Friday, March 2, 2012

A small victory, but one I will take

In the middle of January, I blogged about how my 2.5-year-old tires had worn out with fewer than 27,000 miles on them. 

When I got my new/replacement tires, I tried to convince the Flynn guy that rather than my paying his quoted price of $500 to replace the tires, I instead should pay less than half of what the last set cost, which was a little less than $750 (so less than $375; you are welcome for the math). The Flynn guy explained that Goodyear does not make those tires anymore, so I needed to be moved up to a better (i.e., more expensive) tire, and on top of that the price of rubber has gone up. But, he said, if I used my Goodyear credit card, I could get a $120 rebate, so in his eyes I would be paying about half of the original tire cost. His answer did not satisfy me, but I dropped it. Until two days ago.

We started pricing furnaces because our heat exchanger cracked (remind me again what is so great about home ownership?). With this latest, large expense and having to hear about various warranties, which seem to indicate that things are not made well any more, I decided I could no longer accept what I consider overpaying for my tires. So I called Goodyear to explain my situation. The less-than-helpful guy said it was between me and the tire place; they had to decide if my tires had worn out early or if the fault was mine. I explained I had properly maintained my tires and Flynn's agreed; my issue was my tires lasted less than the half of the warranted miles, so how could that be acceptable. I went on to complain that every 2.5 years, I don't want to have to keep replacing my tires with so few miles and then having to come up with the money to do so. Either he did not get my point or he just did not care, so I gave up on him.

I next filled out a complaint form on the website, pretty much reiterating what I had said to unhelpful guy. I also added that I would let everyone know about Goodyear's poor quality, I would never again buy Goodyear tires, and that the only way I would be happy would be if Goodyear cut in half what I paid.

I received an email back the next day, asking for my original and replacement tire receipts, which I promptly PDFed and emailed. And today, a Goodyear representative left me a message saying they were going to cut me a check for $199. It was not the $250 I had wanted, but it was more than what I expected. Which was nothing.

Using the Flynn guy's logic and applying my rebate (which I have not yet received), I will have ended up paying $180 for my tires, which at Flynn's full price would have cost $942. Still a lot if for no other reason than I should not have had this expense so soon, but a lot more bearable. I still would love to know Goodyear's thoughts on the warranty, but I will save that for another day, which, I am guessing will be in about 2.5 years, when this set wears out.

3 comments:

chris h. said...

That is fantastic! Good for you! Can I hire you to fight my battles for me? You can keep a percentage of what you win (like the injury attorneys). I am way too nonconfrontational about stuff like that, and it costs me.

Sherri said...

My Dad was a tire engineer / executive at Goodyear for over 40 years - racing division, consumer tires, etc. - very proud of his product - very honest himself. MY brother currently works for a commercial distributor and deals with all brands of tires - all comparable. Goodyear is a good product. I know for a fact that they are endlessly tested and try to keep up with the changing needs of the consumer as those needs relate to new cars, road conditions, consumers unable or willing to spend on higher quality cars / tires, etc.

Unfortunately, horrible roads like those in Pitt, older cars, etc. will cause alignment issues that will create wear and tear on cars / tires. The issue isn't just with the tires - it is with the roads, the cars, the user, etc. While it is frustrating, it probably doesn't warrant blame on one company. Unfortunately, too, even well-meaning distributors can't assess the real problem if a tire wears out too early. Usually, their goal is to make money - understandably so. The rep at the company level has to use a common sense approach to the many calls ,etc. he / she gets on a regular basis (as most customer service depts do).

Good plan. You should probably use another tire. Take the refund they provided you. I'm sure it will be a win win for both you and Goodyear.

Facie said...

Chris: I have to be in the right frame of mind (which is usually angry). I still have not fought some battles that I really should.

Sherri: The Flynn guy did tell me that PA has the worst roads and that you can't expect to get anywhere near the mileage. I questioned the quality when I got the same number of miles on my original-to-the-car tires (which are pretty much never that good, from what I understand) as I did on my supposedly much better and definitely pricier tires. The Flynn guy said that these newest replacement tires are really good, but yet he still says I can expect to get between 35k and 40k for tires that are warranted for 80k. That just does not seem right to me. But to be fair, I don't have anything to compare it to. I don't remember how long the tires on my last vehicle (Explorer) lasted, although they were much less expensive; Vue tires are unfortunately not cheap!

At this point, I do think a lot more of Goodyear, for whatever it is worth. And I appreciate your insight!