We've been happy USAA members for a long time. And on the whole we like everything they have to offer. EXCEPT! the car buying service. You may be tempted, thinking that USAA has your back and will help you get a good deal. Nope. This is no different than any other online service. IT's basically TrueCar rebranded, which means:
1) You will get harassed for days, weeks and months by up to three dealers. And they won't stop calling.
2) They don't care that you went through USAA. In fact, it annoys them because chances are you already have a loan...
3) The wait at the dealer is still as long as it always is. In fact, I'm convinced it was longer this last time becasue they spent so much time try to figure out how to convince USAA/Truecar was wrong.
Seriously, USAA, you've been getting complaints about this for a long time from your members. Time to make a change. The rule should be: If it isn't good for your members, you shouldn't offer it.
I've had similiar experience in the past with this service to the point I won't use it going forward. Once you put you infor into the system, you will get repeated, unwanted solicitations from dealers trying to get your business. I'd rather USAA had a service where you could interact directly with a USAA Auto Broker who could get you pricing for sales or leasing of any brand you wanted. The current format is really just a MLM setup where USAA just gives out your lead information and then walks away, only for the Member to get harassesed by sales calls.
I have 330 e-mails, mostly from dealers, in my mail trash folder that have accumlated since USAA True Car blast to dealers about a month. Ooma home phone has dozens of unanswered calls, most from dealers. In a few months, snail mail will be inbound to clutter your mailbox and trash can. I think you have it right about USAA being good, with a few areas that need improvement. If they hadn't been so good in some areas, I'd would have been gone already. In the future, I'll go with with my old tried and true way when it comes to car buying --- Demand the invoice from the dealer and negoiate $500 max over invoice. Most dealers don't like that, but if they are a reputable volume dealer, they will do that. It's been a while since I left Virginia. Twenty-five years ago the state had a law on the books that a dealer has to show you the invoice --- BUT only if you ask for it. I had a few dealers balk when asked to see the invoice, but if they didn't want to show it, I moved on to another dealer. I averaged getting between $2-4K under the window sticker quote. Another problem in dealing with USAA and True Car is that most every dealer I've dealt with is far from being computer saavy. So you do your best with USAA/True Car and then you get to the dealer and the majority of sales personnel are dumb as a box rocks when it comes to pulling off electronic deals.