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Sears vs Costco- Another tire thread

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Main Forum' started by Bohous, Jan 4, 2007.

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  1. Bohous

    Bohous New Member

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    After slipping around in a dusting of snow in Maine last weekend I immediately decided that there was no way I was going to go through a New England winter on those (no)Integrities (which in my mind I had defended up to that point). The Traction Control contributed to much of my problem but regardless I decided I needed a tire with some bite and didn't want to go the snow tire route. After much research both here at PC and the usual online suspects I decided to go for Goodyear Triple Treads (195/60/15) available at Sears. The other tire I considered was the Michelin X-Radial only available at Costco. The reviews on their performance on snow and ice is what steered me toward the TTs. Problem is now I'm having a bit of buyer's remorse. Here's why:

    The last time I purchased tires was at Costco so I took for granted all that was included.

    from their website



    Now at Sears, included in the price of the tires is...well...the tires.

    $10.99 (x4=$43.96)balance and performance as if having new tires balanced is an option-just call it an installation charge fer crissake.
    $2.99 (x4=$11.96)valve stem fine, ok you need to replace the stems on new tires. I can pay the $12
    $64.99 Alignment You better believe they are going to align your car whether it need it or not. I told them to call if they saw that it had alignment issues. They did not call and did an alignment anyway. I refused to pay and they didn't put up much of a fight.
    $9.60 (x4 = $38.38) Road Hazard Plus Agreement- Same as Costco's Road Hazard Warranty (which is truly FREE). I asked the sales manager about this and he gave me a printout of all the FREE stuff I get for my $40 bucks. FREE flat repair, FREE tire replacement (if not repairable), FREE Wheel balancing (again, as if its an option with new tires), FREE valve stem replacement and 25% off new alignment. I asked him how this stuff was all FREE if it cost me $40 bucks. Smoke poured out of his ears. Call it what it is. Insurance. I didn't pay for it on principal. On top of that, they do not offer ANY of the other things Costco offers such as rotation, balancing, flat repair, etc for the life of the tire.

    Sears also told me it would only take 1 hour to change the tires. It took almost 2. My 1 year old was thrilled. Apparently they couldn't figure out how to get the car in neutral on the lift and it took them an extra 1/2 hour to figure it out even though I told them to call if they had any problems figuring out the car. Then they neglected to put my old tires in the back of the car as I requested and tried to charge me for disposal fee ($2.50ea- $1 ea at Costco fwiw). The mechanic had to then try to drive the car back into the bay to pick up the tires. I noticed after about 5 minutes that he was still sitting in the car in the parking lot. I went to go see what the problem was and he had the valet card in his lap, car in accessory mode, in neutral and the keys in his hand and a look on his face like he just sat down at a fancy restaurant and realized the whole menu was in French.

    I got the tires I wanted but I might have been just as well off with the X-Radials and had the piece of mind and the benefits of what Costco's tire dept. offers. Anyway, just thought I would share. Food for thought for anybody else looking to upgrade tires.
  2. tmorrowus

    tmorrowus Member

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    Yeah, that's the main reason I like costco for tires. I have always bought my tires there and they always repair my flats with good cheer, never trying to sell me anything extra. With other tire places you just don't know what the tires are going to cost until your credit card has been swiped.
  3. HokieHybrid

    HokieHybrid New Member

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    I'll never go to Sears auto again, they tried to rip me off when I went there for a new battery in my old car. I was replacing the battery before it needed it so I wouldn't have to worry about it being parked in a lot for long periods not getting started in chilly Blacksburg. They told me "The reason your battery died is that your alternator is bad, you won't make it home on it." Funny, I sold it three years later with that same "bad" alternator without a single problem. (I had my mechanic check it the next day)

    They saw the girly college stickers on it and thought they had someone they could manipulate. Too bad for them I know enough about cars to do ok, and I had my father along.
  4. nyprius

    nyprius Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Bohous @ Jan 4 2007, 10:49 PM) [snapback]371088[/snapback]</div>

    Good move on the tires. I think you'll love the TTs. Just based tread design, they're way better than the X-radial. In terms of tire dealer service quality, I think you have to look around. Not all Sears are bad or all Costco's good. I first went to Sam's club to get TTs, but I didn't like the look of the service bay. It was dirty and the workers didn't seem to care about their jobs. I next went to a local Sears where they matched the Sam's Club price and did a great job on the install. This Sears was clean and well run. I guess it depends on the local management.
  5. MarinJohn

    MarinJohn Senior Member

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    Because I prefer to shop locally at mom and pop stores I paid the premium and bought at my local tire store. Since my last purchase there they have apparently reconsidered their policy which at one time included lifetime re-balancing and free flat fixes. I went there yesterday for a balancing and got stuck for $24 (2 tires) and found out there is no free flat fixing any more. Now, besides paying a premium for the tires I purchased I will end up paying for all the 'extras' as need arises. I still don't yet shop at mega stores to save a nickel, but it's getting harder to live by my principals when those principals are costing so very much more. It gets harder and harder each day to walk your talk.

    [rant on] We all know how mega stores devastate local economies by providing less sales tax thru price cutting, running mom and pops out of business then threatening to pull out of the community unless localities reduce their property tax thereby creating underfunding of local schools, how they treat their employees, fight against providing health care and treating poorly those who make the products they sell. It seems like homogeneousness and mediocrity along with lowered expectations and the rise of the mega rich are all detracting from the quality of lives of the middle class. [rant off]
  6. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    So they charged you for valve stems? Time to charge them. You have tire pressure monitors, right? They can't replace the valve stems, as they are part of the monitors!
  7. Rest

    Rest Active Member

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    Remember Costco also includes a full cash lifetime return policy on everything except computers (which is 6 months).
  8. cairo94507

    cairo94507 Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(HokieHybrid @ Jan 5 2007, 03:05 PM) [snapback]371419[/snapback]</div>

    I would not blame Sears for this - just the idiot you spoke with. Sears has always been pretty reasonable in my experience. They have always checked alternators for free and when I replacea battery about 99% of the time I go with their DieHard Gold. Never had a problem with a Die Hard-ever. However, I have ocassionally had problems with ignorant sales staff. The best defense is an educated buyer.
  9. Chixsngr

    Chixsngr New Member

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    I just like Costco because its a progressive company. They treat their employees well and they contribute to good causes and blue candidates only.

    If I can buy anything at Costco...I will....
  10. priusenvy

    priusenvy Senior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(cairo94507 @ Jan 9 2007, 03:35 PM) [snapback]373335[/snapback]</div>

    I've had decent experiences with Sears too. Once I was at my vacation home and I could tell my battery was about to die. Took it to Sears and they saw that I had a DieHard and they looked up my warranty for me. They pro-rated the cost of a newer (and less expensive) battery and I practically got it for free. I didn't even know my battery was still in warranty.

    On the other hand, DieHards aren't particularly great batteries. They're made by Johnson Controls, who also makes Costco's Kirkland batteries (among others). Optima has a pretty good reputation on most auto forums. They were acquired by Johnson Controls a few years back, but Optimas are still of entirely different construction (spiral wound) than traditional batteries.
  11. sl7vk

    sl7vk Member

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    Why compare the Goodyear Triple's to the X-Radial's?

    Why not compare the better Michelin Hydroedge to the Triple thread? The Hydroedge is offered at Costco for 113.99
  12. Bohous

    Bohous New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(sl7vk @ Jan 10 2007, 03:51 PM) [snapback]373778[/snapback]</div>


    Snow traction ratings, period.


    From tiretrack.com

    Triple Treads
    Light Snow/Deep Snow/ Ice
    8.8 /8.3 /8.2

    HydroEdge
    7.8 /7.0 /7.0
  13. theorist

    theorist New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(cairo94507 @ Jan 9 2007, 06:35 PM) [snapback]373335[/snapback]</div>

    There's a business school case on Sears automotive repair policies that got them into trouble with the law. Management was setting quotas for repairs and surprise, surprise, it was soon discovered that their repair centers were doing many unnecessary and even fraudulent cases. Sears tried to argue that their incentives policy was unrelated to the fraud. Few were convinced. Hey, they've got to meet their quotas for alignments and alternators somehow. Just hope that you or enough others before you that week really needed them.

    Consumers' Checkbook Magazine is like a localized Consumer's Report available in some markets. Their studies and surveys of automotive repair shops have consistently found that the best shops are usually independent, owner operated shops. Occasionally a dealer's service department is good. Chains like Sears, Midas, Pep Boys, Monroe, Firestone, ... are very rarely good and often horrible.

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Rest @ Jan 9 2007, 06:16 PM) [snapback]373328[/snapback]</div>

    When our Costco tire center refused to perform the first tire rotation after 5,200 miles, telling me they would only do it after 7000 miles, I asked if I needed to return the tires if I was unhappy with their service. They said that refunds on tire returns are prorated by remaining tread depth (and did the first rotation).
  14. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    sears? no way. DH worked there. the first store was great, he was happy there. the second one when he transfered, not so. they were asking him to do unethical things and suspended him for insubordination when he refused. he was essentially told that if he wanted a job, he'd do whatever they told him to do and screw his moral compass and the ethics in repair pledge he made...

    he didn't want the job if it meant that.

    the corporate office made no reply to any of it...
  15. biff_debris

    biff_debris WOOF!

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    I got the TripleTreds about six months ago and love them. However, they seemed to accentuate a mis-alignment problem. After a wheel alignment I was much happier with them. Just one word of warning: they're heavy. In fact, 12 pounds heavier than the Integrities. I find this weight difference to be very noticeable, but not a problem with handling or accelleration.

    I bought mine at DiscountTireDirect.com and had them installed at a local one-man shop (I had to wait for two tractors before he got to me!). With the rebate (at the time) I got them basically at dealer cost.

    Enjoy your new tires!
  16. PLMurphy

    PLMurphy New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(MarinJohn @ Jan 9 2007, 05:46 PM) [snapback]373317[/snapback]</div>

    I thought you were posting about tires? Now I have to read inaccurate and highly prejudicial political statements that have no place on these boards.
  17. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    granted they are both local companies and i buy local if possible, but for me, tires are bought at either Costco or Les Schwabs. other than them two, its been more than 25 years (was not living in the Pacific Northwest) since buying a tire from anyone else.

    Les Schwabs provides LT free flat tire repair even if you didnt buy your current set of tires there. i had two flats on my 04 Prius with the stock integrities on on them (tires Les Schwab does not even sell) they fixed both without question. i had purchased 3 straight sets from them but my brother was the manager of the store in Bremerton, WA so i always went there. my free flat repair was done by the store in Lacey, WA
  18. dmckinstry

    dmckinstry New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(DaveinOlyWA @ Jan 21 2007, 08:55 AM) [snapback]378667[/snapback]</div>

    I usually do all my tire purchases at Les Schwabs as well. They're in Cheney. Costco is in Spokane. You've mentioned the other reasons. However, on the next set of snow tires, I'll ask if they can get ahold of something like the X-Ice tires. On wet ice, my current tires (which are siped) don't do well. OK for any colder ice or snow conditions though.

    Dave M.
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