Thursday, January 26, 2012

Just sell me some tires

Does anyone else remember the good old days when you needed a pair of tire for your car and all you had to do was go out and buy a pair of tires?
Folks, those days are long gone. I needed to replace the front tires on the mini-van the other day. The winters I had on it were getting a little thin so I figured I would replace the front ones now and the back ones next year as they were not too bad.
Sounds reasonable right, wrong. It would seem tire companies have imposed more rules than a tyrannical dictator’s manifesto when it comes to buying tires.
It was stupidly frustrating and it need not be. One tire store said they could not sell me just two winter tires. I said I have winters all the way around, but only need to replace the front ones. Nope, I have to buy four brand new tires, no matter how good of shape the back tires are in.
OK children, all together now, can you say “Money grab.”
Alright, screw you and your tires, there are many other stores out there.
The next one I tried would sell me just two tires, but company policy stated they must go on the rear of the vehicle.
“But I have a front-wheel drive.”
“Sorry that doesn’t matter. Company policy states the better tires must go on the back.”
“It’s for safety, so the rear end of the vehicle does not slide out.”
“So let me get this straight. Your company feels my wife and family would be safer in a van that has good traction on the rear tires that merely follow the van, instead of having good traction on the front of the van where the wheels steer, stop and accelerate the vehicle. That would make you dumber than a bag full of dumb asses.”
Other shops gave me a lot of other reasons why they could not put two new tires on my van. The most popular was I have to replace all four at the same time. Like I was saying, money grab.
However, I did finally find a store that put on two new fronts. The tires were on sale so not only did they do what I asked, they knocked $80 off what it normally would have cost me.
The ironic part it, it was a store that I rarely deal with because I find their work and produces substandard to say the least. But this time around they had brand name, high quality tires on for $60 less than anyone else and they did the job in less than an hour.
Sure they tried to sell me a five-year extended warranty on tires that will be out of tread in three, and for an extra $7 a tire, they could use a special gas to fill the tires rather than plain, old air, but I declined.
But in the end, I did get two new tires, the van is a lot safer and I learned buying tires can be a really annoying adventure.

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