I’m sad to report a terrible experience with a local small-business. Pat Rimmer Tires, a Les Schwab in Burlington, WA. They operate several Les Schwab tire franchises in the area, including Sedro-Wooley, etc.
I had a tire problem on way way from Bellingham, WA to the Keystone ferry. I called ahead and asked Pat Rimmer Les Schwab in Burlington, WA if they could help. They said they could and I arrived, purchasing four new tires from them. Two if not three of the tires I had on the car when I arrived were still in excellent shape, and being that they were expensive performance tires I asked to have them (the three old tires) bagged and put into the back of my car. I was told by the attendant working on my car that he would do that for me.
In my haste to make my ferry, I didn’t check to verify that he had put them in my back seat. No less than five minutes after leaving I called Pat Rimmer Les Schwab and asked that they hang on to them for four days, until I returned to Burlington. I told them specifically when on what I day I would be returning to pick them up. The person on the phone apologized for them not being put in the back as I originally asked, and assured me that they would be available upon my return.
When I returned to pick them up, exactly when I said I would, the tires were mysteriously missing. The person I spoke to on this occasion told me he had seen my tires sitting out, marked for me, but wasn’t able to find them. Someone went ‘out back’ to ‘look for them in the truck,’ but returned empty handed.
This particular Les Schwab stores their used tires (ones they are reselling) out front between the garage bay doors. I found it mighty peculiar that the first place every single person I asked (while I was there) looked was in that spot. It was almost as if they had resold my tires, or expected that someone had.
I was told they would keep looking and call me in a couple days, whether or not they found them. I waited two weeks and received no calls from Pat Rimmer Les Schwab. At this point I was beginning to understand how they treat their customers. I think when a person working for a business makes a mistake the business needs to stand behind their employee and make sure the customer is well taken care of. Pat Rimmer Les Schwab was shaping up to be a big disappointment.
After waiting two weeks for a call ‘in a couple of days,’ I called Pat Rimmer Les Schwab and asked to speak to the owner. After waiting on hold for more than 5 minutes I was given to Ed, a manager who I had met on at least one of my previous visits. Ed told me he would look into it and call me back. He also told me he would “wait for another couple tires in that size to come off a vehicle and save them for me,” and that “that other front tire (my original tires) was shot anyway”. In all honesty I didn’t know whether the front tire he was referring to was damaged, but being that he is the expert and I didn’t recall I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. What he said about getting tires to replace mine off of an older vehicle concerned me, however. I know my tires were used, and I didn’t expect new ones in return. However, I had high performance, expensive tires that they lost, not just some cheap junk off another vehicle. I waited a week and never heard from Ed. Again, Pat Rimmer Les Schwab failed to make their mistake right, and in the most cowardly way possible.
I called Ed again, and got him (again after a long hold). He told me he was looking for new tires for me, but I would have to wait a bit for something to come in used off another vehicle. I said okay, I was patient, but that was before Christmas 2010. As I write this it is April 7th, 2011.
I am done waiting for Pat Rimmer Les Schwab to make this right. Les Schwabs are all franchised, and I hate to speak ill of a small business, but other people have a right to know the facts. The entire time I was waiting on them I had the overwhelming feeling that my tires had just disappeared in the back of an employee’s car one day.