Saturday, February 16, 2008

Funny Sidebar:

Well, I got a glaring reminder today of why Wal-Mart's Tire and Lube Express has such low prices. Admittedly, I kinda screwed myself by letting my tires get so bald, but hey. When you can't afford to replace them until you get your refund....

So anyway, I was going to head to my beloved sister's house. windshield wipers are a little off, and as I started to leave town, it started raining. Hard. I probably could have risked it, but I had a bad feeling.

Ever get one of those? It happened to me.

So, I called Sis, told her I wouldn't be coming because the weather sucked, and decided to head to Wally World to put on some new tires. I knew I needed them. You can always tell when they get slippy. I mean, we've had plenty of ice here over the past couple of years, and I didn't have any trouble until this year. Even still, I compensated and didn't have any real trouble, but I definitely felt the slippage.

So, new tires.

Correction: new CHEAP tires. Heh.

First thing, a two-hour wait. Okay, I guess. I did have other stuff to get. Surely, I could drag my feet long enough to make the wait bearable.

Unfortunately, I'm not a good shopper. Okay, I'm a TERRIBLE shopper. I hate it. I'd rather gouge out my eyes with toothpicks than shop. So needless to say, in half an hour, I'd power-walked the whole darn store and was extremely done.

Luckily, Sis called right about then and reminded me of a book that was out, so I headed back over to the book section...and they didn't have it. Oh, well. No big. I picked up Robin Cook's Invasion and drudged through it. It was more like a 2 1/2 hour wait, but hey. Literature works.

So, I get in the car and head home. Get home, take a look at the new wheels...and realize that they've put the new ones on the rear tires. I'd asked them to put the new ones on the front and the best of the crappy old ones on the back. As always.

I mean, it's a front wheel drive car. Why on earth would they put the new, grippy tires on the REAR?

So, I call 'em up and ask what gives. They say it's a new company policy to put new tires on the rear first, on any vehicle. Something to do with preventing hydroplaning due to overcorrection. I read the poster...four times...while I waited another hour for them to put the new tires on the front. Yeah. Drove all the way back across town and blew another hour waiting. At least I didn't have to pay again.

See, I understand the basic principle outlined in the policy. However, when the old tires are as near-bald as mine are, and the car is a front wheel drive, you need the traction on the front, or you ain't goin nowhere. At least, I do. *snerk*

So anyway, when I got back up to the counter, the register chick wanted me to sign a disclaimer. I read it, expecting it to be a "against company policy" disclaimer for wanting the new tires on the front instead of the back, but it was a notice that they'd informed me that one of the old tires they'd rotated to the back was at 2/36 and that the steel belt was nearly showing.

I frowned. The conversation went thus:

Me: Are these the same tires they'd put on the front before?

RC: Yeah. They already got rid of the others.

Me: So...why didn't they have me sign the disclaimer about how crappy this tire is when it was on the front...ya know...where I do all the steering and where all the power comes from?

RC: ...I dunno. Must not have noticed it.

Me: ...That's...comforting....

Seriously. I mean...what the hell? I'd already planned to buy another set of two for the rear when I got my paycheck this next weekend, but seriously! If I hadn't checked, that crappy old ragged tire could have easily given out on a righthand turn.


Anyway, I guess it's fixed now. But what about people who don't know anything about cars? Admittedly, I don't know a whole heck of a lot about tires, per se, but even I can tell which is new and which isn't. And I do know the basics of front vs. rear wheel drive. Versus four wheel drive. Heh.

But what about people who don't? It worries the mind. But I guess you'd probably get the thing at just about any mechanic, as well. They're notorious for little things like that, for charging for stuff like that.

Anyway...just sayin....


At 9:12 AM, Anonymous Pesh said...

And yet another example of why I refuse to let Wal-Mart touch my vehicles.

Sears is the way to go around here. Those guys have gotten the hang of a little skill called communication.


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