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Our purchase experience (good & bad) at Heuberger Subaru, Colorado Springs, CO


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#1 HPNG

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Posted 03 June 2004 - 09:48 AM

Date: Thursday, June 03, 2004

Re: Our purchase experience (good & bad) at Heuberger Subaru, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Hello Subaru Owners and Fans:

By the way, why is there no listing of recalls on www.ultimatesubaru.org?

There is a government recall on head gasket problems with Subaru.

There is also a recall problem with rusting of something related to the transmission or brakes.

We purchased a 2004 2.5-liter Subaru Outback at Heuberger Subaru, Colorado Springs; Colorado on May 31-st, 2004, and completed the purchase on Wednesday, June 02, 2004.

I have the following experiences (in descending order) at the above dealer:

1) We tested the Outback on gravel road. We like the Outback’s handling. Unfortunately, we did not find out about www.ultimatesubaru.org until later…. : ( The salesman (Captain Ed Myers, a former tugboat captain) was good at his sales job. We showed him the invoice price from www.ConsumerGuide.com, and he also showed us the dealer’s invoice price.

Of course he said he does not make money selling at invoice price, which I then laughingly told him that it is a big balooooooney…. : ).

We enjoyed working (and haggling… up to a point ) with him to get the car.

In the end, we got to purchase it at invoice price with a $1,500 rebate. Of course, he led us to think that we got a really good deal……smiles….

If you are in Colorado Springs, and you like Subaru, look up Ed Myers at Heuberger Motors.

2) Here is our next experience at the financing department.

When I went to see K.C. (financing manager) at Heuberger Subaru on Wednesday, June 02, 2004, to complete the purchase transaction, he offered me “Added Service” extended warranty (only warranty one backed by Subaru). Here are the warranty prices he offered:

Heuberger’s “Added Security” warranty price offered by KC

Warranty coverage Year/Mileage Price
6 / 60K $1,425.0
5 /100K $2,295.00
6 / 80K $2,495.00
6 / 100K $2,750.00
7 / 100K $2,995.00
Add $250 for ZERO deductible option. (I was not told about the deductibles until I ask about it)

I like members to give me feedback about Subaru’s “Added Security” extended warranty pricing

that was offered to them. We need a listing of such extended warranty pricing on www.ultimatesubaru.org from various parts of the country.

I declined his warranty offer, but KC immediately offered to discount $1,000 (one thousand dollars) for the 7 yr/100K extended warranty under the following conditions, as I understand it:

-The warranty and discount will not be offered again
-The warranty purchase will have to be done today (i.e. Wednesday, June 02, 2004)
I told him that I couldn’t make the decision until I spend some time thinking and researching about it and that I have to talk with my significant other also.

I later talked with a friend who also bought a new Subaru from them not long ago. He said the warranty prices they offered him are not as high as what they offered me. He did not purchase any of their warranty plans either.

I also later found out about www.ultimatesubaru.org via www.cartalk.com. I learned that one of the members, Shrano, was offered $849 for 6yeras/60K miles warranty with a money back guarantee if he never uses the extended only in April 2004.

Shrano also posted this:

i think for $850 it's a pretty good deal. it is not a dealer thing - it is a SOA warranty, so I can do to any dealer which is good.

In addition, Steve, in response to Shrano wrote this:

We got my wife's '03 TS extended for that same time frame, 6/60, for around $800, with $0 deductible.

I also went to Subaru.com to check out the warranty information.

Here is what Subaru.com said about its “Added Security” extended warranty:

(see http://www.subaru.co...le.jsp?pageID=1 )

“Why is a Subaru-backed extended service contract the best choice?

Subaru views a service contract as an investment in customer satisfaction, rather than as a profit maker. We know that a satisfied customer will likely be a repeat car buyer. Independent providers/insurance companies have no investment in your next car purchase. This philosophy really makes a difference in the quality of their service contract product, and even more importantly when it comes to honoring your claims.



When I showed KC the information that Shrano posted at www.ultimatesubaru.org, he then offered me the same deal (he did not mention about the money back guarantee if warranty was never used). I was flabbergasted. I then begin to get a feeling that I was almost taken for a ride from the get go since Subaru said the following IMPORTANT statement at their webpage:
http://www.subaru.co...le.jsp?pageID=1 :
“Subaru views a service contract as an investment in customer satisfaction, rather than as a profit maker.”

Obviously, this philosophy does not apply at Heuberger Motors. I also asked KC to have the title of the car mailed to my spouse’s work address since there have been some reports of stolen mail in our area, but he said he couldn’t do that at this time. I do not know why he cannot take down the address and do it later. It just does not make sense.

Here is what I did next after I paid for the car:

I requested to see Mr. Gunner Heuberger, the owner. I presented the problems of overpriced and ever changing warranty price with ultimatums to purchase at time of car purchase closing or the offer will not be available. He is a good listener.

He then brought his General Sales Manager, Mr. Robert Ieans, to hear what I experienced above.

Here is what Robert Ieans said:

1) We are one of the top dealers in the country, and we do not screw customer and still get to the top. (My comments: As I understand it, Subaru’s sells well in the Rockies (Colorado) as well as other cold climate and snowy regions such as Maine, Minnesota, Canada, and so on.)

2) The financing department works hard to get sales commission for extended warranty sales. We do not sell at the same price to each customer.

(My comments: When I heard this statement, it sends chills down my spine. So, if two customers have just purchase the a new Subaru each, they will get two prices for the same “Added Service” warranty, in the name of profit making. Since I did not use their financing sources to pay for the car, I assume that the sales commission from the auto loan is ZERO, which may cause KC to be more aggressive in pushing the high priced extended warranty sale. I am wondering if this business model is appropriate or compatible with Subaru’s Extended Warranty philosophy.)

3) This is the end of the month and sales department like to get as many sales closings as possible.

(My comment: Robert and I were talking on Wednesday, June 02, 2004, at time of closing)

4) When Gunner offered to find out more about the price of the warranties, Robert told Gunner that Shrano’s extended warranty is not from SOA (Subaru of America) since the cheapest “Added Security” Subaru warranty is $200 above Shrano’s stated price.

(My comment: Do a search for "Shrano", and see what type of warranty Shrano got. Answer: Extended Warranty is from Subaru).

5) We like to sell the extended warranty (during closing) because we do not have to inspect the car again when you decide to buy your extended warranty later.

(My comment: Whether anyone agrees with his statement, does this justify giving their customers an ultimatum that such (an overpriced) warranty offer will not be available again?

In short, Robert is defending the extended warranty sales tactics in the financing department, regardless of problems and conflicts with Subaru’s intentions of the purpose of the “Added Security” extended warranty.

I have more comments, but I will leave it for later.
I hope to hear from other Subaru owner’s experiences with respect to extended warranty purchase as well as what they paid for the “Added Security” Subaru warranties with or without deductibles ( e.g. 5yr/100K, 7yr/100K, 6yr/80K, etc.).
Again, we need to encourage creation of a listing of extended warranty prices at www.ultimatesubaru.org offered by dealers from various parts of the country.

After browsing the www.ultimatesubaru.org site and learning about the serious problems with Subaru cars, I now understand why Subaru badly NEEDS to sell their extended warranties with NO PROFIT MAKING INTENTIONS.

I also spoke with several people waiting for their Subaru in the service department at Heuberger Motors that day, and none of them said they purchase the extended warranty.

Till your comments and replies, thank you.

kindest regards,
HPNG
avtinc2000@yahoo.com

#2 gbhrps

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Posted 03 June 2004 - 08:45 PM

I may well get ganged up on for my views on this, but here goes. Why spend very good money, and from the numbers that were quoted here, very BIG money for an extended warranty that you may never use? I've owned a pile of vehicles , new and used, over 34 years and have never bought an extended warranty for any of them. In that same time period, I've never had a major repair, such as a motor or tranny replacement, on any of them either. Maybe I was just lucky, but then again I'm very fanatical about oil changes, tire pressures and routine maintenance being done on time, and never abusing my rides. Perhaps the largest expense in all of that time was the replacement of a torque converter in my wife's Toyota Cressida (229 000 km at the time) at somewhere around $600 Canadian in 1995 dollars. It seems a far better idea to me to check out what that extended warranty costs at purchase time, and bank the money in a separate bank account until its needed for major repairs. If you need it for major repairs outside of the regular warranty period, then use it. If you don't need it, so much the better. Use the money or save it for the next car purchase. Another point...what happens to your extended warranty money if some fool runs a red light 2 weeks after you purchase the car and they total it on you? No thanks! I'll take my chances without the extended warranty programs, particularly when you hear so many horror stories about car companies not honouring them using their own interpretation of the fault of the repair. If the extended warranty gives you peace of mind, go for it. I'll pass.

#3 99obw

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Posted 03 June 2004 - 09:55 PM

I agree with gbhrps.

Let's estimate that the dealer gets half of the warranty price, and the underwriter gets the other half. I don't know much about insurance, but even if their average claim was half of what they were paid for the policy (I think it's much less than that), that would only make the average claim 25% of what was paid by the car buyer. Not a good investment in my opinion. My numbers are just guesses, but I feel confident when I tell the salesman no. They don't like when you refuse the warranty.

Those warranty prices are insane. Most Subarus have much much less than $3k of repairs done in the first 100k miles. If I added up all repairs in the first 150k miles of our outback, and I had paid someone to perform the repairs instead of doing them myself, including head gaskets and excluding wear and maintanence items, I am certain it would be below $3000.

It always reminds me of my friend telling me his $795 extended warranty was a good idea because the alternator went and it was replaced. It's a $100 rebuilt alternator and it takes 15 minutes to install. I must have missed that math class.

I am truly sorry that you had this experience with a car dealer. Most car dealers spend 40 hours a week polishing their ability to separate people from their money. It's boards like the USMB that help us to fight the dealer's dishonesty.

#4 HPNG

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Posted 03 June 2004 - 10:54 PM

Hello Friends:

Thanks for the comments.
You folks make a good case for not buying warranties.

We plan to keep the car for 10 years like our last one.
That is why I got really upset when I heard about the head gasket and other chronic catastrophic problems of Subaru that never seems to go away.
I do not plan to buy any extended warranty for now, may be later on, and then may be not at all.

However, I spoke to a 60+ years old mechanic at Subaru, and he said he bought his mother a Subaru warranty for her subaru like an insurance plan since repairs are quite expensive, if the warranty expires.
He appears to be a very honest person.

I thought I put the following information here, should someone need it in the future. I did found this person offering a better deal Subaru BACKED extended warranty as shown from his 3 email correspondences below:
(You can also do a search for "extended warranty" or "mmccall" under "Subaru Marketplace" in the forum section for this person's (a subaru dealer) offering.)

To: avtinc2000@yahoo.com
Subject: Subaru Added Security
From: "mmccall @ Ultimate Subaru Message Board" <mmccall@ida.net> Add to Address Book
Date: Thu, 03 Jun 2004 13:03:48 -0400


I decided to email you and will post these as well.
the best deductable money wise is $50, the $0 is a lot more money and the $100 is not much less.

here goes:

coverage cost $50 deductable $0 deductable $100 deductable
5yr/60k $700 $750 $650
6yr/60k $760 $850 $725
6yr/80k $985 $1090 $900
5yr/100k $1175 $1295 $1050
6yr/100k $1250 $1385 $1150
7yr/100k $1375 $1530 $1275

there are shorter terms than these as well if you are interested.

All of these are the Gold Plus program, which is the better coverage, that lists only what is not covered. Also includes road side assistance for the full term. You also have the 10 payment option. By useing a credit card you can pay 10 payments with no interest, instead of one lump sum.

///////////////////////////////

To: avtinc2000@yahoo.com
Subject: Subaru Added Security
From: "mmccall @ Ultimate Subaru Message Board" <mmccall@ida.net> Add to Address Book
Date: Thu, 03 Jun 2004 13:09:10 -0400

Also, all you need to apply the coverage is call me at (800) 574-8673 ask for Monte. With your credit card I can get it all done for you in a minute or two and I'll over night the from to sign and send back.

/////////////////////////////////////

From: "Monte McCall" <mmccall@ida.net> Add to Address Book
To: avtinc2000@yahoo.com
Subject: RE: Subaru Added Security
Date: Thu, 3 Jun 2004 11:47:23 -0600

We mostly just use our Subaru website on the Subaru site.

http://www.idaho-fal...baru.com/en_US/

///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

kindest regards,
HPNg

#5 Martinjmpr

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Posted 04 June 2004 - 02:04 PM

Generally, extended warranties are not worth the price, unless you expect major trouble, and if you expect major trouble, why buy the car in the first place? I made the mistake of getting an extended warranty on my last new purchase, and never will again. At least some aftermarket EWs will rebate all or part of your purchase price if you never use it. Not only an incentive to buy the warranty, but an incentive to maintain your car very well, too!

One final point on extended warranties: Remember that Subaru has a 60k powertrain warranty, so if your head gasket blows before 60k, it's covered by the factory warranty - no need for an extended one.

Still, I wouldn't be offended or shocked at the "tricks" the salesman used. Of course the sales staff is going to try and make a buck where they can. I have had very genial experiences buying cars, but don't ever forget: It's war. You vs. the dealer. The dealer isn't going to look out for your best interest, and you are under no moral obligation to look out for his. If you do your homework and don't let yourself get pressured, you'll be fine. It sounds like that's what happened anyway: He tried to pressure you, you didn't give in, so it ends there.

BTW, I bought my '99 OBW at the Daniels Chevrolet in Colorado Springs (on top of the hill behind Heuberger), and for the first two months (when I was at Ft Carson), I took it to Heuberger for oil changes and service. I was very impressed with their service reps and their facilities. When I get back from overseas, I'll be in the Denver area, but I have yet to find a Subaru dealer I'm as comfortable with, so I'll probably drive down to Heuberger for oil changes and any other maintenance. Services are quick, inexpensive, and the staff is very professional and courteous.

One of the things that impressed me about Heuberger was that when I brought my used, 4-year old OBW in for service, they ran the VIN number and told me what warranty coverage still applied. I think this shows real concern for the customer.

Unless I have a particularly bad experience there when I get back, I imagine I'll be shopping for my next Subaru at Heuberger.

#6 NV Zeno

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Posted 04 June 2004 - 02:47 PM

Martin, while in Denver you might consider these guys:

http://www.s-wingsstuff.com/

Subaru Specialists:) .

#7 bratman2

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Posted 04 June 2004 - 10:38 PM

We bought our 2003 Legacy from Heuberger Subaru visiting our daughter in Colorado Springs last July. Our purchase was first started by email throught the Internet sales dept. We were only asked one time if we were interested in the extended warrenty and after saying no, no price was ever given. This had to be the one of the better experiences we have every had purchasing a new vehicle. Sorry to hear of your your aggravation HPNG, I second what the others have said about extended warrenties. My daughter is driving a 93 Legacy that wouldn't have used the lowest price quoted for extended warrenty on repairs yet with 167k on it.

#8 Sawiesue

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Posted 16 December 2004 - 08:43 AM

I agree with gbhrps.

Let's estimate that the dealer gets half of the warranty price, and the underwriter gets the other half. I don't know much about insurance, but even if their average claim was half of what they were paid for the policy (I think it's much less than that), that would only make the average claim 25% of what was paid by the car buyer. Not a good investment in my opinion. My numbers are just guesses, but I feel confident when I tell the salesman no. They don't like when you refuse the warranty.

Those warranty prices are insane. Most Subarus have much much less than $3k of repairs done in the first 100k miles. If I added up all repairs in the first 150k miles of our outback, and I had paid someone to perform the repairs instead of doing them myself, including head gaskets and excluding wear and maintanence items, I am certain it would be below $3000.

It always reminds me of my friend telling me his $795 extended warranty was a good idea because the alternator went and it was replaced. It's a $100 rebuilt alternator and it takes 15 minutes to install. I must have missed that math class.

I am truly sorry that you had this experience with a car dealer. Most car dealers spend 40 hours a week polishing their ability to separate people from their money. It's boards like the USMB that help us to fight the dealer's dishonesty.



I work in Subaru sales...the other side of the coin is this.....people don't realize (or care) that we sell for a LIVING, which means we need to make money to live....when we sell a car at invoice, we (as salespeople) make a $100 flat fee. We sell on average 10-11 cars per month. I do not spend 40 hours per week seeking ways to take people's money. Isn't a good deal a good price at a good dealer? I have had people come to see me with paperwork up the you know what saying they since they have done research on the internet, this website and that one says I can say this and do that and you WILL give me the car for X amount of dollars........I have tried to do things in a way that is beneficial to both of us.
As far as the extended warranty is concerned, It is an insurance policy, as far as I am concerned. If you can afford anything that happens to your vehicle, then it is a waste of money...even though Subaru's are very reliable, you never know. It all depends on what you are comfortable with. If you like the Subaru 3/36.warranty..it picks up after that one.. and it is backed by Subaru....you can go into any Subaru dealership around the country...it is not a "Dateline NBC" third party warranty..I do not mean any disrespect, but I love Subaru's and I am just trying to make a living....

#9 99obw

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Posted 16 December 2004 - 09:11 AM

I work in Subaru sales...the other side of the coin is this.....people don't realize (or care) that we sell for a LIVING, which means we need to make money to live....when we sell a car at invoice, we (as salespeople) make a $100 flat fee. We sell on average 10-11 cars per month. I do not spend 40 hours per week seeking ways to take people's money. Isn't a good deal a good price at a good dealer? I have had people come to see me with paperwork up the you know what saying they since they have done research on the internet, this website and that one says I can say this and do that and you WILL give me the car for X amount of dollars........I have tried to do things in a way that is beneficial to both of us.
As far as the extended warranty is concerned, It is an insurance policy, as far as I am concerned. If you can afford anything that happens to your vehicle, then it is a waste of money...even though Subaru's are very reliable, you never know. It all depends on what you are comfortable with. If you like the Subaru 3/36.warranty..it picks up after that one.. and it is backed by Subaru....you can go into any Subaru dealership around the country...it is not a "Dateline NBC" third party warranty..I do not mean any disrespect, but I love Subaru's and I am just trying to make a living....

Of course we all realize that the salesmen are trying to make a living, aren't we all? We as consumers need to make the most informed and prudent decision possible, regardless of the resulting commission for the salesman. The dealer makes a handsome profit even when a car is sold at invoice, it just happens that they aren't sharing much of it with the salesmen, which is not the consumers' problem.

Slightly OT: I called around looking for '01 Cherokees and found one I wanted to test drive. When I got to the dealer I found out that the guy I had talked to on the phone was actually someone I used to work with and he could be described as a distant friend. When push came to shove throughout the deal I didn't relent because of who he was, I stayed my course and got a decent deal and got all of the things I wanted fixed taken care of. Should I have lined his pockets with warranty money because of who he was? No! Does that make me an ahole? Maybe, but no more than it makes him one for trying to sell me the warranty in the first place.

#10 Sawiesue

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Posted 16 December 2004 - 10:03 AM

I just wanted to give you another side of it, while there are still pushy dealerships and sales people...I have gotten feedback from people who state that they have purchasedfrom me and referred people to me because I am not pushy....I just supply the info they request and let them make a decision.

#11 PAezb

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Posted 16 December 2004 - 11:06 AM

Just an FYI,

I'm sure most people here are aware of the other forums out there on the WEB (USMB is diffently the best though), but for anyone thinking about a new Subaru and/or extended warranty coverages, they should check out Edmunds Subaru forum thread on what people are paying, and the experiences with their dealership - as a comparison.

http://townhall-talk...eindex=.ef17adf

People are reporting paying hundreds less under invoice on various models of 05 Subies in the US, and much better numbers on extended warranties than I've seen posted here.

Thought this might be of help to someone in the market.

Paul

#12 subeman90

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Posted 16 December 2004 - 11:23 AM

hey sawiesue....what dealer do you work at? I will be looking into buying a car soon and would deal with someone who is a board member if at all possible.

Matt




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