America's Tire Company Story

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CA
Long Read: Here's the story: I went to discounttiresdirect.com and looked for tires for a Toyota 4Runner. O.E. size is P265 70R/16. I had my Consumer Reports magazine nearby and noticed that the Hankook was highly recommended for its price/performance ratio. Discount Tires Direct had the tires for $76/tire, plus $9/tire shipping and any applicable taxes. They also had the Road Hazard available, for an additional $9-$10/tire. All together, the grand total would probably come out to about $400 after all taxes. So I called the local America's Tire Company close to my house and asked them how much it'd cost to have them installed. I told them that I'd be interested in the lifetime rotation/balance and flat repairs, and their labor fee came out to $106. So about $506 for 4 Tires installed, with road hazard. A good deal compared to the $560 I quoted by Les Schwab for a set of Toyo Open Country A/T tires with the same guarantee(s). While I was still on the phone, I asked him if he could order the tires for me on his behalf (thought he could get them cheaper, even though they are the same company). He said that it'd be $86/tire installed (with the free lifetime rotation/rebalance and flat repairs), if he had gotten them for me. I also inquired about the Road Hazard, and it'd be an extra $13/tire; $3-$4 more per tire than Discount Tires Direct, but at least America Tire Company's policy doesn't force you to ship the tire back like Discount Tires Direct does. All together, counting in the lifetime rotation/rebalance, free flat repairs, and Road Hazard, the total came out to $440 "out the door, including any applicable taxes and fees." By the way, to note, the tires have to be special ordered directly from Hankook, and you'll see why this is important later. It seemed to me that this price was too good to be true. So about 10 minutes later, I called back and got a hold of a different employee. Sure enough, this "other employee" quoted me the same price for the tires, $86/installed, but noted that there would be a $7/tire shipping charge since it’d have to be special ordered. So instead, the quote from this employee was $468 "out the door." A $28 difference. At this point, I start getting uneasy feelings about this place because it made me feel as though they were trying to screw me over. But nevertheless, I decided to give them another chance, so I gave them a third call back. This time, I got a hold of the first person I talked to, the person who gave me the price $440 "out the door." I asked him the possibility of another shipping fees, and he said that there would probably be a $7/tire shipping fee. So I asked him whether the quote earlier including shipping fee, and he said no. He added though, that since he forgot to tell me about the shipping fee while quoting me the price earlier, he’d waive the shipping fee. At that point, I also asked him about the details of the Road Hazard program. He told me that if a tire becomes damaged to a point where it cannot be repaired safely, it’d be replaced free of charge. Then, I asked him if free flat repairs were included anyway with the purchase, he said yes, so I, at that point, told him that I might not get the Road Hazard. At that point, he jumps in and tells me that he’ll only waive the shipping fee on the tires if I order the Road Hazard program, so he said, “that’s an incentive for you to consider the Road Hazard.” So basically, if you do the math, the Road Hazard now drops to $6/tire since if I had bought the 4 tires without the road hazard and was charged the shipping fee, it’d be $418. If I had bought the 4 tires with the Road Hazard, it’d be $440. Not bad. I left him my name and told him that I’ll call him back if I decide to proceed. So what do you folks think? $440 seems like an awesome deal to me for tires that are highly rated in a recent issue of Consumer Reports. If I go for it, I’d be saving $120 over Les Schwab’s Toyo Open Country A/Ts. Michael
 
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palm beach
(Edited out nasty comment--Dan) thats more than my race tyres cost, and they are a speciality item! [ February 26, 2005, 08:13 PM: Message edited by: Dan4510 ]
 
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Katy, Texas
I've had enough with discount/America's Tire co. Some of the employees are rude and won't sell you a tire brand if they say it's not good. I wanted General Grabber AT2 tires. They are a design from Europe by Continental and are basically relabled Continental tires. Well, he wouldn't quote me. Am i going back there? Nope. If you can get that deal, go for it. Personally, I would go with Toyos.
 
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ME
The road hazard is part of the flat repair. They'll try to fix it before they replace it. I don't know how they can seperate one from the other. Also you'll just get a prorated price on the new tire, so if it's half used up you have to pay for half a tire. And you'll feel funny having one new tire, especially if you have 4wd/Awd. (Can really mess with fulltime AWD especially, different diameters). They'll make you come in every often for free rotations as a contingent for the warranty and try to sell you fuel injection cleanings when you're in there. Maybe even make you get an alignment too beforehand or threaten to use a poor alignment as a copout for bad tires. If I were you and still wanted to use these guys I'd get a printout of their price quote and read the warranty beforehand.
 

The Critic

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Well, hear is a copy of the warranty: Home Store Locator Tires Wheels Easy Credit Info Center Certificate for Free Replacement Why pay for a problem tire when you can get it replaced free? Over twenty-eight years ago Discount Tire/America’s Tire Co. responded to a very clear customer demand; offer a customer-friendly tire guarantee. At that time, our standard warranty was much the same as everybody’s—just like today—based on prorating according to wear. So, we decided to innovate. How about offering coverage, which may be purchased at a reasonable price, that would replace the tire free of charge, regardless of wear? This warranty, called the Certificate for Free Replacement, would cover the tire problems that really frustrate people—road hazards and defects—from the moment they bought the tires to the final mile of legal tread. Ever hit something in the road that ruins your tire? Or how about a tire that becomes defective? Who cares about why this happened? You just want a new tire put on with no hassles. Right? Right! So we tried it. Well, here we are tens of thousands of free tires later, and our Certificate for Free Replacement program is still doing its job. It serves hundreds of thousands of satisfied Discount Tire/America’s Tire Co. customers who have repeatedly thanked us for this part of our service by asking to renew each time they buy tires. How Does It Work If a tire covered by the Certificate for Free Replacement fails due to a defect or an unrepairable road hazard, and still has legal tread (3/32") remaining across the tire, Discount Tire/America’s Tire Co. will replace it absolutely FREE. There is no prorating, no disqualification for any reason such as run-on damage and no mileage adjustment. It is the very best tire warranty we know of. How to Redeem the Certificate 1. The easiest way is to return to the store where you bought the tire, validate the Certificate and have your tire replaced. 2. Alternatively, you may go to any of our other retail outlets and they will quickly validate the Certificate and have your tire replaced. 3. If you have relocated to an area where there is no Discount Tire/America’s Tire Co. outlet, contact Consumer Affairs at 888.774.6560 and a representative will facilitate your tire replacement. 4. If you are traveling, call 888.774.6560 and you will either be directed to the nearest Discount/America’s Tire Co. location or given an alternate solution for your tire replacement or refund. How to Purchase the Certificate At the point of sale, your salesperson will ask if you want to purchase the Certificate for Free Replacement warranty for your tires. If you decline at that time, you still have 30 days from the date of purchase to buy the certificate. Remember, the sooner you buy, the sooner you are covered by the best warranty in the business. Home | Tires | Wheels | 602 Locations | Easy Credit Info Center | Careers | Contact Us | eMail Specials | Customer Survey Basically, their free replacement or road hazard policy guarantees a free replacement of the tire if it is damaged beyond a repair. (BTW, flat repairs are covered by their installation package for no additional charge like I said above.) The only catch is that the tire must have at least 3/32 of tread left. I'll probably rotate the tires every 5,000 miles anyway, so thats no big deal to me. Yes, and I do see your point about the one new tire. In that case, maybe I'll get an additional new tire as well.
 
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WANDERING THE WEST
Check prices at Wally-World, I like their straight up no add-ons way. Not to mention I had great luck with their tires. I really like their BFGoodrich all-terrain tires.
 
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1,096
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So Cal
quote:
Originally posted by eljefino: The road hazard is part of the flat repair. They'll try to fix it before they replace it. I don't know how they can seperate one from the other. Also you'll just get a prorated price on the new tire, so if it's half used up you have to pay for half a tire. And you'll feel funny having one new tire, especially if you have 4wd/Awd. (Can really mess with fulltime AWD especially, different diameters). They'll make you come in every often for free rotations as a contingent for the warranty and try to sell you fuel injection cleanings when you're in there. Maybe even make you get an alignment too beforehand or threaten to use a poor alignment as a copout for bad tires. If I were you and still wanted to use these guys I'd get a printout of their price quote and read the warranty beforehand.
Americas tire does tires only. They do not do or sell other services like brakes etc. They also do not do alignments. I have had good experiences w/ my local Americas tire. they are the only shop that gets my balancing dead on every time. I wouldn't hesitate to use them... my .02
 

The Critic

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23,776
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CA
quote:
Originally posted by Michael Wan: So basically, if you do the math, the Road Hazard now drops to $6/tire since if I had bought the 4 tires without the road hazard and was charged the shipping fee, it’d be $418. If I had bought the 4 tires with the Road Hazard, it’d be $440. Not bad. I left him my name and told him that I’ll call him back if I decide to proceed. Michael
Oops, I just noticed that I goofed on the math. It should be $5.50/tire, not $6/tire because the price difference is only $22. Michael
 

The Critic

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Just to add... Yesterday, I received an e-mail for a $25 gift card toward the purchase of four tires because I signed-up for the e-mail newsletter thing on their website. That brings it down to $415-- not bad at all. Michael
 
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California
I would expect Hankook tires to be considerably cheaper than Toyos. Hankook and Kumho are two Korean companies which are trying hard to gain share in the US and they are almost always lower priced than Japanese brands like Toyo. John
 
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California, USA
Forgetting the road hazard warranty thing because it complicates the discussion and I dont buy warranties anyway, My last tire purchace at America's Tire (Downtown Torrance, CA location) was amazing. They special ordered Bridgestone (a brand they didnt carry) Dueler A/T, P255/70-15, for $80 each plus $5 shipping. Regular mounting, balancing and disposal fees totalled about $12 per tire. The best price from Bridgestone dealers or Firestone company stores was over $100 more out-the-door. I only had to wait over a weekend for them to come in. Maybe they lost money on the deal, who knows, but they delivered at the promised price.
 
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