in june of 2000 i purchased a set of carbon-metalic frt brake pads (pt#4214s) made by Performance Friction, for my 89 ford taurus SHO sedan, from an autozone store. these pads had a lifetime warranty. in 2002 i swapped these out for a new set,same brand, same part number,because they were worn out. i had no problem with that transaction. no complaints.
on or about 06/27/2k5 i heard a slight noise from my frt brakes. upon closer examination, i found that the front pads were down to the metal. this was about 7pm. i removed the front pads and proceded to the airway rd autozone because that location stayed open longer than any location near me.
i had an employee look up my warranty, and was told that it was still in force. so he looked up my replacement part only to find that my old part number was recalled. i said does autozone still carry Performance Friction? he responded yes. it was soon discovered the same part was recalled and repackaged with a new and improved looking box and slightly different part # (421.25).
the same part in the new box had a higher price by $20.00 and a reduced warranty period to two years. i had no problem with the reduced warranty period, but felt that i should not pay more money for the same part, which in the past had been a damaged swap.
as a former parts manager for autozone, i was able to correct this same repackaging problem for any customer as part of good customer service. why penalize the customer for a product company's updated packaging and lose or offend a valued customer.
i explained this situation to the manager on duty and she called the store manager at home. the store manager insisted that i pay the additional $20.00 for the same part and shorter warranty period.
the warranty return/swap program in the computer actually has an edit button to correct the price of a return in case there has been a price change since the last warranty purchase. this is so the customer wont be inconvienced by price changes on the same part.
the only other option i was given after 20 or so minutes of me explaining this was an "apples to apples" exchange, was for me to buy any pads at another company other than autozone,and show proof of purchase. then my money would be refunded at the old part number price.
finally, with my car on blocks at home and no other company open to help me, i left to buy parts at another company the next day. it seems to me that a customer who has spent over $5000.00 with autozone since 1994(documented)would have been accomodated, instead of being forced to find another after market parts supplier...autozone has lost my business indefinitely.....