March 14th, 2012


The Wal-Mart Difference

Wal-Mart is the #2 largest revenue company in the world. I am often surprised at this because of some of their whack business practices. There is no Discount Tire in Kansas - I checked with them before I moved. So I decided on Wal-Mart, since I could probably very quickly and easily get my tires purchased and installed and an oil change relatively effortlessly.

I was mistaken.

I called to schedule the oil change only to find they don't schedule oil changes. Inquiry into how they managed to change customer's oil, I was told, "First come, first served." When asked if I could schedule for tires however, I was answered in the affirmative.

I asked how they handled scheduled tire installation and oil changes on the same day. You really don't want to know the answer.

Because I have to replace my tires every 20,000 miles or so, I stopped buying expensive tires. On the downside it doesn't corner as well, on the upside it rides like a Buick down the highway. And when I say doesn't corner "as well" it still does a bang-up job compared to most passenger cars on the road. Just not as good as it is capable of.

BEFORE I called Wal-Mart, I did my homework. Found four different tires in my size on their website, the least expensive of which was $138. But when I called to ensure they would have them in stock when I needed them, I discovered that they have other tires for sale not on the site. Six or seven more, spanning the price range. I was all set to purchase the ones for an unbelievable $88 per, when he let me know the ones for $111 each came with a 60,000 mile warranty.

I asked how that worked, knowing that my tire size cannot support more than 20k. "If they get to a certain shallowness prior to 60,0000 miles, we pro-rate them." This took the incredulity out of not being able to have them ordered over the phone, nor via the website - I had to physically walk into the store and order them in person - in this day and age! But...60,000 mile tires? For my car? It was so worth it.

To recap, you can't find less expensive tires anywhere *and* I'll never have to pay full price for replacement tires again. I'm only ever getting my tires at Wal-Mart.