Update by user Apr 19, 2011
The photos shown is not all of the damage done by tire kingdom. These photos show only three spokes from one wheel. These photos are representative of what EVERY spoke on all four of the wheels looks like.
Original review posted by user Apr 19, 2011
I had 4 new tires installed on my Acura MDX Sport at Tire Kingdom in Lake Park, FL. My vehicle is only 2 years old and has a special hyper-silver powder coated wheel that was at a significant additional cost. However, they really look great and improve the looks of the Acura immensely. Anyway, when Tire Kingdom started removing/installing the new tires, they scraped and scored the entire perimeter of all 4 wheels. The damage was approx. 1" wide around the entire perimeter and was so deep there was metal filings on the wheel and you could easily catch your fingernail in the crevices. When I first pointed this out to the employee, he tried to say he didn't see any damage and then later tried to say they were like that when I came in. Finally, when asked by my representative, admitted he only installed three of the tires and that another employee had helped him and was responsible as well. (as if that mattered?)
Luckily I checked the wheels before leaving the shop. Can you imagine if I had left and returned later to complain? Tire Kingdom finally admitted they made the mistake and said they would do whatever it took to make this situation right. However, I think they did not realize that these were custom colored specialty wheels by Acura that involve a 3-stage powder coating process and can not be repaired cheaply or be duplicated easily and is quite expensive.
First Tire Kingdom sent me all over town trying to locate a mobile wheel repair guy that they use and thought he was going to simply recommend touch up paint on the wheels and charge them only a few dollars. When this repairman said it was going to cost $600 to re-powdercoat and take a week for the work to be done, Tire Kingdom started to hem and haw. Fianlly, they agreed to pay the $600 and wanted me to drop off my vehicle with them on Monday morning and I could pick it up end of day Friday. I stated that I could not go without a vehicle for a week and that they should rent me a car or reimburse reasonable rental fees for a car. They refused, but after a few days, phone call, and letters back in forth, stated they would only allow me $200 toward a rental and I would have to take care of all of the trouble of getting the rental, picking up the rental, paying for the add'l insurance, etc. and so on. By this time, I had been run ragged with their denials and arguments and attempts at denying responsibility, so I felt the additional money and aggravation I would have to spend on my part was not fair to me at all. The store manager, an uppity, ill-mannered, short-tempered *** named Richele, stated they were not going to do any more for me and I better accept their supposed generous offer or it would be withdrawn. When I stated that I felt this offer was not fair and asked to speak with someone who can make the decisions to make this right, I was denied. I asked to speak with Richele's supervisor as she stated that she was just the middleman and was only relaying the message and could not negotiate any further. Richele also seemed to be upset that I was trying to go over her authority, but I felt I had to since she was unable to answer my questions or help me further. When I asked for her boss, she stated that her boss...and I quote "Mr. Garza MAKES phone calls...he does NOT take them". So, I left my name and number and as expected and after almost a week, never heard anything from anyone or received a return phone call. Bear in mind this was about the 10th phone call and attempt to get a resolution and that it had been over three weeks since the incident occurred, so I was starting to feel like they were just ignoring me and hoping I would go away or accept their pitiful attempt of a fix. I paid for and have the extended bumper to bumper warranty, of which my wheels are covered, and I found out that Tire Kingdom's proposal to repair my wheels would void my warranty in regards to any future wheel issue. So, I wrote a letter and stated that I don't want my wheels repaired as my vehicle is still relatively new and under the factory warranty, and I don't want to be without a vehicle for a week. When I first came into Tire Kingdom, I came into the store with new wheels on my vehicle and that is what I expect to have when this is over. I then submitted a quote from Acura to them for four new wheels and demanded they either put four new wheels on my car or I will seek help from the court in resolving this matter fairly. As a result of my letter, Richele called me two days later and with nothing but attitude (as if the money was coming out of her pocket directly) stated that Tire Kingdom would buy four brand new wheels and install my tires on them. At this point I was finally relieved and happy that despite the three weeks of hardship, they decided to do the right thing and take care of a problem that was clearly their fault. I got a call a week later and was told to bring my vehicle in as the wheels were in.
I set up an appt and go to the shop. As they take my vehicle keys, I decide to sit on the bench outside and read as its a nice day. The bench is only a few feet and just around the corner from the bay my vehicle was in. As I am sitting there, I hear Richele telling her employee working on my vehicle that I am an a$$hole, and I'm being unreasonable and on and on with her opinions of me...none of them nice and more than a few vulgar words were used. She did not see me sitting on the bench, but regardless, not professional in the least.
As the work is being done, I saw that my wheels were in a box from a used wheel dealer and not from the dealership. I see the name of the company and their web address. I looked them up on their website where it stated that the wheels they sell are used and repainted. I then called the wheel dealer and they confirmed that the wheels they sold to Tire Kingdom were indeed used and painted. I was not shown the wheels prior to installation, but was assured that I would be getting "brand new" wheels and not repainted used ones. I was not allowed in the shop to inspect the wheels prior to installation either. However, when they began putting them on my car I was able to inspect them closer. These wheels were horrible. It was obvious they were repaints as the finish was not even close to the factory look. There was waves and fisheye in the paint and the color was not the same as the original hyper silver. Also, the wheels on my Acura are the type of wheels where you can see through the spokes easily so you could see the calipers and the inside of the wheels as well. This area was obviously not cleaned and the dirt and grime was simply painted over. If my vehicle was an older car that was paid off or a cheaper car that I didn't care about very much, I would still have had a problem accepting them but could have been persudaded. But that was not the case. I called Richele over and when I told her of my concern, she simply looked at her worker (who by the way was the same guy who weeks ago, had scratched the wheels originally) and she told him to swap the wheels back. She then turned and walked away...never once speaking to me or even acknowledging anything I said. So, I walked inside and asked for Richele's boss to find out what was going on. By some chance, the area supervisor, Tim Garza, was at the store upstairs and I was told he would be down in a few minutes to speak with me. I then went back outside near my vehicle to wait. Moments later, Richele comes barging out of the store toward me yelling and screaming and waving her arms, obviously pissed off as all ***. She stated I had no right to go over her head and who the &*%$# was I and on and on with every other word more vulgar than the last. (This woman really has a mouth on her). She came up to me within an inch of my face and demanded I get off "HER" property immediately and she was the boss and blah blah blah. I was not standing in the building or the bay and was instead standing outside the building in the parking lot, so I was not in the "restricted" area. I responded back to her stating I'm not moving until my vehicle is ready for me to take and I am allowed to be where I am and she has no right whatsoever to tell me where to go. She then chest bumps me and states that she is going to move me herself if I don't leave now. (Bear in mind, Richele is a 250-300lb shaved head, black woman with matching attitude and is intimidating looking to say the least). I then politely challenged her to physically remove me is she thought she had the legal right to. I then advised her that if she touches me again, I will call the police. At this point, a gentleman who works there named Curtis, steps in between her and me and stops her from doing something she may regret as it was pretty obvious that she was about to lay hands on me. She immediately pulled away from him and started yelling at him telling him that "He works for her" and that he better not stop her or tell her what to do. Thankfully, Curtis ignored her and pulled her away as Richele did appear to be out of control and her next action would not have been the best for anyone.
Finally, Tim Garza comes out and tells his employees to continue with putting my wheels back on my car. He then turns to me and states that Tire Kingdom does not want my business any longer and that I am to simply take my vehicle wherever I wish, have the wheels replaced, and submit him the bill and he will pay it. I asked him why I was being thrown out instead of trying to remedy this situation. I felt that Tire Kingdom created this problem and they should be the ones to remedy it instead of making me have to clean up after their mess. Mr. Garza stated that I am being impossible and that no matter where I go, the scratches on my wheels would be the same as it is impossible to change a tire on a rim without scratching them in the manner that they were by Tire Kingdom. I asked Mr. Garza if he had actually seen my wheels as there was absolutely no way anyone could consider the amount of damage on all four of my wheels as normal. He stated very matter of factly that the damage to my wheels was normal. I then asked the worker to bring me one of my original wheels and one of the used ones they purchased and had put on my vehicle. I then asked the worker if that particular used wheel had my tire installed on it and then removed. He stated yes. I then pointed to both wheels and asked Mr. Garza why is it my wheels are so horribly damaged and the other wheel, that had undergone the exact same tire removal/installation process was not damaged. Mr. Garza simply stared at me for a moment but could not answer me at all. During our conversation, Mr. Garza turned to the worker who was in the process of boxing up the used wheels and stated, "Be careful, we have to return that wheel to the supplier or they won't take them back if they are scratched". I then stated to Mr. Garza that if the same level of care had been used on my wheels when I originally came in to his shop, none of us would be here right now. Again, no reply other than I was to leave his store when done. I then asked Mr. Garza about my original bill that I paid, as I had paid for premium installation and warranties and that I had the extended and/or lifetime balancing/rotation/alignments and that if he was refusing to work on my vehicle ever again, that this would not be very fair to me. At first he stated he would still honor this part of the agreement, but then shortly thereafter, stated I was not to return to his shop and to come into the store when the work was done and he would figure out some sort of a return on the original sale as he did not want me back. I agreed as I don't wish to return to a business that is not only incapable of working on my vehicle properly, but one that is unwilling or unable to make good on their mistakes when they damage a customer's vehicle. A few minutes later, after my vehicle was back together, I went in the office and asked for my key as well as to speak with Mr. Garza to arrange our final agreement as he stated. I was told that Mr. Garza left for the day and would not be back (isn't that typical?). Richele then told all of her employees not to speak with me and again demanded I leave. Also, as I was leaving and getting my keys from an employee, Patrick, Richele started screaming across the parking lot, in front of several other customers, that he was not to speak with me as I was recording conversations. I can only imagine what the other customers must have thought as the looks on their faces in response to the wild woman yelling at me from across the parking lot did look funny. For the record, I was not recording any conversations, I was on the phone with my wife telling her what had just happened and I guess Richele thought my phone was a recording device.
I would like to point out that I certainly understand that there will always be a certain amount of damage to any wheel no matter how much care is taken anytime a set of tires are installed. I used to work as a tire changer when I was in college and fully understand the nature of the business and what is expected and what is not. The damage to my wheels was way beyond a normal chip, ding, or scrape. Again, this damage was one inch wide around the entire perimeter of the wheel, with the scrape being so deep, they were past the wheel finish and into the metal and deep enough to easily catch your fingernail. There were metal filings all around the wheel to show the amount of scoring done. Also, how does a worker damage one wheel, not notice this severe damage occurring, and continue with the other three?
Also, I at no time, ever raised my voice or became rude in anyway. I treated everyone respectfully and how I would expect to be treated. Even when I first saw the damage and was quite upset, I maintained a calm professional manner. How does someone like Richele become a manager? Even if I was a complete ***, there is no need to swear and threaten physical harm or become verbally abusive. Also, if Richele ever reads this, I strongly suggest you look around the area before you start to talk trash about a customer…he just may be within earshot.
Now here I am left holding this huge bag of problems caused by Tire Kingdom. I now have to go through all of the trouble and inconvenience in order to take care of them myself when it should have been Tire Kingdom. That is why I went to a professional tire business, so that I didn't have to go through all of this trouble. I could have ordered my tires from tirerack.com and saved a ton of money, but I thought I was in good hands with Tire Kingdom. Boy, was I wrong.
Finally, I would like to thank two employees at Tire Kingdom. Curtis and Patrick. Both showed me respect and treated me properly, despite the situation. Both could not apologize enough for what I had gone through and they explained that sometimes Richele can be less than professional (to put it politely), when she becomes upset. I certainly hope that Richele will end up in a position with Tire Kingdom more suitable for a person of her nature. I also hope they promote either one of these gentlemen in her place as they truly had the personality and demeanor it takes in dealing with the public. Richele seemed angry and as if she had to prove how tough she could be. I am willing to bet anything that had either Curtis or Patrick been the manager, this problem would have been resolved immediately and had never been and issue. Anyway, my overall experience with Tire Kingdom, as you can see by the above, was horrible and I do not think I will be going back to them. But then again, they don't want me anyway, so we all get what we wanted…right?
Product or Service Mentioned: Tire Kingdom Tire Balancing.