A year or so ago I posted here for advice on tire selection. I've
noticed higher mileage tires tend not to hold their balance for the
life of the tire, and so I wanted a tire service package that included
lifetime balance and rotation. And because I knew I'd be moving I
needed to buy from a place with national coverage. So those
requirements pointed to Walmart.
So, in my new location, Saturday I went in for an oil change and tire
rotate/balance. The service writer was obviously struggling with the
computer, but since he was probably new, I didn't complain. (I found
out later he was from another department and working as service writer
because an injury prevented him from doing his regular job.)
Me: I want an oil change with 10W30 and a tire rotate and balance.
The tire work is free because I have the tire protection plan. (Handed
him the receipt at this point.)
SW: (after struggling with the computer for a while and apparently
being uable to locate me) Have you been here before?
Me: Not this location (note he had my receipt which listed the
So he struggled along, finally producing a work order with my old
address and phone number, not asking me for my current address and
SW: Do you want a warranty on the tire work?
Me: Its warranty, or tire protection plan, whatever you want to call
it. I already paid for lifetime rotate and balance.
So he took my keys and off I went to amuse myself.
Then I realized I had also wanted wiper refills, so went back and told
the SW to please add that. So he went out and told the mechanic.
After an extending period of time, slightly over two hours, the truck
was done (this store has help wanted signs up, and this was the second
time I'd been there... the first time there were about 10 people ahead
of me and after 20 minutes with the line barely moving I decided to
So, before going over to pay, I went to the truck and checked the oil
change sticker to see if it said 10W30. It did. (I had a previous
incident where the automotive experts at Walmart couldn't understand
that "preferred" didn't mean "required" - the oil filler cap says 5W30
is preferred - and put in 5W30 despite my request. I'm sorry... I've
run 5W30 in a snow blower and its so thin it won't stay on the
dipstick long enough to read the level... not what I want in the
There were new wiper refills on the truck and marks on the wheels
where old weights had been located. Cool. I went in to pay.
So I got the same SW for checkout, and ahead of me in line was a woman
trying to recover her car. They couldn't find the bill.
Me: (to the woman) Y'know if they can't find the bill, its free!
Woman: (laugh) Oh, I'll pay.
Manager: (to SW) Here's the bill. Someone else paid it and so
somewhere we have an unpaid bill around.
Me: (to woman, whisper) Tell them you'll pay the lesser of the two
Woman: (laugh) You're funny.
Manager to SW: Here, let me show you how to print another bill.
So finally they got the woman checked out, the manager went back to
the shop, and it was my turn.
Me: That's not my bill.
SW: (reads bill) Oil change, tire service...
Me: (interupting) No, the tire service is free under the tire
protection plan. Its an oil change plus wiper refills.
So off he goes to find the manager.
They get the ring up voided, and the manager shows the SW how to scan
a new ticket and over ride the tire service prices to zero. Then he
So they hit me with the bill, which is now $30 and I paid it.
Getting home, I walked around the truck and noticed this was a lazy
tire rotation. Wheels with disc brake dust were on both rear
locations and the slightly thinner tread tires were both on the right
side, meaning this was a simple front to rear rotation when it should
have been either circular for someone somewhat less lazy, or an x
rotation for someone really paying attention.
Then I looked at the receipt... and saw with happiness they really did
figure out the 4.7 is a six quart engine... well at least that's what
they charged me for. And, the kicker... in redoing the invoice, they
forgot to charge for the wiper refills.
I figure with the long wait and the struggle with the trainee SW, free
wiper refills was cheaper for them than a complaint call by me to the