Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Shocking Fix from Tires Plus

I went to Tires Plus in Lakeville last Friday morning to have the oil changed in my truck. While paying for it, the guy behind the counter mentioned that all four shocks were leaking and in need of replacement. He said that for a truck with as many miles as mine (97,000) it's not uncommon. I thought for a moment and told him that I was quite sure I'd had them replaced maybe two years ago. He said that can't be so because they looked to be original. Two thoughts were running through my head; the work I paid for two years earlier was never done or he's trying to sell me something I didn't need.

I explained to Jimmy that I was sure I'd had the work done at his shop but he said he had already looked and there's no record of them having done it. My next thought was that I'd had the work done someplace else. Regardless, two years doesn't seem like very long for shocks. I asked him if it was possible that I didn't get what I paid for. He assured me that anybody in his shop caught selling a customer something they didn't need or not doing the work results in immediate termination. That's what I wanted to hear but was that all it was?

I left for home and when I got there I pulled into the garage and proceeded to empty the contents of my glove-box onto the passenger seat. I'm good at keeping receipts for work done on our vehicles so I was reasonably sure I'd be able to find it. And I did. Sure enough, all four shocks had been replaced in May, 2008. I called Jimmy at Tires Plus and gave him the invoice number which he located in their database. Why he was unable to find it before I'm not sure.

He offered to do the work of replacing the shocks for only the cost of labor. If I believed him, the work needed to be done but I still wasn't convinced he was being straight with me:

  • The shocks had less than 17,000 miles on them and all four had failed?
  • The invoice for the original work was actually in their system but he couldn't find it?
  • He told me the shocks looked like original equipment but they were supposed to have been replaced by his shop?
I'd been told at my last oil change (different shop) that one of my shocks was bad so I wasn't totally surprised that they needed attention. Maybe I'm a fool for giving Tires Plus another chance but I decided to allow them to go ahead and replace the shocks.  But, as Jack Byrnes (Meet the Fockers) says, 'they're no longer in my circle of trust'.

I did the Hampton loop yesterday in some ridiculously strong winds (a steady 30 mph) from the southeast. It was all I could do to manage 13.7 mph on the way out without pushing too hard on my knees. The ride home was entirely different with sustained speeds often times easily over 30 mph. A few miles south of Coates on highway 52 I thought I'd break out my Droid and capture some video while seeing if I could dial the speed up to something in excess of 40. I held my Droid with my teeth in an attempt to try and shift gears. I've titled the video 'Stupid Bicycle Tricks'.


mark said...

There is no way I would pay for anything to make your shocks right. I would check and see if they were the original shocks and if they are then you shouldn't have to pay for any labor to replace them. According to your receipt you already paid the labor to replace them. After they fix the shocks I would cross them off my list of places to take my car.

I was hoping to see some under-bodies of cars on your video or at least a tire just before it went off the air.

Anonymous said...

The lack of commentary after the oh-so-avoidable crash is disappointing. By the way I can only imagine what my wife would say after a bonehead stunt like why did you post it where Tammy could see your superior skill set in action?


Kevin said...'re right. I should have handled it differently; maybe going above the guy behind the counter. Like we were talking...a letter to their corporate office may be a good place to start.

Rob...I showed Tammy the video when I got home. She was shocked that I would be doing something so foolish on my bike. ;) Yeah, the lack of commentary at the end of the video is regrettable.

David Bryan Gilmore said...

I had my breaks serviced at Les Schwab, here in Portlnd Oregon, last week. I figured I have to have a complete break job because my ABS light came on. Schawb's sevice tech said no, it was just a sensor. He said my breaks still had 6mm left from the original 10mm on the pads at 92k miles. He also mentioned that accoding to Ford it was time to replace my shocks but they looked fine. A big difference between my service company and yours.

Kevin said...

Bryan...don't ever take those guys at Les Schwab for granted but I think you know that.

Steve Saeedi said...

That looks like a good endorsement for Droid. "Dropped at 40 MPH and still filming!

Tim said...


If you want to be "Anonymous", stop signing your comments!

Try the Name/URL identity option next time.

Geez, some people...

Anonymous said...

Sorry I blew up at you like that, Rob. I went off the meds temporarily.

I know you can't help it: you're too old to be computer savvy...