Gearing up for a fight with tire dealer

Phil Madsen | February 08, 2012

I learned today that a tire company in Arizona may be running a scam and Diane and I may be victims. Learned when we contacted them yet again to get money they owe us.

Diane and I woke up this morning in our Florida vacation house where we plan to stay until mid-February. Today was mostly the same as the other days we have spent here. My mind is shifting to tomorrow’s Sylectus Annual Conference 2012. We spent some time today reinstalling window blinds in the house that were removed when new windows were put in.

The tire thing has been developing for some time. We purchased ten new, name-brand tires from a large tire dealer in Arizona last year. It has never happened on any tire purchase we made before but this dealer did not give us immediate credit for our tire casings. He said they have to x-ray our old tires first and will give credit only if they pass the test.

We would have left that dealer immediately if not for our schedule and location. We were a long way from any trusted tire dealer we have dealt with before. We were scheduled to pick up a lucrative HAZMAT load in a few hours. It was going to Canada, taking us even further away from trusted tire dealers. One of our tires had a crack on the sidewall that was still legal to drive on but might also be condemned by a scale cop who happened to be in a bad mood. The rest of the tires were all legal but also at the point where we generally buy new.

Wanting to have perfect tires for this long, HAZMAT, international-border-crossing, remote-route run, we decided to trust this dealer for our casing credit money and made the tire purchase. Now it is February, 2012, and we are still waiting for the check. Calls made to the dealer in previous months produced excuses and promises but no check.

When I called today and left another voice mail message but received no return call, I grew suspicious that this dealer makes it a practice to cheat over-the-road owner-operators like us out of their casing credits. I am beginning to wonder if this dealer promises the casing credit (several hundred dollars) at the time of purchase and then keeps the money. I am wondering if our experience is common, such that if and when a customer calls to inquire about the casing credit check, a story is given about why the tires have not yet been tested and that the matter will be looked into. I am wondering if this company is counting on owner-operators to eventually forget about the matter, leaving the company with the customer-owed money.

We have the invoice and documentation that a casing credit is owed. The company is not denying that money is owed but we still have no check.

Diane and I have been busy with Christmas and then enjoying our Florida vacation. The casing credit has not come much to mind and we have not made a stink about it; until now.

Diane is an attorney. I am a political activist with no small measure of capability (see my bio). We know how to fight and are now preparing to turn up the heat.

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