Over the past two weeks, we’ve carefully reviewed the above incident and conducted a thorough review of Marketplace practices and standards.
The incident revealed to us that our original model of community monitoring and open discourse alone was not enough to uphold Marketplace standards. The community has called for stronger action to maintain the trust that was collectively built over time. To that end, we will be taking a more active role in deciding who can register as a business on the Marketplace moving forward, while staying mindful that our actions can have real impact on some participants’ livelihood. Here are some steps we will taking:
More qualitative admission to the business community: New interested brokers will have to be approved before joining the community. We will be evaluating businesses qualitatively, including their commitment to serve the community, their ability to deliver, and legitimacy. While this does not replace the need for shoppers to conduct due diligence, we believe it would deter any dubious businesses from joining before they are ready.
Common Standards: In order to stay on, brokers must meet common standards expected by the community. This includes being responsive to customer complaints, clear and upfront with fees and refund policies, and promptly making appropriate rearrangement with the customer if services cannot be delivered as expected.
Moving forward, we reserve the right to revoke a participant’s right to advertise here should we and the community deem the business as failing to meet our common standards. The Marketplace Guidelines have been updated accordingly with a revocation clause and existing businesses will be made aware of this. We believe this change will provide a strong incentive for businesses to continue acting in the interest of the community.
Consumer Education: We will work on increasing consumers’ awareness of what broker services entail in a community-monitored Marketplace like ours and provide guidance on how to conduct their own due diligence.
On that note, we will be suspending all commercial activities of DMVLease and its affiliates on the forum for one year, with its re-admission subject to our evaluation.
With our community ever-evolving, we are constantly learning and adapting to new situations without losing sight of our founding spirit – providing an open, inclusive, trustworthy platform for everyone to learn, share, and shop for a car. We thank you all for helping us to build such a place and are grateful to have you along in shaping its future.