In October of 2008, I bought a set of tires at VIP Auto Parts in Mexico, Maine guaranteed for 50,000 miles. By November of 2009, the tires were bald, and the steel belts were showing on one of them, even though I'd only put 22,000 miles on them. I took them back to VIP, and had to argue for over 30 minutes with several people, including the manager, to convince them that the tires did not perform as they were supposed to and I should receive a proportional discount on a future set of tires. They tried to make all sorts of excuses that I had not maintained the tires properly, for example, did not have the wheels aligned frequently enough, causing the tires to wear prematurely. But because the tires were evenly bald, and I did not give up, they were forced to admit that the tires did not perform as they were supposed to and they agreed to give me 60% of their value or $143 off another set of tires. I had brought snow tires with me for them to install on the rims. They did so, I paid the recycling fee, they kept the bald tires, and I drove away thinking that all was fair.
A few weeks ago, I went over to cash in my $143 discount on a new set of tires. The same man who primarily worked with me last fall when the problem with the tires was resolved waited on me. He first told me that the tires I wanted, which they had to get from their warehouse because they were not in the store, did not qualify for this discount. After telling him that this was ridiculous, he went into the back to talk to the manager for about 10 minutes. He returned, and informed me that in order to qualify for this $143 discount, I would have to get a series of other services performed on my car, which would total more than $143. I pointed this out, and said that this was ridiculous, and that I would not do this. In trying to further explain these services, he mentioned something about taking the tires off the car and keeping them to send back to the manufacturer. I reminded him that VIP kept the tires last Fall when I had the snow tires installed and they agreed to the $143 discount. He said, "Well, we don't have your old tires to return to the manufacturer, so you can't have the discount." I said," That's your fault, not mine. You kept the tires last Fall, and you should have held onto them. When you gave me the discount, you knew that you would have to return them to the manufacturer to be reimbursed, but you got rid of them." He said, "Sorry, you can't have the discount." I was so angry, so infuriated, that I knew if I opened my mouth, I would say if not do something that I would regret later. I left immediately, without saying another word, confident that this would not be the end of the story.
Every time I have gone into a VIP in the past with one thing to have fixed on my car, I'm told about 15 other things that they have found which must be fixed immediately to avoid certain catastrophe. This has happened at the Mexico VIP, and at other locations as well. But this incident is the straw that has broken this camel's back. If anyone has a similar story where they feel they were scammed at VIP, I strongly encourage you to tell others. It is the only way that they can be forced to change their underhanded, deceitful business practices. I encourage everyone to avoid VIP Auto in Mexico because of the high probability that you could get scammed as well. Please tell your friends and family members. Business practices such as these do not deserve to be rewarded with more business.