On 6/18/12 I purchased a brand new 24 x 8.5 trailer at A and A Center Trailer Sales in Grantville, GA. The trailer was manufactured by Lark United Manufacturing in Douglas, GA. My son drove approximately 400 miles one way to pick up the trailer for me. At the pre-purchase inspection my son noticed a trailer tire was low on air and A and A's mechanic refilled it to manufacturer specifications and assured my son that there were no other issues with the tire. The sale transaction was completed and my son headed for home with the trailer.
Around 4:30 pm and approximately 120 miles into his return trip my son discovered the tire with the air pressure had gone completely flat and the side walls were ruined. Upon further inspection he discovered a self tapping screw in the tire (identical to the ones used to secure the sheetmetal to the trailer). My son contacted A and A and they referred him to Executive Park Tire in Calhoun, GA.
The tire store was gracious enough to stay open after hours to accommodated my son. The mechanic told my son he would be better served by purchasing (2) radial tires because the store had no bias tires in stock. My son was advised against mismatching tires because it could produce potentially dangerous handling issues. My son's only other option would be to spend the night and order a tire the following morning. My son opted to pay $190.36 for (2) radial tires. This is approximately what (1) bias tire and a hotel room for the night would have cost.
My son called me while the tires were being changed out and apprised me of the situation. He also told me about the earlier issues with the trailer tire. I contacted A and A and spoke with Brandy who assured me that we would be reimbursed for all out-of-pocket expenses because in her words, "it was common for Lark United Manufacturing to deliver trailers with screws in the tires." She also told me that she had already been in touch with Wayne Johnson in Lark's United Manufacturing Warranty Department and he was aware of the situation. Brandy gave me Wayne's contact information and told me to call him the following morning.
I contacted Wayne the next morning on 6/19/12 and inexplicably he couldn't recall talking to A and A the day before about our tire issue. After reciting details of the events Wayne asked me to email him pictures of the tire and a copy of the tire receipt, which we did that day. Before ending the conversation I asked Wayne how long until we would be reimbursed for the tires. He stated "it would only take a day or two to render a decision." I reminded Wayne about Brandy's comments regarding Lark United Manufacturing tire issues. He refused to comment one way or the other.
The following morning on 6/20/12 my son went to Major Brands tire store to have the (2) remaining tires checked out. Both tires had been previously patched. One of those tires had (2) patches in it. This meant that (3) of (4) tires on a brand new $5,000 trailer were blemished! I contacted Wayne later that day and sent him photos of the (2) tires.
I waited until that Friday 6/22/12 and then decided to give Wayne a call. He told me he had not heard back from management but had turned everything into them. I told Wayne I expected to be reimbursed for both tires and he balked at that suggestion. I explained to him that my son had only two options available to him that day. Lark United Manufacturing could pay for (2) tires, or purchase (1) tire and pay for my son's hotel room that night, either way it worked out to basically the same amount. Wayne told me he didn't think the company would agree with my reasoning. Before hanging up I told Wayne I would be sticking with my original request.
I called Wayne back on Monday 6/25/12 and he told me no decision had been made yet. His overall attitude that day gave me the impression that he didn't care about my situation. I could just picture him on the other end of the line with a smug smile on his face. Earlier in the week I had done a company search and read numerous complaints about Lark United Manufacturing. It seems that Lark has a history of ignoring customer complaints. It also appears by the posts that Lark United Manufacturing puts very little, if hardly any effort into customer service.
After my conversation with Wayne on 6/25/12 I contacted the BBB and filed a complaint. It was intended to get Lark United Manufacturing to do the right thing and correct a wrong. On 7/17/12 the BBB contacted me back and indicated that Lark United Manufacturing had failed to respond to their complaint.
On 7/25/12 I contacted Mike Jordan, Sales Manager for Lark United Manufacturing and told him I was not the least bit impressed with the way his company had handled my claim. Mike told me he would "try" to resolve the issue. He asked me to resend the pictures and any documentation that I had. Not once during our five minute conversation did he ask me to repeat my name or ask for my phone number.
I contacted Mike Jordan back on 8/1/12 and he started off by stating that I "hadn't given his company a fair shake." I responded, "what did you mean?" His response, "you reported us to the BBB so now you can have them resolve the problem for you!" He hung up the phone like a coward before I had a chance to tell him I was also going to also contact his local Chamber of Commerce. Infuriated, I called back and one his minions named "Mike" answered. He told me that Mike Jordan had just walked out into the Plant and couldn't be reached.
Lark United Manufacturing could care less about customer needs or concerns. Go with a reputable company like Wells Cargo or Haulmark trailers. You may pay a little more, but they'll stand behind their product because they care about brand recognition.
I've learned my lesson and will not be promoting or purchasing Lark United Manufacturing products again.