Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Firestone—I Don't Go (Anymore) and You Shouldn't Either

Consumter?  Meet Bill!

We'll get to that in a bit, but essentially and simply: fraud and more fraud.

A month ago the starter on my Ford F-150 started to sound rough.  Granted, I’m not a mechanic, but my dad did me the service of having me rebuild the engine in my first car.  I also “helped” on several others, so I know which end of the wrench goes on the . . . umm . . . tighten thingy.  The point is, that I know the sound of my engine, and when it’s not right.

For the past 7+ years, I used to (now very past tense) take all my vehicles to Firestone.  Accurate records and recommendations all add up to reasonable preventative maintenance.  Or so I thought.

Firestone gleefully checked my battery, told me everything was okey dokey, and I went on my way.  If you follow me at all, you’ll know that yesterday was quite a day for me.  Amidst the exploding energy drinks and whatnot, AAA showed up and told me my battery was crazy old and completely shot.  The service tech was surprised it was still in there.

And that's the part I'm not going to replace, but I'll still charge you for!
So when Firestone reached out to me to try to make some kind of resolution, I figured sure, why not.  This morning, the manager of the Firestone where I do all my business called.  He immediately told me it wasn’t their fault.  He had the test in hand, and all was fine—despite the death of my battery to contrary.  Apparently, the battery should be completely usable—even though it’s not.  He wasn’t even apologetic, and made no effort to compensate me for losing half a day to what should have been a simple, preventative issue.

He did, however, try to get me to bring my vehicles back to his shop.  “Is there any other maintenance we can do?”  Errr, you mean not do, right?  Because you didn’t do the one simple thing that could have saved me from wasting hours of my day, costing me time and money, which is the whole point to your shop to begin with?  That?  You want me to go through all that again?

Interestingly enough, Firestone has recently been found guilty in SoCal of committing fraud.  Not just one store, but several.  More were found to be doing the same inNorCal.  Firestone has claimed to do work, and not actually done it:

“It really seems like there's a systemic problem with the way that Bridgestone/Firestone oversees its franchisees and its mechanics. It doesn't seem like there's any standards in place,” said Jaime Court, president of a nonprofit Santa Monica-based advocacy group Consumer Watchdog, which was not involved in the case.

Yes, yes.  Soon, ALL your money will be ours!
I used to love my Firestone.  It was quick, easy, simple and they seemed to know what they were doing.  A few years ago, they went through a management change and things just weren’t the same.  Now I know exactly what things had changed.  I trusted them to keep my vehicles running so that any trips I took with the family, hell even getting to work, weren't a problem.  Thousands of dollars a year went to Firestone so that when a problem actually occurred they could just shrug their shoulders, with one hand waving the matter off, while they kept the other out, expecting me to keep piling up the cash.

This isn't the first time either.  Firestone has been accused for years of defrauding its customers.

"Sorry, but not sorry," Firestone has told me.

"Thanks but no thanks," I'm replying.

You should too!

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