Copy of Letter to Tire Discounters
December 05, 2018
Tire Discounters Corporate Office,
On November 28th, a Wednesday, I took my car to your 9514 Preston Hwy. Louisville, KY. 40229 store.
I took my car there for an alignment since the steering wheel was pulling slightly to the left after having had it balanced elsewhere. The place that balanced it didn't have equipment to align it which is why I took it to Tire Discounters for the alignment.
The staff was welcoming and friendly. Within a few minutes the 'sales person,' Mr. Jamie Howard, called me back to show me the problem- it needed new control arms. Jamie and the mechanic showed me the bushings of the control arms were eroded and said they should be replaced so I'd enjoy the smoother ride I was after.
I wasn't anticipating the need to change any parts when I walked into Tire Discounters so this caught me off guard. And speaking of guard, I didn't have mine up as I wasn't aware a tire shop had sales people on staff. But it says right on my invoice, sales person, so now I know that's the case.
Right after paying my bill I was told to get back in as soon as possible for new front struts since mine were 'leaking.' (A retired mechanic friend of the family told me it's not uncommon for struts to 'weep,' but we'll get back to that). 3 hours and $692.02 later, I left Tire Discounters. No one from your shop drove my car prior to letting me drive off in it.
I immediately noticed the car wasn't handling right. When I'd go over the slightest bump or take any degree of curve the car would sway and swerve as if it were a fish swimming in water. This made me very nervous and I drove extremely cautiously. The next day I had to work. I drove my car, carefully. I called Tire Discounters and was told a manager 'wasn't available' to talk to me and that I'd have to go back in person to see what was the problem.
That evening, one day after the 'repair' was done, I went back to Tire Discounters. The staff wasn't welcoming or friendly this time.
“I didn't even know you called,” said the woman working the counter immediately upon seeing me enter. I smiled and said, “Yes, I'm back. The car's not running right so I need to see the mechanic that worked on it, or a manager.”
After a few minutes the young mechanic that worked on my Volvo called me back.
“I don't feel safe driving this car,” I said, and proceeded to explain to him what the car was doing.
He said, “We told you it needed struts. This is caused by the struts. Just get it back in here as soon as possible so we can change them.”
He did not even want me to pull my car in the garage (I offered to and presumed I'd need to). He didn't so much as walk out to the parking lot to look at it, or offer to drive it, or ride along with me to see what was going on. This shocked me and made me feel inferior. My concerns were dismissed.
During the 3 minutes I chatted with the mechanic he was interruppted by a superior of his. The superior asked, “Are you done with the Dodge Caravan yet?”
This was rude.
Troubled, feeling at a loss I reached out to my aunt, telling her about my car situation (my husband was out of the country the week I went to Tire Discounters). She told my grandfather and my cousin about it and they insisted I go to their mechanic, Brian Bayer of Bayer Auto Specialties, a euro-car-specialist with 20+ years of experience and a member of Mechanics for Christ.
I spent 20 minutes on the phone with Brian Sunday night, at which time he informed me 2 other clients of his had experienced trouble with Tire Discounters' repairs as well.
I left my car with Brian on Monday, 12-3, after work. We texted Tuesday. Here's what his text said, in response to my request for 'good news...'
Upon speaking with Brian on Wednesday morning he told me Tire Discounters had put the 'wrong control arms' on my car. They weren't the right parts and didn't fit properly.
“If it were my car I'd take them to court because they couldn've killed someone like that. You're lucky you didn't run off the road,” said Brian.
He also said it looked like a 15 year old had done the work, that parts had been hammered underneath the car. His buddy was over when he was checking out my car and they were both in shock that anyone would've let a car leave a shop like that.
The struts were not causing me the problem of unstable fish-swimming-in-water-feel-driving, the wrong control arms on my car were responsible for this.
Also, the alignment your shop did on my car was futile since the wrong parts were placed on the car in the first place.
This has been a nightmare experience and I look forward to it ending- with a full refund in a speedy fashion.
I'm submitting to your management staff:
-A letter from my mechanic, Brian Bayer
-The wrong control arms your mechanic put on my car
-A copy of my Tire Discounters invoice and
-A copy of my Bayer Automotive invoice
I look forward to receiving a full refund in a reasonable, timely manner (within 14 business days).
Should Tire Discounters for some reason disagree with issuing a full refund I will get the proper legal agencies and my attorney involved immdiately.
Lastly, I spoke with the manager on staff at Tire Discounters by phone yesterday, 12-5, around 11:00 a.m. He was polite and listened attentively to what happened and said he'd have the general manager, Sean, contact me. He printed a copy of the invoice and left a note on Sean's desk. As of today, 12-6, at 1:30 p.m. I have yet to hear from Sean the general manager.
Jessica L. Pita
Update for anyone who was following this:
I wasn't getting anywhere on my own with Tire Discounters so I took the next step, which was to seek help from our State's Attorney General (Office of Consumer Protection).
Every state has such an office.
Here's what came of that...