Merchant's Tire & Auto
ConsumerAffairs Unaccredited Brand
Day 1: Checked in Gloucester, VA Merchant's Tire at 07:18 AM, August 25, 2017, for the annual state inspection on my 1997 Toyota 4 Runner. I knew that I would require at least one tire, and was prepared to purchase up to 4 tires because all tires were substantially worn, and I preferred Cooper tire brand. Result: Merchant's informed me that to pass inspection, I required 2 tires and was given a quote for two tires (not Coopers) and the amount was nearly $400.00. I asked for their price on Cooper's. They said they were having a special on Cooper's, "B2G2 FREE PLUS $75 CITI MIR" (Buy 2 Get 2 ($193.98) with the purchase of the Value Installation Package ($278.94) and $75 Rebate if you purchase over $500 using a Merchant's credit card (which I do not have or want). My total bill would be $507.53 (which included the state sales tax and "shop supplies" so for an extra $125.00 (+/-), I would have 4 matching tires.
I asked them to proceed with the installation and left their facility for other business to attend to. After 4:00 PM, I received a call that they ran into a difficulty during the alignment service (part of Value Installation). I returned to Merchant's approximately 6:00 PM and was told that on the vehicle left front, I would require one outer (now broken) and inner tie rod (worn) and that would increase my cost (I believe they said around $400 additional). What happened? Mechanic stated outer tie rod was rusted badly, and in loosening the left tie rod nut, the rod broke.
The vehicle was no longer drivable, and if I did not have them perform the repairs on site, the vehicle would require me to have it towed off the premise. Bottom line: Fix it quick, use a bigger hammer and wrench! Am I now paying for the mechanic's effort to get the job done fast! They located new replacement parts at O'Reilly's Auto Parts store. End of Merchant's business day. I researched O'Reilly's parts cost: Approx $32.00 each part.
Day Two: I arrive at Merchant's approx. 07:20 AM. The new cost estimate shows each part cost at approx. $68.00 each. I asked why the difference. "Answer: Their corporate policy states all parts must be acquired by them and prices are established by them. If I have a complaint, take it up with "corporate." I told Merchant's to only perform the least costly repair... Replace the broken part (towing vehicle out would have cost me more)... I have repaired vehicle suspension parts during my years as a do-it-yourself person if you want the work done right... Tie rods, control arms, sway bars, etc., in the past on different vehicles, when time permitted. I will personally inspect and if necessary repair the worn inner tie rod. What appeared to be a mechanic applying excessive torque on the tie rod cost me $217.41 extra.
This is what I believe to be Merchant's position: In the course of repair work, when something breaks, it is always the customer who must accept their decisions: Pay for the breakage: Their part(s) cost (100% markup), pay their labor rates ($113.00/hour), and if they have a dispute with possible negligence by the mechanic(s), take it up with "corporate", whoever they are. Good Business Practices: (1) Use customer purchased new parts if provided. (2) Allow the customer to respond on site to potential mechanic errors and adjust business charges to be commensurate with past patronage. Allow the position that "sometimes, the customer is RIGHT." I've use the Gloucester Merchant's Tire and Auto several times in the past. No more recommendations or patronage from me. In this small community, word will get around.
I was very pleased with Mr. ** at the front desk and Chris the mechanic. It was close to closing, so I was the last person to come in. ** was nice enough to take my car. Chris the mechanic was very fast with my car and I was out in 20 minutes or less. Thank God I came to this shop today! I also appreciate ** and Chris for their great service.
On August 9, 2017, I visited the Merchant's Tire Shop on Dale Blvd. in Dale City, Va. I went there to discuss several tire brands I was looking to purchase and the cost. I received four quotes. The next day I return to the shop and made an appointment for the following Tuesday (8-15-17) to have 4 tires install on my car. I researched the tires, checked reviews and selected the Sumitomo 225R45R18. Today, when I went to have the tires installed I was told the shop only had 2 tires on hand. The shop employee informed me that he was going to give me Continental Tires, that were comparable (better tire for my inconvenience/same price). I'm sure he meant well, but I did not go home and research tires for someone to inform me upon my arrival for an 8 AM appointment that I would be receiving a different brand.
Although I accepted the tires, while sitting in the waiting room I am researching the tires, calling friends trying to determine if these are in fact good tires for driving in wet/snowy conditions. Coupled with the fact it took 3 hours for the installation. When I arrived several bays were emptied, three customers came in after and left before me (one guy came in 90 after my arrival and had a tire replaced before me). We both agreed my wait was ridiculous. I am giving 2 stars only because I believe the person who checked me in was trying to accommodate my scheduled appointment, but nothing else about my experience was good. Sitting there without anyone telling me the status of my vehicle and the only reason I got any attention is because I had to ask what was going on after being told upon arrival it would be about an hour and a half.
I went there just to change a tire on a rim (just came from Mercedes dealer and they said merchant a little cheaper). Boy I didn't know they mean cheap. The rep tried to scam me saying I needed brakes so I called the Mercedes dealer in front of him and he lied right to face saying he didn't mean to say brakes. Please do not let merchant scam you. If you running to a manager with this name at merchant run. (Tony ** a real piece of **).
Made an appt. for 12:30. Was running late so I called. I was told my car would be ready @4:00. Call back to see if everything was running on time. I was told yes. I get up there, the car had not been touch. I asked for corporate no. I was basically told me so many words. He was the boss.
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Called and made an appt. on Sunday evening, I was scheduled for Feb. 1, 2017 @ 12pm on that Monday. Talked to a female - she was the one that scheduled me. Got there Monday right at 12pm... walked in told them I had an appt at 12pm. Some ** guy came out and said "It didn't go through the system." I replied "it had better be in there. I was suppose to get an oil change, tire rotation and a front end alignment." The ** man said "I don't have time for you today. I have a rush job." Well I had driven 45 mins from where I live just for them to tell me that. 45 mins down to Christiansburg and 45 mins back, they told me to come back that night at 6 pm. No way... After I get my appt again, will never go there again... I told them they should have called me. Very bad customer service.
Bought tires for my jeep at a cost with 100 rebate, 7/27/16. Still haven't received it. Right after that, bought 4 tires for my wife's Honda. No rebate yet. Here's the real story. I was on the way to Md on 495 beltway several weeks after buying the Cooper tires for my jeep. Had a blowout. An ** stopped to help out. Then a ** stopped to help. (WHERE WERE THE ** GUYS!) I will return that favor sometime... I was told by the headquarters I'd have to go to their lawyers to get a new tire. I took this to believe I'd have to get a lawyer to do so if I had any chance to get a new tire. I had a warranty. I will never ever do business with this company again. Watch your back !!! if you do so.
Called Merchant Tire to make an appointment to get a balance and alignment. They gave me an appointment for the next day at 11:00 AM. I arrived on time to find the manager complaining about his job. I should have known that was a sign to get out of there quick. Left my car to get service at 11:00. And a young man called me at 4:30 to tell me his mechanic called in sick. It took them five hours to let me know this. I could've taken my car somewhere else if they would've let me know early. A whole day wasted because of Merchant Tires in Lanham, Maryland.
Slow, expensive, sloppy workmanship. You Get all 3! Recent trip to get 4 tires and an oil change ended up taking almost 3 days to complete. They stripped the oil pan plug and it took a day for them to get a replacement. Two of the tires needed to be rebalanced within a month. Thank goodness this was a work vehicle and not my own. I will never go back for any reason.
2:30 PM, Sunday, 18 Sept. I called Merchant Tires to set up an appointment to repair a flat tire for Monday, 19 Sept., at 4:30 PM. The phone operator confirmed I had an appointment. Monday I show up and I am told I have no appointment. They assured me I will be taken care of. It's 2 hours later and I am still waiting for my tire to be fixed.
It was inspection time and I needed tires. I'm new to the area and decided to give Merchant's Tire on Virginia Beach Blvd a try because they were close to home. Bought tires and got an inspection. The inspector said although he could smell gas, he couldn't see a leak anywhere. They wanted to charge me $200 dollars just to remove my gas tank to see if they could find what was wrong and that the $200 dollars wouldn't include any type of fix. I explained that I had spilled a gas can in my trunk a few weeks before and gas had gotten dumped all over my tool bag in there and I was sure that was what they were smelling. I could tell the guy at the counter was trying to squeeze me for unrequired fixes. They also said the strap that holds my battery in needed to be replaced and they wanted to overcharge me for that as well.
I told them I would get that done on my own (the part was only $4 at the auto parts store). They handed me my paperwork and noticed that instead of writing that I needed a battery strap. They wrote it failed because of the brakes. Okay so... got the strap, got rid of the gas smell and now I have returned twice only to hear that the guy that does inspections is not in. So if you go there, prepare to be bled dry, and if you don't let them do what they want and get work done elsewhere or on your own they just say the inspector isn't in. I highly recommend going anywhere else!
Watch out for the store on Woodfield Rd in Gaithersburg, MD. If I could, I would give them 1,000 stars NEGATIVE to show my dissatisfaction. Took my car for oil change, tire rotation and top off fluids. After just 2 months there was an alert light showing oil life was 15% (I had not even reached 2,000 miles yet) and the reservoir for the windshield fluid was empty. I like to change the oil every 3,000 miles. They must have seen the oil was still ok. Needless to say, they did not change the oil and not even take a look at the level of windshield fluid. I was charged for a work they did not do. Had the next oil changed at a gas station. I will NEVER go to Merchants again.
Had an electrical issue. Battery dead (AAA roadside diagnostics). Jumped and drove straight to Merchant's Tire Store #409, 5222 Indian River Rd, Virginia Beach, VA. Diagnostic was that Alternator had gone bad (5 year old rebuilt unit), and battery was shot (also 5 years old). Meanwhile, had to take my wife's car to work after taking her to her job. Told Merchant's to replace both; that was done, along with serpentine belt (98,800 miles of wear on it; replace while already off). Life is good, right?
A week later, intermittent Battery light on the Instrument Panel. Took car back, left it for a day of troubleshooting. Could not recreate. Said Alternator, Battery numbers were showing good. Drove out of parking lot and had 4 repeat Battery lights within 8 blocks; captured the last 3 on Cell Phone camera! Returned car, left again for a 2nd day's troubleshooting by a different mechanic. Still nothing found, although the new battery was changed out since it "might have a bad post". Waited for change out to take place. Battery light continued to light up (more often, longer periods) over that weekend. Dropped car off at Dealer on Monday morning for their diagnostic. No appointment, and so it took two days to get car back. (Now without car for over 4.5 days in a 2 week period. Even had to rent a car for 24 hours for a couldn't-miss meeting 45 miles away.)
Dealer's diagnostic was that the battery light lit up when the alternator was providing low voltage output. Told this to Merchants, and was told "as a dealer, they may have some diagnostic systems we don't have". Paid dealer for their diagnosis, returned to Merchant's for another couple hours of waiting while the alternator was replaced. Overheard mechanic telling the manager that they needed to use a new Motorcraft alternator, not a rebuild, as there was a documented issue with the rebuilds in Ford (and my car is a Ford Focus). The manager (at first) did not agree with the mechanic, but I am told I do have a new (non-Motorcraft) alternator now.
One on the worst experiences I've had purchasing new tires. I had an appointment. I showed up early and was told a completion time of just over an hour. It took them twice as long to perform the work. After a short drive I noticed the tires were out of balance. Three of the four tires were incorrectly balanced. Three more hours later I made it out of there never to return. The worst part is there was no apologies no words of apathy of any kind.
Oil change and tire rotation. They didn't rotate the tires as I was warned by my friend and neighbor. This is what they did to him. I marked one tire and showed the manager. He apologized and had them rotated. Went for an inspection once, actually my wife. They tried to sell her new tires and a $400.00 brake job. Neither was remotely necessary. I will never go there again. Period.
Absolutely lied to my wife's face. Got an oil change and the car was leaking oil afterwards (straight away). We took it back and they said it was the oil pressure sensor and adapter. We took it elsewhere and turns out they had pinched the oil gasket and over tightened the oil filter.
Came in to get inspection for my car. It took them 2 hours to just get my car in. There were very limited cars in their bays. The inspector brought my car in, and I watched my car sit there while he worked on another car. The service here at the Stafford store is horrible, and customer service is the same. Merchants then wanted me to spend unnecessary money to fix my car of issues that was minor repairs. On total I spent 4 hours for something on a Monday. That really should of took 1/4 of that time. Very disappointed, and now know to use another brand. If you know better you should too!!!
DO NOT USE THIS STORE FOR ANYTHING!!! The concept of customer service, listening to the customer or the customer is always right is ABSENT from the staff. Find a new location and stay away from here. Scheduled online appointment, after speaking with staff, car sat for 6+ hours until I walked in the door. Stay away.
I had made an appointment and they set it for the wrong day so when I showed up for appointment 30 minutes before I was told they had to check to see if they can fit me in, that took 30 minutes. I then waited 1 1/2 hrs before they took car to be serviced. That's 2 hrs gone. Now I go & check progress 35 minutes later & they haven't started on car & the employee who's suppose to be working on my car is sitting in my car texting on his phone. That's over 2 1/2 hours & my car is still sitting & not being serviced.
I was with my Son picking the car after a tire rotation and oil change when the tire got off. The accident damage all front left side, no lives involve but they have a claim service that takes long time to get this fix. 24 days and my car still on repair center. I think is better to hire a lawyer to fight for your rights.
After an alignment on my car at Merchant's Tire in Chesapeake, VA. my car started making a scraping and clunking sound. I stopped into the next service station I could find and learned that the jam nut on the left rear tire had been left loose. Essentially, my left rear tire suspension was moving freely. When I called to notify the management, they said it couldn't possible be their fault because they didn't touch the jam nut. Obviously they did and just didn't want to admit to it. I have used this shop for the past several years but the new management team is terrible. I won't be back.
I went to Merchant's @ 6443 Chesterfield Meadows in Chesterfield for my inspection sticker. They kept my car for 3 hours and charged my $130 dollars to look at my car and to give me a rejection sticker. They told me I failed my inspection because of suspension issues and that it would cost $1000 to replace the necessary parts. I have been taking my car to this store for years and found in my records that I had paid them in the recent past to replace the parts in question. I decided to take the rejection sticker and skip the $1000 "repair" because my car is 10 years old and it would probably be cheaper to just go buy a new car. When I told the mechanic this, he offered to buy my car for $1000 dollars because I have been a "valued customer" for many years.
A week later, I took my car to a different more reputable inspection station. They passed my car in less than 30 minutes and charged me the $16 dollars I had expected to pay originally, because just as I suspected, nothing is wrong with my car. The people at Merchant's Tire & Auto are obviously running some kind of scam and banking on their customers being stupid and having lots of time and money to waste. Basically, Merchant's cost me 130 dollars and hours of precious time, but I learned that if you want to be treated honestly and fairly, you should skip the nonsense and shop local.
The woman who works at the front desk talks badly about the business as well as the customers, in front of other customers! Highly unprofessional! She should find another, less public job asap! As far as the service, I have had to go back twice for two different issues because they weren't fixed correctly the first time. Not recommended!
Rip-off. They charged me $418.94 for one (1) front brake caliper on a 1997 Nissan pickup. At Napa the Part Number: CAL SE1507 cost $ 38.99, Merchants changed me $130.75 to buy it from them. One (1) small brake line, Napa Part Number: UP 38554 cost $15.99, Merchants charged $27.54. The real kicker is all the ** "fees". $60.49 to bleed one brake caliper? WTF. $35.00 shop fee? For what? After the cost of (their parts) it cost $260.65 in labor alone, the best part is... the truck was only on the shop for about 55 minutes, I have witnesses. How can they charge $250.00 in labor for one (1) hour of work on a 97 pickup, nothing fancy. Stay away from this place. There are mechanic shops around Chesterfield Va. that treat their customer really decent, do yourself a favor and find somewhere else for auto repairs and tires.
I thought $20 for an oil change was such a great deal. I got my oil changed at Merchant's after taking advantage of this special offer. After I got my oil change... I noticed my car was acting a little wonky. I just blamed it on wear and tear and the age of the vehicle. The weather has finally changed here in Virginia, so it was freezing the other night, my car lost power so bad, I almost didn't make it up the hill! I went to the nearest trusted mechanic in my neighborhood, who started asking me some probing questions in regards to what happened. He then advised me to test drive my car around the block and up a hill, MAJOR difference! Merchant's had loaded my car up with a cheap, watered down oil that has caused damage to my intake AND exhaust solenoids.
Thankfully the mechanic that caught this issue was able to pinpoint the issue. He even recommended I reach out to Merchant's and let them know the issue... but I don't even want to deal with the whole "well bring it in and we can take a look at it for you" and end up paying more money for them to do more damage to my car. Congratulations, you lost a customer.
I had an appointment to have tires installed. I stood in front of the counter in front of the service writers and waited 20 minutes before I was truly acknowledged. With an appointment, I still waited almost three hours. When I got home the tire pressure monitor came on and there was as much as 12lbs of pressure difference in the tires. One had 49lbs, one had 37 and so on. There's a lot more to this story, even a second trip to the store but all you need to know is never do business with these people.
I give this place zero stars!!! We met my sister halfway between her school ECU and our hometown both two-hour drive in Greensboro NC. Her car broke down with NO brakes. We seen this merchant tire and pulled in. Of course it says they fix brakes! My dad went to ask them if they could help us out because our situation, we could not leave the car. The manager tells us they close at 6 and basically "Sorry about your luck we can't help." It was 4pm!!! They had two hours and still could not help us! Thank god for the auto parts store right beside this hell hole!! We also ask about another place that could help us because we was not familiar with this town the manager told us again "Sorry can't help. I don't know of anywhere that could help you." This place needs NEW management!! And obviously someone who can tell time!!
If I could leave zero stars, I would. The only reason there is one star at all, is because of the courteousness of two individuals I'm afraid to name, because I don't want them to get in trouble. The other two store managers, who tried to help me, mysteriously disappeared as is the initial mechanic, oh please Lord Almighty, don't get me started on him! Outright lies to me and tried to tell me I needed new struts and shocks. My vehicle is dangerous to drive! Turns out, as I suspected, my vehicle does not need those things and they are fine. They are, in addition to being completely and utterly clueless when it comes how to service a vehicle, liars, cheaters, and scam artists! Complete and utter ineptitude and lack of customer service from every single person in that store other than those two gentlemen is beyond belief! Do not, under any circumstance, visit this location! Ever!
It took 12 visits. 12! In two months, for them to figure out they do not know how to balance tires. Beyond that, they neglected, after being asked repeatedly, to check the wheels for rust and corrosion before mounting and balancing $1000 worth of brand-new tires. Not only that but I was also told that they would never service my vehicle ever again, including the rotating of the tires which are supposed to come with the purchase of the tires for life!
I'm needless to say this is not going to be my first review nor will it be my first communication to as many people as possible about this particular establishment. Therefore, not only will post this, but I will tell every single person I know anywhere not to visit Merchants Tire and Auto on route 28 in Centreville Virginia and I've also told them to take their business elsewhere, oh and by the way, that is Virginia Tire and Auto on Lee Hwy. in Centerville. They're amazing! Oh, and watch out for the hole in the floor when you walk in the front door. It's covered over by a rug. That should tell you something.
I had an axle changed. The car broke down 100 feet away. They changed a belt. Car has never been the same. GM took a week to call back. He was nonchalant.
Took my car in to get my State inspection sticker renewed and was told it would be 1900 dollars. I got in my car and drove away. Are you kidding me?? I did get my state inspection sticker renewed without giving Merchants 1,900. I will never ever never never go back there again.
Merchants Tire Auto expert review by Lauren Fix
Merchant’s Tire & Auto was founded as a family business in Virginia in the 1940s. Today, the chain is owned by TBC Retail Group and headquartered in Florida. Merchant’s sells and mounts tires and also performs other automotive services.
TBC Retail Group brand: Because TBC owns Merchant’s, the company’s other brands will honor customers’ store agreements and warranties for products and services purchased at Merchant’s. Other brands include Tire Kingdom, NTB and Big O Tire stores. There are over 1,200 TBC owned locations in the United States and Canada.
Environmental practices: Merchant’s helps customers make their vehicles more fuel efficient by offering free tire pressure checks (low tire pressure contributes to low gas mileage) and selling low rolling resistance tires. They also properly recycle or dispose of old batteries, used fluids and tires.
Wheel tool: Those shopping for wheels can use Merchant’s Wheel Visualizer Tool, which shows users how different wheels might look on their make and model of vehicle.
Online scheduling: Customers can find the nearest Merchant’s location and schedule an appointment online. By creating an online account, customers can receive maintenance reminders via email.
Best for: Merchant’s is best for those looking for tires and/or who want services performed by an ASE-Certified technician.
Auto & Finance Contributing Editor
Lauren Fix, also called The Car Coach, is an automotive and auto finance expert. Her understanding of vehicles has made her the “go to” person on TV, radio, print media and the Internet. She has authored multiple books and writes a column for several outlets, including Parade Magazine, NewsMax and Car Coach Reports. She is a regular guest on major news and morning shows, discussing the latest updates on cars and car financing that will help drivers make smart decisions when buying, maintaining and financing cars.
Merchant's Tire & Auto Company Information
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- Merchants Tire Auto