I Pit Consumer Reports [edited title]

I’m a subscriber, and they pitched this service to me. As a test I put in the specs for the new car I bought 3 months ago. They came up with a “guaranteed” price that was $1400 more than I actually paid for it, from a dealer 70 miles away. The dealer I bought my car from is 4 miles from my door.

That is all.

I used the car buying service from my credit union. Not really sure it saved me any money, I negotiated a pretty good deal on my own, but I found the car I ultimately bought through them, so that’s something I guess.

Ok, now I’m REALLY pissed at CR. During the process they confirm my email address and my phone number (which they already have.) But they also promise not to give out this information to the dealers until and unless I agreed to it.

The first email I got was from CR, as I expected, and specified 2 dealers and the prices they offered. Then came the next emails, and then the phone calls – directly from the dealers. :mad:

Well, you did buy the car three months ago. It’s possible that today, the market is tighter and the price is higher. Can’t justify them giving out your phone number, though.

Moving to the Pit and changing the title, as you wanted.

Thank you, Idle Thoughts. I have already contacted CS and given them some choice words about violating my privacy despite their explicit promise not to do what they did.

It might not have been CR that shared your phone number. I have been told that dealers will sometimes share their phone lists with other dealers. Weird, but seems to be true.

No, I had two pick those two dealers, the two closest ones to me that are part of the CR dealers, and both contacted me within a couple of hours of me selecting them. There’s no way it didn’t come from CR, unless they subcontract out the whole business to a third party.

I don’t think the car buying services are there to guarantee you get the lowest price. Their purpose is to get you an OK deal without having to bargain, because a lot of people hate the whole process of buying a new car. If the CR price is lower than MSRP and reflects at least whatever incentives are currently available for that model (which might have changed since you bought yours) then they did their job and good on you for being able to bargain a lower price.

But yeah, screw them for giving your number out. I’d be pissed about that, too.

Let us know what if anything they say in response or defense. Consumer Reports is one of the places I’d normally go to complain about shady practices like this. So it sucks when they’re the one doing the shady thing.

I stopped subscribing the CR because they constantly underrate the iPhone and very few of their “Best Buys” have features I would use.

Here it is Monday and no response whatsoever from CS yet.

Gee, wonder if the fact we just had a holiday weekend - one that many people start on Friday, the day after you complained to them - might have anything to do with that?

Fuck em’. They’ve had 2 business days to make at least a cursory reply and acknowledge receiving the communication, and haven’t done so. And fuck Easter too.

Are you sure that you didn’t click on the button that authorizes them to share your information?

I just went through the CR car buying service. I plugged in the car i wanted, gave them my info, and they then took me to the next screen, where they showed me an estimated price.

Here’s a screenshot

As far as i can tell, though, if you want a guaranteed price, you have to click on the “OK, Let’s Go” button, and this authorizes CR to send your contact details to the dealers. You said in the OP that you got a “guaranteed” price, which suggests that you clicked the button. And under the button, it makes clear that clicking will send your info to the dealers.

I did NOT click the button. I will report back if i get contacted by any dealers.

As for your initial complaint, about the price itself being higher than what you paid for your own car, big fucking deal. Consumer Reports never guarantees to get you the lowest price possible. They partner with some dealers, presumably for money, with the understanding that the dealers will offer some sort of discount, and will guarantee that discount to CR customers.

As others have noted, the main benefit of this process is that it removes the stress of bargaining, which some people hate. If you’re happy doing the deal yourself, i’m not at all surprised that you can get it for less than the CR price. The dealers would actually be shooting themselves in the foot if they gave out their lowest possible price on the CR site.

My first post wasn’t in the Pit. I only expressed dissatisfaction that the service wasn’t very good. It wasn’t until after they handed out my personal information to dealers that I asked the mods to move it to the pit.

The complaint was made Thursday. Let’s be gracious and assume it was early on Thursday. That’s one business day.

Good Friday is not a business day
Saturday is not a business day
No Sunday is a business day, much less Easter

Then it’s 9 am on Monday and someone is complaining about a lack of a response. No, that’s NOT “two business days”, that’s maybe one.

Impatient, much?

It’s now Wednesday. Still no reply from CR. Fuck 'em double.

It’s now Wednesday, and i still haven’t been bugged by any car dealerships in the wake of my experiment.

My bet is that you actually clicked on the button that authorized sending your information to the dealers.

Yes, that does look to me like clicking on “get a guaranteed price” includes a warning that now they’ll share your information.

It’s not like the “small print” was hidden, it’s right under the button.