's Owner's Wife Shocked by TTAC Coverage

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

We were given the heads-up on the website by the Department of Transportation (DOT). The DOT was not well pleased with the site’s assumption of governmental authority re: Uncle Sam’s Cash for Clunkers or CARS program ( as we reported). This email arrived just arrived from Mrs. Name Redacted, reprinted here without editing. I’ve emailed Mrs. NR to request the suggested interview.

Meanwhile, it should be noted that there is not now—nor was there at the time of the original post’s publication—an email contact button on the site. Nor does the “Automotive Consumers Council” (listed as a copyright at the bottom) have any bona fides that I can find, save for a url that redirects to the website. This is also the first mention of T10 marketing I’ve encountered (not listed on either site). Nor is there any mention of her husband’s name on T10‘s website. With all that in mind . . .

I just read your comments about my husbands website, I am shocked by the accusations that this site is a scam. CBS was also misled by your article and after investigating the facts they removed my husbands websites from their story because it was false. This site was built by my husbands automotive marketing company (T10) who lobbied the bill directly with one of the senators who co-authored it. The site was built for many reasons and i am proud of my husband for all of them. First, he promoted the bill to help it get passed. He promoted the concept of dealers getting involved more by creating their own private cash for clunkers programs to consumers(thus the name headquarters) and he created a site to help consumers find dealers who were willing to give prices online and some who would offer aggressive incentives above and beyond what the government was offering to make it more attractive for consumers to upgrade into more fuel efficient vehicles. Dealers loved his idea because it helped consumers and it provided a differenti ator for the retailer in the market. They also help retailers educate consumers in their market who qualify for the program and they connect consumers who want to shop online with dealers who give them the ability to get quotes from the comfort of their home rather than having to drive around and waiste time and gas. Furthermore, many of the consumers who have clunkers will have a hard time qualifying for financing. When the consumer qualified for the program and has high hopes for a new car but then does not qualify for financing there will often be a negative backlash against the program and their local dealer. To avoid wasting consumers time and to give dealers extra time to try to get consumers approved it is a smart strategy to help customers get pre-approved for financing. Since the dealer will have more time to shop the finance application to multiple banks by getting an application online in advance it will help increase approval rates, sales, customer satisfaction a nd dealer satisfaction with the program. For this reason every major manufacturer, autogroup, 3rd party sites like edmunds and kbb, offer finance applications to provide this vital service to consumers who prefer to get as much done in advance as possible. So would it be fair to accuse these reputable organizations of building “phishing sites” and label them “scams” because every one of thier credit applications gathers social security numbers. I think you probably realize by now that it would be irresponsible to make these types of slanderish claims, especially without taking the time to investigate the facts. Could you have sent a message directly to the my husband through the website before calling them scammers… just like i am doing through this form? Did you do that? Do you think it is fair to people who have dedicated their lives to building a reputation based on hard work and doing the right thing to spread innacurate rumors that they are scammers because they inclu de a credit application service for consumers like 99% of the automotive webistes in the industry? Did you ever take time to read the published privacy policy and visitor agreement on the site, which is in complete compliance with all federal laws for sites like this? As for the look and feel of the website – i know the people who built the website and the young talented graphic artist had alot of fun creating a look and feel that reflected a government program with flags, red, white and blue because he was promoting a government program weeks before the NHTSA had anything, which is why so many people relied on these 2 well designed sites. His mistake is that he did not forecast that people would assume that his intentions were to illegally capture customers information to use for illicit purposes. After looking at the logo i personally think he probably got over-zealous with the whole government stimulus look, but his intentions were not what has been suggested here. Actual ly, after hearing from the NHTSA that the logo made it appear that the website was the official government website, they took down the logo and posted a clearly visible notice to visitors to go to the official cars website. Should we penalize entreprenuers for providing a service to the consumers, industry and congress because these sites were not controlled by the government. I don’t understand why the government would not contact my husband before making these claims. I know he reached out to them weeks before the bill was passed to offer them his help and to make sure he was in line with their communication plan. What is funny is that this bill almost died due to one vote that in the last minute came through, possibly as a result of the direct lobbying of the leaders behind While there are alot of people who have the comfort of oppinion, not one was willing to endure the discomfort of reaching out to find the facts. I believe the only ethical thing to do in this case, since the irresponsible slanders have already cost these companies their reputation with some people and organizations, is to remove these irroneous claims and issue a retraction. If your goal is to really seek and speak the truth you will do the right thing. If not, the name of this site is a “scam” as you suggested about these valuable consumer information sites. I would have said all of the above in your blog but the functionality did not allow me to register. Should i claim your site is a “scam”? How would that make you feel? After watching my husband slave to support this bill and to help consumers and retailers take advantage of the opportunity i am deeply saddened by seeing what your blog did to his spirit. Now i am glad i am sharing this personally because i do not like to debate in public, i prefer to encourage people who hopefully have good intentions to do the right thing and public arguments can sometimes make that more dificult. I am sure that you had the right intention when you wrote what you wrote and i am glad you want to help people see the truth. I hope you live that out by doing what is possible at this stage, even though it is mostly too late and too much damage has been done, to stand up for the truth. I suggest you speak with my husband about this. He is the man you slandered. I hope you take this down and replace it with an article with the TRUTH in its place since this article continues to slander his good name. I pray his son does not google him and find this about his father who has dedicated his life to making a fair and honest living for me and our 4 children. I am sorry if i came on too strong but he is my husband and i don’t know any man who has a stronger character than him. I hope you do the right thing and i hope no one ever does to your spouse what has been done to mine.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Lewissalem Lewissalem on Jun 29, 2009

    So why does "Mind Point Design" return one google search result? Here's a free tip: table { padding:6px; }

  • Kid cassady Kid cassady on Jun 29, 2009

    Funny quirk: Microsoft formatting means that if you're looking for a new Saab to trade in your clunker towards, you're limited to either a 9-7X, a 3-Sep or a 5-Sep. Naming cars after auspicious dates sounds downright Soviet...I wonder if they ever made a Lada 10/17?

  • Varezhka I have still yet to see a Malibu on the road that didn't have a rental sticker. So yeah, GM probably lost money on every one they sold but kept it to boost their CAFE numbers.I'm personally happy that I no longer have to dread being "upgraded" to a Maxima or a Malibu anymore. And thankfully Altima is also on its way out.
  • Tassos Under incompetent, affirmative action hire Mary Barra, GM has been shooting itself in the foot on a daily basis.Whether the Malibu cancellation has been one of these shootings is NOT obvious at all.GM should be run as a PROFITABLE BUSINESS and NOT as an outfit that satisfies everybody and his mother in law's pet preferences.IF the Malibu was UNPROFITABLE, it SHOULD be canceled.More generally, if its SEGMENT is Unprofitable, and HALF the makers cancel their midsize sedans, not only will it lead to the SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST ones, but the survivors will obviously be more profitable if the LOSERS were kept being produced and the SMALL PIE of midsize sedans would yield slim pickings for every participant.SO NO, I APPROVE of the demise of the unprofitable Malibu, and hope Nissan does the same to the Altima, Hyundai with the SOnata, Mazda with the Mazda 6, and as many others as it takes to make the REMAINING players, like the Excellent, sporty Accord and the Bulletproof Reliable, cheap to maintain CAMRY, more profitable and affordable.
  • GregLocock Car companies can only really sell cars that people who are new car buyers will pay a profitable price for. As it turns out fewer and fewer new car buyers want sedans. Large sedans can be nice to drive, certainly, but the number of new car buyers (the only ones that matter in this discussion) are prepared to sacrifice steering and handling for more obvious things like passenger and cargo space, or even some attempt at off roading. We know US new car buyers don't really care about handling because they fell for FWD in large cars.
  • Slavuta Why is everybody sweating? Like sedans? - go buy one. Better - 2. Let CRV/RAV rust on the dealer lot. I have 3 sedans on the driveway. My neighbor - 2. Neighbors on each of our other side - 8 SUVs.
  • Theflyersfan With sedans, especially, I wonder how many of those sales are to rental fleets. With the exception of the Civic and Accord, there are still rows of sedans mixed in with the RAV4s at every airport rental lot. I doubt the breakdown in sales is publicly published, so who knows... GM isn't out of the sedan business - Cadillac exists and I can't believe I'm typing this but they are actually decent - and I think they are making a huge mistake, especially if there's an extended oil price hike (cough...Iran...cough) and people want smaller and hybrids. But if one is only tied to the quarterly shareholder reports and not trends and the big picture, bad decisions like this get made.