Report: #262849

Complaint Review: Walmart

  • Submitted: Tue, July 24, 2007
  • Updated: Tue, April 14, 2009
  • Reported By: Gardendale Alabama
  • Walmart
    Gardendale, Forestdale, Alabama

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A year ago, I took my car to get the oil changed at the Gardendale Walmart. They told me that upon routine inspection, my tread was dangerously low and that I needed to replace my front two tires; they even made me sign a piece of paper stating that they told me. I did not have the money at the moment to do so, but explained that I got paid at the end of the week, so they gave me a quote for $60 tires. When I went back, they were "understaffed and lots of cars in front of you", so I took it to the Forestdale Walmart, literally the next town over. The manager there explained that the quote I received was for tires that couldn't even be put on my car. She let me have the next cheapest tires ($80 a piece) but didn't charge labor fees. I continued to go to the Gardendale Walmart over the past year for oil changes and even an entire inspection because I was taking a very long road trip and needed to make sure my car would make the trip. (I also had to buy new back tires at that time b/c they were so warped that they would've blown at any minute- I had bought them from Walmart also.)

Yesterday, I got an amazing flat tire. No sign. I just parked my car, and it felt like I parked in a big ditch. My neighbor graduated with a degree in cars and mechanics, so he offered to help us fix the flat. The hole was located on the INSIDE of the tire and was so big that he could stick his finger in it. As soon as he took the tire off, he told me what the problem was: alignment. He explained that the alignment was so bad that it looked like I was riding an "A" shape. It had literally worn down and ripped open the inside of a year-old, pretty much brand-new tire.

Now, I'm not making excuses...but I am a 19-year-old female. I don't even know what alignment is, nor that it's something that needed to be done when you changed your tires. Not to mention the fact that it can lead to problems much worse than a ripped open tire. Not once, when I got my tires or got my oil changed, did anyone ever mention anything about alignment, whether they did it or did not do it and I needed to get it done elsewhere. NEVER.

So I called my regular Walmart (Gardendale) and explained the situation. The manager was polite and explained that they did not do alignment, and that if I bring my car in the next day, they would help me out and do whatever they could.

Today, I realized that Forestdale Walmart did my tires, so I called them to voice the same complaint and tell them I would be coming there, but the manager was very rude. She told me that their warranty does not cover mis-alignment damages. I told her that I understood, but no one ever said anything ABOUT alignment for me to even know that I needed to look at the warranty. So I concluded with her that I would bring the old tire and they could deduct the price from the new tire, just like they normally do. "No ma'am, your warranty does not cover mis-alignment damages." So I asked her if I had to come in and buy brand new tires for the SECOND time this year. She told me yes and started to tell me to have a nice day, but I hung up on her.

Not once in the years I have been getting my tires at Walmart had anyone ever uttered the word "alignment." How can you not be held responsible for something you NEVER told your customers?

I am going today, in person, to get my new tire. This is ridiculous.

I will not take my car to ANY Walmart Tire & Lube Express ever again.

Gardendale, Alabama

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 07/24/2007 09:37 AM and is a permanent record located here: 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Totally understand your situation.

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

I hear where you are coming from, Arienne. Most people don't know alot about cars, and thats ok! Unless you are into them professionaly or as a hobby, there are things you're just not going to know.

Unfortunately this is a lesson in skill scales. WalMart has tire and lube services ONLY because it's a way to make a quick buck and you don't have to hire highly skilled people to do it (that is THEIR thought, I disagree wholeheartedly). With a piece of machinery as complex and complicated as a car, I HIGHLY recommend that you visit a qualified repair shop that does just that, auto repair. You may pay a little more, but you get that much better service usually. In many cases the mechanics that work on your car are going to have MUCH more experience than a WalMart associate (no disrespect). The lure of cheap service may look good at first but it has it's price. In a case like this you really do get what you pay for.

I would also recommend that you take some time and get aquainted with the general maintenance aspects of your car and car repair. There are even books out there geared specifically toward women to help them understand this topic. Knowledge is POWER. The more you know, the more you will be able to take care of your vehicle. Good luck!!
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#2 UPDATE Employee

Are You Insane?

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

It sounds like your alignment or (wheel bearing) was so bad that the inside of your tires were rubbing against the bottom of your top strut mount? No. I'm guessing that you are in need of an allignment asap. A front end allignment is essential to all vehicles, but especially to front wheel drive cars that have all of the tractive and and directional force combined on the front two tires.

If you get get that front end dialed in, and rotate your tires as needed, you'll get much more life from your tires. Your front tires are going to wear out much faster than the rears, so keep rotating to keep the better ones up front. Tread gauges are sold cheap. If you never rotate the tires on a minivan, you'll have new tires in the rear, and bald in the front.
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#3 UPDATE Employee

You're Lucky

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

I am in my third year of school covering communications systems enginering technologies, and electrical constuction and maintainance. Before this, I ran and maintained a D-8 Catapillar bulldozer. Prior to that, I was a truck driver who was responsibe for every truck I drove with an engine replacement cost of at least $10,000. Before that, I would spend my summer nights swapping engines and pounding out sheet metal on dirt-track cars.
But what the hell would I know? I work part time at Wal-Mart TLE. Go to your dealership and ask to see the resume of their oil change/tire guy. Wal-Mart hired me on the spot because I had done all of this before at Cenex. Applicants without experience receive thourough training by those of us who certify them.
A "mechanic" is not changing your oil at a dealership, unless their is nothing else for the mechanic to do, they have "service techs" hired at $10 an hour to service/and/or detail the car. So if you want an oil change or new tires, we are more than happy to accomodate with competant service at a low price.
If you have neglected your vehicle and expect a miracle, take it elsewhere.
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#4 UPDATE Employee


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

wal mart does not do allignments and they do not have to give addvice on things they dont do. if they noticed a problem yes they should have said something but that does not make them responseable for the damage it is your inspection mechanics job to look at these things and yours for being the owner. cars need to be taken care of and i sugest that you learn someting about cars.
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

Arianne, WalMart DOES NOT employ mechanics. That is the FIRST problem here.

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


WalMart should be avoided for anything on your car. Period. They are NOT mechanics, and they are NOT a repair shop. They simply sell tires, batteries, and oil changes. They don't diagnose or fix anything.

And, at 19, I can't figure "how many years you have been buying tires" at WalMart, but I am an ex mechanic at 44 and can tell you that an alignment should be done anytime you invest money in new tires and usually once a year after that as a minimum if you do alot of driving or drive on rough roads.

It sounds like your car is shot and you are blaming WalMart for it. It is YOUR responsibility to PROPERLY repair and maintain your own car.

You never mentioned what year, make, and model your car is or how many miles are on it. This is all very important info for us to have to understand the rip off here.

AND, even a very bad alignment would not ruin a tire that fast or cause a big hole on the inside. It simply does not work that way. An alignment will cause uneven wear, usually one edge or the other will wear faster than the other. It takes many miles in most cases.

There is no "A" shaped wear from a bad alignment. Your freind should go back to school, and you should go to a REAL shop with REAL mechanics to maintain your car, however, you would not get WalMart prices.

You most likely hit some debris in the parking lot and ripped a hole in your tire. It happens.
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#6 Consumer Comment

Not Wallmart's Fault

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

This situation is not Wallmart's fault in any way shape or form. You have to understand that they usually hire people that can barely write or find their way to the bathroom without help. They know absolutely nothing about cars.

Alignment can go out at anytime. Anytime you hit a pot-hole, or a curb or a ditch, your alignment is at risk. Even if you car needed an alignment when you bought the tires, the guy that did the work probably didn't even notice because he had no clue what he was looking at.

Now, in a year, you should've had the tires rotated at least 3 times, and if you didn't, shame on you. If you had taken the car to anywhere but Wallmart for a tire rotation, they would've told you that there was a problem with your alignment, as it is quite evident just by looking at your tires.

Stay away from Wallmart for anything except buying groceries and junk. Never trust them with your car. You don't go to an auto parts store to buy butter, do you? So, don't go to a grocery store to get your car fixed!
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