Toyota Battery Ripoff Special – The Small Print Contradiction

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Yesterday as I was about to head out for work my car died on me. I was pretty quickly able to deduce it was due to a flat battery. Fortunately I was able to jump start the car but I needed a new battery ASAP. So after searching online for awhile I found the ad shown below on the Toyota (service) website. Seemed like a pretty reasonable deal based on comparisons from other car battery merchants.

How would you interpret the Toyota battery ad shown below? Most would say it is a pretty straightforward ad where for $94.95 one can get a Toyota branded true start battery. The service says they will install the battery, which I took to mean that when I go to the service center the $94.95 includes the battery and its installation (plus taxes). I was wrong.
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Because when I went to the dealership they said the battery special didn’t include installation despite the ad clearly seeming to indicate that it did. I was referred to the small print, which says “installation not included“. So I asked what the install statement in the main body of the ad meant? And wasn’t the installation not included referring to hybrid vehicles? The service representative was very firm that installation was not included because they would lose money on this deal and that I could just take the battery and do the install myself if I wanted the 94.95 price. Wow, really helpful and great customer service. His manager said the same thing and muttered that service is not responsible for marketing. What a great company operating model Toyota!

I ended up paying the $25 extra for the installation since I really had no choice. But I was not a happy customer and next time will not be going back to a Toyota service center. And I guess I should read the small print more carefully because it clearly supersedes what they main ad is trying to actually say! Have you had a similar experience? Share your story in the comments below and vent away.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Ivan November 30, 2013 at 8:27 pm

Autozones installs batteries for free for the ones you can pickup off the shelf. Good thing to know.

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gail November 27, 2013 at 6:22 pm

Why didn’t you call beforehand and check? I would have stormed out if they had done this and made a major scene. The principle is more important than the cost

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