This morning I brought my car in for a new tire because the existing one had a “bubble”. My car has only 10,000 miles and the tires are the originals. I called the customer service line for the tire company and they informed me of the process to return the bad tire.
I went to the garage the tire company recommended and encountered a bit of trouble and a process that seemed a little daunting and overwhelming for tires that were well under their warranty.
The brand of tires on my car is a reliable and has been around for over 100 years and yet the process to cash in on the fabulous warranty almost discourages consumers from doing so. Initially I was told to purchase a new tire, mail my existing tire back and then wait to see what the conclusion of their assessment is.
When all is said and done, is it worth the trouble? The technician at the auto shop definitely tried to discourage it and offered little sympathy. He was happy to get the sale of a new tire and would have rather avoided the warranty issue.
I began pondering this warranty, the reliability of the tire company, and the role the auto shop has in my consideration of tires the next time I need to purchase them. The tire didn’t last. Their warranty is a challenge. My image of the brand has been brought down by not only the performance of the tire, but also by the gentleman servicing my car.
I returned two hours later to retrieve my car, only to discover the shop would charge me only half price for the tire, taking into consideration what they believed the value of the damaged tire would be. Success! Warranty paid for something!
Organizations with solid reputations can’t ride those reputations until the end of time. Constant work needs to be done to maintain the trust of consumers. Your product and those representing your brand both matter immensely. Customer service was sure nice on the phone and offered a ‘solution’ but the solution proved to be a great, big hassle. If I hadn’t put up a fight, I probably would have had to follow the proposed process and wait.
Everything worked out for me in the end. However, next time I need some tires – I might stray away from this brand and give another company a chance to prove their customer-focus and hope they have more seamless, hassle-free warranty.
Dianne Durkin is president and founder of Loyalty Factor, a specialized consulting and training company that enhances employee, customer and brand loyalty for some of the nation’s most prominent corporations and many smaller businesses. Durkin has over 25 years experience in finance, direct sales, international marketing and training and development.
Dianne’s proven expertise lies in helping companies quickly get to the core issues and outlining their impact on the organization’s profits, productivity and people. She authored “The Loyalty Factor: Building Employee, Customer and Brand Loyalty,” and the newly released “The Power of Magnetic Leadership: It’s