So today I set out to get my tires fixed. Trying my best to get work done too, I decided to work from home while I follow up on what it’s going to cost me. Little did I know at the time what that adventure would entail.
My first avenue was to check with AAA to see if it provided me road hazard coverage (after all, I do pay them $50 a year) on my tires. Unfortunately it seems I am not so lucky there (but “they will tow my car if that’s any consolation”).
I then decided to check on my automobile’s warranty. No go there too. Had I bought the extended warranty, it would be covered, but I hadn’t (didn’t plan to keep the car long enough to justify it).
Next I check on my road side service coverage (don’t ask me why I have this _and_ AAA). Doesn’t seem to cover it either (no surprise at this point).
Finally, I decide to check with my auto insurance. Yes, they would cover it, but then I would have to file a claim to do so. Because it’s apparently my fault the road was a piece of crap and unfinished, it would be charged as an “at fault” accident and I would have to pay my $500 deductible. Didn’t seem to be worth it (since it might cause a rate hike).
Feeling dejected and completely pissed at this point, I decided to take out my aggravation on the Michelin phone support people. Or at least that’s what I thought when I started to dial their number. Thankfully, though, I got through to a representative quickly (1-2 minute hold) and the pleasant voice on the other end of the line didn’t sound like she deserved my wrath, so I went easy on her. Quickly explaining the situation I learned I could file a claim and simply would need to take my car to one of their authorized dealers and after inspection I would either get 100% coverage or some pro-rated amount (which she though would be decent since I only had 10,000 miles on the tires).
I then proceeded to drive to the closest tire place (Big-O tires on El Camino) she offered to me. Getting there they tell me it’s obviously road hazard damage (duhhh) and that they think Michelin won’t cover it (f#@! f#@! f#@!, that lying b@#!@, I am thinking at this point). Well as it turns out, they did in fact cover it, only with a pro-rate and not free replacement. They offered me 35% off on the tires and I begrudgingly accepted it as it’s the best they would do.
As the tires are $199.95 a piece (+ tax and installation), my total still came out to just over $500 with the discount (oh, did I mention three needed to be replaced, not the previously thought two and that the inside of my rims got scrapped too). Needless to say, I am not in a pleasant mood this evening. Is $500 really gonna kill me? No, not at all, but it doesn’t change the fact it feels like I am pissing money down the drain simply because some road construction worker, his boss / employer, and / or the incompetent state of California couldn’t ensure it was safe to actually drive on the road without severe damage to one’s vehicle.