Saturday, October 28, 2006

Rant/Consumer Alert: Grove City Tires for Less - Bait and Switch?

Just a heads-up for the local readers...

It seems Grove City Tires for Less in Springfield Township (near the Prime Outlets) tried to pull a classic bait and switch on me yesterday. A bait and switch is when you lure a customer to your location with a great deal, then once that person is at the location, you start to load up on the fees.

They had a flyer sent out to people involved with the Grove City Chamber of Commerce with all kinds of tire and auto service specials. Of interest to me was the coupon for an all-wheel alignment for just $29.95. Alignments cost anywhere from $40-100, depending on the location and warranty.

The first thing they did was put my car on a rack and do a computer diagnostic of the current alignment. The mechanic came out with a nifty color printout that showed the results. He then informed me that there would have to be an additional labor charge (here we go!) to fix the rear alignment.

It seems that they wanted to take my rear struts off to bore out the mounting holes to make them "adjustable." Never mind the fact that there is plenty of play in those struts - I know because I put them on myself and had it aligned by my regular shop since. This custom work would set me back $25 - surprise, surprise.

I went up front to tell the manager to forget about it. As soon as I was finishing up, the mechanic comes back tothe front with a diagram showing how my struts wouldn't work - and then he gave me more good news: I would need to buy a special bolt kit for the struts. The cost of these special bolts? $80.

My $30 alignment was going to cost me $135. I told the guy behind the counter "no" and asked for my car.

They probably saw some guy come into the shop with a plain-jane car and figured they could pull this off. I've been working on cars (mine and my friends') for nearly twenty years. I've never heard of anyone having to bore out mounitng holes on factory struts - afterall, how would the factory do an alignment before the car left the plant? Duh...

The sickening thing is how many people say, "Oh, really? Well, please fix it. I don't want my car to be unsafe!"

Bait-and-switch tactics are disgusting because they prey on those who are held helpless by "the experts" who are supposed to help them out and send them down the road.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh I see, you've been working on cars for 20 years, so clearly that makes you a professional alignment technician. Also, you failed to mention that your car is problably lowered with the sweet $60.00 spring kit you found on ebay. Next time you start making a useless blog on something that didn't go your way, you should research what your whining about (example: adjustable camber kits for make,model,year of your car).

Rich Talbert said...

Glad to see the guys from Tires for Less made it to the site.

Yes, I know it's you...I have your IP address.

Conveniently, in your professional assessment, you failed to notice that I have a very good suspension kit (Eibach). Congrats on showing your skills.

Also, I'm aware of adjustable camber kits. I'm also aware that your shop is the only one that has difficulty doing an alignment on my car. Either your shop is that incredible or your not doing something right....

I'll let the other customers decide.

Anonymous said...

Funny that your computer knowledge is like your car knowledge. All you’re trying to do is give a business a bad wrap because you are trying to get something for free. You don’t know who people are from their IP address stupid; you have no clue what you are talking about. I am not affiliated with this tire place at all but I know an ******* when I read one. Go **** yourself mister intellectual know it all. You don’t have a clue what is going on with your jeep or your computer.

Rich Talbert said...

Charming...the guys at the Butler store (IP 24.154.178.82; also IP 72.23.128.114 - way to be using Windows 98, guys!) have a great way to celebrate the eve of Christ's birth.

I edited the language, which was clearly unappropriate.

As for my computer knowledge, my IP tracking software doesn't tell me a person...but it tells me the IP, location, time, search terms, trends, computer setup, etc.

Also, the Butler folks, in an attempt to show their "computer knowledge" have helped this topic tremendously.

When they visit, there are always some folks from the GC store that check out the site, too. These daily hits really help drive this topic up for the search engines. It's called search engine marketing. (Ooops! I do know something about computers!)

Every time you visit, you help people find my site!

Thanks, guys! You really help your cause when I get scores of hits per week from consumers and they get to see what you write! I'm sure your boss is happy about that. On some search engines, I'm the first site found when people look up your store!

Heck, I don't need to publish anything libelous (I wouldn't anyway)...you do it for me!

(As a side note, I never asked for any free service from Grove City Tires for Less - clearly shown in my posts.)

Anonymous said...

geez. glad i found this site before doing business with these guys. I was looking for tires in GC.

If the commenter wasn't from Tires For Less how did he know your car was a jeep?

dang!

Anonymous said...

I think that this is funny, I went in today 11/20/08 to GC T4L to find out what a price would be to get two tires for the rear of my truck I knew the brand, tire size and then I proceeded to stand in line for 25 min then I get to the counter and say to the guy "I would like to maybe make an appointment to get two tires put on my truck and I would like to get the price of the tires also." The older gentleman says well we don’t do appointments here. I said ok your a tire shop that makes no sense what so ever ah well ok. I would like to get a price on the tires to see if I want to buy them. I tell him the tire size and the make of the tire and while i'm trying to tell him this he awsers the phone which is one thing that really pisses me off when someone does that and then when he gets done on the phone 5 min later he says yah that will be 85-105 dollars did not even bother to look the price up he just wanted me out of there. I said ok that is a little bit much and then said thanks and walked out.. Now here is the kicker the company I work for takes all of their trucks to the Butler tires for less location and they are good to deal with. The last time I was there getting a company truck worked on I was looking at some tires for my personal vehicle the guy tells me I have a great deal on this tire (which are the same tires that I currently have on my truck good tires for a light truck.They are also the exact same ones I asked about at GC T4L today.) However, he tells me they are 69.95$ each not bad and he says I bought a whole truckload and got a good deal on them.. I said that is fine I will be down to get some eventually.. So I called down there today after I went to the GC T4L and ask the guy to see if the tire has gone up in price due to winter coming nope still the same as before and at least he asked me if he could make me an appointment.. the point I’m trying to make is the younger kid and older guy that run the counter at GC T4L are Ignorant and have no customer service skills at all and they are a couple of shysters. I will not do business or attempt to do business up there ever again but, I will go to the butler one..

Lisa said...

Lisa Alessio

Glad I read this, Rich. Was thinking about going there. Any suggestions on somewhere else to get good tire deals?

Lisa

Rich Talbert said...

I do one of two things:

- Buy from www.discounttiredirect.com and have Sevin's Tire in Slippery Rock mount them

- Buy from Sevin's Tire


I've been very happy either way. No fraud, no bait and switch, no problems.

Enjoy!

Chris said...

Rich, what kind and size tires are you using? How do they do in the snow?
Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I believe you... I have went there before with a special for 4 tires and it was damn near double the amount after they were done adding their extra bull shit in. Schalls tires are great for doing that too.

If people were just fkn honest their sales would do a lot better.

Word of mouth is a WONDERFUL thing.

Thanks for your post,
Kara and kids