Costco - Wharton, NJ / avoid this costco tire department!
Costco Tire Department, Wharton NJ 07866
My wife was going to work on the interstate last Thursday when a 1 month old Michelin tire blew out. She's a new manager on a tight schedule so, to keep her from having to wait for road service, I went myself to put on the spare for her.
I took the damaged tire - which had blown out through the sidewall without having hit anything - and brought it back to the Wharton NJ Costco tire department where it was purchased. The staff there was surly and distracted, as though a heated disagreement was in progress, and although this was a regular weekday morning, the line for service went all the way out the door. When my turn finally came up, I calmly explained to Kerrie, the supervisor on duty, what had happened. She turned without a word and went to look at the tire, which I'd left in the service area. She returned, again without saying a word to me, and barked to a subordinate, "Lock that back door - I don't want any more customers coming in that way!" Finally, I asked her if she was going to replace the tire, and she said yes. I asked her if she could have it put it on the wheel and balanced, and my wife would come that evening between 6 and 7 to have it mounted on the car; she said that was OK. Because the communication seemed so strained, I repeated again, "She'll be here between 6 and 7 to have it mounted on the car, are you sure that's OK?" - she answered "Yes" again, and I left.
When my wife arrived at 6:30 to have the tire mounted, she was told, "You missed your 6:00 appointment - you'll have to wait until we close at 9:00". My wife called me at around 6:40 to tell me what had happened, and I called the tire department back and explained to the counter person that there was a misunderstanding - the agreement was that the tire would be mounted when my wife arrived between 6 and 7, and that she had other appointments and couldn't wait until 9.
He replied that the note Kerrie left said that the appointment was at 6, she'd missed it, and there was nothing that could be done. My wife put the replacement tire in the trunk and drove the 20 minutes home. Meanwhile, I called the store again and this time spoke to Mike, the assistant store manager on duty, who told me to bring the car back, and offered, "We'll see if we can fit you in." I replied that a) we'd had an agreement, b) it would have taken only 5 minutes to mount the wheel at the agreed upon time, and c) after all the time we'd wasted, I'd only make the 40 minute r/t again if he assured me that the tire would be mounted promptly. But I got the same "We'll see if we can fit you in."
Frankly, buying tires at Costco isn't such a steal; most of the same tires are available at similar prices at many local dealers. My wife and I have tight schedules and little free time, and had hoped to at least get civilized, professional service at Costco. But I ended up jacking up the car and remounting the replacement tire myself, in the dark, in my driveway.
I don't know what kind of service can be expected at other Costco tire departments, but I would certainly advise Costco members to avoid the tire department at the Wharton NJ store.
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