Not resolved

I special-ordered 4 new tires at Sears in Warwick, RI and had them mount and balance them on my Subaru. When I got the car back, all four rims were chipped and gauged around where the nuts were removed and the tires were making an audible rubbing noise on corners.

I had to make 2 trips back since the manager was not in the first time. On the second trip, the manager spent less than a few seconds looking at a single rim before declaring that the damage was oxidative (This entire "inspection" was recorded). The car was brought in to examine the rubbing and the head technician showed that they had been rubbing on the suspension and said there must be a problem with that, not the tires. The car had just been inspected and serviced 1 month prior at a Subaru dealer, including a replacement of the front sway bar links.

Despite the fact that the tires stopped rubbing after the head technician re-seated them, the car was brought to the Subaru dealer again who said the suspension was fine and that the tires were no longer in a position to rub. They assumed that the original technician at Sears had seated them incorrectly given the damage to the rims. The manager at Sears did nothing to explore the situation with the technician and, when I said I was going to take it up with Sears' main office; he said "Go ahead, you'll just be dealing with me again".

My insurance company appraised the damage at $736 and I submitted a complaint with Sears.

I was bounced around for weeks until it landed with their claims division. They sat on the case for a month despite several calls to the officer who actually replied that she hadn't "even looked at the information". I give her points for honesty, but she was still very unprofessional. She eventually offered 50% of the appraised value and I submitted a complaint with the BBB.

The person from Sears who responded wrote the following incorrect/dishonest statements: 1) The car had over 200,000 miles (it was just over 100,000), 2) the suspension was faulty (inspected before and after tire installation and found normal), 3) An alignment was declined (the salesman told me it wasn't necessary given the recent service), 4) The wheels' damage was thoroughly inspected before being declared oxidative (recording times less than 7 seconds from leaving the building to the manger's first statement).

The BBB eventually ruled the complaint unresolved given the fact that Sears' claims division is separate and suggested small claims court. However, given that the company is in Illinois and I'm in RI, this didn't make much sense for me. So, I'm left getting 50% of the damages and venting on this site.

I have since found other postings from people who had the exact same damage and I just hope enough people read this that it doesn't happen to more people.

It seems very clear that Sears has no plans of making an effort to prevent it at their level.

Product or Service Mentioned: Sears Installation.

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