May 31, 2013

Discount Tire Rocks

Last month I replaced the tires on my gas guzzling SUV.  Due to prior positive experiences with Discount Tire, that is where I made the purchase.  When we went to get the tires, my kids were lined up on stools, watching the men in the garage mount the tires on our car.  We watched as one of the men removed the old tire and then began searching the area for something.  He eventually came in and told me that I seemed to be missing a tire monitor.  I shared with him the story that the GMC dealership had told me SIX FREAKING years ago when my 'check tire monitor' warning first came on - that it was a $250 fix, and replacing one generally led to the rest going out.  The dealership had told me I could fork over $1,000 to replace all four, or ignore the warning message EVERY SINGLE TIME I TURNED MY CAR ON, which is what I had been doing.  FOR SIX YEARS.

Friendly DT guy said that simply wasn't true, it was a $60 part, and one should have no bearing on the rest.  I agreed to the additional charge, they installed in along with my tires, and we were on our happy way, with no warning message blinking at me as I pulled away!

Two weeks later, I spent the day in Oklahoma City.  (BTW, Tina, what the heck is that bridge across I-40?)  I had a lunch break in between meetings, and went to Chick-Fil-A for lunch.  When I came out and started my car, the 'check tire pressure' light came on.  There was a wicked black cloud with lightning closing in fast, fat raindrops beginning to plop down, and I was not dressed for tire maintenance.  I quickly scanned the shopping area that stretched out on either side of the restaurant, a-ha!  The distinctive red lettering of a Discount Tire was three doors down, so I hopped in the car and headed that way.

They checked my tires, finding one that was 20 pounds low, but holding air.  They told me that they thought it would hold, so that I could get back for my meeting and then return for them to take the tire off and check it.  They gave me the store's phone number and told me that if it didn't hold air during my meeting to call and they would come rescue me.

It did hold, and when they took the tire off that afternoon, there was a horseshoeing nail in the sidewall of my two week old tire.  My heart dropped, knowing that my brand new $200 tire couldn't be fixed.  Then, they explained that they were going to replace it for free, it was sort of an unwritten policy for the first 90 days after a purchase.  Unfortunately, they didn't have the same tire.  They knew I was headed home to Texas, so they started to look for a Discount Tire that had the stock, that was located between there and my route home.  They found a tire at their Yukon, OK, store.  Not quite on my way, but not far out of it. 

As one of the gentlemen was giving me directions, the others were in the garage putting my spare tire on, and removing the damaged tire from the wheel, so the other store would be spared some labor.  It really struck me that they were considerate, not only to me, but to one another.

Now, my spare tire was the 2004 original.  They didn't scold me, but one of the guys mentioned that he lived out toward Yukon and could follow me on his way home to make sure the tire got me there. 

Once at the Yukon location, they got the new tire on and one of the gentlemen did mention that my spare was reaching the end of its useful life.  I figured I should buy a new one, I needed it, and they had been so kind.  They quoted prices to me, starting with a base model and going up.  When I opted for the base model tire, knowing that we probably won't even have this vehicle much longer, the manager instead decided to put a better tire in the spare slot, for the same price as the cheaper one. They soon had me headed home with my two new tires - all with the same friendliness and courtesy that their sister store had displayed.

I don't know what sort of customer service training those guys go through, but it works.  It almost makes me sad that tires don't need to be replaced more often.


Anonymous said...

I,ve dealt with both chains of Discount Tire and have had good service from both. One broke my sensor and replaced it. All I had to was stop by GM servive and get it programmed in the computer. 15 minutes and no charge.

Which GM dealer wanted to rob you?


Harper said...

James Wood in Denton, Texas gave me the story about the tire monitor. I still have the receipt with the part price on it. What a rip off.

I find it startlingly ironic that the very tire that had been missing the monitor was the one that got a nail in it - without that working monitor, I would have likely been on the side of the road trying to change a tire in high heels.

Anonymous said...

When it was a family run business it was hard to beat his prices and service. I hear he turned it over to the bean counters the early 2000's and ran a lot of good employees off.
Irony or guardian angle on your shoulder I'm glad your okay.
And throw a old pair of flats or tennis shoes in the car. High heels will just aerate the ground.

InsomniacSeeker said...

You probably saw the Scissor Tailed Flycatcher on the bridge. It's better when it's lit up at night.