Hello, I had an experience at one of our affiliates: AutoLinks. They installed an alarm and completed tinting last year in October. John Ng, the owner/manager, was a nice guy until I spoke to him on the phone today. I was shocked at how rude he was on the phone. Up until this point, I was going to give him a chance to fix the mistake, especially when he is so regarded well on TSC and it appeared that he knew what he was doing. Plus being an affiliate on TPC usually tells me that they're a credible and reliable business. I was also aware that Grant had some good experience with him. Grant probably only saw his good side. I also trusted him because he said he used to work at Audio Heaven. Why he stopped working there I don't know but I am curious now.
Basically, there's a problem with the tint and despite there being a lifetime warranty, he gave me a pretty hard time (to my surprise) about it, even though I was polite throughout. Granted, I did wait almost 9 months before asking him when I should finally come in for him to have a look at it, but the bottom line is that a lifetime warranty is a lifetime warranty. You can't accuse me of causing the bubble. You can take one look at it and will know it's the workmanship or the material. I was polite throughout and didn't raise my voice. I have been on TPC since 2003 and I have no reason to badmouth anyone. I am just posting this to show my experience at one of our affiliates and to let people know what I went through. Ultimately, he agreed to look at my car but that was until I maintained my cool and said that, "It's ok, maybe I'll just pay someone else to remove it and replace it if it's too much trouble." That was the key...for me to still be polite regardless of how he spoke to me.
I work for the government and I called from work. I have this conversation inadvertently recorded so if anyone wants proof of the validity of this conversation, I will be more than happy to provide it. He can't deny that I wasn't polite and he can't deny that he wasn't being rude.
Conversation between John from Auto Links and me (5:30pm on July 7/10).
Me: Hi, I had my car tinted with you last October (2009) and I noticed several bubbles on the rear window and emailed you about it back then. I've been really busy and your location is quite far from me. I have time off now to have you come look at it and see what you can do.
AutoLinks: What car is it?
Me: An Integra.
Autolinks: You waited a year? I told you that if you had problems, you should bring it back right away. What do you want me to do?
Me: I didn't think it was an issue because you gave me a lifetime warranty. I did email you about it within several weeks of noticing the bubbles. I just didn't have time until now to deal with it. Also, you told me to wait to see if they go away on their own.
Autolinks: What do you want me to do about it?
Me: Well I tried pushing the bubbles down and it doesn't look like there's air. It looks like there's no adhesive in those spots because it does go flush against the glass and then it pops back out.
Autolinks: Well, you want me to redo it then? I can't remove it now because it's been a year. It's hard to remove it now. I told you back then like I did with all my customers that if you had a problem, to bring it back right away because it's easier to remove the tint then but instead you waited a year. Are we talking about tiny dust bubbles or something more serious? (I was thinking...did it matter if it was tiny bubbles or large bubbles?)
Me: Well, the largest bubble is almost 1 inch along one of the defroster lines. Then there's a few bubbles where there was a piece of lint, and then several smaller ones on the defroster lines. Also, the driver's side rear window has a lot of tiny bubbles and you can see that it's tinted over very fine lint. I thought it was tinted over a spritz of water or some kind of solution. This I will let slide because I don't think it will spread.
Autolinks: Well what do you want me to do about it?
Me: I think the rear window tint has to be replaced. I don't think it can be fixed. It's ok, maybe I'll just pay someone else to remove it and replace it if it's too much trouble.
Autolinks: Well, you can bring it back and I will take a look and we'll see what I can do, but like I said, you waited a whole year to bring it back. Ok, boss?
Me: It's almost 9 months actually, but like I said, I didn't think it mattered because if the lifetime warranty. Ok then. I'll talk to you later.
At the end, he promised to look at it, but his attitude was less than welcoming. How can I bring it back to the person who is reluctantly going to "look into it"? Will he repair it? Will he replace it? Will he tell me to go away? After this conversation about a LIFETIME WARRANTY, I lost confidence in this company and will never step foot in his establishment again. Also, how could I trust someone who did a crappy job on the tint? There's other bubbles that I didn't mention to him. I will take some pictures tomorrow.
Hopefully, this was just his one bad day and no one else is treated that way, regardless of the type of car they drive. On the positive side, the alarm was installed and works flawlessly. BUT, the LED bulb was never drilled into the steering column or anywhere else for that matter. I asked John about it at the time of installation and he said that he doesn't drill because a lot of customers don't like that. They slid it in the gap between the windshield and the A-pillar. After 2 months of normal driving, the bulb slipped under that gap into the abyss. I will fish that out tomorrow. This I let slide and didn't mention it today. God forbid what would've happened if I mentioned this!
I've owned 32 cars and I'm not a young punk. I know when someone is rude to me. Fault me for taking almost 9 months to bring it to him. But like I said, it's a LIFETIME WARRANTY.