Advance Auto Parts

Posted on Tuesday, October 25th, 2005 at 12:00am CDT by 16c14dcc

Company: Advance Auto Parts

Category: Stores, Shopping

Advance Auto Parts

October 24, 2005

Background In 2001, I entered an Advance Auto Parts Store, located on Panola Road in Stone Mountain, Ga.. I was caring a battery which had come from a Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4. This vehicle is a 1995 model which currently has 47,000 mile. This is a vehicle that is driven very rarely, or even started. The battery must remain connected at all times, unlike some of my older model cars whereas prior to the usage of computers, you simply disconnect one terminal and that is fine. When I spoke to the sales Representative, all I really sought was to have the battery charged. This was the original factory battery and each time in the pass, when I had needed to recharge the battery, I’m always told that the battery was no-good. I understood the miss-education of many of these sales representatives, so generally I instruct them to place the jump box on the battery for a few seconds, which will place enough current in the battery for the charger to read it and start charging the battery. On the newer model cars, even when it appears that everything is off, there are back-up systems that draw power, that are on continuously. Knowing that this had been done several time previous (not to mention the fact that at this point, the battery was already six (6) years old. I knew it was just a matter of time before the battery would end its life cycle, thus I entertained the idea of replacing the battery now versus waiting until that time. In looking at the option available, Advance Auto offered four different batteries for this particular vehicle. These batteries ranged from 39.99 to 109.99 with the only real difference being in the warranty. These warranties ranged from 1 year free replacement to lifetime free replacement. The two top-end warranties, were: 1) $69.99 seven year warranty, three year free replacement, remainder pro-rated 2) $109.99 lifetime free replacement Now it was further explained by the sales representative. The battery was unique in its design and appearance. This was a Champion Vortex. The battery was red in color with a black bottom and looked like six tubes molded together. I was assured that because of the appearance of the battery, all I had to do was walk into any Advance Auto Store, if the battery is placed on a charger and wont take or hold a charge, it is replaced free of charge, and because of the appearance of this particular battery, there wont be any questions asked. Normally, anytime someone or something implies a warranty, I want it in writing. I didn’t this time, because I remembered years ago, Pep-Boys started this trend by producing a brake pad that was red in color. Anytime you entered a Pep Boys Store with the red brake pads, you simply tell them the Make and Model of the vehicle, if in stock, they are handed to you and your old ones went back it the original box and off you went, no money needed. I assumed this would be the same system. Pep Boys had discontinued their program due to fraud in that some had learned how to color the old pads and return them. However with the battery, the appearance was unique, and I didn’t think that anyone could duplicate a battery to commit fraud as with the Brake Pads. So using what I thought was logic, I bought the battery. Incident In September of 2005, I entered the exact same Advance Auto location, outlined above, with the Champion Battery in hand. Up and until this actual date, I had never had a problem with this battery. There had been times when this vehicle had sat for more than six months, went out hit the key and bingo, she fired right up. I had never known this Battery to even drag on attempts to start the vehicle. In September when I went to start some of my vehicles, the Champion Vortex would even allow the buzzer to come on. It had been 9 -10 months since it had last been started and apparently the vehicle wasn’t left running long enough to fully recharge the battery or the battery had just reached the age where it could no longer handle the burden placed upon it by the vehicle. Upon entering the Advance Auto Store, I was greeted by a young woman, who offered to placed the battery on the charger. Upon doing so, the charge would only read “ Connect Clamps” which meant that the battery was too low for the charger to read. I knew this factor, and explained to the young lady, how to use the jump box to send current to the battery and the charger would read it. She seemed to get a little offended by my suggestion that there was a way to get the charger to read the battery. She informed me that this was all they were allowed to do. At this point the conversation was over heard by another salesman “Greg”, who knew what I was talking about doing and he came to my rescue. Greg knew what to do and apologized for the young lady not knowing. I explained that I was a automobile hobbyist, and owned several collector cars including the one the battery came out of. After several minutes and attempts, both Greg and I determined that this battery was gone! I informed Greg, that I would need to replace it. Happily, we walked to his cash register. After a minute, Greg turned to me and told me that it would be $149.67. At this point, I explained to Greg, this battery has a lifetime free replacement warranty. Greg explained that I would need to take the battery back to where it had been purchased. This is when I began to get upset. I explained to Greg, this is where I purchased the battery. I was informed by Greg, that the Champion Vortex Battery I was caring had never been sold by Advance Auto. That Advance Auto has never sold Champion Brand products. I knew I wasn’t crazy nor mistaken or lying. Rather than argue the point, I simply denied purchasing another battery at that time to look into the matter further. “ One very important factor here is that unlike the average consumer, this was a spare hobby vehicle and not a vehicle I needed nor used on a daily bases, thus, I was afforded the luxury of walking away versus being placed in a situation whereas I would have had to shell out and additional $149.00 for a new battery, if I wanted to get to work the next day.” The following day, I set-out to find out from Champion if Advance had in fact sold their product. My next problem arose when it was discovered that Champion had in fact gone out of business. It was later discovered that Champion as a Brand Name had been purchased by Exide Corporation. In contacting Exide and locating the Sale Representative for this area, it was quickly discovered that not only did Advance Auto carry the Champion Vortex Battery in 2001, but they still carried the battery today however it is now the Exide Orbital. The Rep. went further to inform me as I explained what had happened, when the Battery was first introduced, many of the Vendors including Advance Auto Store, put these batteries out with some crazy warranties, to the point that the Vendors had to be reminded that even though it was a great battery, it would still eventually die. After speaking with the Exide Rep. who also informed me that he could send me somewhere else to replace the battery based upon the date on the side of the battery. I declined this offer. I had been called a liar by the Sales Representative at Advance Auto Parts Store, and I wasn’t going to stand for that. In addition, they sold me the battery with a lifetime replacement warranty and they are going to honor their warranty. I refused to simply be put off by saying we never carried this battery. After the above, I contact the Advance Auto Parts Store Corporate Office, however not before having to go thru another service provided on the internet, to lodge complaints. When first contacted, I was contacted by the District Manager. Classic example of the attitude from the individuals working within the actual Stores. This individual didn’t have a clue. He got somebody on conference call that confirmed that yes, the Optima and the Vortex were the same battery. He also stated that the current warranty on this battery was seven (7) years, with three of the first year free replacement and the remaining years pro-rated. He also went further to admit that he thought that the battery did have a better warranty before. After hearing this individual, I further addressed to the District Manager, several simple points-of-fact, as follows: a) When I entered the store originally, it was to replace the battery but to have it charged. At that time, there were four batteries assigned to the application of this vehicle; 1) $49.99 which had a one year free replacement warranty 2) $59.99 with a two year free replacement warranty 3) $69.99 with a three year free replacement warranty 4) $109.99 lifetime free replacement warranty, That based upon the above, any consumer with the least bit of common sense would have concluded as I did, “There is no way I would have paid $109.99 for a battery with the same warranty as a battery for $69.99 and caring the exact same name. Now maybe if you were offering me a Brand Name for 109.99 versus a (Joke Spitheads Battery) then maybe I could see an argument but in this case, these were all the same brand with the disparity in price being justified by warranty only. This in itself gave validity to my argument, or should have. b) by his owns mans admissions, as he had stated, “he thought the battery use to have a different warranty” which lends further validity to my claim c) I was further confused by the fact that when the battery was pro-rated, the amount required to replace it, exceeded the cost of the lesser unit New. To pro-rate the old battery would have cost me $74.00 plus tax, and the Orbital Battery which matched the one I was returning, and still I would only have a three year free replacement. The $69.99 would be cheaper and still have the same warranty. The bottom line, I was being cheated out of a warranty and $109.99 plus taxes. d) In contacting Exide, the cost of the Orbital Battery for Advance, is actually less than the pro-rated adjusted amount. So in essence, Advance Auto Parts Store, was honoring any warranty, they were simply making less profit! Conclusion In dealing with this problem as outlined, I have had to deal directly with the Vice President over the Atlanta Georgia area, and again based upon the conversation with this individual. I wonder how advance Auto Parts Stores remains open. This individual has entirely no business what so-ever, in being able to call himself a Vice President. By the time the conversation had ended, his attitude recalled that of a bumbling idiot. He conversation began and ended with Advance Auto Parts Store doesn’t give away free batteries! This entire incident was brought to a conclusion by a manager of warranties for Advance Auto Parts Store, who simply called the store, had the manager provide a replacement battery. He informed me, that he been involved from the beginning, he would have simply instructed the Manager to issue a replacement and not allow it to escalate as far as it had gone. He went further to explain that he wasn’t with the company back during the time I purchased the battery however it seemed awful logical to him, that an informed consumer would have purchase the lower priced battery with the exact same warranty. He went further to admit in speaking with me, it was apparent that I was somewhat intelligent and that he believed that I would have had to have been told of a lifetime replacement warranty for me to purchase the Vortex battery. He further admitted that sometime ago, he had questioned the fact that there were two different batteries with exactly the same warranty however their was a $50.00 difference in price between the two but carried the same manufacturers name. He had been told that the more expensive battery use to have a different warranty, but didn’t know what it was, since it was before his time. This gentleman went further to informed me that he had been given direct instructions that he was not to give me a free battery, however hearing what had happened and using common sense, I was provided the following: a) A received the Exide Orbital Battery for roughly $40.00 plus tax, cash b) He also sent me a Gift Certificate for the difference that I had to pay. He should not have had to do this. I had a Battery with a lifetime replacement warranty. Even if the sale person that originally sold me the Battery was in error, this would have been understandable. To be called a liar, in that the Champion Battery had never been sold by Advance Auto Parts Store, when all the person had to do was scan the Battery and it would have come up in the system showing that it was once carried. It never entered the mind of the Sale Person, Greg, to look at the date on the battery and realize that “hey, I didn’t work for Advance in 2001, maybe we did sell them back then”. Or do you think he should have though “let me scan the battery and see if it come up in the system. This man may be telling the truth”. The bottom line shows that Advance Auto Parts Stores has a problem in there management structure. This problem shows directly to the Consumer in the form of Inappropriate Training or miss-informed staff members. When you have a Vice President and a District Manager, clueless, how can the employee’s possibly be informed? To go even further, look closely at the scheme: 1) A Vendor, sells you a battery with a warranty by the manufacturer 2) When the item fails short of the free replacement time period you are given an adjusted price for the replacement battery. 3) The adjusted cost of the replacement battery exceeds the actual cost from the manufacturer/supplier to Vendor. 4) The Manufacturer honors its warranty with the Vendor and replaces the Battery free of charge. 5) Conclusion, the Vendor has more than tripled his profit from the consumer. 6) The pro-rated amount will be the same regardless if it is one day past the free replacement or the final day of the full seven year warranty. Also remember, that pro-rated amount, exceeds the actual cost of the battery to the Vendor! I now seek additional partied that may have had like experiences with the herein mentioned Advance Auto Parts Store, for the purpose of a Class Action suit, against this Vendor.


3 Comments

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991c5f96, 2002-01-01, 02:51AM CST

And a very simple piece missing.... A receipt... All could have been avoided if you would have a receipt. Making a store out to be the bad guy when you didn't keep you end of the warranty. If you had a lifetime warranty, Think I would have kept proof.

c04a4046, 2009-10-14, 06:01PM CDT

i go in advance auto parts all the time i have never been so mad in my life the man working did not have time for me smart as_ it was a return but was alright wheen ibought it get people that can run the store great auto parts store but dumn as__es running it

86c5b135, 2011-01-03, 08:26PM CST

Tried to buy a remanned pump they tried to sell me a used one, also tried to sell me a used puller with stripped bolts & also bought a brand new timing tensioner and it collapsed and fried to whole engine!!!Tried to tell them about it got the run around!!! also brake pads failed after 4 months!!! dont be retarded start going to napa, autozone, china, hong kong, anywhere but advance they will screw you the best they can!!! dont listen to me try it for yourself!!! good luck now!!!

I will be posting this throughout the internet at least 15 times each day until their business is wiped out!!!

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