Sear Auto Center / Bad Service on brakes and tires
Have not heard from the Acting President/CEO
November 29, 2008
Mr. W. Bruce Reidy -- Interim President and CEO
Sears National Customer Relations
333 Beverly Road
Hoffman Estates, IL 60179
Dear Mr. Reidy,
I wanted to take the time out of my studies and share a terrible experience that I had this year at one of your Sears’ Automotive Center in Alexandria, VA (Landmark area). I hope that I’m not late to report this but since my car was recently consider as too dangerous to drive after having defect tires and bad brake job done this year at the center mentioned above, I thought that someone in Headquarters should know what happened.
On February 3rd, 2008, I went to this center in the Landmark area. I went to purchase a set of tires. First, I asked for a good set of tires and cost did not matter and I was given a set BF Goodrich tires as I was told that they were on sale as well. While I was there, I asked to have my rear brakes checked and changed and was I told that the back brakes needs changing and so I said “go ahead and do the brakes too!
So I was there from about 11:30pm until about 5:00pm and I’m watching the brake guy and noticed that he was struggling with the rear brakes (putting them on) but I said “maybe it takes this long” but is seem strange. Anyway, my car was done about 5:00pm and I paid for it, first I was quoted a price of $405.22, then $446.12 and the total cost that I finally paid was $516.11. They added on over $100.00 just that quick and when I asked about it, they said that I got a front-end alignment in which I did not agree to. Don’t worry I am attaching everything for you to see.
I also noticed that no one took the car for a test drive before I got in it but I got into my car and start driving. My brakes didn’t feel right so I am driving around the parking lot at the center and I am pushing and stomping hard to the floor to stop my car and I said that “I am not leaving this parking lot until the manager looks at my car”. So I looked for a manager (David McComb) and told him that my car with these new brakes are not right – something is just not right and he said let me take it for a ride and I said ok!
He takes my car for a ride and comes back and says “the feel right to me” and I said, “I know my car, and I don’t have to push the brake peddle all the way to the floor for it to stop – no way. This is normal he says. I say, “no way – with the old set, I did not had to do that. New ones, brakes should be tight.
Now I’m thinking that this manager thinks since I am a woman, that I don’t know what I am talking about. This is my car and I know how my brakes should feel when I intend to stop my car. I have had my car for 11 years and I am use to the ride and the feel of my wheels, tires, and brakes at the same time, I noticed that my ABS System light is on now – something is definitely wrong.
Sir, I said back to him, I know my car and I know about cars just like I notice that your brakeman was in the shop struggling with putting on the rear brakes on and you can’t tell me that it is normal to push that brake peddle all the way down to the floor to make a car come to a stop. I am not stupid. He insisted that it was normal. I told him, if I have an accident, I am going to hold Sears responsible and he refuse to look or examine the brakes again. So I left.
I took my car to another car place and had them check my brakes for me and they quoted ”who in the hell did this brake job” and I told them I just came from Sears Automotive Center in Landmark and they immediately told me to take this car back to them and tell them that this is not right. They quoted “I can’t do it” - they have to re-do this lousy and dangerous job but please be careful going back up there.
As I was told, I went back up there, the manager was gone and I could not get anyone to look at the brake job nor assist me. So I went home and call the next day and asked for a manager on duty and the one was on duty his name was “Robby” and I told him my bad experience yesterday and he asked me to come in tomorrow. Something told me to call first before I went all the way back up there and I did. Guess what, Robby did not come in that day like he said he was going to be there. So I called again the next day and the next day and unfortunately, up to this day I could not get another to help me.
So here is the kicker, on that same day, I brought four brand new BF Goodrich tires and was told that there were good tires and that they were on sale and I told them that I did not want cheap tires on my car but they turned out to be defected tires as I notices as the days went by that they went sucking in with indentation all around all four tires and I said what in the hell is wrong now and I made up my mind that I have had it and they are not going to sell me defect tires and bad brake services too. So I got right in my car and drove up there and push my way in to see the manager in which was the same manager that said that my brakes were normal. I asked him to come out and look at my tires and I dear you to tell me that these tires are in normal condition.
Anyone in their right mind can see that these four tires were defect and he stated that there were normal and I said “who do you think you are talking to, I am not stupid and you can not tell me that these tires are normal. I have own five cars and I know that these tires are not normal and you are not going to tell me that this rear brake job you gave me and these tires are normal”. Four customers came out to my car and said “no these are defect tires”. I called my brother and Dad in Boston and described the tire condition to them and they told me to tell that manager to go somewhere with those defect tires. I called the car dealer where I brought the car in Leesburg, VA and talked to the sale manager that sold me the car and I described the tires to him and he even said that they were defect tires and that he did not need to see the tires because what I described to him – he was convinced that they were. All four of the tires look like a whole pizza sliced up in five to seven slices or pieces (indentation) in the tires.
Now after everyone including the customers present that the tires were defect and then he finally agree that they were and I told him that I want my brakes re-done or re-checked as now my ABS systems is all out of whack, light been on since you did my brakes – like you disturb something because of the brakes was not done properly and disturbing the ABS system in the process. The ABS system light came on after testing driving the brakes around the center parking lot and the light has not gone off since.
So now I am asking to come out of my pocket with additional $137.77 to get another set of tires and I asked why and now he is getting upset now. I already paid about 400.00 for the defect set so why are you charging me more. He stated that these are a better tire and I said I thought you said that the first set was a better tire – make up your mind. Now he is not being professional and being rude and stated that I can go home with the ones that I have on there and leave me alone and I said, I beg your pardon. You will hear for me again because this is bad service and it was unsafe for you to send me home with that bad brake job and those defect tires. Oh, you will here from me again, you can believe that
So he had someone look at the brakes – the same person and I stopped him right in his track and said, get someone else please to look at then and he did. They looked at it, took it for a drive and stated that they were ok so try them now! I did feel a difference but not that much and sure not the way there are suppose to feel and now the ABS system light is still on and it stayed on. Now, I feel a skip like in the brakes like jumping with a clicking feeling in peddle in which the ABS is not reset or re-adjusted as it is now not working properly and they have not felt the same since.
So I let my car sat for a while since I commute on public transportation and did not use my car that much – to be honest, scarce to. Now I have a new job, and I said to myself, “I am going back up to the car dealer where I brought the car and have them check everything on the out because now I have to drive back and forth to work on my new job and I want to be safe
So I went up to the dealership on October 17th, have them look at my car and found out some bad news. First, they talked about my brake job so bad that they were going to charge me to do them over. Then the lousy brake job did damage my ABS system because the person that put on the brakes disturbed it. The tire rods cracked as well. So they said this car is so unsafe with that bad brake job that you are not going home with this car unless you come out of your pocket with $4, 000 or buy a new one. I was so mad that I stated that someone from Sears did my brake job and Sear is going to hear about this and I mean it. I don’t have $4, 000 to fix this and I can’t afford another car note. So I ended up buying a pre-leased car and I can’t believe that a bad brake job can mess up and cause other problems. Attached is the estimate to fix the damage to the ABS systems, crack tire rods and to re-do of the job of the rear brakes.
This year I spent $516.11 plus an extra $137.77 for nothing and my life was in danger on top of that and I tried and tried several times to take it back and they were not there nor they refuse to help me. Robby seems like he never came back to the Landmark Center, he told his staff to tell me he was not there or would not take my calls and just made up some excuses that everything is fine.
If possible, I would like to be reimbursed for something if not all of my money for the inconvenience, the untruth regarding the tires being defected and the brake job as it was not done properly by an inexperience brake man and definitely my life was in danger as God was looking over me and thank God I did not commute everyday by driving to and from work – who knows what would of happened and just thinking about it gives me the chills.
I want to thank you for taking the time out your schedule in reading this story of mines. I am bless that I started this letter in May and kept it just in case and now I am sending it to you.
An Angry Customer of Sears Automotive Center
Shirley A. Brown
5001 Seminary Road
Alexandria, VA 22311
Attachment: All of Sear bill on brakes and tires
Leesburg Honda estimate to fix brakes, rods, and ABS system
cc: Better Business Bureau