Read the Fine Print... (rant)

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I'm sure that many of you have heard about the infamous camera stores who offer the lowest prices on cameras only to ship you a body with no battery, strap or any other factory-included accessory. While this post is not 100% photography related, it does describe what happened to me yesterday at the end of my bimonthly photo/family Orlando road trip.

While on our way back home I heard a thumping noise coming from one of the tires of my minivan. I pulled over into the nearest business parking lot and confirmed that I had a flat tire. No biggie I thought, I have changed plenty of flat tires during my lifetime. I won't bore you with the details of how complicated it was to get the spare tire out from under my minivan. Why on Earth would engineers design this vehicle with a spare tire underneath instead of in the trunk like most every other car on the planet?

Anyway, I placed the spare tire on and drove to a nearby Sam's Club on SR-192. After all, I had purchased all 4 tires from my local Sam's Club and I remember the salesperson telling me how these tires had a lifetime guarantee including punctures. Luckily I still kept the receipt in my glove compartment. I was sure they would repair or apply a pro-rated price toward the purchase of a new tire if needed. I would be covered no matter what or so I thought.

Boy was I wrong!! The moment I pulled into the tire bay the employee there began telling me how they don't cover punctures. I showed him my receipt and pointed toward the clause that included punctures. He walked away, huddled with his supervisor, then came back and informed me that further down in the fine print it stated that my "tires were covered for the life of the tire or 4 years, whichever comes first". :eek: He further informed me that my warranty had expired two months ago and that I had to pay full price for a new tire, no pro-rated price, no discount.

I had no choice as I was 3.5 hours/200 miles away from home and Sam's Club was the only tire place open at the time. Of course they added the mandatory $15.00 installation charge which includes a "lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects and punctures". I laughed at the irony and pointed out that I was in no mood to pay for their obvious "lifetime warranty" scam.

I'm not bitter for having to pay full price for a new tire; I'm disappointed and angry that companies resort to tricking people and misleading us just to get our money. It's wrong. I feel that the original salesperson deceived me on purpose so that when I had a problem with a tire sometime down the road I would retun to Sam's under a false sense of security and end up spending more money there.

Like Sam's Club Tire Department, there are many companies who resort to grabbing your business under misleading promises only to fall back on their fine print when you need to make a claim. Why do companies do this? Why not be honest about what they sell and what they are willing to offer as a warranty?

Have you ever had a negative experience due to not having read or intensely studied the fine print of something you purchased?
 
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Joined
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I believe over here Sam's would get taken to task over this and be forced to alter it's "lifetime" claim.
 
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The tire is punctured. It's life, clearly, is over. Hence, it's no longer covered by the lifetime warranty.
 
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The tire is punctured. It's life, clearly, is over. Hence, it's no longer covered by the lifetime warranty.
The warranty was supposed to cover punctures during the life of the tire. According to Sam's, (now I know) tire life is only 4 years. Had I gotten any nails or other objects that punctured the tire prior to the 4 years, Sam's was supposed to repair or replace the tire.
 
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That was a pretty awesome tire if it lasted 4 years. I have never had a tire on any vehicle last that long.

(I was looking for some Silver Lining).
 
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it all boils down to your tidal, "read the fine print" I had been an Insurance adjuster for Allstate for 8 years, when I was hired, the first thing they did was send me to policy school, to learn how to read the "policy " of what we cover and what we don't cover, I could write a book on what people believe what is covered and what they think SHOULD be covered.............read the warrentee and live by it, as that is exactly what a Judge does when a contract in involved between two people, period! sorry for your nightmare!.

According to Sam's, (now I know) tire life is only 4 years.
I know you have heart ache, but NO you had just said "tires were covered for the life of the tire or 4 years, whichever comes first"
 
Joined
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S. WI
I won't bore you with the details of how complicated it was to get the spare tire out from under my minivan. Why on Earth would engineers design this vehicle with a spare tire underneath instead of in the trunk like most every other car on the planet?
Ya should try changing a flat on a Honda Ridgeline with a bed load of bricks.:biggrin: Nothing says fun like unloading a bunch of bricks just to get to the spare then loading it back in. Thankfully it wasnt a load of rocks or dirt.

Personally I'd rather have the spare underneath and be a full size spare. I really dont like the "doofy donuts" as spares on vehicles like trucks, vans and suvs. Small and midsize cars, fine. When I got my sonoma 4x4 it had one. Went out to a junk yard and picked up a steel rim for a s10 4x4 and put a full size tire on it. At least I could drive normally after changing it and not have to get a new tire asap.
 
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Ya should try changing a flat on a Honda Ridgeline with a bed load of bricks.:biggrin: Nothing says fun like unloading a bunch of bricks just to get to the spare then loading it back in. Thankfully it wasnt a load of rocks or dirt.

Personally I'd rather have the spare underneath and be a full size spare. I really dont like the "doofy donuts" as spares on vehicles like trucks, vans and suvs. Small and midsize cars, fine. When I got my sonoma 4x4 it had one. Went out to a junk yard and picked up a steel rim for a s10 4x4 and put a full size tire on it. At least I could drive normally after changing it and not have to get a new tire asap.

I still haven't placed the spare back under the minivan after changing it out this past Sunday. I dread having to jack up the vehicle again and getting back under it just to place the spare tire back. They should have designed it to be on the rear door like some SUV's. :frown:
 
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I still haven't placed the spare back under the minivan after changing it out this past Sunday. I dread having to jack up the vehicle again and getting back under it just to place the spare tire back. They should have designed it to be on the rear door like some SUV's. :frown:
Trust me you wouldnt want it on the rear door. One slight bump from a car or backing up and voila, $2-3k damage.

Yeah they can design better holding systems. On (older ford f350s) you had to be a body builder just to get the carrier to release and then wrestle it out. No winch or nothing.
 
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Don't you have Triple A? $65 /year and it saves you from all the hassle of jacking up the van, mounting the spare, unlocking the door, jumpstarting a dead battery, towing, etc. They have bailed me out so many times in the middle of nowhere and I can't thank them enough.
 
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Trust me you wouldnt want it on the rear door. One slight bump from a car or backing up and voila, $2-3k damage.
OH not true, being a Body shop tech as well as an Estimator for an Acura Dealership, I have witnessed many of collision damages on rear deck spare mounts on SUVs, I am always surprised how stout those mounts are, getting slammed in the rear impacting the spare, the door it self is never damaged, unless the force is enough to damage the bracing E=MC2, but no little bump will do no more damage than it would your glove box.

If I remember right, some of the older Chev Pickups that had the spare under the bed at the back, if you had a rear flat at the right terrain you couldn't get the spare out from under the truck.
 
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Don't you have Triple A? $65 /year and it saves you from all the hassle of jacking up the van, mounting the spare, unlocking the door, jumpstarting a dead battery, towing, etc. They have bailed me out so many times in the middle of nowhere and I can't thank them enough.
Yes, I have AAA. Problem is (at least here in Florida) that AAA takes an hour or more to respond.

My tire blew out on Sunday at approximately 4:00 p.m. The only place open that sells tires on Sunday afternoon is Sam's Club (at least in the area where my tire blew out). Sam's Club Tire Department stops taking clients at 5:30 p.m. If I had waited for AAA I was taking a risk that they might not have showed up in time for me to make it to Sam's to get a new tire. I had no choice but to place the spare myself and get to the Sam's Club tire bay as soon as possible. Remember, I was 200 miles away from home, about 3.5 hours drive. The tire was unrepairable, so I had to purchase a new tire.

Under any other circumstance I probably would have called AAA (if I had time to wait), but this time I couldn't wait for AAA. Especially since I had my two small children with me and my wife and I had to work the next day (couldn't afford to risk staying overnight just because tire shops were not open).
 
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One hour? Yikes! I guess it depends on your location. I live in a big city and they usually show up in 10-15 minutes.
 
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Tires are very good anymore, if more people knew where their spare was..well they would be shocked :rolleyes:

I remember years ago I had a large Japanese machine tool manufacture fly me out to Detroit to look a large machine over and sign the contract.
They brought me into the board room that had the largest table I have ever seen to do the paper work. They had lawyers and office staff to answer any questions I might have.
They layed down the paper work and I said where do I sign?..but we have to go though all of the pages first!.
Nope and I just signed. Later one of them that spoke very good English asked me why I didn't read the fine print. I told him all fine print is the same.."no matter what, you are screwed"
We both had a good laugh over that one.
Gary
 

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