Everyone, my name is Nicholas Dutko. I own three different companies in the auto transport industry. I have basically seen it all and heard it all from other companies. I am writing this rant because the state of the auto transport industry is looking grim. If the industry keeps going the way it has been going for the past few years there is not going to be an industry 5 or 10 years from now. All the shitty companies will ruin it for the rest of us. Here is my rant. I hope to enjoy.
The auto transport industry has been around for decades. DAS claims they have been around since the 50’s. The thing is, however, a lot has changed in this industry in the past 65 years. Back in the day the industry was run by the truckers themselves. There were not brokers, or dealers posting cars to find truckers. So, in a sense the industry has improved. The problem is the types of companies we have in the industry currently. Let dive in.
First I want to bring up auto transport brokers. They are first on my list to attack. A broker is suppose to be the middle man between the customer and the trucker. A brokers job is to find the best deal for the customer while giving them a quality trucker to transport their car to another state. The issue is that there are too many brokers who are only in business for themselves and don’t care about the customer. They don’t want to save the customer money or provide a quality car transportation service, they only want their commission/deposit. If they can low ball a trucker into taking a car for cheaper and the broker keeps the extra money they damn sure will do that. It is just wrong.
The next thing many brokers do is purchase leads from a lead provider such as Auto Transport Quote Services. This wouldn’t be an issue, but the brokers hound customers like they are a piece of meat and these brokers are starving. Lets say a customer requests to have quotes sent to them. Immediately they have brokers calling. So far so good. Then, however, these broker companies will continue to call numerous times a day to get the customer on the phone. A lead that went to 10 different companies, the customer is getting 20-30 phone calls. It is just not right. It patricianly the lead providers fault for selling to too many companies and then the brokers fault for being blood thirsty. Just give it rest people. Call the customer once, leave a voicemail if no answer and send them an email. If they like your quote and like your company you’ll be the business. No need to hound them to death.
The next issue I have with brokers in this industry is the way some of them sell to the customer. Why do you think it is necessary to trash or bad mouth another company who you’re competing with? Why do you think it is ok to use scare tactics to get the customer to book with you instead of someone else? Why do you think it is ok to post a vehicle on the national load board without the customer consent to screw over another company who rightfully has the written contract? Are you that hard up on money that you feel it is ok to be a complete asshole? are you able to sleep well at night? I surely hope you can’t because your selling tactics are horrible and you should be taken out back and beaten to set you straight.
The next people I need to attack are the lead providers. Not only do I own Car Shipping Carriers, a brokerage, I also own Auto Transport Quote Services which is a lead provider. I have been both sides of the fence so my viewpoint is different than others. As a lead provider your job should be to provide a quality lead to the companies you’re selling to, make sure that the companies you are selling to have proper business ethics and make sure POS companies are banned from your leads. If every lead provider were to bind together and get rid of the crappy brokers the industry who be instantly better. Where else would these shitty brokers get leads to stay in business? They wouldn’t and they would close up shop.
The next rant on lead providers comes towards just one company, American Auto Shipping. I applaud you for being a big player in the game so quickly, but the way you’re doing it is just horrible. Using Black Hat SEO tactics is just garbage. Posting links and articles on foreign blog sites, mostly asian blog sites, is a scam way to get higher on the search results. Eventually you will be penalized by Google and when that happens I will literally do a happy dance in my office for days on in. I wish I could go onto Microsoft Word write on an article using the wingdings font and post it and get link juice ethically, but I can’t. I am too honest to do that. One day you’ll fall on the Google ranks and you’ll be screwed for many months until you find the next Black Hat SEO tactic. Guess what though, Google is getting smarter and you may have to actually start doing business ethically.
American Auto Shipping, I am not mad about you owning a lead site and a brokerage. Heck, I do it as well. The difference between myself and you is that I am upfront and honest about it. I do not try and pull something over on your customers. The companies that I sell leads to know I own Car Shipping Carriers. I tell them before they purchase my leads from Auto Transport Quote Services. That is what a good business does. They are honest with their customers. Insert horrible VW joke now. haha. All that I am saying Mr. Sales is just be honest and ethical. Your business will still do great and you’ll probably end up making more money because of it.
The next part is for Dealer Track, the company who owns jTracker and Central Dispatch. You guys need to invest a little bit of money into your systems. They are not outdated and stale. For example, features on jTracker such as text messaging when a new lead comes in, having separate folders or identifiers for bad phone numbers or emails to help brokers work on qualifying leads first, getting an e-signature added to your website for brokers and customer to work more efficiently, and have a follow up folder for orders as well because orders need to be called sometimes too. Then on Central Dispatch having features where customers could post their own vehicle (like uShip) and have ONLY haulers quote them. There are other features, but I don’t want to give you all the ideas I have.
You guys bought these websites for $74 million. Don’t you think that you could at least spend a couple of dollars to make these sites mobile friendly. Sick of being on Central Dispatch on my phone and having it look like Windows 95 squeezed into a kid jacket. Potentially you could even spend some money have have iPhone and Android Apps for your products so people can use them anywhere. Mobile is the wave of the future and if you’re not up to date you’ll fall behind and your $74 million will be wasted.
By the way Central Dispatch, quit having dealers on your site post cars. They are not bonded and it is against the law for dealers to be posting cars and making money on the transport. Why hasn’t anyone brought legal action to this company yet? Don’t even get me started on uShip and why they should burn in hell. I will write about them in an article that is dedicated to just them.
Lastly, the rating system on Central Dispatch. This is the most horrible thing I have seen. I personally have left truckers negative reviews for various reasons and nearly half of them come off for one reason or another. If you’re going to be the largest load board in the industry you need to mediate a little better because right now it is flat out pathetic.
The last part of my rant is for the haulers and truckers. Who has noticed that the quality of truckers for the auto transport industry keeps getting worse and worse. How many times has brokers been called numerous times by a customer because the trucker hasn’t called to set up a time frame to pick up or deliver a vehicle. For large haulers, you have 10 calls to make. Is it really that difficult to take 30 minutes out of your time to make those calls. You can drive 11-12 hours a day, why can’t you take some time to make proper phone calls? How hard is your job? Seriously. Secondly, if you’re going to live in America and work in America the least you can do is be able to read English and speak it as well. How in the hell do you function and read speed limits signs or any signs on the road for that matter? How do you communicate with customers if you cannot speak English? The customer deserves a better car shipping then having some foreign trucker try to speak and all we hear is clucking like a chicken.
Next, truckers and brokers should be working together because each needs the other half to succeed. Why must truckers feel the need to talk shit to brokers because we work at home or in an office and you’re out on the roads. Truckers, you drive for a living. Your job is not that hard. Neither is ours, but shitty trucker makes our lives worse because we get the negative reviews and the backlash from the customers. That needs to stop.
I personally worked with a trucker who I had transport two high top vans for me. Everything seemed to be fine expect when he delivered he talked trash about the other hauler (who was taking the other two vans) saying that he had the vans off the hauler and loading other vehicles and blah blah blah. The customer didn’t know any better so he start freaking out and calling me. I immediately called the trucker, after he left and delivered the vans, to explain to him that it was unprofessional to talk trash about another hauler and that he shouldn’t have done that. He then proceeded to call me numerous times and harass me, went on my Facebook and saw pictures of myself and my wive and called me and threatened myself and my wife. Who is the fuck does this truckler think he is? Now, what can I do as a broker? If I leave him a negative review online he will do the same to me and I get screwed. Then, Central Dispatch does;t give a shit because they just care about the money. I have to just sit there and eat the abuse from a pile of garbage trucker. It is down right pathetic.
This behavior isn’t only throw to brokers. Truckers threaten customers as well. If a vehicle is damaged or anything is wrong they will threaten customers that they’ll tale their vehicle and store it where they can’t find it in a storage facility until they get what they want. Truckers, if you damaged a vehicle fucking pay up and get the insurance involved. Own up to your mistakes. Also, if you say you’re going to deliver between a certain time frame and you end up delivering late, you need to apologize to the customer and not be an asshole to them. It is called respect. Not sure if they have that in whatever dirt country you’re from, but in America we (mostly) have respect. Learn it.
Wow… this was a LONG rant. I hope you all enjoyed it. I sure know I did. I got a lot off my chest and I do feel better.