Back on September 16th, I was driving home along the freeway and realized that I had to hold my steering wheel at a 15 degree angle to drive straight. Considering my car is less than a year old, I was miffed, to say the least. A large chuckhole that I had hit about a month earlier had apparently done a number to my alignment.
I got home and promptly called around town to see who had the cheapest deal for this service. Three calls later, I had the manager of Midas on the line, and we were joking about the whole deal. Even though the price I was quoted was the same as another place, the jovial attitude of the gentleman on the line won me over. We decided to hop in the car and drive over to get the car fixed.
Let me point out a few things from the phone call.
1) The gentleman was making comical remarks about the pricing of dealerships and repairs. They were a bit "edgy" ("they must smoke crack!!") but I ignored them, as my sense of humor is quirky.
2) I was told it would take 45 mins to an hour for the repair.
3) I was quoted $49.95 for the 2-wheel alignment, since my car has a straight rear axel, that was all I needed. Assuming nothing else was wrong with the car, the bill should be $49.95 + tax.
Before I left, I hopped onto the Midas site (www.midas .com) and printed out two coupons. One was for $10 off any $50 service, the other was $5 off an oil change. I figured while I was there, if it was cheap enough, I might as well get that done, too, as I was overdue.
Twenty minutes later, my husband and I walked into Midas. The manager, a large, tattooed man, was filling out some sort of coupon pamphlet at the desk. He never looked up when we walked in, nor when I came to the desk and placed my keys upon the counter. After a moment of awkward silence, I finally said I had called about the alignment.
He glanced up with a look of impatience, said, "Yea, I remember", then resumed signing the coupons. After a moment, he finished, walked into the lobby and handed the booklet to a female sitting there waiting, then came back to the counter and chose to acknowledge me.
After a brief exchange of my personal information, I handed over my keys. I looked up and noticed that as a "Manager's Special", oil changes were $12.95. I asked him to include that with my alignment. I then pulled out my $10 off $50 coupon. He screwed up his face and said, rather rudely, that the coupon isn't valid. He pointed out that it said "price of service not including taxes" and that the cost of the alignment was $49.95. The oil change cost couldn't be included (no elaboration there) and also it is already on special, so I can't use a coupon. This was explained VERY rudely. He then mumbled that the price was "the way they do it" so that the web coupons couldn't be used.
Given the fact I hadn't noticed the "price of service not including taxes" part, I didn't argue the point too much. At that point, it would have been because he was so rude, not because I felt any merit for the discount. Then, the question of how long for the service came up. I had assumed, from the conversation on the phone, it would be 45 minutes. Since we had no other vehicle to get home, I really didn't want to wander around Mentor mall longer than that.
Another derisive snort and a comment of "It's 45 minutes to an hour FROM WHEN WE GET YOU IN", which was coarsely emphasized. I arched my eyebrow and looked at my husband, then looked back at him. In a tone like I was an utter idiot, he said that he was very busy but would try and get us in as quickly as possible.
With that, my husband and I walked out and went over to shop. It was approximately 12:30pm.
At 3:30pm, we picked up the car. A call was made to my cell phone at 3:29pm, telling me it was ready. We had already walked back to the store by that time to see if the car was ready.
We picked up the car, and plunked out the $65 total. The manager, obviously noting my earlier tone, had been generous enough to knock $5 off the cost of the alignment. I was told, in as polite a tone as this guy could muster, that I was now automatically enrolled in the Midas Oil Change Club, and every 6th oil change would be free. Also, one wheel (he forgot which one) was knocked out of alignment by 15 degrees. I was then advised of the 30 day warranty on my alignment, and if anything felt "Not right", to bring it back to get it fixed, gratis.
He was attempting to joke again like the previous phone convo. When my husband inquired about possibly getting front end work for his truck done at his store, he was rudely cut off mid-sentence with "I dunno how much it would cost, you gotta bring it in".
In terms of service, the oil change was right. The alignment, well, I still have to hold the wheel at an angle, although a much smaller angle, to steer straight. I am going to take the car back this weekend to have it fixed. The store was as clean as an auto repair place should be, and the lot was paved nicely. The Midas warranty service is as good as the commercials advertise. The customer service, however, is not.
Let's not get into the whole web coupon thing.
Overall, if you need a cheap repair job, this is the place to go. The warranty is the only saving grace. Otherwise, you may be throwing your money down the drain.