Costco Wholesale Corporation — tire shop
Monday, 15 May 2017
We've been happy Costco members for many years and it really pains me to be writing this letter, but I'm pretty mad at my local store on Research Blvd in Austin TX.
My wife's car needed tires and even had a puncture in one. I wanted to replace them with Michelin Premier A/S. We arrived at the tire department to find several people queued up and nobody at the counter. After a time, a Tire Guy rushed up with a customer in tow and asked the now restless people if anyone was picking up a car. No, nobody was. After about 25 minutes we made it to the counter and were very unhappy to be told that only two Michelin tires were in stock. The Tire Guy told us there were two more in Cedar Park, and he could replace two and send us up there, but the gift card couldn't be issued t until we returned and showed proof of purchase for four tires. (why couldn't the Cedar Park Tire Guy have done this?) This was after flogging his computer for 20 minutes. I noticed that the crowd behind us had grown and they were getting restless despite the other Tire Guys running back and forth trying to deal with the crowd. This was not a happy place – it had a bad vibe. Our Tire Guy said that there was a Bridgestone tire that was wonderful and even cheaper and if we didn't like them they'd change them out within 30 days. We gave in. There was shopping to do and this store is a madhouse most of the time. We wanted to be done with what we expected to be a simple task.
We did our shopping and then waited another 20 minutes for the job to be completed. We expected this type of delay and fortunately didn't buy anything perishable.
But we were back a few days later when I noticed that one of the tires was on backwards! They're unidirectional, and clearly marked “THIS SIDE OUT” and the idiot who mounted it did it wrong! When we returned the Tire Guy was clearly exasperated and apologized.See Top 10 Worst Companies in Austin, TXThey fixed it as quickly as possible, but it was still 45 minutes sitting on your metal bench.
Free flat fix is a “seller” with Costco, so when I had a flat last week, I inflated the tire back to 30lbs and headed right over. I found a sullen gallery of about eight or so people queued up. This looked familiar. Nobody at the counter. A Tire Guy rushed in with a Customer in tow, and noticed the bad vibe right away. He apologetically announced that there was a minimum FOUR HOUR WAIT for anything! The crowd was speechless. I observed that I had a punctured tire on my car and was a returning Customer for the “free flat fix” service. Four hours to get a flat fixed? I politely asked about the appointments, considering I had a pump and could conceivably make it back tomorrow. “We're fully booked for the week” was the reply. “You can come in and wait.” I didn't give him the chance to tell me four hours, sitting on the Costco metal bench even if I arrived at opening. So I walked out.
I used my phone to locate a Lamb's Tire store within a mile. I inflated my tire again and headed over there. That Tire Guy apologized and said it would be 90 minutes. I accepted, and 45 minutes later he handed me my keys with a smile. When I handed him my credit card he said “no charge”, and noticing my surprise added, “it's always free at Lambs, we make Customers this way”. So somebody has a clue, don't they?
I will NEVER, EVER buy tires from you again! This is among the worst service experiences I've had in years. Additionally, my wife HATES these tires. We both had business trips and the car ran over the 30-days before we could get rid of these. Whoever is running the clown circus tire shop at the Research location needs to be doing something else, maybe collecting shopping carts.
I would have paid more money somewhere else, but I'd have gotten the Michelin Premier A/S I wanted, they would have been installed right, and my flat would have been fixed in a reasonable manner.
Get your act together!
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