Lately, I’ve been very focused on how auto dealers, independent businesses all, respond to internet inquiries and email communications.

Most of them do a terrible job.

Case in point, Houston has only a handful of Audi stores, Momentum being the biggest. A few months back, they had a red Audi A6 sitting right out front of their store. On the street. In the sunshine. I called.

They didn’t know whether it was used or new. They didn’t know what year model it was, or how much it was. They didn’t know how it was equipped. They did know that it was red. On the phone. With the Audi ‘consultant’.

I stopped in. Wasn’t interested in the car after looking at it.

Fast forward nearly three months.

This morning, I responded to another of their automated emails from their leadtracker system.

I’ll let my email to the sales manager at Momentum speak for itself:

Scott –

We meet a few months back at your store when I came in for a scheduled appointment.

I am responding to this automated email that I received today:

“Dear Douglas Hord,

We are reviewing recent requests for vehicles and noticed you have not responded. The Internet Sales process starts with a consumer requesting information on a website and this information is forwarded to our dealership. Our next step is to contact these individuals and do what we can to help them get into a new vehicle. If your needs have changed, please click here to request additional information and we’ll be happy to provide you with the information you need.

Our Internet Department works with hundreds of consumers a month. To update our records, can you send us a quick e-mail to let us know if you have bought elsewhere of if you would like us to touch base with you at a later date.”

I had sent you a fairly lengthy email some time back, but it didn’t gain your notice or response.

This time I’ll keep it short.

I have replied to the automated emails. The information I have responded with has been either lost in transmission through lead tracker or ignored by your sales staff entirely. After receiving a similar email to the one quoted above only three days ago, I called Connie Nims and left her a voice mail telling her that I had gone a different direction and thanking her for her help.

Today, I get this (quoted above).

I don’t know whether your store is angling for the Chevy Cobalt buyer who just came into some extra cash, or whether you’re seeking an educated, attuned, sophisticated client base.

Your choice of automation software and your implementation of it tells me that the first is more accurate.

( Please type in your request info that you need).

Douglas Hord
Solutions Consultant

You’d THINK that would be of use and/or interest, wouldn’t you?

Here’s what I received in way of response:

Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently:

Technical details of permanent failure:
Google tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the recipient domain. We recommend contacting the other email provider for further information about the cause of this error. The error that the other server returned was: 550 550 Mailbox unavailable or access denied - (state 14).

—- Original message —–

Received: by with SMTP id p21mr3518423bkp.3.1258045644326;
Thu, 12 Nov 2009 09:07:24 -0800 (PST)
Received: from ? ( [])
by with ESMTPS id 16sm921754bwz.7.2009.
(version=TLSv1/SSLv3 cipher=RC4-MD5);
Thu, 12 Nov 2009 09:07:23 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 12 Nov 2009 11:07:13 -0600
From: Douglas Hord
Organization: Douglas Hord
User-Agent: Thunderbird (Windows/20090812)
MIME-Version: 1.0
Subject: Requesting more info
Content-Type: multipart/mixed;

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