It wasn't that they made me sit around all day Saturday fixing them putting the wrong tires on my car.
It wasn't that they made subtly sexist comments. (Because I'm a stupid woman who doesn't know anything about cars...)
What really got me angry was that they improperly inflated the tires.
1. The manufacturer specifies my tires should be inflated to 35 psi in the front, 33 in the rear. They inflated them to between 40 and 40 psi. This is inexcusable. Yes, I caught it. I routinely check and change my tire pressures. I can feel the difference when it's 3 psi low. Most people can't. I'm not going to go so far as to say sending someone out with tires that badly overinflated is criminally negligent, but it's damn close. It reduces the handling (both steering and braking), messes with the gas mileage, and increases the chance of a blow-out. And if that doesn't sound unsafe then reconsider, because it is.
2. Annoying. I asked for a specific tire. They mounted a different tire from the same manufacturer. The guy I was talking to just substituted in the more common tire, despite my giving him the exact specification: Falken Azenis RT-615. I was not vague. It was 100% him not listening to me. Several times. Not cool.
3. They took all day to fix the not listening to the customer problem. I knew it would take a little while since the tires I requested generally are not in stock. (I was quite surprised when he said they were in stock, because usually they have to be ordered.) But when I dropped the car off at noon I was pretty surprised when they said it would take the rest of the day. Mounting tires takes 20 minutes, half an hour, tops. These guys, it took three hours. That's bullshit.
4. They pulled a bait and switch that cost me about $200 by quoting me one price, then forcing me to take them at $50/tire more than what they quoted me. (The first price was the wrong tires. The second price was the highest I've ever seen those tires go for but I had no choice since I wasn't paying $500 for a set of tires I did not want and don't have the ability to park my car up for a week while I order tires from someone cheaper online. Assholes.)
There will be bitching at Big O's central headquarters over this. I'll probably also write a nasty letter to the store I got them at, though I suspect that won't do an awful lot. I'm about >< that close to taking them to small claims court for the extra cost of the tire over what they quoted me 'cause they totally gypped me, and that was a full on bait-and-switch.
So yeah. Much though it pains me to say this, under no circumstances should you ever go to the Big O Tire on El Camino in Santa Clara.
Pretty awesome, actually. The old tires had been so borderline for so long I forgot what it's like driving with confidence. I take corners at a moderately aggressive speed and there's so much room left it's not even starting to tap the potential of the tires. Just a couple of turns leaves me grinning, drooling and giggling like an idiot. They're actually probably worth the inflated price the idiot forced me to pay. (Not that I want to pay that if I don't have to. Seriously.)