KANEOHE, HAWAII -- It seems that every time I take one of our cars for an alignment or safety check or something simple or routine, they come up with some scare story about something that needs to be fixed or the car will be unsafe to drive. I have a trusted and very competent mechanic that has worked on my cars for the past 20 years and when he checks it out, he finds they've exaggerated the problem.
He fixes it and at much less than what Firestone proposes. I was wondering if others have noticed this with their local Firestone center? I also wondered if they work on commission basis and are trying to boost their income or if there is any kind of incentive program with Firestone which give the employees a reason for doing this?
WICHITA, KANSAS -- I had service work done at this store which involved replacing the blower motor, blower mtr. switch (dash mtd), and blower mtr. resistor. My complaint is what I feel is "Extremely Excessive Mark-Ups In The Prices Charged For Installed Parts." I was charged $76.25 (blower mtr. w/o whl), $62.21 (blower switch), and $78.00 (blower mtr resistor). I compared these prices with three auto parts supply stores and found I could buy them at full retail- average price; $43.32, $20.56 and $21.32 respectively for the three parts. This is a mark-up of 176%, 303% and 366% respectively.
I had telephone contact with the Okls. District Mgr. and the Sr. Cust. Retention Specialist (Asst. to the President) about my feelings on this. I related to them that I felt I had "been fleeced and had my pocket picked". Their response was that they felt justified in doing this because they had over 1,000 stores nationwide, were open 7 days a week, offered 12/12 warranty on their work and paid good wages and benefits. I don't think these kind of mark-ups are either equitable or ethical, and I will continue to tell anyone I know how I feel and let them decide if they want to do business with Firestone.
SUGAR LAND, TEXAS -- For annual inspection sticker they said they must change the wiper blades. They said the Bosch cost about $5.00 more and the cost was around $13.00 and $18.00, but they said that if I went along with Bosch they would refund me $5.00 by coupon. I told them to go ahead with the Bosch. When I got the invoice the blades were a cool $33.98.
They were hiding the fact that the rebate was for two blades and the price to be charged was for each blade. That's a lie for business. I call it cheating. I think that auto businesses pay commissions based on parts sold and so employees are encouraged to lie or in better words hide the truth to get the business. I wish they call me and apologize. I have been their customer over years & years.
DOWNINGTON, PENNSYLVANIA -- Went to Firestone complete auto care (?) for an oil change, wheel alignment and balance. Told I needed struts, and boots. Cost,$1,039.6O. Never shown anything! Went to get a second opinion. Told the strut boots were wearing but o. K. The struts were fine, all 4 of them. Called the corporate office who wanted me to go to another Firestone. I refused. He said he'd look into my complaint. I also gave them the name and number of the second shop. He said he'd call to confirm my complaint. He never did anything! Never called me back either! This Firestone is running a scam, beware of all Firestones! No more Firestone for me! Dishonest!
TENNESSEE -- Last week my car starting smoking and so I took it to my local Firestone Complete Auto Care center. They took a look at it and stated that the rear main seal was probably my source for a leak causing the car to smoke like the dickens. So needless to say they began to work on it and found another leak of oil and it would be Monday before that part would come in. Well I called Tuesday and they told me the part would not be in till Wednesday morning. So they finally got finished with it today, however the car is now sluggish and when I took it in it was not that way. Ugh now my car is a piece of h-e-double hockey sticks thanks to Firestone.
I went in for an oil change and left with my air conditioner no longer working. My a/c worked all summer, including the morning I pulled into A&R Tire. As soon as I left the shop my a/c only shot out hot air. What is really infuriating about the situation is that on the invoice they gave me (the list of things they think I should fix) there was a note that my a/c has a leak! This implies that the a/c was not in proper working condition before I had it checked but it worked only minutes before A&R got their hands on it. Coincidence? I think not.
In addition to this I overheard the manager on the phone say that there are lots of bad reviews of A&R Tire on the internet but he said they were all untrue. I doubt there are many people who would take the time to write a comment on the internet if it was untrue. I do not trust A&R Tire - they get you in with good coupons then find ways to get more money out of you than you expected. I will not go to them again even for a free oil change for fear they will mess up something else on my car.
INDIANA -- I've been a loyal customer of a local Firestone service center. I have two older vehicles and in the past, they always did right by me (as far as servicing my vehicles). However, over the last 1.5 years I've notice that my repair bills have been quickly increasing in cost. It took some investigation on my part and some honest answers by the local management. What corporate (Firestone) has done is greatly increase the amount they charge for parts, NOT the labor.
For example, they want to charge almost $400 for a new distributor for a 1991 Honda. Pep Boys and other local service centers want to charge about $200. The auto part store of course charges even less than that. They (Firestone) has done this (from the local manager's mouth) to increase the bottom line profitability while not appearing as though they have raised their prices. That is, they expect consumers to compare the price of labor, but not the price of parts. I just thought that others should be made aware of this tactic undertaken by Firestone.
DALLAS, TEXAS -- Three weeks ago, I brought my 1997 Chrysler LHS in because the air conditioner was not working. Firestone at Marsh and Forest in Dallas said I needed $674 worth of work. Fine. Three days later, the air conditioner failed again. Back to the shop. Fixed, no charge. Two days later, back in the shop. Fixed no charge. Two days later, back in the shop. Fixed, no charge.
A day later, back in the shop. Now they want $560 to pull the dash and replace another part. When I called, the counter man offered to give me a refund so I could take the car elsewhere. It seems to me that anyone with a modicum of professional pride would be too embarrassed to ask for money at this stage.
TAMPA, FLORIDA -- 8-13-07 arrived for my 2pm appointment for front brake pads. I walked over to a nearby store because the service writer said it would be at least an hour. I returned and saw my van on the rack but it sat there for an hour with no one working on it. I finally asked someone about it and they said they tried to call me at home. "Why I asked?" "Because you are a drop off, see right here!" I didn't tell them I was a drop off! Then they wanted to charge me $60 extra for services I didn't need or request without showing me the written estimate. I was livid!
I finally got out of there at 6:15 pm for what should have taken an hour. No apology - nothing. I'll never go to another Firestone facility. While I was there they pissed off another customer for service delays too. Don't these guys get the picture? They advertise "the experience you want" but don't deliver. I will tell everyone I see not to go to the Firestone store on Citrus Park Drive in Tampa, Florida!