Complaint Category: Improper or inferior repair
Complaint: *****'s was called to replace a blown out tire with my own spare. They failed to tighten lugs following tire change.
On March 24, 2013 my girlfriend, myself, and her two small children were on a trip from Indiana to visit my family in Alabama. We had a blowout south of Nashville on I-65 in TN. We did not have a lug wrench with us so we called *****'s to come put our spare on for us, they were the closest towing and repair service. After having much trouble getting the spare tire to drop down from our van and having to use my own personal tools to do so, the man responding failed to tighten the lug nuts on the wheel. They then charged me for a service call AND an hour labor which amounted to more than $200, I found this amount to be quite obscene. It was only after the serviceman had left and we started back down I-65 that I realized the lugs were still loose and we obviously still had no lug wrench. We were able to limp to the next rest station about 8 miles down there road where we found a nice woman who allowed me to use her lug wrench to finish the job. Having to make this stop caused us to miss a luch date in Alabama. I didn't want it to ruin our vacation so I let it go until we were heading back home a few days later. I stopped at *****'s to request my money back because we did not recieve full service and the price was outrageous to begin with. There was no one at the business that could handle my problem so they had to call the owner to come in. I waited 45 minutes for her to show up and explained my situation. Upon hearing this she said she would have to speak with the serviceman that responded. He was on a call and not answering his cell phone so I and my family went to get breakfast. We returned an hour later and she still could not get the serviceman on the phone. She kept insisting that she'd never had a call back on that particular employee and all but outright called me a liar. She said that there was nothing she could do for me until she talked to him and my family could not wait any longer. I got very irate with her for putting my family's lives in danger and refusing to do anything about it. We each took pictures of the spare tire and the lug holes that had been wallowed out. I left my name address and phone number and she was to contact me after she spoke with her serviceman. I never recieved any sort of corrispondence from her. After a few calls to her I still go no response and have yet to recieve any response. I believe that *****'s has at least one incompitent employee and a practice of taking advantage of out of town customers. While I was waiting for the owner to show up, there was an old foreign couple that had brought their pull behind camper in to have a flat tire repaired. The old man did half of the work himself because the incompitent employee couldn't figure out how to pull a plastic cap off of the lug nut even after the old man showed him how. They were charged the same amount that I was, even though they brought the camper with the flat to *****'s. We left with nothing more than an "I'm sorry, Thank God no one was hurt and no real damage was done." It was discouraging to me that she had a BBB plaque hanging on the wall, and I recieved the service that I did.
Initial Business Response
Please be advised that this was a typical request for road service to change a flat tire with their spare unit...Standard operating procedure calls for a dispatch fee plus milage charges and if required onsite hourly rate for the necessary work to complete the job...In this case the spare was jamed and very dificult to get released from the vehicle (time on site required). As for the loose lug nuts, our tech did not leave them loose...This complaint has no merit...
Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
The price was just the topping on the cake. My main concern was that my and my family's lives were put in danger due to negligence on the part of the technician who responded. The lug nuts were left loose, this complaint has a lot of merit. This is a case of her technician's word against mine. I understand she's going to want to believe him over a complete stranger. I had to answer to a 6 year old boy and a 7 year old girl asking why the van was shaking so bad going down the road. The spare wheel, of which I have pictures, show wallowing where it was not tight on the hub. The wallowing is not rusted in any way and was obviously fresh. *****'s has the same pictures, which they are obviously ignoring. This response is along the lines of the same attitude that I got when I stopped in as described in my initial complaint. Just simply deny and go on like nothing happened. I don't care how spotless a record this technician may have, this time he messed up. I have pictures, she has a technician's word. If he's so sure that he tightened those lug nuts, I would like to see his checklist where he marked it off that the lugs were tight.
Final Business Response
I have spoken with the veteran employee about the service provided on site. All appropriate measures were taken by the technician while making the repair. I have reviewed the pictures sent with the complaint, and there is no noticeable damage. The technician did have trouble getting the spare down, however, the consumer knew the cost of an onsite service call beforehand. I understand your concern of what "could" have happened, and I am so grateful that there was not any accident. I apologize for the inconvenience of your trip, and I did offer buy to buy you lunch. We have been in business for 43 years, and we continue to hold our technicians to appropriate and professional standards.
Complaint Resolution: BBB determined that despite the company's reasonable effort to address complaint issues, the consumer remained dissatisfied.