OK, we all know that some consumers think of car dealers as, shall we say, not always aboveboard. Well, the Better Business Bureau might be able to help - at least when it comes to online customers.
For a fee, the bureau will let dealers post BBB Online Program seals on their Web sites, telling consumers the business meets Better Business Bureau standards for doing business online.
One seal lets consumers know the dealership has a satisfactory record with the bureau and explains standards on which that record is based. Another assures consumers the dealership will respect their privacy with information submitted online.
Car dealer Jason Hannah of Dick Hannah Dealerships (dickhannah.com) of Vancouver, Wash., says the seals send a positive message. "Any time you can have any affiliation with the Better Business Bureau, I think that's good," says Hannah, vice president of the six-store company.
The fee is based on the size of the business. A bureau spokesman says a dealer can expect to pay $250 to $450 annually. One hundred sixty-one U.S. new-car dealerships use the program. To learn more, check out bbbonline.org.