Les Schwab Tire Centers - Paid for new brake rotors got scoured surface
New front brakes were bought for a 2003 F150 with 60k miles. Pads, calipers and rotors were installed by Les Schwab at the Poulsbo WA location. Less than 50 miles later I took the truck into a garage to have the 4-wheel drive shifting checked out. The mechanic (a real one - not Schwab) did a great and affordable job on the 4WD but when he was under the truck he noticed the new rotors were badly scraped, scared and scored on the surface facing toward the engine. The outside was mirror smooth, and everything else about the rotors appeared to be new. He suggested I take it back to Schwab and have them put new replacement rotors in. His guess was that either the rotors were not properly manufactured (slim chance since the installer had to handle them) or perhaps the pads may have been installed incorrectly. One theory is they might have been discovered to be incorrect on the test drive then removed and reinstalled but too late to prevent damage to the rotor.
I had to return to Oregon immediately so drove the 200 plus miles and put another 100 or so on the truck prior to taking it into the Aloha OR store to have the rotors looked at/replaced. What happened there was interesting. I will not dwell on personality issues, however bothersome they might have been on both sides of the counter. Schwab's man said a stone had gotten caught behind the dust cover on one side and was the problem but he could not explain clearly how both rotors were damaged by a single stone. He agreed the rotors were new and they were scoured but maintained that was ok and made a note to that effect. My point was I paid for new rotors not scoured ones. He said the rotors were definitely new but could not explain why/how they were scoured like an old phonograph record. He offered to remove them and turn some metal off to smooth the ridges but I did not want this since the rotors were supposed to have been new parts. He said just rely on the standard Schwab 25,000 mile warranty. Go ahead and drive it and if the brakes don't work properly bring it back again inside of 25,000 miles. I was told the more I drive and use the brakes the smoother the rotors will get and don't worry the rough surfaces won't wear the pads. They didn't seem to be able to understand that when a customer pays for new parts he is entitled to get them installed on the vehicle in new undamaged condition - this never happened.
For the last +40 years, we (including our 7 grown and married children plus many of their family members) have routinely traded at Schwab mostly because I sent them there. They grew up hearing their Dad (me) guide them to Les Schwab. Over the decades Schwab worked on our Corvettes, Wranglers and pickups. They have worked on our street rods and even one antique and an assortment of sports cars and a couple of motor homes. In the early years, I so trusted Schwab that I started sending the girls there alone because when we first moved to Oregon in the 60s Les Schwab was a trusted, affordable, reliable and humble solution to many of our family driving needs. Please be informed I will be sending out a family edict to STAY AWAY from any dealing with Les Schwab in the future. I will be doing some research to find somebody else to recommend. This is so sad. How can such a great home grown Oregon business change its basic character and values so drastically?
I ran a business myself for years and one thing I learned is that it is easier and more cost-effective to keep a repeat customer coming back than it is to attract a new one. Wise business managers do this by going to great ends in the name of customer satisfaction. You guys need to rediscover and honor the spirit and values of the likable guy who founded the company, Les Schwab.
Reason of review: Poor customer service.