Car tyre madness.

by Captain Walker

Categories: Humanities

I have a recorded conversation with Kwik-fit head office, confirming that I am at liberty to publicise their policy of fitting of tyres brought by customers (not purchased at their outlets). Of course I intend to make comment about it – and you can imagine that I’m going to say that their policy is stupid.

Kwik-fit would have replaced my two of my front tyres and fitted them for an all-inclusive price of £305 – yes balancing, valves replaced etc – and bledy nitrogen filling which is useless (because the bledy air we breathe has 80% Nitrogen for free and that’s what goes into most tyres anyway).  Some idiot is now about to be distracted by the Nitrogen thing, will go on the internet, find some nonsense and quote it blindly that Nitrogen filling is the best thing since sliced bread. Yes I know, I’m a prophet. So whilst ‘some idiot’ is doing that, I’ll get on with this post.

I decided to try for a better price. Hometyres would do the same for £288 (all inc). Call me a cheapskate – what do I care – I like value for my money (and I decide how I spend my money for what value). And yes – I can easily blow £288 and it wouldn’t hurt. But getting ripped-off even for a penny hurts more.

Right so I get onto Mytyres and select a good specification tyre – sorry I’m not interested in brand. Two tyres were delivered yesterday for £112. Right – so I’ve got to get them fitted and old tyres disposed off. Right – so I was about to leave my front door, when I had a ‘sixth sense’ not to do so. I was about to head off to Kwik-fit which is just 3 mins down the road. I stopped – and listened to my inner voice – that sixth sense. I get back inside the house and call Kwik-fit just down the road. An over-confident meat robot informs me “We don’t fit tyres unless we sell them!”. I didn’t waste time asking why – I’ve learned not to ask questions of meat robots, because what they invariably do is repeat the same thing. Yes – they actually do – they don’t actually provide an explanation. It’s a cultural thing here in Britan – and the Brits don’t like me talking about their culture in derogatory terms, but the truth is that most Brits think that a repetition of a position is an explanation. Idiots – the lot. Well it’s not in their gift – after  all they’re not in meat robot positions for no reason. They’re there to do the meat robot thing, not to think or be creative! Chyrsst – this should be obvious to you!

So I call up Kwik-fit again on a freephone number and end up at a local centre some 15 miles away – not at the head office, as I had hoped. The chap there then gives me an 0844 number to call head office. I don’t like getting ripped off with 0844 calls so I go to and find their landline number to their head office. Another robot answers the phone – and guess what. I ask about this issue and whether it was a national policy by Kwik-fit. That gets confirmed quickly and confidently – of course it must be – after all, he’s been told what to say and he must listen and do as he’s told. Yes – I know the poor chap needs to feed his family.  But I enquire further as to why this policy exists. I get some yarn down the line about “So we can guarantee what we fit..we don’t know where tyres are coming from…. [blah blah blah]”. Well – for 99.99% of the population, I’m sure they’d be satisfied by that sort of nonsensical answer. It doesn’t wash with me. Why? Cuz if it was such a big issue they could easily include a disclaimer clause in their terms and conditions for fitting tyres brought by customers, to exclude any consequential problems arising from tyres fitted or the fitting, if customers brought their own tyres. Customers could be given such terms and conditions and sign it on payment.

Right – so time is money. I call National Tyres – their line is busy on three attempts. That tells me that they’re either too lazy to pick up the phone or business is booming so much that they can’t (or a zillion other reasons in between – I ain’t boveerred). Right – so back to Hometyres. Now a well-spoken gentleman, not someone sounding like a meat robot, answers. I give him my request, with the utmost clarity as you’d expect from me. He asks, “Is it new tyres?”, which I confirm. “And where did you buy them?” and I tell him that. He’s happy to fit. Price of two tyres fitted with disposal of old tyres come up £51.98 (all inclusive). His man Keith who did the repair when my tyre was stabbed, will come around this afternoon.

Total cost is therefore: £51.98 + 112 = £163.98.  I’m happy with that considering that a single tyre the last time cost £163, that I’ve saved £41 if I had gone to Kwik-fit. Oh and the tyres I’ve purchased (not from National – Chrysst I did say it was Mytyres earlier – no it doesn’t matter if it’s a link to National) are heavy duty, have the right balance of grip, rolling friction and durability characteristics.

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