One of those problems is me because I now represent the inconsistency and incompetency that appears to exist in some of the NTB locations. I now represent a reason why NOT to go to NTB for tires.
Let me explain.
On Sunday, February 3, I brought my car to one of the NTB locations in Pearland. The passenger side rear tire was flat. I left the car with them to fix the problem. There were only two possible courses of action: identify the problem and patch it or, if the damage was not repairable, replace the tire.
The shop called me back and indicated that the tire was too badly damaged – had a nail that went through the sidewall – and it had to be replaced. I agreed.
I picked the car up shortly after 2pm. I requested to see the damaged tire, which they showed me. Satisfied, I went back to my friend’s house to watch the Superbowl, and left at about 10:45pm to go home to Austin.
About an hour into the drive, the ride started feeling rough. It couldn’t be the tires, I thought to myself, they are brand new. As I kept going, the sound kept getting worse. Because I was heading into a desolate stretch of road, I decided to pull over before I got into it to make sure everything was OK. It was about midnite. I got out of the car and walked around checking it out.
What do you think I saw?
The rear passenger tire – the one that the technicians at NTB in Pearland had replaced not even 12 hours earlier – was practically flat.
Here I was: alone with my young son, late on a Sunday night, with a flat tire, and over 200 miles from home.
Can you imagine my panic?
Thank God for the La Quinta in Magnolia that was about 5 miles up the road. But, I had no way to correct the situation because the station I stopped at did not have an air pump and I am not great at changing tires.
I decided to drive back up the road about 5 miles to stay at the hotel overnite and call NTB in the morning. As I drove, that tire got flatter and flatter. By the time I reached the hotel, the tire was nothing but a rubber pancake clinging to the rim.
I called the NTB location, down the street from the hotel in Magnolia, early the next morning, Febuary 4. I spoke with August, the store manager. I explained the situation.
Whereas the staff in the other location were obviously incompetent, as proven by a new tire that deflated within 12 hours of mounting, the staff at this location were highly competent, eager to help, and to go out of their way to make it right. August not only agreed to send someone over to jack up the car, get the tire, and bring it back to the store to analyze, but he stayed in touch with me the whole time to let me know the status. His employee, Russell, who was the one who actually did the work on the tire to take it off and put it back on, was polite and cooperative.
As it turns out, the TMPS sensor was not properly adjusted when the tire was initially installed by the technician at the location in Pearland. This caused the air to slowly seep out. And, because I was driving at high speed, the heat and the pressure apparently accelerated the air loss. When Russell took the tire off, the inside of it was almost completely shredded away from the rim.
Judging from the results of NOT tightening that sensor down properly, I would say that the technician who either forgot to, was too lazy to, or didn’t know how to tighten the TMPS sensor on a new tire should be properly educated and trained or fired and replaced by someone who does know the difference and cares to do an accurate job.
I admit, should I have been driving that late at night by myself? Probably not. Should I know how to change a tire? Probably so. But what if it had been my daughter out there? Or, maybe better yet, maybe you have a daughter that drives. What if it had been YOUR daughter?
I can take the ‘what ifs’ of this catastrophe quite far.
But, the bottom line remains, it was a brand new failed tire installation (NOT the tire) that caused this whole chain of events in the first place. I put my money and my faith into NTB to take care of business, and NTB failed me. It wasn’t the tire; it was the installation.
I believe I am due some restitution and compensation. Obviously, August and his crew at the Magnolia location went a long way to help me correct the problem. He and his staff should be commended for the quick and professional attention they paid to the problem, a problem that was not even of their making.
However, there remains the additional $100 I spent on a hotel room and the undue anxiety, fear, and stress caused by the incompetence of the staff at the Pearland store.
I am unsure whether I will ever again trust NTB to take care of my basic tire and battery needs. It is unfortunate that the advertising and marketing proposes to your audience that you “know tires”. Obviously, some level of your organization does not “know tires”. This is the biggest problem of all.
Your marketing failed to deliver to this customer this time. I hope that failure does not cause more dire consequences for someone else later on.
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