auto parts returns/advanced auto

What is the deal with the auto parts stores and their return/refund policies? They seem to be much more resistant to giving refunds
when compared to other businesses, and was wondering if the "powers that be" of certain big chains put pressure on the individual store managers to avoid refunding a customers' money if at all possible?
Let me give you an example of something that happened the other day:
There was some grinding noise and squealing sounds coming from my rear brake drums of a used car I just purchased, so I supposed that for sure my brakes needed to be replaced. So I went down to Advanced auto parts store in san antonio (#06224) a few days ago and purchased some brake shoes. I was pretty positive that the old shoes were worn out.
So I jack up the car, remove the wheels and checked out the brake drums. There's nothing wrong with them as the shoes still have a lot of life to them to my surprise. However, I discovered the that real reason why there was a grinding sound was due to the self adjuster breaking off from the assembly and scratching around in there. I would pick up another adjuster later.
So since I don't need to replace the shoes immediately because the ones already on there still have a lot of life to them, I decided to take the ones I purchased back to the auto parts store.
I bring in the shoes along with my receipt. I tell the store employee that the reason why I'm bringing them back is because I don't need them. The guy then examines the brake shoes carefully, I guess to ensure that I didn't try to install them or swap used shoes in there. The shoes pass scrutiny since I didn't make any attempt to install them and they never came out of the box.
The employee needs a code to process the return, and requests that info from the manager. . So the manager walks up to the employee at the register, passes along to him the code, and then asks me,
"why are you returning the brake shoes?"
I responded, "I didn't need them."
Then he heaves a big belly laugh and says "what did you do? change the brake shoes and stick the bad ones back in the box trying to fool us?"
Then I have to go through the trouble of explaining WHY I don't need them in some detail, and explain that the grinding sound was caused by the broken self adjuster, not worn shoes.
But unfortunately, this seems so typical of auto parts stores when trying to get a refund/return and it's so annoying. Maybe the manager said it with a laugh, but not sure if that's respectful customer service, or is it just me who is being hyper-sensitive here? Now, I could understand if someone were returning a part that had obviously been installed or used and if the management wanted to seriously question that return, but why hassle someone over something that obviously wasn't used, opened, or installed? I notice this kind of attitude a lot at auto parts stores like advanced and autozone...you return something and they act like you are stealing their children.
I don't know, but I did find the manager's comment, even if he was laughing about it, to be a bit annoying. If you know you have to refund to a customer and he did not abuse or use the part, why not do so promptly and cheerfully, so that you can continue to make more biz?
When I return stuff to walmart, home depot, or other places, I don't get questioned to the 5th degree when I ask for a refund. I returned a hose to home depot the other day and they didn't play a game of 20 questions .. they .promptly refunded my money. They were cool about it. But it seems like big chain auto parts stores down here, like advanced auto and autozone, just don't seem to get it.
Now I'm wondering if I should avoid auto parts stores as much as possible in the future because of this bad customer service on refunds and instead just purchase as much as my car needs in terms of oil, filters, coolant, plugs, and etc from supercenters like walmart or maybe target.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

There are fools in every business. In these lower paid jobs, you often get bigger fools.
Of course, the stores dont want to sell parts, then order new stock, and have you bring back the old stock. That is elementary.
But the old saying "If you dont like green apples, dont shake the tree" applies.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote in message

Why should they stock parts so you can take them home and then bring them back?? You should have been sure you needed them first. It costs them money to order stock and then have to send it back or have over stock on hand. Also people trying to screw them just as the manager said is common, why should they trust you, they don`t know you. KB
--
Thunder Snake #9
"Protect" your rights or "lose" them.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Unfortunately there are a lot of cheap bastards who will clean off that old part and try to get a refund with it. You had the misfortune to be caught up with a manager who himself was a real bastard. They should look closely at any returned parts, but that can be done tactfully.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
tysteel wrote:

Here's one that burned me up a few months ago. I have a Suzuki Swift. (Same as a Geo Metro, Chevy Sprint, Pontiac Firefly, etc) I went to purchase some new front axles/CV joint assemblies. I went to the local parts store and requested some replacement axles and the counter guy said the parts would be $X.XX and another $X.XX for the core. So I said "These will be rebuilt parts?" I was informed that the parts he would give me would be brand new. So I quizzed him why that I needed to buy the core if I was purchasing a new part. "Because your used part would be needed to make a rebuildable core" I was told. After thinking about it, I was being charged twice for the part. One time for the new part and another time for the core that I did not yet give to him. (Think about it a little bit) I got the same answer at two other local stores. After all that, I bought them at RockAuto (online internet store) and I paid less for them than what the stores wanted to charge me for the core AND these parts are brand new, not rebuilt. I figured somebody else could give them their supply of core material.
This wasn't a plug for the store, just the fact that I wasn't going to pay for these items twice since the core's were not rebuildable.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

We have AutoZone, Checker, and Pep Boys around here, very few Advance and I have not used them in years. I have never had a problem returning stuff at A, C, or PB. Or at Napa. Maybe the store you go to has had a lot of problems with people trying to screw them with bogus returns. Still, the manager ought not to be saying crap like that.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.