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Occasional Contributor
Have to say I have had two diverse experiences w/ USAA / True Car Buying Service: 1) Bought a 2015 Honda Civic in March 2015. Literally signed up for the service, identified the vehicle I wanted; received my savings certificates in minutes, and received a call from closest dealer a few minutes after the certs arrived. Drove to the dealer the next day, test drove the auto, met w/ the finance guys to do the paperwork, then drove off the lot (90 mins after I arrived) a happy customer. 2) Trying to buy a 2016 Honda Pilot in Jul/Aug 2015. New vehicle and just coming onto the lots. Went through the service, got my certs, called the dealer (different dealer this time, and located 70 miles from home) . . . nothing in stock, but coming. Vehicle "matching my request" arrives, and now they want to add $2000 in security etching, propak (??) and an alarm system (on a vehicle that just came off a delivery truck from the factory??). All I want is the vehicle I designed via USAA / True Car (which was stock -- no additional add ons). Called USAA on 4 August to explain my case. Team stated the dealer was only required to offer what they had in stock, so if it was above and beyond what I requested, it was up to me to negotiate w/ dealer. Why would I want to negotiate w/ the dealer?? I don't -- that's why I came to USAA/True Car!! My conversation w/ the USAA ended w/ them offering to have True Car call me (nothing heard yet). What good is the car buying service if I define what I am looking for, and USAA directs me to a dealer that does not offer my request?? Lastly, my conversations w/ dealer reps took a perceptively different tone when I mentioned I was using USAA / True Car -- almost like the enthusiasm left their side of the conversation. Either the participating dealers are all in on this service or they should get out of the program. I am left to imagine if I waited another 6-9 mos, they'd be more willing to support (i.e., when the sales of 2016 models have lost their momentum). Thanks for the rant . . . RLSLAS

10 REPLIES

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Some dealers do all those additional options after delivery so they can make more money on the car. The car buying service works well when the car is on the lot. In your case the dealer shouldn't be adding options you didn't ask for, especially since the car was not on the lot with those options already. If I were you I would walk away from that dealer and work with the dealer you used before or keep checking the buying service for more desired inventory.
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Thanks, Y2. Good advice. That said, I was contacted by TrueCar this morning, and to their credit (and USAAs), they relayed the following: "I have been in touch with the dealership and they will be able sell you a vehicle at the USAA price that is incoming from the factory. If you would like to secure one of these vehicles, please let xxx know and she can make sure the shop is told to not install the accessories. Also, so you are aware, we have made sure that dealer has added the accessories to all certificates in order to avoid this type of confusion in the future." I was grateful for this support, and plan on calling the dealer to see what they have to say . . . RLSLAS
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RLSLAS,

 

Thank you for sharing your experience with us, and for the update. Best of luck to you in the purchase of your new vehicle! :-)

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Tardy in providing an update, but all's well that ends well . . . after TrueCar contacted the dealer and got them back on track, I had a positive experience: the dealer provided the vehicle that I had specified via the buying service, and they honored the USAA / TrueCar certificate. When I arrived at the dealership, the General Manager met me, and personally apologized for any confusion on their behalf. In sum, although it did not go as smoothly as I would have liked, my second of two USAA/TrueCar buying experiences ended well. Lastly, thanks to the USAA Team for checking-in with me while TrueCar was working to sort things out with the dealer . . . RL
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RLSLAS,

 

I do apologize for the time it has taken for us to update you, as well as check in. We have been experiencing some log in issues for the past few days that have prevented the Community Managers from corresponding. I do assure you we have been reading all comments and are working together to provide all outstanding comments the answers needed.

 

Thank you for keeping us updated in the community. I am glad that your issue was resolved. Thank you again, we truly do appreciate the patience.

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TrueCar and USAA are engaged in several sales "lies". From the USAA member perspective selling, do not be fooled that you can offer fair retail price.   The price is wholesale from dealers, this was not made clear up front.  User of the USAA system is forced to go to dealer price - wholesale. Horribel experience also wih True Car sales agent who called and implied the "auction price" dealer wholesale offer was set and I was obligated to take it.  Horribe and unethical!  Do not use as seller unless you want to have the dealer rip off price.

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I am about to call USAA to complain about this same issue. Page 3 of the certificate does say that if the vehicle is not on the lot the dealership can order it as you built it. I explained this to the dealership and all of the sudden I knew too much and should buy from the lot period. Also, the dealership low balled my trade in and was even told that I was getting market value on the trade in. Sales person even allured to the fact that theblow number had to do with the fact thatbI came in with a Truecar certificate. USAA needs to cut ties with Truecar, as this service no longer looks after the customer's interest but rather the dealership's.
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Dear Apollo,

Thank you for posting. I have sent your feedback up the chain for further review. We appreciate the time you took to share your experience.

See my post, Veterans are being taken advantage of. USAA and True Car must be getting a big referral on behalf of us the Veterans