Statistics show that satisfied customers will tell nine friends about their experience, while an angry customer, on average, will tell 16. Well I'm here to make sure I give as much credit for a job well done as I did last year for a problematic tire purchase.
Our latest trouble started the night before Father's Day, as we were headed to meet some friends for dinner. The tire pressure monitoring system in our Ford Fusion issued a warning. A check at a nearby gas station showed the rear right tire with just 17 pounds of pressure. After filling it up, the TPMS issued another warning as soon as we went to go home from dinner.
I filled the tire again to get us home and decided to handle it the next morning. At that point I did the "manly" thing—I called AAA to have them come put the mini-spare on. Then I turned it over to my wife, Megan, to handle from there.
Come Monday, she knew she had to get a new tire. The culprit was an industrial staple that made double entry near the sidewall. Having worked during the early 1990s in customer service and inside sales for one of the tire companies that used to be based in Akron, Megan knew what information was needed.
She wanted to match the original equipment tire—from one of the top tier tire manufacturers—as our Fusion is only 2½ years old, with 27,000 miles on it. Her first instinct was to call a Ford dealership. Although it's been several years since Ford stopped running ads featuring Mike Rowe of "Dirty Jobs" fame, Megan recalled one ad where Ford touted the availability of tires at its dealerships.
This approach didn't go well. The first Ford dealer was all booked up, and no one at the second answered the phone.
Her next move was to call a local tire dealer. She decided on a chain that operates roughly 30 shops in our region of Ohio, including one near us. They had the tire in their warehouse and told her to come in at 11:30 a.m. and they'd have her out within an hour. The Fusion also was due for an oil change, and they still had all work done in roughly 45 minutes.
Equally important to Megan, the shop's staff didn't patronize her as a woman consumer who couldn't possibly know tires, something she sees as vital in today's society. So she gives the tire dealer high marks all around, and will highly recommend them.
As an added bonus, while she was there, the mailman delivered the latest issue of RPN's sister publication Tire Business. Our publisher Dave Zielasko will be happy to hear they said they read it all the time!