On May 12, 2012 I was given a verbal quote over the telephone to install a drivers door master switch for $601.00. I explained to Mr. Jerry Tidwell that my wife had just entered Home Hospice care and I could not take the vehicle in for the installation. Mr. Tidwell suggested they pick up my vehicle, do the work and return it within a few hours. I agreed. On May 14, 2012 they picked up my vehicle for the replacement of the Master Switch.
When the work was completed and the vehicle returned that afternoon, I was presented with a credit card receipt to sign. I did not look at the total because was wife was in the house unattended and I needed to return to her. In addition, because I had been a Big O Tire customer since 2008 receiving numerous verbal quotes and excellent service at other locations, I had no reason to believe differently. That was until I saw the total of $710.77, which was contrary to the quote given over the phone.
On May 15, 2012, the day after the work was performed; the new switch was malfunctioning intermittently. When the keyless entry system was used to lock and unlock the doors and also was malfunctioning intermittently when using the master switch control panel in the door. Because my wife had to be transported to an In-Hospice Care facility that day my focus was understandably on her care and less on the door switch.
My wife passed away on May 18, 2012. On May 19, on my way to our church to discuss the Memorial Service, I went to Big O Tire store to discuss the bill and the malfunctioning switch. A mechanic came out to the vehicle and acknowledged the malfunction. Mr. Tidwell said they would order a new part, and install it as soon as it arrived. He said we would then discuss the correct billing.
My energies were consumed with the grief of losing my wife, and I did not call Big O Tire again until May 26, 2012, at 4:46 PM when I was told Mr. Tidwell was unavailable and that he would return my call as soon as possible. I did not receive a call. On June 1, 2012 I placed 3 calls at 2:06 PM, 3:10 PM and at 3:43 PM. It was on the final call that Mr. Tidwell told me the part was on back order and would not be available until the end of the month of June. It was also at this time told by Mr. Tidwell that the bill of $710.77 was correct. I was infuriated on both counts.
On June 13, 2012, I stopped by the Findley Toyota dealership in Henderson, NV and asked how long it would take to order the same part. I was told it would take 2 days to get the part from the warehouse. At this point, I knew I was dealing with an unscrupulous person in Mr. Tidwell. With that information, on June 14, 2012, I called Big O Tire Customer Relations Department at 10:42 AM. I spoke with the Customer Relations Representative Ellen, and filed a complaint explaining the aforementioned experience. At that time, I also reiterated receiving numerous verbal quotes over the telephone prior to the Master Switch quote, and every quote included all services, fees and taxes. I believed that Mr. Tidwell was exploiting my emotional situation relative to my wife just to make a few moredollars in profit. I had never received a quote for only a part and believed the quote of $601.00 should have been the total due upon completion.
When Ellen asked what would make me happy, I said that I wanted a new switch, that I wanted it to work, and I wanted a refund in the amount of the one hundred plus dollars I was over charged. The telephone call lasted approximately 22 minutes, or until 11:04 AM.
At 11:22 AM , just 18 minutes subsequent to the aforementioned phone call, Mr. Tidwell called indicating he would order a new part from a local Toyota dealer and install it upon its arrival and he would give me a $100.00 refund.
On 6/22/12 while scheduling the new parts installation, I told Mr. Tidwell, that I wanted the old part given to me, and that the refund amount was to be $109.77, not $100.00. It was to be the difference from the original quote of $601.00 and what I was charged. He then said I was going back on what I originally wanted, which he said was $100.00. That was just another fabrication on his part. I find it hard to believe that adding $9.07 to the refund was the issue. I believe that demanding the old part be given to me was the bigger issue. Now I cannot be sure they even installed a new part.
Further, subsequent to submitting a dispute with my Credit Card Company, Mr. Tidwell agreed to let another Big O Tire store install a new part and he, Mr. Tidwell, would give me a credit back to my card for $109.77. However, I was told by the store that would install the new part, that they would not accept liability if the part failed. How can any company install a new part and not stand behind? It was not acceptable to me. Subsequently, when I spoke to the Credit Card company, I was told they would move forward with the dispute which could take up to 45 days. This also is unacceptable given the amount of time already spent on this.. The credit card company initially tried to work out a reasonable solution but were unable to do so. They are now moving forward with the dispute and asked I provide them with a Second Opinion from an independent mechanic which I did yesterday.
The Second Opinion was provided by a reputable Angies List mechanic, that is an ASE Certified Technician. The opinion states the part works intermittently and sporadically. Big O Tire installed a defective part. They admitted to it. They admitted to overcharging me, and have failed to reimburse me nor replace the part. Mr. Tidwells continued delaying tactics causes me to have no faith in Big O Tire. It was over 9 weeks ago that this began and there has been no resolution and no satisfaction. This is unacceptable on all levels as a consumer. As a grieving widow and a senior, watch out, if this could happen to me it could happen to anyone.
Therefore, when I spoke to Wallace at the Big O Tires Corporate office I requested a full refund of $710.77 be applied to void the credit card charge. My request seemed to fall on deaf ears. I got no record number for my complaint, and no one said they would return my call, much less give me the requested refund.
I will continue to move forward with the credit card dispute, report my experience to the Better Business
Bureau and take whatever other remedies are available to me. I would suggest you get quotes from other reputable mechanics before considering Big O Tire. This has been a nightmare of a situation. The salient points here are; I was quoted one price, charged another price as my wife lay in Hospice care , and now have to deal with the defective part that they dont want to replace.