“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”

― Frank Herbert

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Quest for Tires.

  Sometimes you have to leave the cave and go out to find what you need.  It's not fun but it has to be done.

I needed new front tires for the Cherokee, and I heard via the local radio gossip link that the Fall Sale was underway at Walmart.

When I got there, they had exactly what I wanted. Off road tread, 50,000 mile warranty, wide tires exactly like the ones on the back of the Jeep. $74.50 each.  That's 20 dollars a tire off the regular price.

So while my wife shopped, I sat out on a bench by the auto department and looked at the mountains. There was one of those cigarette disposal tube looking ashtrays with a cigarette burning down inside it. The smoke curled out by the bench, and it sure smelled good.  One day something like that will happen and I'll start smoking again.

When they finished, I went in.  They had added $10.00 per tire for a "life  time rotation" policy, and $10.00 a tire for "Road Hazard Insurance."  I told them I wasn't paying for that. They told me I had to have it, which is utter nonsense. The tires have a warranty against any damage, so why do I need their road hazard scam?  I can get my tires rotated for free at the garage I go to.  The manager came along, tried to haggle with me over it, then to get rid of me he had them refund the $40.00.   When I got home and checked the receipt again, I saw they charged me for two windshield wiper replacement kits instead of one. So when I go back I'll have to get that money back.   It's coming up on the end of the quarter, and if the auto department doesn't make their assigned quota, they won't get their quarterly bonus. These aren't "mistakes."

I did get two cans of Tula boxer primed brass cased 9 mm, 100 rounds per can, for $22.00 each plus tax. I could have had all I wanted, they had plenty of every conceivable chambering you might want except .22 LR.  Our Walmart no longer has the 3 boxes per customer rule and you can buy all the ammo you have money to pay for.



We also stocked up on fresh fruit and vegetables, as my wife did the food shopping while I was going through all this smoke and mirrors with the auto department.  I got some new half boots, which I'd been needing, they were a good brand and on sale.

Now I'm back and I'm glad to be back.  Going to town always seems to mean some kind of bother these days.

20 comments:

  1. Contact the corporate office first and leave a complaint. I personally prefer to talk to a warm body than leave a message or written gripe. The stores hate getting these complaints coming down from corporate and will more readily refund their "non mistakes" because they have to send a resolution report back to corporate.

    Also getting reports filed against them can affect their bonus situations. Being able to attach the manages name to said complaint also affects his bonus and your ease at getting a refund.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Matt, I filled all sorts of complaints about the little twerp at the ammo counter selling all the .22LR that came in to his shady flea market buddies. The guy did it with the cameras rolling and he did it more than once that I saw. I used their web page complaint form. I heard back from them once, thanking me for my time, computer generated auto response. After that, I didn't even get that. If I try to see the manager about a complaint, I am always fobbed off to one of their 21 year old "assistant managers" who either listens and gaffs me off, or just goes right to "ok, fine. thanks a lot, goodbye." I did have Walmart call me on my land line once when I was out, but they didn't leave a message, they just had their number on the caller id. I guess they reported back that they "attempted to contact the complainant"without result or words to that effect. The first time I saw the .22 LR scam going on I didn't even report it, I was so jaded with Walmart. But trying to work out any issues with them at our local store is pretty much a waste of time. None the less, I go back because they have what I need, and they are the only ones that do around here. If we had a Cosco, or a Sam's, or some other big box with the same goods, I would go elsewhere.

      Delete
  2. A place only does that to me once. I'v got an honest garage I go to, and a tire place I've dealt with for forty years. I can get things cheaper elsewhere, but then I'd have to watch out for stuff like Walmart pulled on you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It used to be that way here. But the older guys have retired or died off. The people that took over the local tire shop, for instance, charge $15.00 to fix a flat where the old man that used to own the place charged $3.00. Nobody local owns anything anymore, it's all people who moved up here from somewhere else, and it's caveat emptor with a vengeance. The only real exception is the garage I go to. The old man retired, but his two sons took over and they have his old time work ethic. They are honest and treat me right.

      I sat at the Walmart auto center once some time back, on the bench in there and two of the counter men were talking about how they wished more old people would come in because they were easier to sell things to (read that as "rip off" in my opinion.)

      It's pretty much just how things are now. Before we had the four lane road into the county, and before the population more than doubled, it was like what you were talking about.

      And, Walmart is WAY cheaper on things like food. We only have one other grocery store of any size, and for instance, the same bag of cat food that is $9.99 at Walmart is $13.99 there. The food is the same way. I can't really justify spending the extra money to avoid Walmart. I just have to check the receipt at Walmart every time, closely, before I leave. One of Walmart's favorite things is to put a "roll back" price on something, then when you show up with some of it at the counter, it rings up at a much higher price. The clerks tell you "oh, they must not have got the new price in the computer yet." Sure, I believe that but thousands wouldn't!

      Delete
  3. G'day Harry,

    Road Hazard Insurance, that's a good one! does that mean if you get a flat tyre they will repair it for free? If I see something advertised that looks like a really cheap deal I look for the hidden catch. Down here there is a real scam regarding online buying, if you use one of the search engines to look for a particular product you get wildly varying prices with some that seem too good to be true, that's because they are! What the shops do is offer a cheap price and then gouge you on the postage costs, to get an insured parcel through Australia Post costs about $10 - $12, these sharks are charging up to $40!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Shipping and Handling" is a rip off warning here too. What they do is say "buy two cans for $12.99, get a third can free, you pay only shipping and handling!" Then the third can gets billed at $12.99 for "handling".

      Road Hazard insurance means you pick up a nail or something like that. My tires are Goodyears, and the manufacturer warranties them against that kind of thing anyway, so why pay Walmart to do the same? Anyway, if I get a nail I'm not going to file an insurance claim. My car insurance covers the wrecker pickup and the amount of money it costs to have a flat fixed is not worth the pile of paperwork you'd have to fill out at Wally World.

      You're right. It's a maxim here as well that "if it looks too good to be true, it probably is!"

      Delete
  4. I go to local guys. They still exist around here. They just charge you more upfront without all the gimmicks. The price is the price.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most of the town that existed when I moved her in '86 is gone. The old white frame buildings knocked down and replaced with ugly stucco buildings. Or cheap looking strip shopping centers. Even around the town square, all the oaks are cut down, and most of the buildings there have been replaced by new abominations that don't fit the atmosphere of the county at all. The community pool was filled in to make a golf course for the wealthy people from Florida the big wheels here wanted to attract. Lots of big land holdings have been carved up and developed into "gated communities" because the families that held the land since the 1840's could no longer pay the property taxes. The sewing plants are gone, closed when NAFTA shut down the textile industry in the South. I could go on but you get the picture. As for Walmart, the people that work there detest the company but it's the only job they could get. Many of them, especially the management, were brought in from out of state and just don't fit in here. They are not happy. If there were local guys, I would go to them when I could. But I still buy from Home Depot, and not the Farmer's Depot because the price difference is just too great.

      I'm sure if I didn't live nestled into the national forest, I'd have somebody living on my property line, bitching about my animals and calling the Sheriff when I shot my guns. I couldn't stand that.

      Delete
  5. Glad to hear you stood on your digs Harry! Not bad, they are always wanting to make money out of the unsuspecting customer. At least you didn't get sucked into their ploy :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tania, I'm the wrong man for them to try that on. I balance all my statements to the penny, and I check every receipt for mistakes. Sometimes people make honest mistakes,and if I find the Walmart crew or anyone else undercharged me, I tell them and pay up. But I think sometimes, like today, they were just flat out being dishonest. It makes me really mad, but I've tried to report issues with that store and been gaffed off with platitudes and no action by the Walmart people in Arkansas. So it's just something I have to live with, like ice and snow in winter or Mexicans roaming all over the place doing God knows what. I wish I had a sack full of plated lizards, I'd let them rampage through Walmart and wreak havoc!
      ;-)

      Delete
  6. Ironically I got new tires for my cherokee this past weekend as well. Only mine were 104 each. They were also size 31s, bigger and beefier. something to hug the road around here when it gets icy. The ride difference is great though. We did pay an additional 15.00 per tire but that was with both road hazzard and life time rotation, it was not seperate fees for either.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As long as that was the deal, I'd have been happy with that. But when somebody tells me X price, then they try to add a bunch of stuff on so the price is really X+Y+Z, I get mad.

      The tires I got are bigger off road tires, wider than standard with great traction. That's another reason I have to put up with Walmart's antics, I can't get them anywhere else here. There is only one tire store and they have a very limited selection.

      The Goodyears came with a full 50,000 mile guarantee, and the two young men who fix all my vehicles will rotate my tires for nothing if I drop by their shop, so I wouldn't have agreed to Walmarts "deal" even if they had been honest about it.

      You're smart to go ahead and get new tires now. Winter is coming and I think it will be a bad one. Everything will be a lot harder to get done once it gets so cold and icy.

      Delete
  7. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)

    I always ask in person about the prices and clarify with the factotum behind the counter that that's the actually price I pay and nothing more.

    I took the Mosin out to the range again. Now I know for a fact the front sight is way, way, way off.
    There was another Mosin Nagant owner there who has 17 Mosins (yeah a lot) He only had one rifle with him. He told about a few tricks to use and showed me his Mosin that had the Archangel stock with 20 rounds mags etc. That Mosin also had a scope that was mounted on the rear sigiht.
    I think I may look into the same scope configuration that guy was using. That will solve several problems. I can mount a cheap scope like he did and that would help with long range shooting and I would not have to use the front sight.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I asked about the prices too, CC. The guy told me that the tires "came with" rotation, but didn't tell me it cost anything. He didn't say jack about the "road insurance" at all. Then when I called them on it when I was checking out, they told me I "had to purchase" those two things. I told them that was nonsense (I used a different two word phrase associated with bovine waste products), because I've been buying tires there for years. They tried to pull a fast one hoping I wouldn't check the bill, or I'd let them just intimidate me into paying it.

      You can adjust the front sight, the Russians did. You just have to be careful how you go about it. What was going wrong? Most times if you have a sight problem with one of those old guns, it's related to the rear sights.

      Still, if you want to put a scope on it and you are using it for a practical weapon, and not a collectible, why not? I wouldn't do anything to mess it up permanently though.

      Isn't there a lot of brush there? How much opportunity would there be for long range shooting in "the real world" as opposed to the range in your area. I can't see more than 100 yards max here most of the time, and a hell of a lot less if I'm actually in the forest.

      Whatever the case, you have nice, serious rifle there. Plentiful ammo, easy to get and cheap parts, and rugged like all things Russian. I love mine.

      Delete
  8. I miss smoking as well. I gave it up 16 years ago as of this past April. I especially miss smoking in the fall or winter - nothing like that 1st cigarette after waking up in the morning in the cold morning air. Wakey wakey! Was a 'medium heavy' smoker, a pack every two days or so. Pack a day when outdoors all the time.

    But I look at current prices and my rear end just puckers up - $5.00 for a pack of Camel Filters - you gotta be kiddin' me! I can't afford that so I'll stay smoke free. Its just as well - I'd rather spend my money on something else anyway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I smoked when I was flying. A lot. Ready rooms were always full of smoke plumes, it helped settle folks down. But we had a squadron safety stand down where the flight surgeon brought a set of smokers lungs in a jar, all black and looking like jerky.

      I decided to quit then. But I couldn't. So I started smoking cigars. I didn't really like them but still got a buzz and it helped with my nerves.

      After I started doing staff work, I switched to a pipe because in staff headquarters, there were lots of female Marines and they hated cigar smoke. Nobody minded a pipe and the taste was better.

      I have to admit that sometimes, when I get wound up about something, I still break out the pipe. It makes me calm down and feel more at peace.

      Still, though, if someone around me is smoking a cigarette, I always want one. I can just taste it. I have always resisted but I live in constant apprehension that one day I'll just say "to hell with it" and fire up and not be able to stop again. My wife would snatch me bald headed if she caught me with cigarettes though. Two things she is really down on is cancer sticks and hard liquor. ;-)

      Delete
  9. I know what you mean. I smoked for 10 years. I've quit for 11. But there are times when I still miss it. I have dreams where I've started smoking again. It's a good thing I run instead now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't want to go down the drain with lung cancer. On the same level, tobacco makes you feel so good. I was a runner when I was young, even at 32 I could run three miles in combat boots in under 18 minutes, which was what you needed to do to get a full 100 points on the PFT. (physical fitness test). I don't run any more, haven't in years. But I know you go to races and such, ciggies would kill you for sure with that regime.

      Delete
  10. I read a few years ago that boots bought at Walmart have RFID tags placed inside
    the soles of the shoes. You can search on line for the info.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What's an RFID tag? Some kind of tracking device? Alas for me, I'm so easy to find because of my federal firearms license and my concealed carry permit, they probably wouldn't waste their time.

      I appreciate the heads up though. Once upon a time I would have scoffed at the idea, but I damned sure don't these days. It's a different world.

      Delete