010 at 4:08 pm #12403
I use the VIN decoder in the WorldPac parts look-up. Toyota has it also if you a signed up for their TIS parts program. Both are free. If I need a dealer part, they can decode the VIN.
When I was contacted by CarFax there was/is no decoder available for my version of Mitchells that I am aware of.
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