Automotive

Yes...There Are Honest Tire Shops

  • Last Updated:
  • Jun 15th, 2019 7:05 pm
[OP]
Jr. Member
Mar 1, 2011
197 posts
354 upvotes
Calgary

Yes...There Are Honest Tire Shops

I bought a used Audi TT for my wife and it came with the stock summer tires. Tires had 20K kms on them and being stock, may have another 20K km left. We are living in Calgary for one more year and then moving out to the Fraser Valley in BC. Rather than buying new winter tires/rims, thought I would just go with high performance all seasons. Many sport car owners do this if they are not going to run the tires hard. Also the most practical.

I first went to Costco but they did not carry any of the tires I needed. So went online and selected tires from Fountain Tire, Kal Tire and Blasken and Lane. Initially, in all cases in "round one" to the 3 tire shops, they called me back and said the tires were out of stock and recommended the most high-end tires you can find. My spend went from $1250 to $3000. Some of the dealers suggested high-end summers and did not even listen to my needs for an all season tire. In one of these discussions, the dealer said they would only do the tire installation if I had a high-speed tire alignment.

When pressed if they can get the tire I requested, only one would even try and it would cost me $15/tire to ship. The other 2 said, they weren't interested in my business. All said I had to put a deposit or pay up front. Really left a bad taste in my mouth.

I did a few more inquiries with similar results. Then a rep from Fountain Tire at Sunridge mall in Calgary called me back and discussed my tire needs. He verified the tires I wanted were appropriate and said they were only in stock in the US. I asked how much for shipping and he said they would cover it. He also said they would book a first morning appointment that I requested. When I offered my credit card for a deposit, he declined and said we would settle up after I'm happy with the service.

Yes, there are some honest tire shops out there. Maybe I'm naive when it comes when shopping for tires but just wanted fellow RFD'ers to shop around and to look for those honest tire shop owners out there.

Has anyone else had this experience?

I'll update this post once my tires are installed.
14 replies
[OP]
Jr. Member
Mar 1, 2011
197 posts
354 upvotes
Calgary
CuriousJack wrote:
Jun 14th, 2019 7:08 pm
wait until you see the bill Grinning Face With Smiling Eyes
The quote I got online for $1250 was reviewed with me and correct. I'd hate to find out if they did a high-speed wheel alignment without my approval as I would not accept it. I'll post my experience in a couple of weeks.
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May 9, 2003
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Hank71 wrote:
Jun 14th, 2019 6:59 pm
I bought a used Audi TT for my wife and it came with the stock summer tires. Tires had 20K kms on them and being stock, may have another 20K km left. We are living in Calgary for one more year and then moving out to the Fraser Valley in BC. Rather than buying new winter tires/rims, thought I would just go with high performance all seasons. Many sport car owners do this if they are not going to run the tires hard. Also the most practical.

I first went to Costco but they did not carry any of the tires I needed. So went online and selected tires from Fountain Tire, Kal Tire and Blasken and Lane. Initially, in all cases in "round one" to the 3 tire shops, they called me back and said the tires were out of stock and recommended the most high-end tires you can find. My spend went from $1250 to $3000. Some of the dealers suggested high-end summers and did not even listen to my needs for an all season tire. In one of these discussions, the dealer said they would only do the tire installation if I had a high-speed tire alignment.

When pressed if they can get the tire I requested, only one would even try and it would cost me $15/tire to ship. The other 2 said, they weren't interested in my business. All said I had to put a deposit or pay up front. Really left a bad taste in my mouth.

I did a few more inquiries with similar results. Then a rep from Fountain Tire at Sunridge mall in Calgary called me back and discussed my tire needs. He verified the tires I wanted were appropriate and said they were only in stock in the US. I asked how much for shipping and he said they would cover it. He also said they would book a first morning appointment that I requested. When I offered my credit card for a deposit, he declined and said we would settle up after I'm happy with the service.

Yes, there are some honest tire shops out there. Maybe I'm naive when it comes when shopping for tires but just wanted fellow RFD'ers to shop around and to look for those honest tire shop owners out there.

Has anyone else had this experience?

I'll update this post once my tires are installed.
What is dishonest about requesting a deposit for a uncommon tire size? Nothing...

The tire shop is just trying to cover reasonable costs should you decide to not take the tires after they have been shipped.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Mar 1, 2011
197 posts
354 upvotes
Calgary
bizzyseller wrote:
Jun 14th, 2019 8:01 pm
What is dishonest about requesting a deposit for a uncommon tire size? Nothing...

The tire shop is just trying to cover reasonable costs should you decide to not take the tires after they have been shipped.
Fair comment. I guess there are other tire shops out there, from what I've experienced, that will cover the shipping cost although their installation costs are the same as the others.
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Feb 11, 2007
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Hank71 wrote:
Jun 14th, 2019 8:09 pm
Fair comment. I guess there are other tire shops out there, from what I've experienced, that will cover the shipping cost although their installation costs are the same as the others.
They'll usually cover the costs if they think they could resell if you don't show, or if they're marking it up so high they don't mind. Nothing sketchy about asking for deposits on a rare tire.

I guess a high performance all season may be OK if you don't need to drive when it snows. Or if you're just using it as a summer/weekend car. Otherwise I'd go for an all weather tire if I was going to drive one tire all year. You've already given up summer performance not going with a high performance summer tire.
Newbie
Jun 8, 2019
47 posts
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GTA
Hank71 wrote:
Jun 14th, 2019 6:59 pm
I bought a used Audi TT for my wife and it came with the stock summer tires. Tires had 20K kms on them and being stock, may have another 20K km left. We are living in Calgary for one more year and then moving out to the Fraser Valley in BC. Rather than buying new winter tires/rims, thought I would just go with high performance all seasons. Many sport car owners do this if they are not going to run the tires hard. Also the most practical.

I first went to Costco but they did not carry any of the tires I needed. So went online and selected tires from Fountain Tire, Kal Tire and Blasken and Lane. Initially, in all cases in "round one" to the 3 tire shops, they called me back and said the tires were out of stock and recommended the most high-end tires you can find. My spend went from $1250 to $3000. Some of the dealers suggested high-end summers and did not even listen to my needs for an all season tire. In one of these discussions, the dealer said they would only do the tire installation if I had a high-speed tire alignment.

When pressed if they can get the tire I requested, only one would even try and it would cost me $15/tire to ship. The other 2 said, they weren't interested in my business. All said I had to put a deposit or pay up front. Really left a bad taste in my mouth.

I did a few more inquiries with similar results. Then a rep from Fountain Tire at Sunridge mall in Calgary called me back and discussed my tire needs. He verified the tires I wanted were appropriate and said they were only in stock in the US. I asked how much for shipping and he said they would cover it. He also said they would book a first morning appointment that I requested. When I offered my credit card for a deposit, he declined and said we would settle up after I'm happy with the service.

Yes, there are some honest tire shops out there. Maybe I'm naive when it comes when shopping for tires but just wanted fellow RFD'ers to shop around and to look for those honest tire shop owners out there.

Has anyone else had this experience?

I'll update this post once my tires are installed.
I order my tires from tirerack.com in the USA. They will ship them to your door via UPS with all duties paid. Last time I checked, they were still cheaper than in Canada even with the currency difference. The only hurdle is getting an independent garage to install and balance them. A former Calgarian.
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May 9, 2003
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Hank71 wrote:
Jun 14th, 2019 8:09 pm
Fair comment. I guess there are other tire shops out there, from what I've experienced, that will cover the shipping cost although their installation costs are the same as the others.
So the issue is you do not want to pay shipping fees. This is far from the shop being dishonest...

Regarding the deposit, if one is serious about the tires, then I wouldn't worry about the deposit. You will get the product you have ordered.

They may not be recommending all seasons since the all seasons may not meet the speed ratings of your OE tires. Speed ratings can affect top speed, suspension, cornering etc. For replacement tires you need to at least meet the ratings of your OE tires.

Finally, there is no such thing as a "high speed wheel alignment".
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slickone19 wrote:
Jun 14th, 2019 9:22 pm
I order my tires from tirerack.com in the USA. They will ship them to your door via UPS with all duties paid. Last time I checked, they were still cheaper than in Canada even with the currency difference. The only hurdle is getting an independent garage to install and balance them. A former Calgarian.
Yea, I always buy my wheels and tires from tirerack.com but I usually bring them over duty free when I'm travelling there. You can also ship them separately duty free if you fill out the forms.
Penalty Box
Apr 5, 2013
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markham
engineered wrote:
Jun 14th, 2019 10:01 pm
Yea, I always buy my wheels and tires from tirerack.com but I usually bring them over duty free when I'm travelling there. You can also ship them separately duty free if you fill out the forms.
last time I did this, I shipped UPS (no choice)..they tried to charge me duties taxes and broker fees...I literally snapped on the employee, then the manager after...and finally got my stuff that they were trying to hold hostage for payments, that was duty free
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cardguy wrote:
Jun 15th, 2019 7:31 am
last time I did this, I shipped UPS (no choice)..they tried to charge me duties taxes and broker fees...I literally snapped on the employee, then the manager after...and finally got my stuff that they were trying to hold hostage for payments, that was duty free
UPS is notorious for doing that. I will go to extremes not to have to deal with them. Even is picking up at the UPS store they screw you around.

As for the OP's issues with some stores, They do not want to import and pay for the special order tires in case you change your mind. You were clearly shopping so they would not commit to you. I do not think it is a matter of "Yes...There Are Honest Tire Shops", it is a matter of which tire shop is willing to take a chance with bringing in very expensive tires at their risk.
Life is short......Make sure you spend as much time as possible on the internet arguing with strangers about politics :). Anonymous
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Jul 12, 2003
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Agree with others about the deposit.

Not a lot of customer drive a Audi TT nor using that same spec of tires. They cannot risk to order something that they can hardly sell.
Asking for a deposit is very reasonable. The shop that didn't ask for a deposit, they will probably do the same after 1 or 2 customers backed out after order and never came back.

In regard for other shop that persuade you to get high performance summer tires. Probably they make more money on those or easier to get them from suppliers than your All Season Tires.
Just shop round.
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What if you are dishonest and did not pick up the tires. We need more vendors feedback here.
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Hank71 wrote:
Jun 14th, 2019 6:59 pm
I bought a used Audi TT for my wife and it came with the stock summer tires. Tires had 20K kms on them and being stock, may have another 20K km left. We are living in Calgary for one more year and then moving out to the Fraser Valley in BC. Rather than buying new winter tires/rims, thought I would just go with high performance all seasons. Many sport car owners do this if they are not going to run the tires hard. Also the most practical.

I first went to Costco but they did not carry any of the tires I needed. So went online and selected tires from Fountain Tire, Kal Tire and Blasken and Lane. Initially, in all cases in "round one" to the 3 tire shops, they called me back and said the tires were out of stock and recommended the most high-end tires you can find. My spend went from $1250 to $3000. Some of the dealers suggested high-end summers and did not even listen to my needs for an all season tire. In one of these discussions, the dealer said they would only do the tire installation if I had a high-speed tire alignment.

When pressed if they can get the tire I requested, only one would even try and it would cost me $15/tire to ship. The other 2 said, they weren't interested in my business. All said I had to put a deposit or pay up front. Really left a bad taste in my mouth.

I did a few more inquiries with similar results. Then a rep from Fountain Tire at Sunridge mall in Calgary called me back and discussed my tire needs. He verified the tires I wanted were appropriate and said they were only in stock in the US. I asked how much for shipping and he said they would cover it. He also said they would book a first morning appointment that I requested. When I offered my credit card for a deposit, he declined and said we would settle up after I'm happy with the service.

Yes, there are some honest tire shops out there. Maybe I'm naive when it comes when shopping for tires but just wanted fellow RFD'ers to shop around and to look for those honest tire shop owners out there.

Has anyone else had this experience?

I'll update this post once my tires are installed.
Good to hear about your story and shopping around.
😎
[OP]
Jr. Member
Mar 1, 2011
197 posts
354 upvotes
Calgary
peteryorkuca wrote:
Jun 15th, 2019 12:29 pm
What if you are dishonest and did not pick up the tires. We need more vendors feedback here.
That's a perspective I had not considered. I was raised to be honest and trustworthy of individuals however that may not apply to everyone. To find a tire shop willing to do business the "old fashion way" was refreshing. If I backed off in any way, I would have compensated the dealer. Even a deposit would have been okay. What I really object to is if they want to charge 100% upfront and if I find a problem with service/quality and automatically lose my leverage.

I guess the better way to frame my issue, is I found a lot of "bait and switch" techniques from tire shops regardless of what I wanted. Several of the tire shops simply recommended the highest priced tires and extra services like a "high speed" wheel alignment. When I said I wanted all seasons, that fell on deaf ears and they no longer wanted to deal and would not return my calls with me with the exception of the last shop I contacted. As with some of the posters, I checked with Tire Rack and knew what tires I wanted but wanted to support local businesses. The one good thing with the internet, the quotes are pretty complete so I hope not to be broadsided when my tires are installed in the next week.

Webhead wrote:
Jun 15th, 2019 12:34 pm
Good to hear about your story and shopping around.
Sound advice!
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Hank71 wrote:
Jun 15th, 2019 2:49 pm
That's a perspective I had not considered. I was raised to be honest and trustworthy of individuals however that may not apply to everyone. To find a tire shop willing to do business the "old fashion way" was refreshing. If I backed off in any way, I would have compensated the dealer. Even a deposit would have been okay. What I really object to is if they want to charge 100% upfront and if I find a problem with service/quality and automatically lose my leverage.

I guess the better way to frame my issue, is I found a lot of "bait and switch" techniques from tire shops regardless of what I wanted. Several of the tire shops simply recommended the highest priced tires and extra services like a "high speed" wheel alignment. When I said I wanted all seasons, that fell on deaf ears and they no longer wanted to deal and would not return my calls with me with the exception of the last shop I contacted. As with some of the posters, I checked with Tire Rack and knew what tires I wanted but wanted to support local businesses. The one good thing with the internet, the quotes are pretty complete so I hope not to be broadsided when my tires are installed in the next week.

Sound advice!
100% upfront puts most of the risk on you, but I had no issues paying 100% upfront on the table saw I bought online from lowes the other day. Our safety net is that if we don't get what we paid for, we just reverse the CC charges. What you are subject to is delays in shipping/delivery. I was screwed last year by HD's delivery company, so my new washer/dryer arrived 5 weeks late. I got $250 back for that inconvenience.

Did they say high speed wheel alignment? Or did they say high speed wheel balancing, which is a real thing, and usually means balancing on a Hunter Roadforce machine, pretty much the best there is.

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