Reynolds and Reynolds puts their position in a positive light by saying ‘we’re protecting your data as if it were our own’. That sounds like a good thing, but like so many things that sound good, it’s a far cry from how things actually transpire. Reynolds and Reynolds is like a bank that gladly receives your money and then informs you that they are in charge of it. Or, the computer company that sells you a laptop and then informs you that all the data you put on the computer belongs to them. Hey, it’s in the fine print of the contract you signed.
I am sure there are attorney generals in several states that, given time and the circumstances, would deem those contractual clauses illegal. Restriction of trade comes to mind.
Many vendors utilize the dealer’s data for very legitimate services, performing analytic attribute reports, creating marketing systems and many other services that help a dealer use their data to the dealer’s benefit. But, when the dealer is using Reynolds and Reynolds, it doesn’t matter to whom the dealer allows access, R&R is there to prevent anything from going forward without them getting part of the take and making life as hard as possible for any vendor that isn’t them…regardless of the dealer’s wishes.
You see, since UCS bought Reynolds a few years back, their business model was to see how much they could make from a smaller market share of compliant dealers who wouldn’t fuss about who is in charge of the dealer’s data. Sure, they lost 14% of their market share, but they were planning to make 40% or 50% more on each client they retained by holding the data hostage. One way is to credential vendors, at a huge cost by the way, with RCI (Reynolds Certified Integration). This scenario is basically: Dealer pays me (R&R) to have a collection mechanism in place to collect their data. Reynolds then sets up a system where they make a ton of money dishing it out to vendors of whom they approve, not necessarily who the dealer approves. In other words; you pay us to collect your data and then we sell it for big bucks to the people who we can get the most money out of. Reynolds has hit the jackpot, while telling their compliant dealers that they are simply protecting their data. This kind of protection racket is very similar to those guys who take money from merchants to make sure that the racketeers don’t break the merchant’s legs. That kind of protection.
I guess if there were truth in advertising, Reynolds and Reynolds would have to describe themselves as a data collection and hostage company.
Oh sure, R&R will say that they can perform many of the services that those pesky vendors can perform. That’s like saying a tricycle or a wheelchair can perform the same functions as an SUV; you’re riding on wheels, what are you complaining about?