posted July 25, 2005 06:19 AM
Costco Tire Center will not honor the warranty advertised on a large sign in their showroom unless the original tire purchaser takes the car in. They do not inform anyone that the warranty is non-transferrable. It is only stated in the small print on the back of the receipt a customer receives "after" the tires are already purchased.
I purchased a used car from an acquaintance who proudly gave me receipts showing that she had recently had all new tires put on the car by Costco Tire Center in Salem, Oregon. At the time, I felt good about buying not only a well-maintained car, but also one with 80,000 mile tires from a corporation which supposedly cares about its members.
WRONG, when I discovered a bulge in one of the tires and happened to be near the warehouse, which is 1 1/2 hours from my home, they refused to replace or repair the tire. When I asked to speak to the manager, he quite cheerfully pointed to the small print on the back of the receipt that said the Road Hazard Warranty was only honored for the individual who physically purchased the tires. He said this while standing beneath the large hanging sign which advertised the Road Hazard Warranty. There was nothing that said the warranty was only good for the person who went to the warehouse and paid for the tires in the beginning.
After I said I'd be taking my business to a competitor who has proven over and over again that it does honor warranties regardless of who made the original purchase, the assistant warehouse manager offered to wave the mounting and installation fee if I purchased a new tire.
When I refused to buy another tire from them when they so obviously didn't stand behind their product, I was told that if I could get the first owner of the car who had purchased the tires to go to the warehouse, they would cheerfully replace the tire for her free of charge.
So, I'm stuck with a tire Costco won't replace. A Costco Tire Center employee who inspected it even said it had 60-80% of the tread left (the tires have under 12,000 miles on them and were supposed to be 80,000 mile tires). All they offered to give me was free mounting rather than their usual $11.00 fee. Funny, they also have a sign saying the price of tires is reduced by $10.00 if the tires are mounted elsewhere. They don't seem to follow their own advertising.
I had to purchase a new tire elsewhere. It would not make sense or be safe to make the 1 1/2 hour trip back to the warehouse, or ask the previous car owner to return immediately from her weekend out of town, just so Costco Tire Center would have to honor a warranty which should be good for anyone.
If every warranty given on every item sold were only covered for the purchaser, anyone receiving a gift or buying a used car would be unprotected. This is a safety issue as well as bad customer service. Advertising a warranty on a large sign, then only providing disclaimers in small print on the back of a receipt also seems deceptive.
Do not buy tires from Costco Tire Center. If anyone other than the original tire purchaser, including someone borrowing or buying the car, needs service, they are out of luck.