Report: #322278

Complaint Review: Meritage Homes Of Arizona

  • Submitted: Sat, March 29, 2008
  • Updated: Fri, September 14, 2012
  • Reported By: mesa Arizona
  • Meritage Homes Of Arizona
    Scottsdale, Arizona

Meritage Homes Of Arizona Meritage homes used false advertising "bait and switch" to affect and influence our decision making process Scottsdale Arizona

*Consumer Comment: Meritage STILL shady (2012 consumer)

*Author of original report: My response 4 years later

*Consumer Comment: The Great Arizona Housing Rush

*Consumer Comment: Interesting

*Consumer Suggestion: How to get a response

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

False advertising and Bait and Switch. Meritage utilized a similiar technique to lure customers into the Mesa - Desert Valley sales office. This is what they did:
Meritage posted prices for the 'Heritage Series" models (the mid-range home in a 4 series 500 home subdivision. The Heritage series were the fastest selling and most profitable for them.

This was spring 2006 during the late peak of the AZ housing rush. Keep in mind that they (Meritage) had already increased prices tremendously to exploit the AZ housing shortage in re-sale homes. General price range was posted on large signs outside subdivision. Specific pricing was printed on plan/model/pricing sheets within office of Desert Valley Subdivision.

After we walked through the 'Heritage series" models we went into the sales office to inquire about pricing. We were interested in two models "Joshua Tree' and 'Palo Verde'. We spoke with sales rep: Darren. The specific price for the Joshua Tree was printed somewhere around $369,000 depending on elevation, lot and buyer upgrades or adds.

We were told though, even before discussing those options that we could not 'buy' this home or any for the advertised price. Darren informed us that he and Meritage had decided to insulate the subdivision by adding 'builder options' that would in effect "outfit all homes in the subdivision equally" therefore ensuring the value of the subdivison. These forced 'options' raised the price of each home 30k to 40k.

I inquired numerous times regarding this pricing structure and requested that I be able to purchase a house for the listed base price . I was scolded by Darren, he said; maybe Meritge is not for you. He must have meant to insinuate that if I questioned or was displeased by his pricing policies maybe I wasnt worthy to purchase or live in the subdivision.

I believe the sales tactic utilized by Meritage Desert corporation and its sales representatives was a form of fraud in which they lured in customers by advertising a specific product at a specific price, then they revealed to potential customers that the advertised good is not available at the advertised price, and in fact only an enhanced product is available at consideribaly higher price. We did in fact purchase a Palo Verde model home. I wonder if anyone else experienced this false pricing and purchased a home under the misleading practice. It meets FTCs qualifiers below.

Their practice:
1. Was misleading and decptive.
2. The representation and practice was directed at a specific group.
3. The practice was a material one and affected the consumers conduct and decisions with regard to the product. We might have chosen differently but for the deception.

mesa, Arizona
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/29/2008 09:05 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Comment

Meritage STILL shady (2012 consumer)


Meritage is still up to its false advertising and other dirty tricks. We just purchased a home and found several false promises.

First, the homes are advertised as 100% CFL lighting. Wrong. You get NO bulbs in the main fixtures, and only regular old bulbs in the fancy ones (ie chandelier type). The reason that we were given--"because people come around and steal the bulbs". So give them out on final walk-through...Duh! Obviously, that lame excuse didn't hold water for us. New house, no light bulbs.

Second, when you select your "Dunn Edwards color scheme" for the exterior, they are a heavy sell on the "Dunn Edwards" part. Guess what? They are Dunn Edwards "colors" all right, but they do NOT use Dunn Edwards paint! How completely fraudulent, to insinuate that you use DE paint by selling DE "color schemes" (color names/codes) but actually use a lesser brand of paint, having that company color match to the DE codes. Unbelievable.

Third, many of their subdivisions now offer Solar panels included in the price. They will also tell you that you can upgrade to "Net Zero" for additional $10k or so. Only after you select your home design do they tell you that YOUR home choice can not fit the upgrade. Worse yet, many of their homes will not even fit the standard array, so you will get LESS panels than other buyers, for the same inclusion price. This part they won't tell you at all, you only find out after your house is finished and you have FEWER standard panels than everyone else. The solar is a sales gimmick, nothing more. The actual amount of panels that they put on your house do NOT provide the energy savings they advertise, because they are basing their analysis on the panels fitting on the largest side of the house, but none of their lots face the right direction for this, so they just decrease your panels, or place them on a less efficient side (not south)!

The landscaper they use (exclusively, you have no option) will give you a beautiful architectural rendering of where all the various plants will go in your yard...yeah, right. Their crew just throws the plants in anywhere, regardless of what the schematic shows. It looks horrible.

Finally, you WILL need to hire an inspection service, because the builder defects are many and varied. If bad enough, you will need to contact the AZ ROC (Registrar of Contractors) and bring it to their attention.

We are recent buyers; knowing what we know now, we would have chosen a different builder.
FYI: you can have solar installed on any new construction house and have the cost worked into your loan, just like a swimming pool! We found this out after the fact :(  so don't let the solar suck you in to using this builder!
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#2 Author of original report

My response 4 years later

AUTHOR: Tomas - (U.S.A.)

Yes, I did buy the house anyway, my bad for sure.  But, when you have a family, you must provide housing no matter what the time or market.  Four kids and a wife are good reasons!   Funny thing was;  that salesman  "Darren" had also purchased a house in the neighborhood that we bought in.  Shortly after we moved in, he had his up for sale.  

Shortly after that, he abandoned the home and was the first foreclosure in the neighborhood. Thanks, Darren of Meritage Homes.  They say Meritage is a combination word that blends "heritage" and "merit" - neither of which you or Meritage demonstrated to customers.  I guess I am just a fool for being taken by a company like the one you work (or used to work for).  

by the way, the home we purchased for 418k in Spring 2006 is now (and still available) for 225K  summer 2012.  The bank is holding it, waiting for the market to recover some more.  

I learned a good lesson.  And I hope other AZ peeps realize that when investors buy in AZ they do not sell.  And when they sell, they don't necessarily "buy" so this creates shortages and excesses in inventory that wreak havoc with pricing for people buying to live in a home.  

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#3 Consumer Comment

The Great Arizona Housing Rush

AUTHOR: Lee Ving - (U.S.A.)

I too got in on the Arizona housing rush, and encountered similar slimy tactics. Fortunately, i bought a house at the beginning of the rush. The builder advertised a base price of 287K. However, there was a mandatory lot view premium. It was 15K to 100K depending on the lot. I got the 15K lot.

Then, they actually increased the base price by 2.5% and doubled the earnest from 8K to 16K if you didn't use their lender, which hit you with a zilion fees, then immediately sold the mortgage to Countrywide, which wouldn't have charged the ridiculous fees in the first place. I paid 345 when it was all said and done, and it rose to a value of close to 600. Suckers at the tail end in 2006 paid close to 600 for the same exact house in my neighborhood.

And now if could sell it, I might get 380. IF I could sell it.

So, unfortunately you just experienced the slimy tactics used during the Great Arizona Housing Rush where Californians from near and far drove AZ housing costs through the roof.
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#4 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: Cory - (U.S.A.)

You thought they were "ripping you off" and "bait and switching" you BEFORE you bought the house, YET you went ahead and bought the house, at an inflated price anyway. Here we are over two years later, the value of the house has crashed and now you're complaining. Read an artice about a high rise condo in FL that sold for $400,000 on Jan of 07. The same exact condo, in the same high rise was selling for $300,000 on Jan 08. What did you pay for the house, what is the builder selling it for now and what are they selling for now?
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

How to get a response

AUTHOR: Jason - (U.S.A.)


The only wasy I was able to get any response from Meritage was to park my vehicle in front of the sales office with signs all over it. They are still selling houses in my division so that got their attention. City code is the vehicle has to move once every 48 hours.
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