No doubt, this is the only dissenting post out of thousands of positive reviews about Crutchfield. My needs are for a head unit that does everything. Bluetooth, DVD, rear view camera, Navigation, 7" touchscreen and something that'll fit in my '05 Ram. Pioneer's AVH-P5200BT fits my bill but with all bells and whistles comes to over $1700 at crutchfield.ca.
In Canada we've always had to pay higher prices than our American cousins. Be it our lower dollar, duties shipping or what have you. Recently with our dollars reaching parity prices have approached one another. In fact recently I purchased AMP power steps and a price comparable to that of the States and with a free bumper step. At time of writing $1.00US = $1.01 CDN.
Then we get to Crutchfield. In their defense they counter with their contract with Pioneer. Crutchfield has two sites. Dot com for US customers and dot ca for Canadian customers. Canadian orders are shipped from a Canadian location (Mississauga) but they have no bricks and mortar store. The product I'm interested in is Pioneer's AVH-P5200BT (flip up screen) with navigation module, Pioneer AVIC-U220 (navigation is not built in). Here is an apples to apples comparison.
Grand total - $1249.98
- $524.99 (reg $699 - $175 "Special Savings")
- $299.99 (reg $399.99 - $100 "Sale"")
Grand total - $824.98 ($1099.98 before sale).
Inexplicably Crutchfield.com does offer it as a package for $5 more
than the seperate items!
That is a difference of $425 after sale ($150 difference before this sale). Keep in mind that our currency has been close to or at par for quite some time. Also bear in mind that these units are manufactured in Asia and shipped here to North America.
In emails between myself and Crutchfield they've stated that they had to set up two separate companies under the Crutchfield umbrella and as such have two separate contracts with Pioneer. In short I, as a Canadian customer cannot order from the American website, saving $425 (additional savings would be made with the peripheral accessories) and have it shipped to my home. They did offer that it could be shipped to an American address and I'd have to make arrangements to then have it shipped to my own Canadian address. Problem solved? Not really because not only would I have to pay sales tax in the US then I'd also be dinged for customs duty, shipping and brokerage fees (if shipped USP or Fed-Ex). That and the principle of the whole idea.
Needless to say I'm not impressed with Crutchfield even though I was looking forward to their, otherwise, renowned customer service. I have found on EBay a company that offers these items at an even lower price than Crutchfield they also ship to Canada. They don't however offer the free installation kit or Crutchfields expert installation advise. if, however Crutchfields explanation is correct then I am downright offended at Pioneer Electronics for trying to rip me off.