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January 2, 2012

CarMD Pricing… Nurse!

Filed under: Autos,Internet,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 6:06 am

A friend recently called MrConsumer wanting him to look at an infomercial airing for a product called CarMD. Apparently this device claims to be a consumer version of the computer that dealers plug into your car in order to read the diagnostic repair codes. He said it costs about $120.

Checking their website, rather than calling the 800 number, seemed to reveal much lower prices online:

He was astonished to hear how much cheaper the device was on the Internet. But a closer look revealed the truth:


What? Multiply the price you see by three? Who has ever seen a price next to an “add to cart” button that was not the actual price you pay?

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  1. I guess two can play the same game! “All prices reflect a 3-payment plan”! The way I interpret the way they’ve written it, each savings is for each payment, so I guess if you multiply the $60 and $45 savings on the first two items by 3, you should be getting the first item free and the second item for only $29.70!

    Comment by Frankie — January 2, 2012 @ 11:02 am
  2. It seems like the company reads the website and fixed the pricing.

    Edgar replies: Richard, you are right. Wow. They did change it.

    Comment by Richard Ginn — January 2, 2012 @ 2:25 pm
  3. Any auto parts store will lend you a code reader for no charge.

    Comment by Brian — January 2, 2012 @ 11:24 pm
  4. Ads like this are SO unfair to foreigners & the illiterate! There must be SOME law to protect them.

    Comment by Eileen Spittler — January 2, 2012 @ 11:26 pm
  5. CarMD is a basic code reader and software that connects you to their website to look up what the code means.

    Any code reader and Google will do the same.

    Just type in the make and code into google. Ie; Chevy P0204 and you’ll find a 100 sites telling you what it means

    Depending on make – a basic code reader can do a lot to help diagnose problems, but some makes require a dealer specific computer to diagnose non-emission related problems, as those problems are the only ones that use the government specified OBDII Codes

    Comment by Michael — January 3, 2012 @ 8:25 am
  6. Even though they’ve fixed their product listing page, the cart still shows the single payment. It says you’ll billed for the 2nd and 3rd payments after 30 & 60 days respectively. There’s no option to change it to a single payment. I find it very odd that a company will only allow paying in installments. Most companies want their money as soon as they can get it. This makes me skeptical.

    Comment by Tundey — January 4, 2012 @ 8:36 am
  7. It’s odd to see an installment plan on a product like this. It strongly suggests the only reason was to triple charge unsuspecting customers. I think you have a minor typo: “Multiple the price” -> “Multiply the price”.

    Comment by Derlin — January 5, 2012 @ 1:58 pm
  8. Consumers,
    I have been in the automotive repair business my entire career (28 yrs) and have had to adjust through the technical changes. This is just another
    sell. A person can go to O’Reilly or Autozone and get the code pulled for free. In fact our shop will pull the code for free! That is not a diagnosis!!!!
    The code pulling thing is to try and sell parts, hence a parts store, not a professional repair facility. There are many times the code is what it is, a bad
    oxygen sensor, mass airflow sensor, catalytic converter, etc. But frequently it is something different and most importantly there is an underlying cause. Why did it
    fail to begin with? This is what we are trained for and why there is a fee attached. It sucks when it is what the code says it is, it sucks worse when you pay for a bunch of parts
    to fix the problem and it’s still not fixed. Automotive repair professionals will stand behind the diagnosis!
    Do you go to your medical doctor and tell them I have diabetes and ask them to treat you for it because you went to Web Md? We are no different in automotive repair, we
    need to diagnose what is happening to your vehicle so we can give you the best repair to resolve the problem you face. Technology has good and bad sides. Let the pros be the pros. I will not try to be
    a doctor, accountant, engineer, M.M.A fighter, etc. We all have our experience and expertise. Best wishes.
    Check the internet, Narpro or BBB for the best automotive repair shop in your area.

    Comment by blohman — February 4, 2012 @ 1:06 am
  9. Hey People,

    Unless you actually know how to use a code reader, you are simply wasting your money. The code reader retrieves the code from the vehicles on board computer, unless you know what the code means this device is useless to the average person. Furthermore, a check engine light can come on for many reasons and give a false code, you will have to know how to troubleshoot the problem. Is it a hard code? Some may ask, what does that even mean? As BL.Phoenix says you can go to Autozone and have them scan it for you for Free. After the scan, would you know where to begin or which component is at fault? Or is it a bad component or something else causing the check engine light to trigger.

    Comment by Best Deal on iPad — February 19, 2012 @ 12:13 am
  10. Pretty sure you can go down to autozone and they’ll read your codes for free.

    Comment by Adam @ Computer repair Las Vegas — March 30, 2012 @ 4:04 pm

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