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davetibbs

Original Poster:

136 posts

31 months

[news] 
Monday 15th October 2012 quote quote all
Hoping the PH massive can help me with a problem I have. I recently took my Saab 9-3 on a European roadtrip - before this, it passed its MOT which had an advisory for the front wheel alignment as the front near-side tyre was worn around the edge (the other tyres were fine). The day the roadtrip started I took the car to an independent tyre fitter (whom I'm assuming has to stay nameless) to get the wheel alignment sorted and replace the two front tyres.

They did this - took ages to do it mind - but I paid and left. Driving away I noticed that the car was pulling to the right and if anything the tracking was worse than it was. However, I decided not to take it back as I needed to get to Bournemouth to pick up my girlfriend and make the ferry we'd booked, and they took long enough to sort it in the first place, and it didn't feel too far off.

Fast forward two weeks, roadtrip ended and the alignment feels even worse than it did before - furthermore something doesn't feel "right" at all and perhaps worse I've just noticed [u]both[/u] tyres (2 weeks old) are now worn very badly down around the outside edge. What prompted me to check this was that I could hear tyre squeal even at low speeds when cornering.

Obviously I will be taking it back to the garage but I thought I'd ask for your advice first - obviously the tracking needs to be sorted, but do I have a legal right to expect new tyres fitted at their expense? What's the best way of approaching it?

Any help gratefully received.

CurvaParabolica

2,431 posts

69 months

[news] 
Monday 15th October 2012 quote quote all
I don't know for sure, but given the fact that you didn't state any kind of objection 2 weeks ago when the work was done, and essentially accepted the quality of work by driving the car away, I don't think there is anything you can do unless the garage is feeling generous. They could easily turn around and say that you must have done something in the last two weeks to knock the tracking out again.

Red Devil

5,969 posts

93 months

[news] 
Monday 15th October 2012 quote quote all
davetibbs said:
Driving away I noticed that the car was pulling to the right and if anything the tracking was worse than it was. However, I decided not to take it back as I needed to get to Bournemouth to pick up my girlfriend and make the ferry we'd booked, and they took long enough to sort it in the first place, and it didn't feel too far off.
We both know you should have gone straight back and got them to sort it out, especially as you were aware the job hadn't been done correctly. I certainly wouldn't have taken the car abroad with such an obvious defect.

davetibbs said:
Obviously I will be taking it back to the garage but I thought I'd ask for your advice first - obviously the tracking needs to be sorted, but do I have a legal right to expect new tyres fitted at their expense? What's the best way of approaching it?
Re the tyres, my 2p worth is that you have two hopes. One is called 'Bob' and the other is 'No'. As for the alignment, if they can't get that right the first time I wouldn't be going back there. Chalk it up to experience and find somewhere that knows what they are doing.





Edited by Red Devil on Monday 15th October 17:30

simoid

12,620 posts

43 months

[news] 
Monday 15th October 2012 quote quote all
Tell their manager/owner what you've told us, and see what they say.

They might be in a good mood smile

markmullen

14,704 posts

119 months

[news] 
Monday 15th October 2012 quote quote all
simoid said:
Tell their manager/owner what you've told us, and see what they say.

They might be in a good mood smile
Or they might, quite reasonably, say if you thought there was an issue you'd have been better taking it back immediately rather than driving off around Europe knowing there was a problem.

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simoid

12,620 posts

43 months

[news] 
Monday 15th October 2012 quote quote all
markmullen said:
simoid said:
Tell their manager/owner what you've told us, and see what they say.

They might be in a good mood smile
Or they might, quite reasonably, say if you thought there was an issue you'd have been better taking it back immediately rather than driving off around Europe knowing there was a problem.
Worth asking: currently this customer has had an unhappy experience with the company, and may be bhing about them to friends and colleagues.

I'd at least give the manager the opportunity to turn the negative experience into a positive, although of course he might not want the hassle.

Consider the value to the tyrefitter of the OP saying: "went back to Simoid's Tyre Place far too late to reasonably expect him to fix a problem, but he gave me new 2 front tyres for the price of 1, apologised for the inconvenience caused by his (insert dodgy piece of equipment/recently fired numpty) and we had a chat about my road trip and our cars."

smile

Red Devil

5,969 posts

93 months

[news] 
Monday 15th October 2012 quote quote all
The OP's question was - does he have a legal right to obtain two new tyres for free? Given that he made no attempt to have the issue dealt with for two weeks and chose to drive the car with a fault that was patently obvious to him, I very much doubt it.

That said, I agree - asking costs nothing, and he might get a result. However in my experience the motor trade is rather backward when it comes to going above and beyond. It could learn a thing or two from supermarkets.

7db

5,950 posts

115 months

[news] 
Monday 15th October 2012 quote quote all
Red Devil said:
It could learn a thing or two from supermarkets.
Not about margins.

markmullen

14,704 posts

119 months

[news] 
Monday 15th October 2012 quote quote all
Red Devil said:
That said, I agree - asking costs nothing, and he might get a result. However in my experience the motor trade is rather backward when it comes to going above and beyond. It could learn a thing or two from supermarkets.
Supermarkets work at massively higher margins than the trade. As such they have much more to play with in goodwill.

There is already to much bhing on here from imbeciles who can't understand that garages are businesses and there to make money for their owners / shareholders, if margins rose to those of supermarkets there would be an outcry.

simoid

12,620 posts

43 months

[news] 
Monday 15th October 2012 quote quote all
The point of good customer service is ensuring that customers have good experiences, therefore recommend your business to others and continue to use your business. Especially so if you go 'above and beyond the call of duty' so to speak.

Customers who feel that they've not had good customer service won't return, and will tell their friends and colleagues of said shoddiness.

Many imbeciles forget this when dealing with customers' problems.

Bitofbully

394 posts

24 months

[news] 
Monday 15th October 2012 quote quote all
markmullen said:
Supermarkets work at massively higher margins than the trade.
You reckon?

Even the very best will only ever see a net of 5%. Most operate on much lower net margins than that - and it takes absolutely massive volume to get anywhere close to 5%.

REALIST123

3,553 posts

38 months

[news] 
Tuesday 16th October 2012 quote quote all
Bitofbully said:
markmullen said:
Supermarkets work at massively higher margins than the trade.
You reckon?

Even the very best will only ever see a net of 5%. Most operate on much lower net margins than that - and it takes absolutely massive volume to get anywhere close to 5%.
Plenty of small shops would love, absolutely love, to get a nett of 5%.

markmullen

14,704 posts

119 months

[news] 
Tuesday 16th October 2012 quote quote all
Bitofbully said:
You reckon?

Even the very best will only ever see a net of 5%. Most operate on much lower net margins than that - and it takes absolutely massive volume to get anywhere close to 5%.
I know.

On a brand new Mercedes the dealer has 8% gross, to allow for PX overallowance, discount, salesman's commission etc.

Do you reckon that will make 5% net?

covboy

1,700 posts

59 months

[news] 
Tuesday 16th October 2012 quote quote all
simoid said:
The point of good customer service is ensuring that customers have good experiences, therefore recommend your business to others and continue to use your business. Especially so if you go 'above and beyond the call of duty' so to speak.

Customers who feel that they've not had good customer service won't return, and will tell their friends and colleagues of said shoddiness.

Many imbeciles forget this when dealing with customers' problems.
I had a problem a few years back when a 2 month old tyre developed a sidewall problem. Basically it started to bulge (on the inside of the wheel) but I picked up the problem fairly quickly and went back to the supplier to get it fixed. “No problem – We’ll replace it, but you will get charged for the amount of wear over the two months”

I thought that was a bit rich for a faulty product that could have had serious consequences in the event of a failure, but was told it was company policy!

What would they have said if there was a law suit winging their way after a high speed blowout had caused serious damage or injury ?

Never used them again though.

KevinA4quattro

6,084 posts

165 months

[news] 
Tuesday 16th October 2012 quote quote all
Bitofbully said:
You reckon?

Even the very best will only ever see a net of 5%. Most operate on much lower net margins than that - and it takes absolutely massive volume to get anywhere close to 5%.
If the net was much less than that they would not be in business, investing the capital would bring a better return. Gross margins are more interesting and depends on the items concerned. Fresh produce in particular enables the supermarket to have a massive gross margin, they pay pennies for produce you pay them £1 for. Other produce such as tinned/packeted is much lower.

Another example. Hi-vis vest to carry in the car. Tescos in UK want £5-7, in Tescos Hungary it is around £1. Both identical products.

davetibbs

Original Poster:

136 posts

31 months

[news] 
Wednesday 17th October 2012 quote quote all
It's worth pointing out that when I left the tracking feeling "off" it was almost imperceptible and I wondered if it was just me at first. It was only over the course of the week that it got worse.

Just as an update, armed with the receipt I returned to the garage today, and found on the journey there the car was getting worse and worse to drive.

They gave it a quick once-over and sheepishly admitted that it looked like the track rod end bolts hadn't been tightened up when they did the alignment eekeekeek although weren't sure why this was.

They sorted the tracking (apparently each track rod end was 45mm out) and replaced both front tyres without question. Job's a good 'un - thanks for all advice.

Prizam

559 posts

26 months

[news] 
Wednesday 17th October 2012 quote quote all
davetibbs said:
It's worth pointing out that when I left the tracking feeling "off" it was almost imperceptible and I wondered if it was just me at first. It was only over the course of the week that it got worse.

Just as an update, armed with the receipt I returned to the garage today, and found on the journey there the car was getting worse and worse to drive.

They gave it a quick once-over and sheepishly admitted that it looked like the track rod end bolts hadn't been tightened up when they did the alignment eekeekeek although weren't sure why this was.

They sorted the tracking (apparently each track rod end was 45mm out) and replaced both front tyres without question. Job's a good 'un - thanks for all advice.
That is a great result!

In my experience tho, garages that can properly track a car are very few and far between! I'm in the market for some tracking eqiptment so i can do my own cars from now on.

simoid

12,620 posts

43 months

[news] 
Wednesday 17th October 2012 quote quote all
davetibbs said:
They sorted the tracking (apparently each track rod end was 45mm out) and replaced both front tyres without question. Job's a good 'un - thanks for all advice.
No voucher for money off next tyres? Shoddy service!

Just kidding smile

spikeyhead

8,687 posts

82 months

[news] 
Wednesday 17th October 2012 quote quote all
Prizam said:
That is a great result!

In my experience tho, garages that can properly track a car are very few and far between! I'm in the market for some tracking eqiptment so i can do my own cars from now on.
It is surprising the number of garages I've seen with very complex laser tracking machines that are operated by idiots with no idea how to use them.

Red Devil

5,969 posts

93 months

[news] 
Thursday 18th October 2012 quote quote all
spikeyhead said:
It is surprising the number of garages I've seen with very complex laser tracking machines that are operated by idiots with no idea how to use them.
+1

The human element is always the weakest link. There are only two places I trust to do such work. At both I know the person who will be doing it.

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