Monday, August 6, 2007

Just Gimme A Break

Last night I was heading out to pick up my dinner from the local Italian eatery. But after half a block, my car was making one hell of a noise and galumphing along like it only had three wheels.

I stopped, got out, and VOI -- FREAKING -- LA!!! Flat tire.  @#(_)%)(($&@#($*)(#$%&)(@#$%)(&^$%)(#*$)(#*@%)!!!

So I turned around and drove back to my driveway. Boy did I hate cancelling that order for shrimp whatever it was. Maybe they put it in the fridge and saved it.

I bought my car from one of my daughters when she left to live in another country. She had put new tires on from Just Tires, also known as Just Gimme All Your Money. She also got a warranty to replace them any time, anywhere for the next 36,000 miles or five years. Luckily for me she'd only put six thousand miles on them when I got the car.

Twenty thousand or so miles later I got a flat tire. Somehow the computer lost all evidence of the warranty. I didn't have it with me and you have to carry your paperwork or you're SOL.

But they can fix tires as long as the tire doesn't have a hole in the side. I was with the mechanic when he inspected the tire. He couldn't find evidence of any hole, but I'd heard the SSHOOOSH of air escaping when it went flat. So we knew there was one somewhere.

Interestingly, after taking the tire from me, the helpful folks at Just Gimme All Your Money came back and announced there was not only one hole but two, and one was on the side, so they couldn't fix it.  I should have asked for the tire back. But Oprah was on TV in the waiting room and I didn't want to miss any of her favorite things.

So I just paid for a new tire. And didn't pay to have it covered by a warranty. Although I think if you have a warranty the replacement for the replacement is supposed to be covered too. But the point was moot when I couldn't find the warranty.

Fast forward another ten thousand miles, give or take. And the new tire starts losing air and going flat all the time. I began to wonder if I'd really paid for a new tire or they'd just fixed the flat tire and SAID it was new.

I went back to Just Gimme All Your Money and said, hey, the newest tire is losing air.

They didn't even bother to say that they could fix the tire. Instead, they said that the other three tires were getting low on tread and starting to show dangerous signs of wear. I should probably replace all of them.

I said, well, I NOW HAVE MY WARRANTY with me!!! [I found it and kept it in the car].  The folks at Just Gimme All Your Money looked on the computer and found the warranty they couldn't find last time. They just smiled and said, Oh, look you're ten minutes past the five year deadline on the warranty. Sorry.

But! It just so happens we're having a sale on -- tires! So for the low low price of just under six hundred dollars you can have four new tires. And yet another warranty.

So fifteen thousand miles ago I bought four new tires from Just  Gimme All Your Money. When all I planned to do was fix the one that was leaking.

If you're counting -- during the last two or three years I've had ten tires. And three flats. I'm thinking there's an inherent weakness is big tread tires. Stuff gets in between the cracks and there's no resistance. Or something like that.

That's why last night's flat tire is really going to be interesting.

I carry the warranty on these new tires in the glove box . In fact, when I bought the tires I checked my car mileage with the mileage they had on my receipt. They'd gypped me out of almost five hundred miles. So the 36,000 warranty was down to 35,500. I called them on it and made them change it. They kept saying, it's only five hundred miles. And I said, I paid for that 500 miles. For some reason I just don't trust the Just Tires people.

So, tomorrow when I go in there, they have to replace this latest flat tire for free. That's what it says on the warranty. FREE FREE FREE. I don't want a patch.

Also, I'm not going to let them have the old tire until the new one is on the car. So they can't take it away and fix it then say that it's new. Paranoid? Me? The problem is that all the tires still look new. They have all their bright white lettering still on them, so they could try to fool me. AGAIN. Unless I put a big X in blue paint on it. Hmmm. Right now I've got the spare on the car and the flat tire is in the way back.

We'll see what they'll try to sell me tomorrow. I may be blond, but that doesn't mean I'm too smart for my britches.


ksquester said...

But you're not a natual blonde?    Anne

screaminremo303 said...

Ten tires in three years? You may not be blonde, but you sure are easy.

See? That's why I always come here. I didn't know there was a difference.

dafyddhevans said...

I'm going to be at a week-long meeting with a Bureau Chief from the Attorney General's Office of your State next week.  I'd be happy to raise the issue with him, see if they'd be willing to investigate your friends.  I'd be also happy to file a complaint with your State's the Bureau of Consumer Fraud, if you'd like.  You can do it yourself by googling "[Your State] Consumer Proection."

You can also tell them that your brother is a consumer protection attorney in Washington and would be happy to file a class action against them.  (See if you can get them to admit they regularly add 500 miles to their records, sell old tires for new, etc.)

psychfun said...

Oh god I'm a flat tire magnet! I will have like a rash of them in a short period of time. Drives me nuts. Last time a Semi managed to roll over a board with nails sticking up (no lie) & of course I didn't see it  until it was right under my wheels since I couldn't see past him. Two tires that time! I have those warrantees too for free fix, balance & align etc but from our more local store. They are pretty good there.  I hate to admit it but these days you have to threaten like that!

artscience said...

I'll bet money that tire with 2 holes ( one in the sidewall) only had ONE hole in it when you drove in, and it WASN'T in the sidewall! They took the tire in the back room and "installed" the hole in the sidewall to avoid warrantee. Me? Paranoid? Bitter? Sarcastic? Suspicious? Untrusting? Me? NAHHHHHH!

 I think you should call 'em   UNJUST TIRES

But that's just me...

judithheartsong said...

Go gettum Mrs. L....

I almost fell out of my chair at the "voi-freaking-la".... that may have me chuckling for the rest of the day. I finally have a mechanic to trust, and he is never allowed to retire.


gaboatman said...

Mrs. L
Just drop by the bank on your way there and withdraw the $600.  You KNOW they are going to pry it out of you somehow!  

salemslot9 said...

too bad they couldn't deliver your meal
what did you have for dinner?

lacaza3 said...

just cant get good customer service anymore..
Donna In TEXAS