• Report: #211770
Complaint Review:

Les Schwab Tire Center

  • Submitted: Tue, September 19, 2006
  • Updated: Sun, October 01, 2006

  • Reported By:Portland Oregon
Les Schwab Tire Center
8910 SW Barbur Blvd Portland, Oregon U.S.A.

Les Schwab Tire Center ripoff Damaged wheels denies having caused it and there's no such thing as customer service Portland Oregon

*Author of original report: credit has been issued, yet they still deny having had anything to do with the damage.

*Consumer Comment: I see several issues in this

*Author of original report: Update Completely denies his store having caused the damage.

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I took my vehicle to a Les Schwab Tire Center on 8910 SW Barbur Blvd which is not a location I'm familiar with, because my preferred location does not have the equipment necessary for the service I was looking for.

Before I go on, this is my advise to you. If you have wheels you don't want to have scratched, or a car you don't want dented, you let someone there know and PHOTOGRAPH EVERYTHING beforehand in the presence of their employee otherwise, be prepared to get told "your word against ours" should they cause any minor damage.

My purpose of the visit was to have a Road Force balance and ForceMatch performed on my wheels/tires with their Hunter Engineering GSP9700 machine.

Road Force balancing is a specialized type of tire/wheel balancing that matches the low-spot of the tire and the high spot of the wheel are matched to attempt to correct phantom vibrations that standard spin-rotation couldn't eliminate. (more info on www.gsp9700.com)

It is an $80 service for customers with non Les Schwab tires.

The machine identifies the high and low spots, then instructs the operator to mark these spots.

Once the spots are marked, the operator will unmount the tire from the wheel, turn the tire with respect to the wheel until the temporary marking on the wheel and the tire are matched, then the tire is seated on the wheel again. These mounting/dismounting procedure is required for ForceMatch procedure and this is the step with a risk of wheel damage.

The technician used a different machine to mount/dismount the tires. He used a machine that holds the wheel/tire steady while a metal bar attached to the centerpost rotates around to handle the bead. The tip of the bar is covered with a piece of plastic, but slides along the circumference of the wheel with a considerable force exerted on the wheel. The technician also used a pry-bar in handling the tire bead.

Clear coat was grinded from the rim of all four wheels and one wheel had a chip in the edge.

These are not the tools that should be used on delicate alloy wheels. Machines designed for them has a roller guide that ROLLS along the rim, rather than SLIDES along and scraping it. The clearcoat is easily damaged just like the paint on your car. Imagine sliding a piece of plastic along your car while pushing on it as hard as you can. That's the idea.

My car was washed a few days before and I KNOW for SURE there were no damages on my wheels. I took my car back to the store and asked for a manager, as I wanted a refund.

Manager was not available, so I had one of their guys, Tom inspects my wheels. I showed him the damage that is clearly very fresh that ground up clear-coat powder still flakesd off when I ran my finger nail over it to demonstrate him. I also showed him the pry-bar damage.

He stated "this is a mounting damage". Well Sherlock, yes it is. This is a mounting damage from the day before from Les Schwab technician mounting/unmounting my tires back on during the ForceMatch process.

He asked me "did technicians actually mount/unmount the wheels?", clearly an indication he has no clue about the process of ForceMatch process.

He backs up with "Since these aren't Les Schwab tires, we didn't mount them"

Tom said "if we refund the money, would that make you go away? I know you don't want to do any business with us and we don't want any claims or whatsoever about the wheels. I'll leave a note to the manager and I'm sure he'll ok it"

I'm not stupid enough to not inspect my wheels after it was originally installed by the first shop, so I know the damage was not done there. I know it is not curb damage either, because the damage was NOT there when I washed my car a few days ago, I'm the only one who drives that car and I have not curbed it.

I asked him to accept that they caused the damage. He responds "Since we don't know what the wheels looked like when you brought it in, we won't accept responsibility for it, but since you're not happy with it we'll refund the money"

To their credit, I have to say, Les Schwab has great service, UNTIL something happens to your car and this is my first time. Then, they will claim "your word against ours, no proof the damage wasn't there before", perhaps unless the damage is substantial enough they can't possibly talk their way out.

If you have to let Les Schwab work on your wheels, especially if you have non L.S. tires and they damage your wheel, they will deny their part in it, even without talking to the actual tech who worked on it. No, they would not say "we probably didn't" they would say "we are not responsible for it" with such a certainty.

Portland, Oregon

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/19/2006 12:58 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/les-schwab-tire-center/portland-oregon-97219-4016/les-schwab-tire-center-ripoff-damaged-wheels-denies-having-caused-it-and-theres-no-such-t-211770. 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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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

credit has been issued, yet they still deny having had anything to do with the damage.

AUTHOR: David - (U.S.A.)

credit has been issued, yet they still deny having had anything to do with the damage.

Here's my response to your comment.

#1. It seems like you don't believe what I'm saying. I was physically present when the they did the installation, I have no doubt in what I saw. They use exactly the same machine for both steel and alloy wheels. The only revision made is a polymer "lid" that slides on the arm that rotates with the center post. If you come across a Les Schwab, I would suggest you go take a look.

#2. ForceMatch isn't quite the same. The machine tells the technician exactly how far to turn the wheel in relation to the wheel, not blanketly turning half a turn. My wheels were in immaculate conditions when I washed the car only a few days before the visit to this Les Schwab. Seeing I'm the only driver and I have NOT curbed the wheel, driver error is ruled out. If you look at my wheel, you'll see that the alloy is not damaged at all, but it is just the clearcoat and the silver-painting beneath it that got abraded away. Very similar to what happens to a vehicle body panel when it is abraded against plastic, such as a bumper from another vehicle.

My complaint with Les Schwab isn't that they didn't perform the service. It is that they failed to perform a service w/o inflicting damage to my wheels.
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#2 Consumer Comment

I see several issues in this

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

1-NOBODY, and I do mean NOBODY, uses the type of tire buster you described. "Rim-Clamp" tire machines have been the standard for 20 years. The machine you decsribed is ONLY used by shops who still think it's the 1970's, and they are ONLY designed to be used on steel rims. Using a center post machine on an aluminum rim is an invitation to damage.

That said...no shop is going to be held liable for any damage done to a non-factory rim. Also, no shop is going to be held liable for any damage that consists of garring the outer lip of the bead area. This "damage" is not possible to eliminate entirely, as even a plastic covered bar will eventually cause scoring on that area. Any damage done outside the rim(where it can scrape curbs, etc) is driver error, and in no way the fault of the tire machine...no matter what type is used.

2-The extra service you paid $80 for, is known as the NORMAL WAY to maount/balance a tire. On any tire/rim combo, if the assembly requires too much weight, the tire is broken down, and turned 180 degrees. Then it's rebalanced. This process is repeated, until the weight requirement is correct. All tires come with two dots on the sidewall. If the dot is placed at the valve stem, the tire will require very little added weight.

You got robbed of $80, as this process is simply part of NORMAL mounting/balancing procedure. "Trueing" is a different process, in which the tire is made round, and involves a lathe to shave the tread until it is perfectly round. This process wastes negligible amounts of rubber, but the cost is usually prohibitive.

3-You bought the tires at one place, then paid LS to pretty much redo what the 1st shop did. When you tale #2 into account, your real complaint is with the 1st shop for not mounting/balancing the tires correctly to begin with.

Get your money back...not from LS, but from the shop that did not correctly mount/balance your tires. THEY ripped you off, not LS.
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#3 Author of original report

Update Completely denies his store having caused the damage.

AUTHOR: David - (U.S.A.)

The location manager, Steve, contacted me. The manager's word is the same as the inspecting employee, Tom. Completely denies his store having caused the damage. Manager's argument to clear coat damage on my wheels is that "your wheels are not clear coated, because clear coated wheels don't scrape up like that, they peel".

I'm sure some readers have expertise in the art of wheel coating and I'll leave it up to you to interpret his statement.

He is simply refunding my money for the service because "you're unhappy with it, even though we've provided a serivce and worked on your car for well over an hour"

That Les Schwab is not getting my business anymore and I let the manager know that. He responds "then I really don't have an incentive to give your money back, do I?". However he did confirm he will hold his word to issuing the refund for the service, so I will keep checking my credit card records until the refund is posted.
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