Monday, October 8, 2018

Super Tire Jacksonville Review: More Like Stupid Tire

Super Tire JAX
Think of the top priorities when it comes to your family. I'd bet that safety is right up there, if not #1. When someone works against you keeping your family safe, you get angry. This is the account of how Super Tire in Jacksonville, Florida, made me angry and, frankly, feel stupid.


My goal was to get safer tires. I'd been riding on my Blizzaks from Wisconsin for way too long, and I knew I could have a major failure as the Florida summer sun hit the soft rubber of my winter tires. I'd had good luck with Discount Tire before, but the local store was 1. busy, 2. out of stock of what I needed, and 3. more expensive than I wanted to pay on my old beater car. None of these reasons, it turns out, were good enough for me to buy used tires from Super Tire.

Super Tire TampaI'd like to add that I was a little thin on cash (which is how these used tire stores get you). A young man in Jacksonville had recently slammed into me with my kid in the car, and I was planing on having more cash on hand than I did by early June. It's not a great excuse for skimping on safety, but it's what happened. For about 50% of what I'd pay at a legitimate tire store, I could get a set of nice Continentals at Super Tire. $300 installed. With a guaranty. 4+ stars on Google. I'd also successfully bought tires on Craigslist before, so I figured a company like Super Tire, with four locations in Florida, was more than just some scam store with salvage tires. But that's exactly what it was.


Super Tire JacksonvilleThe plan was to take my car, with my "new" 90% tread 2016 Continentals, to Wisconsin on a family vacation. One week after getting my new tires, we were on our way. Just north of Atlanta, however, we were on the side of the road with a blowout. We were lucky. Not all Super Tire customers and their families will be this lucky. Not only did we not crash, but we had a Georgia road ranger on the scene to help out, and then an actual legitimate tire store was open in the next town. The guy there said the belt of the tire was warped. I don't know what this means for used tires, but I assume it's part of the process to determine if there's a problem with the steel belts. But we were back on our way, and it was a $120 inconvenience that I planned on taking up with Super Tire later on.

Super Tire FL

One week later, and that inconvenience got much bigger. Super, if you will. After going swimming with some friends at a Wisconsin state park, we came home to TWO flat tires. Technically, one was at around 12 PSI and the other at almost 20, but that's basically two tires losing air. Oddly, I never even suspected that some naughty neighborhood kids were playing a prank. After losing one of these tires on the highway, I just knew it was two more bad tires from Super Tire, but I had to take them to Discount Tire the next day to find out, wasting more vacation time. I found out, alright. The guy at Discount Tire said the tires I had installed by Super Tire were scrap tires that had likely been lifted from a dumpster. One tire had four patches, the other had two, and the third had one. At least two of the patches were too close to the sidewall, and he said that the patch job was shoddy because someone had sanded too far down afterwards. I did not understand some of the explanation, but he basically would not fix two of the tires or put them back on my car, and he showed all his coworkers, telling them all that the job was done by an actual store. But none of them live in Florida, so they were all surprised. I would not have been surprised at all had it been a local junkyard or mom-and-pop garage in Central Florida. But this is Super Tire, and it has locations in Jacksonville and Tampa. A real business with real assets to lose in a court case.

Super Tire JAX scamI felt I had to replace all four tires at this point. I know, one was brand new, but Discount Tire assured me those are the ONLY used tires that business keeps on hand to give to people who can't afford new tires, and I was OK with this kind of donation. I'd rather someone who can't afford a new tire get a brand new one from me (and Discount Tire) than venture out to a store like Super Tire. Oh yeah, I had also contacted Super Tire the night before showing up at the other tire store to see if the company wanted to refer me to another store or give me any advice. I never received a response to that email, at least not until I showed up at home with a letter for them.

I had no real way of bringing three tires home as evidence of Super Tire's negligence. I brought one home on my bike rack, which was a hassle, but I figured I might need it. This is not an honest company, I figured. I wrote my letter offering Super Tire three options: do nothing and have me trying everything to get the company put out of business, give me my money back and be happy with me writing an honest review, or return my money and pay for my new tires for the inconvenience. This is an HONEST review. I am not contacting all the news outlets and my local politicians, even though I do believe that Super Tire should not be allowed to operate in Jacksonville. The main point is that, as consumers, we simply have to avoid known scammers. No tires should fail in two weeks after being installed on a car, let alone three tires. This company either never tested the tires after digging them out of a junk pile or else have the lowest possible standards for those tests. Someone will get injured because of faulty tires like the ones installed on my car. I am lucky it wasn't my family.

Super Tire JAX negligence
Of course, the first action is for everyone in Jacksonville to avoid Super Tire and any other used tire company that patches sidewalls and gets junk tires. Next, if you must buy used tires, check the inside for patches. And the outside, but mostly the inside. Had I seen all the patches on these tires, I would have assumed they had been driven over a spike strip, maybe in a parking lot. But there's no doubt in my mind that someone picked these tires up absolutely free. Maybe they were sold to Super Tire for $10 a tire. Maybe Super Tire hires its own shady characters to do this. Then I pay $300 for the tires after an amateur patch job. Nice profit for very little work. This doesn't have to be our state motto, Florida. If you yourself get honest pay for honest work, then a used tire store isn't going to be where you buy your tires. I wanted cheap tires for an older car, but that car (and those tires) transport my kids all around town. If you have kids, loved ones, pets, or a nice stereo in your car, then protect them by NOT buying tires from Super Tire.