So I had a semi-crappy morning — one I’m sure that all 4 of you have had before. You wake up early, important morning meeting to get to, you walk down your 3 flights of stairs, and find your car sagging to one side with a sorry looking smooshy flat tire.
*Sigh* You make a 180 and schlep back up 3 flights of stairs, hop on phone to tell your manager you won’t be in the office in time for the early meeting, and start making calls to get the car fixed. Note: I realize that it’s a kind of ridiculous I don’t know how to change my own tire, especially as a card-carrying independent woman, but hey we can’t all be perfect. As Chris Farley once said: LAY OFF ME.
Rather than burden you with the story of how the guy who came to change my tire also broke part of my bumper, I’d like to focus on a happier tale. It’s a love story about a girl and a tire shop. Hellooooo America’s Tire Company *whistle*. Be still my heart! A company really dedicated to customer satisfaction. A company that gives without getting. A company whose all-male employee base sings loudly to Estelle’s “American Boys” regardless of all the customers who are listening.
Listen to me when I say that this is by FAR the best place to go if you have a flat tire. Or, if you just want to karaoke. I came in, kind of helpless, “uh, I need a new tire”–they quickly assessed the car, and gave me an invoice fora new tire and lifetime warranty at 75 bucks. I felt pretty good about it…45 minutes later I overheard the manager tell another customer that his tire had been fixed and that there would be no charge. What what whaaat? No charge? My favorite word during TAT: FREE!
At first, I thought maybe some shady business was going on with the customer. He seemed a little whaddya whaddya with his khaki pants, overly starched shirt, and jawbone bluetooth always stuck in his ear. Then I heard a little voice in my head say “Ask them! Ask them!”
I sidled up to the counter, flashed a toothy smile, and said, “Can you guys check if you could fix my tire?”
“Sure! Didn’t know you had it with you.”
“Oh, uh, yeah it’s in my trunk.”
“Yep, I’ll tell the guys to check it out.”
“And, how much does that cost versus buying a tire”
“And the labor?”
“Nothin’. It’s free for you if we can repair the tire.”
“Hold up,hold up, hold up. So I come here, you check my tire, you fix my tire, I drive away…and I don’t pay you anything”
“But how do you make money if you’re giving stuff away???”
“When you need to buy new tires, where are you going to go?”
“Ohhh, I see what you’re doing here. Yes, I get it. And, I like it. Keep up the good work.”
Sure enough, 20 minutes later I was driving away feeling like a winner. If and when I need new tires, I think we ALL know where I’m going.