Every year we do a road trip for our vacation (except the years when we really need to get far, far away, and head to the Caribbean).  In years past, it was to drive from Pennsylvania to Louisiana to visit former friends who used to live there, and after the first year of driving straight through the 18 hours to get there, we opted in subsequent years to stop for the night at a halfway point to make it a two-day trip.  That way we didn’t have to switch off driving every half hour when we were sleepy in the middle of the night. 

The past few years our trips have been to Iowa to visit my sister and her family, also splitting that 17 hour drive into a two-day trip with a stop in the middle just to have a chance to refresh (and get Skyline Chili in Ohio for dinner.  Priorities, you know.) 

This year’s road trip was the biggest one yet, and since we planned to replace the tires on both vehicles before winter, the hubby thought it might be a good idea to get new tires before our trip instead, to make sure traveling the 6000+ miles round trip was a safe one.

The week of our departure he did some shopping around, and found that Sears was having a sale on the kind of tires we wanted to get for our vehicles, and since he hadn’t used his Sears card in a while, wanted to utilize it to 1) be budget-minded and keep available cash as available cash in case of emergencies, and 2) to keep his Sears card active in the whole “need credit to have credit” mode since we’re not typically credit card people. 

He placed an order online with Sears purchasing the tires for both cars and setting up the appointments for having them put on – each at different Sears locations based on the time of day so he could have mine taken care of closer to home and his taken care of closer to work where he’d be headed later that day. 

Early the next morning he called Sears since he hadn’t gotten the promised confirmation email with the appointment details, only to discover the tires he’d ordered – and paid for – had been sold to another customer, and they were fresh out of stock. 

Keep in mind that the order was placed online the night before shortly after 11pm, when Sears wasn’t even open, and the call the hubby made was minutes after the store was open the next morning.

So riddle me this – how on earth were they able to sell tires that were in stock at 11pm to another customer by 8am the next morning? 

The only thing we can gather (since the guy on the phone tried to up-sell to a more expensive set of tires) was that they were doing some sort of bait’n’switch method to sell the more expensive tires they actually have in stock.  In fact, when he called Sears Corporate to complain (and to thwart being charged a 15% restocking charge from canceling the initial order), he went online and saw they still showed those particular tires in stock.

When in fact they weren’t in stock anywhere locally or non-locally at all.

Needless to say, the hubby was not happy and was going to cancel both orders immediately and get tires somewhere else.  He did find out that the tires for his car were definitely in stock (at the other Sears location where his appointment was scheduled), so he did get new tires put on his car that day, but my vehicle remained with its original tires until we could figure out what to do. 

Ultimately my hubby decided that the tires on my vehicle could make it to Washington State and back since there seems to be enough tread on them currently.  Luckily in this case he was right, they survived.

It took Sears almost a full week to finally issue credit on the purchase of the tires for my vehicle – after numerous phone calls to them and they finally agreed we shouldn’t be hit with a 15% restocking charge since we weren’t the ones that technically canceled our order, Sears did by selling the tires we’d purchased to someone else. 

We’re back to square one on even more extensive shopping around since my tires definitely will need to be replaced before winter, especially after putting the extra 6000+ miles on them from our trip.

Which brings me to this week’s question:

When do you usually replace the tires on your vehicle?  Should we give Sears another chance?

Have a great weekend.


Happy Aloha Friday!

From Kailani at An Island Life:
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  1. I replace them when someone points out how bald they are… lol we do a LOT of road-trippin’. As for another chance, I don’t know… I hear Walmart is awesome for tires, but I haven’t checked that out myself. I like Treadquarters, if you have them!

  2. I refuse to do anything with Sears auto center. Years ago they put the wrong size battery in my car. So every time I opened the hood it hit the battery. It destroyed the alternator and some of the electrical system. I had to fight them, and they replaced the battery, but nothing else. I will never go there again.

  3. I buy tires when I can see Lincoln’s head on a penny. That was my Daddy’s method and it seems to continue to work. I also don’t buy my tires at Sears. We have never had any luck with them. I have a Firestone credit card that gives me 6 months same as cash so I use it to buy tires. Then I can spread the cost over the 6 months.

  4. When I lived alone, it was when my astoundingly honest mechanic told me they needed to be replaced; these days, it’s when Beloved says they should be replaced. As for Sears, I can only tell you that after a week of phone calls before receiving a credit and then trying to dun you for a restocking fee for merchandise you never even received, my less-than-patient spouse would never give Sears his business again.
    Jan’s Sushi Bar would like you to read ..Are You Achin’ For Some Bacon?My Profile

  5. We change them when the threads say… “change me – change me”… As far as Sears, baby girl they done you wrong, and I’d insist on some sort of compensation or tell them you’re closing your account, and taking your business to Firestone or some place like that to tick em’ off & of course make sure it’s a place with quality stuff, but lower prices or they do more you know shame them into it. hehehehe

  6. My husband does the car tires:) I’m clueless there.

    I can understand a second chance for something else, but not tires. I keep hearing bad news about Sears lately. Definitely not tires. Unless they will give you a half and free discount and do the job free.

    I would take my business elsewhere and let them know by letter exactly how they have lost customers.
    JamericanSpice would like you to read ..Where Did All The Teeth Go?My Profile

  7. Honestly, if they tried to screw you the first time, I don’t know if I’d trust going back to them. I mean it’s one thing if the customer service was excellent, but it sounds like you went through quite a hassle the firs time o.O

    I’d shop around before considering going back, but that’s just my opinion.

    I’m glad you were able to to and from Washington safely!

  8. I probably wouldn’t go to Sears again after that. I’m distrustful of car people anyway. We get ours at Discount Tires, NTB, or Firestone, depending on who’s offering the best deal at the time.
    Forgetfulone would like you to read ..Aloha FridayMy Profile

  9. Don’t be silly. Experience says if they already tried to burn you they will again. I’d find another place to buy the tires… one that would appreciate your business more than Sears did. AND I’d be sure to tell everyone about Sears and how you were treated. I for one will not be buying tires from Sears now that I heard your story. Funny how bad news travels fast… tsk tsk Sears… are you listening?

  10. No wonder mechanics have such a dodgy reputation overall, huh? I know it’s undfair to stereotype people and try not to do so but stories like yours just emphasis how people – especially those who work in occuptaions that the general person knows very little about – how the ability to take us for a ride if they like!

  11. I’d never given any thought to getting tyres from Costco but I’ll be telling my relatives in the States that’s what they need to do from now on. Sears = No! 😛

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