(I have been a USAA member since 1979).
I tried using the USAA buying "service" in the Tampa Bay area in November 2019.
Initially, I just wanted to get basic pricing information. Within minutes, I was getting mass emails and phone calls...neither expected or wanted. Some refinement is needed in options.
I was looking at the KIA Telluride. Yes, a popular car.
Only one of the four dealerships that responded offered a USAA discount. The other three offered nothing. In other words, no USAA specific discount.
This seemed strange to me. So I called USAA to discuss it, but they referred me to TrueCar. TrueCar gave an ambiguous explanation. She said that dealerships usually give discounts specific to TrueCar USAA referrals. But that since the Telluride is popular, there were no discounts. Eventually, she said that TrueCar gives a different referral to dealerships if the customer is from USAA than if the referral is from a non-USAA customer. I'm not sure that I believe it, but I have no facts to prove it not true.
I suspect that outsourcing the USAA buying service to TrueCar was good for USAA bottom line, but bad for USAA customers. Given the negative posting on this site for the past year, it appears to be so. Up to now, USAA is ignoring the problem. They fail to address the complains. They only respond with "Your comments will be forwarded to the appropriate folks".
What has been your experience?
As a followup, I did receive a call from USAA that they are making improvements to the program. That is good news.
Below is an exclusive USAA special that I was offered today, November 22, 2019.
It is for $300 off of a $42,000 car. The USAA TrueCar advantage exclusive was $300 on a $42,000 car...
I guess that I should feel lucky to get that?
Dear STEVEN, Please find below our offer for this in-stock 2020 Kia Telluride. This offer is exclusive to you,
a USAA Member. I can be reached at email@example.com or at 407-881-7593.
I look forward to speaking with you soon. Best regards, Zack Elifaizi