Evidence indicates Red Rock dealerships bribed customers for positive manufacturer surveys

We’ve already seen the evidence showing Red Rock dealerships worked to slant reviews in their favor on public-facing consumer review sites like Google Reviews and Yelp. A different facet of this deceptive behavior is how the dealerships treat vehicle manufacturers’ customer satisfaction surveys.

Members of the public use Google, Yelp, Cars.com, DealerRater and other review sites to help them decide who to patronize, so stacking reviews on these sites misleads the public. But auto manufacturers have their own proprietary, internal customer satisfaction surveys that they use to determine how well or poorly customers are being treated at their dealerships, and where their dealerships need improvement.

Vehicle makers expect honest responses to these surveys so they can improve their customers’ experiences, so submitting falsified answers to the car companies’ customer satisfaction surveys defrauds the vehicle manufacturers.

Two former Red Rock employees report that “bribing” and “harassing” customers to leave positive manufacturer surveys was routine at these dealerships while they worked there.

One former Red Rock service employee wrote in a text,

Text from a former Red Rock employee telling how the dealership generated positive customer satisfaction surveys for vehicle manufacturers.


Another former Red Rock employee confirmed the dealership offered customers free gas in exchange for positive customer satisfaction surveys:

“Loves” = Love’s truck stop on 22 Road, near Red Rock Hyundai


A Red Rock Kia customer confirms this is exactly what happened to her.

A customer took her car to Red Rock Kia to have an automatic starter installed. After the service, her car was no longer acting right, so she contacted Kia’s service department about it. A service department employee dismissed her complaint, telling her the car “just had to get used to” the new part. But a week later, her car died. She had to miss a day of work to deal with the breakdown, and pay to have her car towed back to Red Rock Kia. The dealership then found the part had been installed incorrectly and fixed it, but didn’t offer her any compensation for her lost wages, or the cost of towing her car back to Red Rock. The customer also said the work ended up costing her hundreds of dollars more than she was first quoted to have it done.

Despite all this, the customer said, “The manager sent me a template that he wanted me to fill out. He told me on the phone he needed a good review so he can get a raise. He told me he would give me a tank of gas or some other deal. I have the txt message.” She affirmed this again on another occasion, writing that, “[H]e had called me and wanted me to do this because his reviews were not good. I said yes, he promised me free gas or something else. He said he would get me something. He sent me the template and what to mark. I will swear on oath if I have to about this.”

She provided AnneLandmanBlog with the “template” the Kia employee sent her to use as a cheat sheet for her answers to her survey:

A customer supplied AnneLandmanBlog with this text she received from “Brad” at Red Rock Kia, giving her the answers she was to use on her Kia Manufacturer customer satisfaction survey, in exchange for a free tank of gas

Close up of the first page of the pre-marked survey template Brad at Kia sent the customer after her service experience

Page two of the survey template the customer received

The customer said that despite her misgivings over the service nightmare she endured, she filled out the survey they way Brad had asked her to.

A Kia company No-No

Bribing or coercing customers to answer a Kia feedback survey a certain way violates Kia U.S.’s Survey Guidelines (pdf), about how dealerships must conduct these surveys. Among Kia’s rules are that surveys can’t be filled out on a device located at the dealership or one one with a dealership IP address. Customers can’t be asked to fill out the survey while at the dealership, and email addresses of customers cannot be falsified.

Kia’s Survey Guidelines (pdf) also say,

Screen shot of Kia U.S. policy on conduct of customer satisfaction surveys (Source: KUS Survey Guidelines, Published January 29, 2021, pdf)


Another former Red Rock employee told how the Hyundai dealership got customers their free gas in exchange for positive reviews:

“Loves” is Love’s Truck stop

Aside from customers and lenders, vehicle manufacturers are a third, less-thought-of group that’s vulnerable to getting defrauded by unscrupulous dealerships.

This seems like it was the case at Red Rock dealerships, and it could be another reason why these dealerships evaded improvement for so many years in the way they treated customers.

The question is, is it still going on, and how will the Kia Company and the other manufacturers respond if they find out this was happening?


  16 comments for “Evidence indicates Red Rock dealerships bribed customers for positive manufacturer surveys

  1. So much dead horse beating! News flash…”lady bribed into giving a good review. Lady takes the bribe and notifies local blogger”

    Nothing about how a judge decided (without evidence) that Tina Peter’s recorded a public court proceeding and is charging her $1500.

    Doesn’t that just piss you all off?

    • Alice – you started off so well here. You had disagreements. You had questions. I thought it was encouraging to hear a voice from the right who could coherently challenge ideas in a public forum. Sadly you are showing your cards here as just another internet troll. Sad.

    • To her credit, after the Red Rock customer filled out the survey the way Hyundai employee “Brad” wanted her to, she ended up walking away in disgust without accepting the payoff.

  2. I have dealt with only one dealership and only one salesman for three different car purchases in the last twenty years here in the Grand Valley. The dealership and the salesman have given me nothing but excellent service. They even returned a $50 bill that I had left in the glove box of a trade-in to use in emergencies, that I had forgotten about!
    I feel so lucky! This is the way everyone should be treated.

  3. This is why I only look at bad reviews on products. I think this happens a lot. I got a card with an electronic device I bought off Amazon. If I proved I left a 5 star review they would send me a gift card or something.

    • Heather, I read it but just noticed it wasn’t automatically approved. It possible it wasn’t approved automatically because it was very lengthy. I just approved it. Thanks for your comments.

      • Thanks Anne, I appreciate that.

        I do hope this all ends soon.
        Corrections have been made where needed, we have a compliance Director that oversees all of the dealerships and I believe I did a decent job explaining all of Red Rock’s donations and volunteering.
        It really is a great company full of people that care about our customers and community.

        Heather D.

        • You mean except for all the customers over the last 7 years that Red Rock has plunged into dire financial distress, the signatures they’ve forged to add thousands of dollars in extras to customers’ contracts without their knowing, the difficulty the company has caused already struggling families and individuals who are working multiple jobs for low wages, the contracts they’ve hidden from people, the credit scores they’ve ruined, the banks, lenders and vehicle manufacturers they’ve defrauded, and the way they’ve unethically tried to manipulate reviews on sites like Google Reviews? Other than all that, it’s “a really great company full of people that care about our customers and community”?

  4. After seeing your reports and others, I decided to not purchase a Hyundai at Red Rock. After seeing reports about their service department, I decided to not purchase one elsewhere as I didn’t want to go there for warranty services.

    I sent a note to Hyundai about why they lost a sale. In today’s market where the manufacturer and dealer call the shots, Hyundai’s response was, to be kind, lackluster. They have no control over their dealer network, but the greatest of trust for them. In short, as long as they are moving cars, we don’t care what they do. And if you don’t like it, buy a car somewhere else. Which is what I am doing.

    • Mike, I think you’re spot on. Corporations have grown so large that an individual customer has no effect on their bottom line. Volume and short-term gains are driving the business practices of large and even smaller companies.

  5. It appears that unethical-at-best business practices and a culture of dishonesty permeates some car dealerships in Grand Valley. I recently bought a vehicle from a well-known, large dealership in Grand Junction (not Red Rock) and quickly discovered that the vehicle and the services of the dealership were misrepresented to me. It wasn’t huge discrepancy but it was big enough for me feel foolish and deceived.

    Buying a vehicle is a significant financial and emotional investment, and admitting that you were deceived is embarrassing and make you feel foolish. You feel like you should have been able to recognize the deception and avoid being taken advantage of. I talked myself into trusting a sales person and the dealership by telling myself that otherwise I’d be biased and disrespectful to people doing their work. Consequently, I failed to see the red flags.

    There isn’t a universe in which I will ever again trust a car dealership or car sales people. I suggest to all buyers of a vehicle to be suspicious and not trusting, and to conduct serious verification of a description and all claims made by the dealership and sales people. There is a long list of things you should and could do to verify that the vehicle you think you are buying is truly the one you will be driving off the dealership lot.

    • Thanks for your comment, Martin. A lot of local people have felt embarrassed and foolish for being taken while buying a vehicle locally and never shared the information for that reason. It wasn’t until people started sharing their experiences that we found out what was happening at these dealerships and were able to do something about it. I’ve had people tell me the information people have shared through these stories about their experiences saved them thousands of dollars.

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