ED Magedson – Founder
National Tire and Battery326 Center drive Vernon Hills, Illinois USA
National Tire and Battery, Tire Kingdom Inc. Overcharged for parts and lied about reason when asked. Vernon Hills Illinois
March 31, 2014
4300 TBC Way
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410
Dear Sir or Madam:
I am writing to tell you my recent customer experience at National Tire and Battery (NTB) in Vernon Hills, Illinois. I was defrauded. My time was wasted talking to the Store Manager. My time was wasted writing this letter.
On February 19, 2014 I brought my vehicle to NTB to access the reasons it was undriveable and repair it if possible. I had it towed to the facility after having it okayed by the manager on the telephone.
The mechanics discovered a broken sub frame part and right CV joint that needed repairs. The estimated price given to me was much higher than I expected and I expressed my concerns to the Assistant Manager Jesse Christensen. I asked him about different ways to reduce the cost. I asked him about the $900.00 sub frame part and if it could be found used and put on. He told me they checked where they normally get parts and it could not be found. I asked whether I could get the part and have them install it. He said no. I made it very clear that this part was expensive for me to buy and I was seeking any way to lower its cost.
He lowered the cost on a second estimate to $825.00. I still asked him to call the Store Manager or regional manager to see if the cost could be reduced on any parts of the bill. He refused.
At no time did he inform me that I could purchase the sub frame part at a much lower cost direct from the dealer or that they were marking it up tremendously.
We also spoke about the need for bushings to be replaced also as they were encountered. I told him that I did not want to “save” money on bushings. That if they were needed they should be replaced. He agreed and said safety was important to him.
I agreed to have the work done and they began. It took most of the day and I was there or out to lunch nearby and returned. They completed the work and I paid in full. At the time of payment I was informed that the bushings for the sub frame had not been replaced because they could not get them right away. I was not pleased with this and I said that it was not good that I would end up paying labor twice for that when it should have been done. Mr. Christensen agreed that I could come in at another time to have the bushings done without a labor charge and printed out a separate estimate for me.
So it is obvious they believed the bushings should be done. Everyone there was at all times courteous and helpful.
Subsequently I had a conversation with a Service Manager at the Suzuki Dealership and he was amazed that I paid $825.00 with an initial quote of $900.00 for the sub frame part when he knew it to be sold from them at retail for around $300.00.
1st call: On 3-21-14 Friday at 2:30 PM Central time, I called the NTB Store Manager Mr. Robert Arriga because on the form you use it says “If you have a question or concern please speak to our store manager, Robert Arriga at (847) 918-9940.”
I started to tell him the basics of why I called but he cut me off saying he was caught “off-guard” and wanted to look at the file before continuing to speak to me. I said I could call back on Monday.
2nd call: On 3-24-14 Monday at 11:30 AM Central time, I spoke to Mr. Arriga. I informed him about the sub frame and how I felt it was dishonest to overcharge me by that much and about the bushings. He told me twice that he “was 100% sure that the” sub frame cost them more than $300.00. He asked me to get him a part number and description from the dealer so he could compare it to the part number he ordered.
He said he wanted to see the car to look at it also and wanted to resolve this quickly as he was leaving soon on April 1st. I asked when he would be back and he said he did not know. I thought this was odd that he had somewhere to go but returning was unknown.
3rd call: On 3-25-14 Tuesday at 3:30 PM Central time, I spoke to Mr. Arriga again. I told him I confirmed the price at the dealer and gave him the part number. He again said it couldn’t be and he was sure they paid more. He then asked to look at his receipt for the part and to call me back.
I said “why don’t you look now” while I was on the phone? He said he “does not keep February receipts lying around.” Funny since we were discussing this problem and he claimed to have looked at my file after I first called.
He said he would call back tomorrow.
3-26-14 Wednesday no return call from Arriga.
4th call: On 3-27-14 Thursday at 2:30 PM Central time, I called again. I was put on hold when I asked for Arriga and then told it was his day off.
5th call: On 3-28-14 Friday at 9:55 AM Central time, I spoke to Mr. Arriga again.
He said I “would have to refresh his memory about the problem” after I identified myself and the car. I asked him “if he looked at the part numbers I gave him.”
Instead of answering my question he said that the shop was “under a lot of pressure that day to get me out of there” so I could “expect to pay more for convenience.” Apparently the “refreshing” worked well. He was talking without allowing me to enter the conversation.
He said he was not there that day but he could offer some discount in the future “but he would not give me a refund.” I had never asked for a refund.
Without pausing he said “he would switch me back to Jesse so I could talk it over as he (Mr. Christensen) was there that day.”
I tried to say that No, I would not talk again to Jesse but he did not wait for any reply from me but just put me on hold. I hung up.
The cost of the part was confirmed by a Suzuki Dealer as:
$254.44 for the sub frame piece.
$5.20 for 4 long bolts.
$2.76 for 2 short bolts.
$280.76 Total without taxes
It was unconscionable to overcharge me for this part by that much. It was dishonest to not inform me of the savings if I did the repair at the dealer when I explained my desire to reduce the bill. It was wrong not to tell me the bushings were not changed because they could not get them in time.
It was pathetic that the manager first tried saying that there was not an overcharge and then change his story to a “time pressure situation” that compelled them to rip me off. At no time did I say to any worker or employee of NTB that I was in a rush or they should get it done by a certain time. That was a lie.
I imagine you consider your time valuable. I consider my time valuable. So you probably have guessed that at this stage a simple “refund” of the morally wrong overcharge, as Mr. Arriga suggested is now out of the question.
Like most people I don’t like to be the victim of fraud or dishonesty or morally reprehensible behavior.
My time and resources have been wasted by your company.
However I am still willing to put in just a bit more time to help protect other consumers from bad people even if it does not help me. As I was writing this letter I could not help but think how the Internet has enabled the average consumer now the power to get out their message.
And I could not help laughing at the way some bloggers or tweets or consumer backlashes got started and eventually resulted in market losses for the corporation, all because some company was misinformed about the power the new age of publicity has on the World Wide Web.
I look forward to your reply. Or not. I know your time is valuable too.
Enclosed is copy of receipt of services.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/09/2014 10:26 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/National-Tire-and-Battery/Vernon-Hills-Illinois-60061/National-Tire-and-Battery-Tire-Kingdom-Inc-Overcharged-for-parts-and-lied-about-reason-1160737. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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