Dale Sundeen, the Colorado Department of Revenue Auto Industry Division’s criminal investigator who was investigating Grand Junction’s Red Rock dealerships, quit his job with the state and went to work for Red Rock Auto Group as their “Corporate Director of Compliance.”
Former Red Rock dealership employees have told AnneLandmanBlog that the dealerships coerce both employees and customers to leave positive reviews online, and a customer said the Red Rock dealership she patronized several years ago had paid her $2,500 to take a bad review of them off her Facebook page.
These manipulations of online reviews were discovered around the same time Red Rock introduced a new “Forever Promise” on their websites, in which the company promises to “earn your trust” and “be transparent.”
A reader supplied AnneLandmanBlog with screenshots of a 2019 Facebook Messenger conversation in which she told another person that Red Rock had paid her $2,500 to remove a Facebook post describing a bad experience with a Red Rock dealership:
Two western slope residents purchased 2022 Hyundai Kona EVs around the same time last year. They both shopped at Red Rock Hyundai in Grand Junction. One ended up buying their car from Red Rock, while the other went to Red Rock first, felt uncomfortable, and ended up buying from Ralph Schomp Hyundai in Aurora, Colorado. Neither buyer left the western slope to complete their purchase or obtain their vehicles. The two report having had two vastly different experiences, as well as incurring vastly different total expenditures for their purchases.
Here is a side-by-side comparison of their buying experiences:
KREX-TV last night ran a 5 minute news segment about Red Rock dealerships, which are currently under investigation by the state for problems including forgeries of customers’ signatures on legal/financial documents like contracts, Powers of Attorney, title and loan documents, and the addition of thousands of dollars worth of extras to customers’ contracts without their knowing, like extended warranties and special coatings.
Below is the full statement of a former title clerk who worked at Red Rock. This person asked to remain anonymous. This statement was included in the KREX news segment, but it merits fuller attention because of its gravity. This person’s employment at the dealership has been verified, and they had experience with the Mesa County Department of Motor Vehicles before going to work for Red Rock:
A former Red Rock auto dealership employee contacted AnneLandmanBlog wanting to unload about what he experienced in the years he worked for the dealership. He asked to remain anonymous, so his name is withheld. He said he was “ashamed” about having worked for the dealership and wanted to do whatever he could do to help people who fell victim to these scams.
Following are excerpts of our conversation, edited slightly for clarity:
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is sounding alarm bells about a bill introduced in New Hampshire’s House of Representatives that requires people who photograph or make video recordings of cruelty against livestock to report it to police within 24 hours and turn over their unedited video or photos to authorities. So what’s wrong with that? And why does the HSUS oppose it? After all, it sounds like it’s aimed at exposing animal abuse, right? Nope. It’s a particularly tricky form of an industry-crafted “Ag-Gag” bill meant to stifle reporting on animal cruelty in commercial livestock operations. How? When whistleblowers expose cruelty at commercial animal enterprises, a common excuse put forth by business owners is that the abuse was a one-off occurrence or a single event perpetrated by a rogue employee who has, of course, since been fired. People working to expose animal abuse in big agribusiness enterprises have learned that they must document repeated instances of cruelty in order to make a solid case against the company that will hold up in court. Such high-quality evidence is animal advocates’ only leverage to try and stop to the abuse. If people are required to turn over a video recording of a single instance of abuse the same day it was taken, it would make it virtually impossible to document a pattern of abuse to the extent necessary to make a tight enough case to stop it.