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Costco - Wharton, NJ / avoid this costco tire department!

United States Review updated:
81% 26
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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A  13th of Feb, 2008 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
This same Costco Wharton Tire Department insists on a store manager (many times female) tightening all tire lug nuts with a torque wrench (with which I agree in principle), BUT DOESN'T TEACH THE STORE MANAGER HOW TO USE A TORQUE WRENCH!!! They always pass the click stop on the large torque wrench used, sometimes by as much as a quarter turn. Don't ask them to lubricate the tire lugs, they get downright nasty!!
D  1st of Feb, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree -1 Votes
so why is it Costco's fault that you are on a tight schedule? Costco business varies day by day, sometimes very busy and you have to wait for service. there are no appointments, so if the manager tried to accommodate you at six and you did not show, its your fault. I also am doubtful that your tire mysteriously had a blow out, you had to hit something. i find the costco tire center to be very professional and their staff extremely helpful.
N  16th of Dec, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree -1 Votes
you dont lubricate the lugs because you dont want something holding the tire on your car to be slippin off now do you??? it also prevents over torquing the lugs which can lead to failure
N  16th of Dec, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
also you guys have amazing eyesight to be able to scan the road at speed for objects
D  14th of Apr, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree -1 Votes
In all the years that I have dealt with the people in this tire center I found them to be utmost professional and handle customers with the most amount of courtesy. Perhaps you came in with an attitude that I also sense in your comments. That probably does not much to make an individual be helpful to you. At the same time you complain that the supervisor gives instructions to the staff with you standing there. That is something you may forget is their job and they have to do as efficiently with the amount of time they have to deal with you and the staff at the same time along with the other customers. I also do not really believe the line was out the door. Perhaps a couple of people stood there as a group and blocked your way in. No matter your wife showed up between 6-7PM as you stated yet they were going to help her at 9PM. That cannot be since the entire store closes at 8:30PM as does the tire center and they really do not like to take people after 7PM since most likely they have other customers to take care of ahead of your wife and her tight schedule, since those others also have probably tighter schedules then you or your wife. Perhaps next time you should take the car with the bad tire to the store yourself and let your wife go on with her tight schedule using your car. But no, that is something you did not think of and now blame Costco for your problems. Sorry but this does not sound fair on your part.
A  22nd of Dec, 2010 by 
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
I read this comment after getting re-re-routed by Costco's voice exchange.
When I finally got thru to the Tire Dept nobody picked up after several minutes of ringing.
So my first impression aligned with this comment.
I called Sears and got a better deal on Michelins than what I saw at Costco on-line.
And the service was outstanding.
Costco is great for returns.
Otherwise their C/S is the pits.
D  9th of Jul, 2011 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I have dealt with this Costco Tire Center on numerous occasions, the staff is very professional and very knowledgable. What other Tire Center sends their employees to training centers and events to further product knowledge and to gain experience with what they sell? As far as warranties, for a $14 installation package including- mounting, balancing, valve stems, Lifetime rotation, road hazard warranty, flat repair warranty, and most of the tires having a milage warranty... They stand behind their warranties 100%, To the comment above- I have NEVER seen Sears beating Costco's tire prices when comparing apples to apples. Sears ALSO charges on top of the tire price for valve stems, road hazard, rotations, balancing, fixing tires... If you think over the life of a 60, 000 mile tire, you should have the tires rotated about 8 times. The average rotation costs $20-$30 plus the additional cost of balancing each wheel every rotation. Maybe fixing one flat tire costing $25. Paying 10% of the tire price for road hazard. The cost of maintenance over the life of the tires plus road hazard would double the original cost if purchased elsewhere.
I have purchased 5 sets of tires from Costco Tire Center and would not purchase tires elsewhere anymore. The negative - They do not offer appointments, which can be helpful to people with time constraints. And sometimes it is a while until your helped at the counter or until your car is done, but that's with any business... I'd rather it take longer and done right the first time, rather then rush something that is of such importance... Your life and the person's life driving next to you is at risk if the tire comes flying off the vehicle due to a rushed job.
As for any grease/lubricant that is applied to any mounting hardware. The manufacture engineers the vehicle with a dry torque spec. By adding grease to a stud and lug, the stud is going to be over torqued and stretched, which can cause the stud to not return to normal operating ranges and sometimes pass the yield point and break. Lug-nuts that have been in service for 100, 000 miles and have went on and off numerous times need to be replaced due to the threads and hex edges being worn. For a bag of 20 lug-nuts that usually only costs $10 dollars, why would you risk it, a cross threaded lug or lug-nuts falling off could cost you hundreds down the road.
N  31st of May, 2017 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Near Death Experience because of this Costco Tire Department! Avoid at all costs! I purchased 4 new tires in Bridgewater Costco around Christmas time 2016 where the employees are wonderful, attentive and customer service oriented despite being very busy. I have the tires rotated and balanced regularly. On April 29th (roughly 30 days ago) I went to the Warton Costco to check the tires because they were slowly leaking air...All 4 tires needed slight re-filling every 2 weeks which is not normal. They took the tires off and remounted them and found the rims were possibly mounted in a way that it might be causing the tires to leak but assured me it was fixed. In the process they broke TWO of the tire sensors off the tires so I could no longer see the tire pressure on my screen in the car...so I now had no idea if they were low on air unless I stopped at a gas station and paid for air to check the current reading.

Last night while driving with my 13 year old twin boys, 11 year old daughter and 8 year old son on busy Interstate I-80, the car began to have a severe vibration. My car- enthusiast son looked out the window on the passenger side and said the back tire was moving like it might fall off. I immediately pulled over. I popped the hubcap off the tire and you can see from the photo attached...5 of the 6 lug nuts were OFF...just sitting in the wheel well with shreds of metal that had sheeted off with the lug nuts . A few more minutes and that last lug nut could have given way and the wheel would have separated from the car with my 4 kids in the car on the interstate in the rain! We could have been killed. When roadside assistance arrived and saw what happened. He said this was clear negligence...an employee that did not tighten the lug nuts! He said that he had never seen anything like it and that this doesn't just happen! I am beyond rattled and I think every employee in this department needs re-training. This should not have occurred!

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