I went to Sams Club as a member, and ordered a set of 4 Michelin tires that don't stock for my 2003 Toyota Camry on April 10, 2009, and paid for upfront.
On April 14, 2009, I received a call at 4:10pm that the tire set was in, was told they were not busy, and I could go in and have the set installed in about 45 minutes.
I went in, paid the installation fees, and the car was driven into the bay area, while I stood behind the glass window outside the service area to watch the process. One tech on the east side of the car took two wheels to install, and another on the west side took the other two. The one on the east side -closer to my window post- looked nervous and in a hurry -even though I was told they close at 7:00pm- and when he installed the tire in the rim, and took it to the balance spinner, he stroke the alloy wheel rim 6-8 times with an all metal hammer where he put a balance weight. He, then, left the wheel spinning, while he fitted the second tire on its rim.
Upon fitting, the second tire, he returned to the spinning balance bay, and again stroke the alloy wheel rim another 5-6 times -without any further spinning!
I knew right away that a balance weight doesn't need about 15 hammer strikes to set in, and upon installation I took the car to the corner of the parking lot for inspection. I expected the weight to look really smashed, but it look pristine - no scratch. However, next to the balance weight, the alloy wheel was hammered flat!!!!, and a piece had broken off!!
I returned to the store within 7 minutes, but the technician who had broken my alloy wheel had vanished! I told Sandy, the cashier who handled the transaction about the damage, and she came outside to inspect the car with the technician who had installed the West side tires. They said that "the broken piece came off when their technician pulled off the old weight!" But their nervousness, and the disappearance of the culprit technician right away -2 hours before closing time- showed that they knew about the damage done to my car, and they had the excuses ready. "We have nothing to do with that," Sandy said. She then, brought a camera, and took a picture of the battered wheel for the back of the flat hammered spot that made the damage almost invisible to the camera - except the broken chip section. Then they told me that "we have cameras everywhere," we will find out what happened.
A few days later, I received a message from David Horton, of Claims Management, Inc. (CMI) who told me he represented an insurer fro Sams Club, and lauded the good services to its customers. But from a letter I received from CMI, it doesn't look to me like an independent insurance carrier; it looks like a Walmart branch that disposed legitimate customers complaints, and probably get bonuses for saving Walmart money.
To add insult to injury, David called me two days later, and told me that he watched the tire installation video, and look at the damage picture, and there was nothing improper and no damage!!!
And that is the epitome of ARROGANCE of a behemoth company that can do damage to anybody, and nobody can tough them - even legally. That dawned on me because I watched some time back an NBC documentary in which a woman judge is Texas said she had issued several Court Orders to Walmart, but Walmart had ignored ALL OF THEM!!!
The Epilogue of this sordid Sams Club damage and denial to my automobile, and the inability even of the courts to make that behemoth beast comply or take responsibility for its actions, shall serve as a warning to all those who try to save a few bucks: You may save a few bucks, but you may also get much more damage to your car, and you will have no recourse - even with a lawyer. State courts, and state attorney generals are no match for Walmart. Only the U.S. Justice Department can tackle Walmart, but they have no jurisdiction on local consumer complaints.
The moral of the story on this Rip Off report. The bigness of Walmart and Sams Club affords them the Power of Arrogance, the Power to defy State Courts, and the Power to Damage Your Car, and then ignore any legitimate complaint with impunity! Their bottom line is profit, and covering their damages will reduce it. Deal with them at your own risk!
River Grove, Illinois
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Sams Club