Costco Auto Program - Dealerships not following Costco Auto Buying rules
December 3, 2015.I had two awful experiences at car dealerships that were Costco Authorized.
Earnhardt Toyota in Avondale Az and Arrowhead Toyota in Peoria AZ. Let me just start off by saying I wasn't expecting the greatest price ever, but I was expecting the types of savings I have come to expect when I shop at Costco. I went on the Costco Auto website and put in my info and was given the name of a local Honda dealership. I called the Costco auto buying dept up and asked if their was another Honda dealership closer to my work and they resent my information to another dealership.
My evening started off with deception and high pressure sales tactics and ended up the same way. The sales/pricing managers at both places forged (i.e. created from scratch and put them on a piece of paper that they titled Costco Pricing" their prices and provided me estimates that were just a few hundred dollars off of MSRP (not Factory Invoice) on 2016 Honda Civic LX models with the additional Honda Sensing upgrade. I took pictures of the printouts from both of these dealerships when these people left the room.
Online prices for the exact same cars just down the road at another Honda dealership (non Costco) were starting at around 2-2.5K below MSRP or within $100 above or below of Factor Invoice pricing for the new 2016 Civics. I contacted the COSTCO auto buying team about both incidents and then emailed them the pictures I took and screen shots of the local prices I found online from those other Honda dealers. Haven't heard back from the Costco autobuying team yet. Something else of note was that when I was in the car with the first sales person (who wasn't directly part of the Honda Costco program) he even said the price was going to be just under factory invoice and looked shocked when his sales manager brought out my "special Costco Pricing" which was quite possibly the highest price anyone had ever been quoted who wasn't on a waiting list for a brand new model.
I drove down to the 2nd dealership, which was the original Honda dealership Costco had sent my information to, the same night because I was so upset about my first Costco buying experience to see what their price was. I chose not to inform the people at Earnhardt Honda that I had just came from the Arrowhead Honda or what the price I had been given. I was still trying to give the entire Costco Auto Buying experience the benefit of the doubt. I love, love, love Costco 99.99% of the time....
until now. The whole point of the Costco buying experience, according to Costco's auto buying website is that it is a "PREARRANGED PRICING AND AN EXCEPTIONAL AUTO BUYING EXPERIENCE." By the way, the 2nd Honda dealership Earnhardt quoted me an extra $600 below what the Arrowhead Honda had, but informed me that this special pricing was part of a package deal and I would need to buy around $2300 worth of dealer added items to my car (e.g., tinting, something called auto caddy, nitrogen in my tires, clear plastic door guards, dealer installed alarm, etc). I don't want to sound like i'm advertising for the other Honda dealership, but do yourself a favor and pull up all the local online Honda websites until you find one that has actually discounted prices for all their models displayed or try using Autotrader or Carguru online. I've decided that anytime the dealer website says I have to call or come in for special pricing it's a bad deal unless I was planning on pitting dealer against dealer and haggling all day anyways.
I don't blame the actual salesmen who showed me the cars.
In both places they were actually very helpful and knowledgeable.Although I have most been meeting the awful type when I have gone to different dealerships just to look at new competing cars from other Manufacturers in the price range I am in.
Reason of review: Pricing issue.