Occasional Contributor

USAA and TrueCar are a match made in disasterland. 0 for 2 with me. This is the second time in one year that the service has completely failed to do what it claims to do. Made by car salesmen, for car salesmen - and the consumer is once again screwed.


If you remember by post back in April, you'll recall that I was provided a "Guaranteed Savings Certificate" for a 2013 Yukon XL. When I took the certificate to the dealership, they refused to honor the certificate and tried to sell me the vehicle for $5,000 more. TrueCar took the blame for the "mistake" but weren't willing to do anything about it. USAA wouldn't lift a finger either. "Guaranteed Nothing Certificate."


Fast-forward to this week. Shame on me, but I was willing to try again. I (once again) printed my "Guaranteed Savings Certificate" and called the dealership (I wasn't willing to spend another 4 hours sitting there only to be disappointed again). They explained that they did not actually have the vehicle, but would be more then happy to order it for me. And if you read the fine print on the "Guaranteed Savings Certificate," you'll find that the whole deal is "subject to availiability" and looks like this:


"The TrueCar Estimate for your Configured Vehicle is based on available data relevant to your Configured Vehicle and is provided for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or advertisement of any price from any dealer. Dealer fees and commonly installed accessories are not included in the TrueCar Estimate. A vehicle configured on the TrueCar website may not exist at a (TrueCar) USAA Certified Dealer. You must register for the communications platform in order to engage in a one-on-one dialogue with USAA Certified Dealers regarding vehicle pricing and availability. Only a USAA Certified Dealer can provide you with an actual price for a specific vehicle. Each USAA Certified Dealer sets and controls its own pricing, and will confirm actual availability from in-stock inventory, including options and colors choices." So much for the price guarantee.


To make matters worse, the USAA interest rate discount is tied to the TrueCar Car Buying Service. So when I found the exact vehicle I wanted at a non-USAA/TrueCar dealership across town, I bought it and lost out on the .5% interest discount. After calling USAA, I got the same story - no love.


Buyer beware - buying a car is the same ole racket, no matter how you do it. USAA/TrueCar is NO exception.



Dear BrendanAdams,

I am sorry that this service has failed you again. We would like to collect additional details and reach out to you so that we can make sure something like this does not happen again. (I have also reread the post you are referring to written last year). Please send us a message here including the details above and the best way to contact you. Thank you.

The USAA car buying service is NOT a car buying service, it's a fraud, it's run by TrueCar to feed customers from USAA to dealers, and serves NO purpose for USAA members.


The dealers I spoke with said any deal you get through TrueCar costs the dealers money (they pay TrueCar for the access to the customer)  so they can actually give you a better deal if you don't use the service since they save by not paying TrueCar.

Who on earth thinks this is a good idea? 

I will not respond further as others have noted it will do no good other than to try and alter people to the issue and no "amount of reaching out" will fix this issue.

Good luck to car shoppers.


BPH62, thank you for your feedback. I regret any frustration this situation caused and assure you that excellent member service is a top priority for USAA.  I'll engage one of our business partners to further review your account and will follow up with you directly to further discuss.  I appreciate you allowing us the opportunity to address your concerns. ~ Stacy


I have been a member of USAA for over 30 years. I agree with all the negative responses regarding this car buying service with Truecar as it is a joke. In December, I went in to the only participating dealer with my price quote and he essentially blew me off and gave me a price of $1000 over my "guaranteed" price. All four of the cars quoted on my certificate were on the lot. I have called Truecar 3 times to no satisfaction to date.


I called USAA today to complain as this forum shows responses from purported USAA reps who "will look into the situation".

I was told that there is no such team so who are these people saying they will look into it. Months go by on this forum and Truecar is still affiliated with USAA? Who is Stacy in the October post who insures that excellent member service is a priority? The person I spoke to knew nothing about these people responding to our concerns. USAA has gone way down hill starting about 10 years ago. So now I am waiting for "a USAA management member" to call me. Still waiting. With this stream of negative input why is USAA still using them. This is a show of disrespect to all military and Federal Law Enforcement members.

Hello, I would be happy to look into your situation. I first want to apologize about your experience on the phones. We do exist and have a process in place to address your concerns. Your feedback is very important in regards to this service. If you would be so kind and provide your full name and the information about the dealership you went to in a private message, I can get this situation addressed. Thank you, ~SB

First of all, how do I send you a private message? What is your direct phone number? USAA rep told me today she knew of no process and would have a manager contact me. So who are you with a "process in place" they could not tell me about? Your mysterious and vague response is no different than the rest I referred to on these posts. You say you "exist", then identify yourself and provide contact info instead of signing your message with initials. Are you with USAA or just a monitoring service? This is exactly why USAA quality has gone down over the years.

I am sorry I caused you any confusion. My name is Suzy and I am a USAA representative. To send a private message on the top right corner there is a drop down menu if you select the envelope icon, it will take you to the next page where you would click on "Send Ne Message "  If you have never done that you may have to enable private messages first. there is a box to check in that same drop down menu.  I can explain more about the " process " I was referring to once I can locate your profile. There is no direct phone number to assist you with your situation however there is a process to get your concerns addressed. Thank you , ~Suzy B

I can confirm this service is not honored by dealers as guaranteed by USAA's program.  Had Honda Cars of Aiken bait and switch me back in 2010...on the phone they said they could take care of me and the USAA price.  When I got there the salesman and manager acted shocked when they saw the price I was guaranteed and wouldn't honor it.  Never again have I attempted to use this service and I make it a point to discourage people from using it.

Hey SpartanUSAF, I do regret to hear of this experience that you have had. I was able to locate you information and will be sharing with a subject matter expert regarding this situation, thank you. -Emily