Tuesday, May 31, 2005

A & L Tire

One of the most common complaints I here from people that live in Ridgecrest, and I make the same complaints myself, is how much they dislike many of the local businesses.

Unfortunately there does seem to be an over abundance of business owners in Ridgecrest that act like they really don't want to be in the business they are in. Many of them seem to go out of their way to alienate their customers. All to often we run into clerks or owners in stores that act like they want you to just throw your money on the counter and get the heck out of their store. Many of them offer poor or nonexistant service, poor products, poor selection of products, high prices and usually a very snotty attitude.

Then there are the other stores in town. There are several stores in town that have a much different attitude about things.

One of the second type of stores is A & L Tire on Inyokern Road. As I said a couple posts ago, we blew a very new tire on the way home from San Ramon yesterday. So this morning I got up and headed for the tire store. I have at one time or another over the last 20 years done business with 4 other tire stores in town. I always avoided A & L because I had been told that they were too expensive by several people.

Well I had trouble with every other store I did business with. Either the product was inferior or the service was bad, or they just went out of business. The last place I bought tires from sold me tires that the tread bubbling off after about 10K miles. I couldn't take them back to the store because they had gone out of business. No one else in a 100 mile radius carried that brand of tire.

Since I was out of options, I tried A & L to get new tires for the van. Yes they were a little more expensive than any other dealer I had bought tires from. But you know what? It was worth it.

A & L has turned out to be one of the best businesses I have dealt with in Ridgecrest. They really know their stuff. Their store isn't much to look at. But it looks and smells a lot like the parts departments that my Dad worked in when I was young. The people that work there are polite and efficient. The tires they sell are well known national brands. They back the products they sell you.

I took my two week old tire with the 5 inch tear in the sidewall in. The manager looked it over carefully and was unable to tell if it was road hazard, something stupid I did, or a defective tire that caused the blowout. So he apologized to me for the inconvienence, and told me that they would replace it - no charge. So I got a new tire mounted, balanced, and reinstalled for free. At the same time I asked them to check a rear tires that seemed to have a slow leak in it. They found a nail and fixed that tire at the same time. While fixing the slowly leaking tire the kid doing the work noticed that one of the studs on my wheel was damaged. Since he had trouble getting the lug nut off with the air wrench, he didn't want me to have to deal with it on the road with just a lug wrench. So they replace the stud, then told me about it later. Total charge for the repair was only $10. Which is the standard price for a repair. When I asked about the stud, I was told don't worry about it.

When the work was done they packed my spare away, and even put the jack and lug wrench, that I'd left laying in the back, away.

I addition to good tire work, A & L also supports a lot of the youth activites in town. They are big supporters of the youth soccer and softball programs, as well as many high school programs. This summer they are sponsoring a youth soccer clinc where they bring in coaches from England to teach the kids for a week.

So if you need tires, or tire work done in town, or you just want to deal with a good honest businessman. Check out A & L Tire on Inyokern Road

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