Costco Tyres - rip off?

#1
Saw an offer in store the other day for Goodyears at £52 fitted etc. Popped in today on the way home from work.

"Oh, that's an online only offer, you have to order them in advance on the web"

"But it doesn't say that on the advert"

"It should do, anyway, we have Bridgestones at £71"

I expressed my displeasure, but that's about what I paid for the last set of tyres, so although disgruntled, I was willing to do it. He then explains their "safety" policy to me.

I can have the two new tyres fitted onto the front wheels. They will then take the back wheels, check and balance them and put them on the front, putting the new tyres on the rears.

My incredulity started - "So you're going to take two tyres that you have no idea of the provenance, put them on the driven wheels and put new ones on the rears, and you call this a 'safety' policy?"

Then the penny dropped. Not only will they get to charge me for balancing and re-valving two tyres that don't need it, they can also have a 'policy' that will allow them to say the two rears are somehow defective and need replacing. By which point, I'll be stuck and have to pay regardless. The only way to avoid this, as the ever-so-helpful chap pointed out, was to have all four tyres replaced at the same time.

Anyone see any 'safety' value whatsoever in their policy?

I've been a customer of Costco for many years and this is the first time I've seen anything that's such a blatant rip-off. Makes Kwik Fit's "Ooh, look at your shock absorbers, you need new ones" ploy look almost honest.
 
#2
Maybe it’s your branch. I’ve never had any issue with three different branches, based on where I’ve been living at the time. That said, I’ve always done all 4.
 
#4
Classic bait and switch.
It has been proven that it is always safer to put new tyres on the back than the front when only fitting a pair. Even on a front wheel drive car.
Everyday a school day...
 
#5
On many cars swapping the tyres increases the wear rate significantly. The tread difference is only an issue if you are down to 2mm or less on the rear and the road is wet. On a dry road there is absolutely no difference in grip between new and part worn tyres.

This is the common thing of "we don't have make A in stock but we can do you a set of Pirelli P0 Rosso super stickies for just £XXX more than the others". And we just happen to have 20 of them in stock...

Certain tyre companies have hot deals with certain tyre companies. I've found the KwikFit will always try and offer me Michelins even when I specifically ask for Goodyears. Our local ATS is actually pretty helpful, but we have an even better and cheaper independent round the corner from our office who will match any of the big boys and order any tyre you want at 48 hours notice.
 
#6
It has been proven that it is always safer to put new tyres on the back than the front when only fitting a pair. Even on a front wheel drive car.
Hmmm. I'd love to see the research. And more importantly, who commissioned it. As far as I can see, this is more about selling than safety. Also, if it's so easily proven to be safer, why hasn't it been done before? And why can't I sign a waiver saying I take responsibility and they should do what I ask them to? It's my car, my tyres and my life.
 
#7
Looking for three tyres - must have good wet weather performance - but it seems tyres are priced along the same lines as currency exchange - prices up and down like a whore's drawers. To make matters worse, tyre dealers have the moral rectitude of a paedophile sneak thief.

On many cars swapping the tyres increases the wear rate significantly. The tread difference is only an issue if you are down to 2mm or less on the rear and the road is wet. On a dry road there is absolutely no difference in grip between new and part worn tyres.
The perceived wisdom is to put new tyres to the rear... it has never done me any harm and I am quite happy to do that if I only need two tyres (wife's little fwd car). On my 4x4 I replace all four together so the issue doesn't arise and with relatively low mileage and summer and winter wheels/tyres, new tyres are not needed too frequently thankfully.
 
#8
It annoys the hell out of me. Another fast one the tyre companies pull is if you are paying on a fleet card, the company policy says they must check all the tyres.

"I've bloody told you which tyre I, as the paying customer, wants you to sort, do it"

My mother has been told at the last two annual service that her tyres are getting low. The car has done 14k miles from new. The so called worn tyres are still above 2mm tread depth. It's going in next week for its first MOT, she is under strict instructions to refer all queries to me.

The best way to get tyres done is to walk in with a wheel and tell them to change the tyre. Don't take it there in the vehicle it came off, just walk round the corner with it.

The factory trained technicians at work want a tenner to fit a tyre, so I buy the tyre from work, at trade price, then get the lads at another branch to put it on the rim for me.
 
#9
Hmmm. I'd love to see the research. And more importantly, who commissioned it. As far as I can see, this is more about selling than safety. Also, if it's so easily proven to be safer, why hasn't it been done before? And why can't I sign a waiver saying I take responsibility and they should do what I ask them to? It's my car, my tyres and my life.
Kuhmo Tyres
Should you fit new tyres to the front or rear?

The AA
Car tyres advice | AA

BTMA
http://btmauk.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Replacing-car-tyres-important-information.pdf

Michelin
Tyre Positioning and Handling: Michelin’s Glove Box Guide

Of course it is your car and your choice. I fully agree with you.
However Costco are correct, the safest approach is always to fit the newer tyres to the rear of the car.
 
#10
It annoys the hell out of me. Another fast one the tyre companies pull is if you are paying on a fleet card, the company policy says they must check all the tyres.

"I've bloody told you which tyre I, as the paying customer, wants you to sort, do it"

My mother has been told at the last two annual service that her tyres are getting low. The car has done 14k miles from new. The so called worn tyres are still above 2mm tread depth. It's going in next week for its first MOT, she is under strict instructions to refer all queries to me.

The best way to get tyres done is to walk in with a wheel and tell them to change the tyre. Don't take it there in the vehicle it came off, just walk round the corner with it.

The factory trained technicians at work want a tenner to fit a tyre, so I buy the tyre from work, at trade price, then get the lads at another branch to put it on the rim for me.
The normal moneyspinner on just about every car marque/main dealer is worn wipers (we can change those for only £1xx.99) and brake pads...
Two services ago my rear pads were allegedly down to 2.5mm. Get home, wheels off to find roughly 6mm. Last service, same rear pads on car, not mentioned. It seems I still need wipers though despite them doing a better job than a window cleaner with OCD.
 

goodoldboy

MIA
Book Reviewer
#11
Saw an offer in store the other day for Goodyears at £52 fitted etc. Popped in today on the way home from work.

"Oh, that's an online only offer, you have to order them in advance on the web"

"But it doesn't say that on the advert"

"It should do, anyway, we have Bridgestones at £71"

I expressed my displeasure, but that's about what I paid for the last set of tyres, so although disgruntled, I was willing to do it. He then explains their "safety" policy to me.

I can have the two new tyres fitted onto the front wheels. They will then take the back wheels, check and balance them and put them on the front, putting the new tyres on the rears.

My incredulity started - "So you're going to take two tyres that you have no idea of the provenance, put them on the driven wheels and put new ones on the rears, and you call this a 'safety' policy?"

Then the penny dropped. Not only will they get to charge me for balancing and re-valving two tyres that don't need it, they can also have a 'policy' that will allow them to say the two rears are somehow defective and need replacing. By which point, I'll be stuck and have to pay regardless. The only way to avoid this, as the ever-so-helpful chap pointed out, was to have all four tyres replaced at the same time.

Anyone see any 'safety' value whatsoever in their policy?

I've been a customer of Costco for many years and this is the first time I've seen anything that's such a blatant rip-off. Makes Kwik Fit's "Ooh, look at your shock absorbers, you need new ones" ploy look almost honest.
Shame on Costco for not being straight with you mate and thank goodness that you were sharp enough to think it through.

A few years ago I tried Blackcircles, ordered the tyres online, went to their approved local dealer for fitting and have never looked back. No fuss, no tooth-sucking by the fitter, no warnings about worn shocks, brakes, exhausts and all the rest of it - drive in, read a magazine then drive out with a good job done. If a cynic like me can make a good recommendation it may be worth you having a look?
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
#12
I take my car to my Local small motor engineer a one man band, he takes it to his tyre place and they get done at a reasonable price without stupidity
also it is often worth checking a main dealer
A friend needed four tyres on his BMW estate, the dealers did and cleaned it for 80 pounds less than crap fit
 
#13
I have been quite impressed with Asda tyres, ok it isn't easy getting the car through the checkout,.
Seriously though, they use Halfords to fit for less than Halfords charge. No moving tyres round lark, or trying to sell you anything else.
 

TheIronDuke

ADC
Book Reviewer
#14
It has been proven that it is always safer to put new tyres on the back than the front when only fitting a pair. Even on a front wheel drive car.
One hates to argue with someone who knows what they are talking about but WTF?

I do about 500 miles a week. On motorways, A roads where 20 ton trucks are hoofing towards me and 2 lane country roads with country idiots in country idiot mode. And ******* camper vans.

If I have a blowout on a rear wheel it is a minor drama. Hazards on and park where safe. If I have a blow in a OSF it's loss of steering and straight into the front of a gravel truck.

New tyres are going on the front.
 
#15
I buy loads of tyres, car, pickups, trucks and tractors.

Virtually all these days come from Big Tyres. Cracking company who give great advice.

I have nothing whatsoever to do with them, I just like their operation.
 
#16
Kuhmo Tyres
Should you fit new tyres to the front or rear?

The AA
Car tyres advice | AA

BTMA
http://btmauk.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Replacing-car-tyres-important-information.pdf

Michelin
Tyre Positioning and Handling: Michelin’s Glove Box Guide

Of course it is your car and your choice. I fully agree with you.
However Costco are correct, the safest approach is always to fit the newer tyres to the rear of the car.
From the AA: "Tyres with deeper tread grooves are less likely to puncture too and it's more difficult to control a car with a damaged rear tyre than one with a damaged front tyre."

Absolute bollocks in my experience, having had a rear blow at 80mph. Had it been the front I'd have had a major steering issue, as it was I had an irritating vibration and time to pull in at a service station. Tyre shredded, but everything good.
 
#17
My mother has been told at the last two annual service that her tyres are getting low. The car has done 14k miles from new. The so called worn tyres are still above 2mm tread depth. It's going in next week for its first MOT, she is under strict instructions to refer all queries to me.
.
My MOT 5 years and 15000 Miles ago flagged up Disks had only a few 1000 Ks left and tyres were short on life.

No Mot since then has flagged the disks* as for the tyres BFG ATs, They need replacing from a cross country point of view but tread still far - far in excess of minimum for a tyre - probably better road tyres these days than off road) again never flagged since.

If I was cynical I may think the MOT centres advisories were intended to help mates garage

*Steering pump failed a few years back and local garage recovered asked them to deal with front disks as they had it in - Feck all wrong with them they said.

In fact the only** repetitive advisories I get are damaged bonnet ( its a french thing), and exhaust pipe - which probably is due to fall off - but again its lasted 2 years since the last MOT nay bother.

** Okay sometimes bakes - but that's a we cant test your cars brakes so we accelerated to 30MPH then slapped on the anchors - seemed straight enough - more a get out of jail for them I think
 
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#18
Shame on Costco for not being straight with you mate and thank goodness that you were sharp enough to think it through.

A few years ago I tried Blackcircles, ordered the tyres online, went to their approved local dealer for fitting and have never looked back. No fuss, no tooth-sucking by the fitter, no warnings about worn shocks, brakes, exhausts and all the rest of it - drive in, read a magazine then drive out with a good job done. If a cynic like me can make a good recommendation it may be worth you having a look?
A chum has a back street tyre place, he recommends blackcircle. He gets paid and does not need to have a huge tyre stock level, its couriered in 24 hours.
 

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