(DALLAS-FT. WORTH, TX) Consumer Team talk radio host Pete Thomson would like to find a car dealer to include on The Consumer Team radio program. His problem? He has yet to find one who fits the profile of The Consumer Team. The challenge, as Thomson states, is one of philosophy. Thomson said, “On The Consumer Team we have very specific values and opinions when it comes to how consumers should be treated. The problem in the automobile industry, and in other industries as well, is that consumers are often given really bad deals. And the bigger the price tag, the more scams you’ll find”
The Consumer Team -- Searching For The "Right" Car Dealer
The dilemma that Thomson and The Consumer Team face in the auto industry is nothing new. As Thomson puts it, finding category experts has been a challenge across multiple industries. He added, “We are looking for sponsors who are comfortable being very transparent with us and with the consumer. It’s taken us years to find our current roster of Consumer Team Certified sponsors.”
In the automobile industry, Thomson says there are several areas of concern, including The Consumer Team’s stance that buying used vehicles is the best value for consumers. Thomson added, “The dealer that we end up featuring and endorsing on The Consumer Team will need to recognize that used cars priced appropriately are a great value for the consumer. Dollar for dollar we believe that buying used is a prudent financial move. Beyond that, we’re looking for a partner who does not take advantage of consumers on the trade-in or in F&I (finance and insurance).” Thomson said that dealers often build very high profit margins into the areas of the transaction that consumers understand the least. Thomson added, “Let me be clear, we’re not against a profit, we just think it should be fair and fully disclosed. Some of the products that car dealers sell as part of what’s called the back end, are total rip offs. From extended warranties to Scotch-guarding the car seats, it can get pretty bad.”
Regardless of whether or not The Consumer Team finds an expert automotive sponsor, Thomson says the program will continue to aggressively address rip offs, scams and other bad behavior in the automobile industry. He said, “We know that our listeners depend on The Consumer Team to help them navigate through the shark infested waters that consumers swim in these days. When a consumer is being ripped off, our goal is to report the scam and stop the bad guys from ripping off more people.” In the car industry, Thomson cites Consumer Reports Magazine as being every effective in the fight for the consumer. Thomson said, “Consumer Reports has really helped put the buyer back in a position of leverage in the car buying process. From their ratings of vehicles to their tips on how to get a good deal on a car, consumers can get very valuable information using this tool.” Beyond that, Thomson says, he advises consumers to slow down the buying process. He added, “Research and due diligence are critical to success in any major consumer transaction. We advise our listeners to take a deep breath, research the process and proceed with great caution. Let’s face it, today there are more scams than ever and as a consumer you must be prepared.”
Thomson’s Consumer Team radio program is broadcast Saturdays from 5-7PM on 1080 KRLD Radio, Dallas-Ft. Worth. Thomson started his consumer advocacy journalism career over a decade ago. Thomson says he’s been an advocate of the consumer since childhood. Thomson said, “Growing up in Charles City, Iowa in the 1970s I lived in small town environment where local businesses took care of their customers. Both of my parents owned retail stores and I remember the great lengths they went to in order to satisfy their customers. As a result, my personal standard for customer service is very high.”
For more information on The Consumer Team or to listen live go to http://www.myconsumerteam.com. The Consumer Team is produced by McQ Media, Dallas-Ft. Worth, Texas.