View Full Version : Ticked off at Walmart

01-12-2005, 12:29 PM
I took our 2+ month old truck to the local Walmart to have the wheels rotated. As soon as I started the truck when they finished I felt a significant vibration that was not there before. I immediately got hold of the auto service manager and had him feel that vibration. He made a note on the ticket and said get it checked out and let him know if it's their fault. I do have to give them kudos for this approach, so far.

I crawled underneath today and found obvious marks where instead of lifting the truck entirely by the frame they ahd the front lifts on the skid plate under the transmission. I guess it was the front ones anyhow. It bent the skid plate and pushed it up against the transmission. Hard against the transmission. I tried prying it down but couldn't budge it. Hopefully it didn't damage anything else.

I called the service manager and he is going to call me tomorrow with insurance numbers to give the Ford Truck Center I plan to have replace the skid plate and check for any other damage.

Not real bright that kid who did the rotation. At least Walmart is not giving me any trouble about this, so far. I think it helped to get the manager to feel the vibration before I left the lot. And he could see it's a new truck so it's not likely to have been a pre-existing problem.

01-12-2005, 01:44 PM
Hi Steve,

No more Wal Mart for me. I'll buy goods from them but not any service.

On our way back from NY to AZ last summer we stopped at a Super WalMart in KC Mo. for an oil change. A couple of days after we arrived home I decided to check the oil level. What do I find? The oil filler cap is gone and in It's place is a 2 foot long plastic funnel on to which the hood was closed.

Fortunately no oil blew out and the funnel showed no damage. Just pure luck that it did stay put between two tappets.

Called WM Hdq. and they had the store manager call me to let me know that the Tech. had been let go, because of other issues. He also sent me a $50 cert. to used at WM. I used it to buy my Mobil 1 and now I change the oil myself.

If you want to see the worlds longest thread look under WalMart at RV.net. Stories of wheels falling off on the way home from tire rotations, seized engines from oil plugs falling out and etc.

Love the stores hate the service.

Happy Camping

RC and Samantha
01-12-2005, 02:41 PM
Steve, sorry to read about your new Truck. Dick would be livid. Heck so would I for that matter...it's my truck. LOL

Both of you Steve's stories are chilling. I think we'll stay clear of service there.


01-12-2005, 03:01 PM
Sorry about your problem Steve. That is a real bummer. I doubt if Walmart trains their people that well.

01-12-2005, 03:32 PM
My daughter took her Dodge 1500 into the local Wally for an oil and filter change. They paged her over the store loudspeakers to say they had a problem and to please report to the service bay. The problem was the right side of her truck was missing. The kid pulling the truck into the bay swiped the whole passenger side on the bay entrance door. Of course they paid for the repair, but what can you expect from an organization paying minimum wages to untrained workers. I do all my own oil/filter changes, so I know for sure it is done right. If I screw it up, then I got no gripe.

Bill Hill
01-12-2005, 03:34 PM
That's scary, I don't know if I would have been as calm as you were, my truck is my baby! Hope all works out well.

01-12-2005, 03:43 PM
I seem to remember we had a lot laughs around the campfire at the MOC Rally about Steve's "Adventures in Wallyland". This one is not so funny as the "bomb scare", and we do hope all can be made right.

01-12-2005, 06:23 PM
I'm glad my experience with walmart wasn't as bad as some of yours. They over tightened the bolt in my oil pan and striped it out. Thus my truck was leaking oil all over my new driveway. Sorry only goes so far. I too no longer use Walmart for their service department.

Shanna Clark
2001 Dodge Cummins HO
Air bags
Awaiting arrival of 3400 RL

Glenn and Lorraine
01-13-2005, 12:56 AM
We arer one of Wally Worlds best customers. Rarely do we shop in any other store and never at a Krummy-Mart.


Never would I take anything to or buy anything from Wally World that required any kind of technical know how.
I once had a tire balance problem and went to see Wally only to have a worse balance problem when I left.
Wally doesn't get the most experienced mechanics at the salaries they pay. The neighbors kid was a lot boy at a used car lot. He washed and vacumed cars, he got a job servcing cars at Wally's.
One of my most recent purchases was a bike which I had to damn near completely disassemble and reassemble to get it working proberly.
Go into the electronics and ask some technical questions about some of their electronics. In most cases they are lucky to know how to turn it and now you want them to answer some techy questions?

01-13-2005, 01:18 AM
Always remember, you get what you pay for. It might cost a few dollars more to go to a dealer, but you can almost be sure it's done right and if not they have the parts and equipment to fix it if it isn't. Good luck,I think I'd still go to a dealer to check for more damage so at least you could come back on Walmart for cost.

Charlie and Sue

01-13-2005, 02:22 AM
I've been a mechanic for nearly 40 years. I've seen so really botched "shade-tree" repair jobs and have also witnessed chain-store/chain-lube joint goof ups. After working all week on other folks' vehicles, the last thing I want to do is spend time on my day off working on my stuff---unless its our RV or my fishing buddy's boat. Our local Chevy dealership's oil change prices are very competative; not to mention they always put a 5 buck discount sticker on the mileage reminder. The only downside of using the dealership is all of the new "stuff" on the lot---kinda makes your eyes glaze over and puts weird "shopping" thoughts in your head...!One last note: I've used the same dealership for the past 18+ years and "customer loyaty" does reap returns. Had an in-tank fuel pump go out on our personal truck. The unit was out of warranty by nearly 3,000 miles. I had mentioned to the service writer at the dealership prior to the failure, that I was having intermittant "hard-start" conditions when I had the truck in for service. When the darn pump went out, the dealer fixed it---no charge. I had just installed an in-tank pump at work on a customer's vehicle that same week, and I do know how much this costs. In effect, the dealership wrote off about 600 bucks---sorta; see, I got that glazed look in my eyes while waiting to pick up the truck and these weird "shopping" thoughts took over my rational thought processes: I ordered a new truck...!

Gene Chaltry
01-13-2005, 03:25 AM
Steve, Glad you found it before you left. I had my oil changed at Wally World a few years ago in Idaho. They put the wromg oil in. Glad I caught that before we left. They drained it and filled with the right oil.

Bill and Ann
01-13-2005, 03:46 AM
Wow! Scary reading. I will stick to having my work done by a dealer.

Joyce H
01-13-2005, 04:38 AM
Thanks for all the heads up. Sorry to hear about all the problems. Steve, how about a report on the campground you are staying in on Tybee Island - Maybe under Campgrounds- How is the weather holding for you, temp, etc.? We want to spend some time in Savannah area when we head back north in early spring.

RC and Samantha
01-13-2005, 09:45 AM
quote:Originally posted by OntMont

I seem to remember we had a lot laughs around the campfire at the MOC Rally about Steve's "Adventures in Wallyland". This one is not so funny as the "bomb scare", and we do hope all can be made right.

Oh gosh John, I remember that! LOL I think most of us had tears rolling down our faces we were laughing so hard. I'm trying to remember the "bomb scare" but this old mind of mine is forgetting.

Steve, let us know how it all goes with the fix. You've just about convinced us that we won't ever give Walmart a chance at servicing the truck unless we are stuck with no other choice.


stiles watson
01-13-2005, 12:25 PM
Thanks for the posting. It reinforces my hesitancy about using chain store mechanics. This is not just Walmart, but others also. If I can't or don't want to do it, it's dealer time. I also recognize that you can get bad service at dealers, but odds are somewhat reduced.

Dave e Victoria
01-13-2005, 06:19 PM
Sorry to hear about the bent plate. I agree with so many of the replies above .. I take it to the dealer or do it myself. I find the dealers are competitive on the little stuff and make up the difference on the big stuff. But, even at the dealers it pays to be carefull--for instance, the GM service people will try to get you to change out the internal filter on the tranny when Allison says it is an overhaul item.

But, You havn't told us haow the new truck tows. I'm sure you are on the road by now........

01-14-2005, 01:44 AM
It's not just Walmart. Last fall after Pla-Mor I was in Cape Charles VA heading south when my change engine oil light came on. I was a bit surprised as we had a GM dealer do the change before we left on the trip but we proceeded to Norfolk and went to Pep Boys. Big mistake. An hour later I finally got the attention of a counter person and asked why it was taking so long. He informed me that they had one of the oil filters my truck took but didn't have the other and were trying to get one. To my knowledge the Duramax has only one filter so I asked to see the one they were looking for. They showed me the fuel filter, which I suppose, to a high school dropout on drugs was the right size and shape as an oil filter.

I got out of there as quick as I could and thank God the truck is still running.

01-14-2005, 05:38 AM
quote:Originally posted by snowbunny I was in Cape Charles VA heading south when my change engine oil light came on. I was a bit surprised as we had a GM dealer do the change before we left on the trip but we proceeded to Norfolk and went to Pep Boys.

If whoever did the oil change did not reset the computer for the oil change alarm, it will not know that the oil was changed and therfore come on before it should. I find that few of them do the reset, so I always reset it myself to be sure. The instructions are in the book, but I think it is "turn the key to "on" and press the accelerator pedal 3 times within 5 seconds".

01-14-2005, 02:19 PM
Thanks Ontmont,
I discovered that myself when the oil light came on again after leaving PepBoys. I was more than a bit worried that something serious was wrong with the engine so I looked in the manual and found out about resetting it.

01-15-2005, 09:53 AM
We bought a set of Michelins (6 tires) at Sam's Club (aka Wally World) because they had the best price (cheap in me came out). I went in for a re-balance and they broke one of our mirrors. They tried to deny they did it but with some discussion the manager told me to go buy one and bring in the bill--yeah right!!! Finally got him to sign the bill and they did pay. WOW cost them $110!!

01-15-2005, 04:03 PM
I have worked part time at a major retailer for almost 10 years now. The stories mentioned about Walmart are no different than the stories about other retail outlets such as Sears, K-Mart, PepBoys, etc. The problem with the retail stories is they want your business but they offer nothing to the people working on your vehicle. The other problem is the consumer. As a previous boss put it, the retail service centers are the McDonalds of the automotive industry. The consumer wants the job done and they want it now.

Speaking from the retail side, the technician working on the vehicle is typically self trained (my company only started offering minimal training in the past 3 years. Prior to that there was no training). He/she is constantly being pushed to work faster; is being pulled from one vehicle to another even though the other vehicle is not finished. At my company, due to offering battery installs and oil changes in xxx number minutes, a technician can be pulled off a vehicle to work on another vehicle that just came in the door. Its not fair to the customer who's vehicle is in work, may have been in work for an hour or more, and may be in the waiting room. Company policy is that oil changes and batteries take priority over existing work. Add to that is company standards to complete installation of four tires within an hour (I believe thats right) or it's four tires and an alignment within an hour.

Add to these standards and guidelines, the technician is supposed to examine your vehicle and try to find anything else that is wrong and try to sell it to you. As a techhician I do not agree with this rule; as a customer, I get very upset when you do this to me. The retail stores are not the only ones that do this. When I order fast food, Sonic is a classic example, I order my food, state that's all, and the person taking the order still tries to sell me something else.

My company does not make a lot of money doing oil changes. The purpose of offering an oil change is to get you in the door and then look for other problems. Likewise, the technician doing the oil change may not have a lot of experience.

As you mentioned about Walmart and the immediate offer from the manager telling you to go "else where" to correct the problem and send him the bill... this is not that unusual. I've seen it more than once. All I can say is I guess it's cheaper to hire minimal skilled labor and pay the claims then it is to hire experienced techs who are accountable.

On closing, I hate to say this but it's true, most of the techs working on your vehicle don't really care. It's not their vehicle, you're just another customer, and all they want is their paycheck. Again, you're just another customer who's being serviced at the speed of McDonalds.

01-16-2005, 02:50 AM

An interesting post, even for us gals! Thanks for taking the time to put it here for us.


01-16-2005, 12:11 PM
Not surprised to read all the horror stories--this has been going on for years. Had a great Firebird whose demise was the direct result of an incompetent Jiffy Lube technician--thirty years ago! The more we travel down the road, the more we learn that the chain retailers are not the place to go if you want quality service. Speed yes, but not quality. Sorry for all your problems folks--and yes, we still run into problems with local dealers and garages on occasion. But they seem a lot more willing to try at quality.

01-16-2005, 05:09 PM
Thanks for all the comments. Joyce, we'll get something posted about the CG. So far we think it was a good choice.

I can probably get away with rotating the wheels in an RV Park but very few will allow us to change oil, especially when we're talking of having to dispose of 15 quarts of used oil.

I won't have a Ford dealer do an oil change. I had them do the first one and got stuck for $100 and change. $39 of that was for the filter. The next dealer, when due again and in a different state, wanted $120 so I walked. I'm planning to switch to Rotella T oil so will look for a Grease Monkey or similar store where at least they know how to change oil and use the lift properly. I hope. And I hope they carry that oil. I can buy the Motorcraft filter now at Walmart. That filter is required for the 100k warranty, at least so far.

Monday is the day I take it to the Ford Truck place in Savannah. I stopped by the Walmart today to touch base with the service manager again. He had been trying to call me but the dummy who entered my phone number in their computer mistyped teh area code (it's wrong on my original invoice, too). His insurance company wants pictures of the damage. So he laid under my truck taking pictures. He also told me to get an estimate and have them order the part, bring him the estimate. Or I can go ahead and get it fixed first. If it's under $250 the store can reimburse me on the spot. Otherwise it goes to the insurance company. I'll get the estimate but have it fixed as soon as the part is in and then get reimbursed. This vibration is not easy to live with. I'll also have Ford check for any collateral damage.

I'm done with Walmart service. Thanks for all the nice comments.

01-16-2005, 05:41 PM

You can take your used oil to any super walmart and dispose of it.


01-17-2005, 05:01 AM
Tom, that is a great photo of truck and rig!

Sorry for hijack of the thread, just I saw the photo on another thread, and thought, GREAT photo! So, decided I would tell ya!



01-17-2005, 09:13 AM
Good insights there, Notsdale. Thanks. Just to clarify, they told me to take it elsewhere for the repair because they are not equipped to fix the problem. Plus I would have insisted on having it checked out by a Ford dealer to make sure nothing else was damaged, something not easily seen or noticed. I think you're right in your descriptions and obviously you are in position to know. Thanks for the post.

Tom, the biggest problem is the majority of rv parks will not condone doing an oil change on the property. Most have something in the 'rules' about no working on vehicles. I agree about the picture. Very nice, Tom. Now, let's see that rig at Reno next October!

For the record, I took the truck to the Ford Truck Service Center today. My truck sure looked tiny next to all those large rigs they were working on. They apparently work on everything, not just Fords. They tried to straighten the skid plate but it's too strong so they ordered a new one, which I would have insisted on anyhow had I known they were trying to fix the old one. And they left the old skid plate off, in the mean time, so we are once again vibration free! I would have to say the skid plate is a good one. The truck weighs 7960 pounds. To lift the truck up in the air didn't have all that weight on it but the plate was bent up against the transmission but did not hurt it.

Stopped at Walmart to update them. I do have to say the service manager(s) have been very pleasant to work with and willingly admitted it is their fault. I'll still feel better when I have the truck fixed and the reimbursement in hand.

01-21-2005, 11:16 AM
Hey, Steve,

Here is Al's story, TIMES TWO, as this is the second time this has happened since we bought this truck, purchased April 2003.

He has been taking to the dealer ONLY for oil changes. Now, this is a well thought of dealer in our county. He really is a great dealer. He has great people in the service areas, we have had a few warranty issues and they have handled every single one of them, gave us a loaner car, wash the truck afterwards, did the work in a reasonable time frame, just NICE!!!!

Except, for the oil changes. This truck takes 6 1/2 quarts PER GM. Two times they have dumped in 7 QUARTS!! A full 16 ounces too much oil. Al has caught it both times, this time before he drove away, and then they had a fuss getting it out.

So, guess the moral of the story is, you gotta know what your truck requires, check your paper work carefully when you pay (had conflicting paper work this time, one set said 6.5, the other said 7), and check your dip stick yourself soon after the oil change. Also have to be sure those little computers that tell you about your oil change (if you have one of those in your truck) is reset properly.

Al said he is tired of having to follow up everyones work. Me thinks he is also disgusted! SIGH


01-21-2005, 12:54 PM
Carol, be thankful your 8.1 gasser "only" take 6.5 quarts! My Ford Powerstroke diesel takes 15 quarts of oil!

I got the oil changed yesterday at a local Jiffy Lube. They have Rotella T. But my engine warranty requires either the Motorcraft or the International filter (they say they're a much finer weave) so I provided my own filter (Motorcraft filter for the 6.0 is now available at Walmart for about $17 vs $39 at a Ford dealer). They also washed the windshield, filled up the washer fluid, vacuumed the interior (really needed that) and some other things. They checked tires to air to the placard numbers so I'll have to remember to tell them to leave the tires alone. I air them for towing and don't want them messing with that again.

01-21-2005, 02:11 PM

When do you get your new part (the one that Wallmart made a boo boo with??)??

Al told them to leave his tires alone today too! Same reason you gave! :D


01-21-2005, 03:43 PM
The new skid plate was installed Tuesday. Walmart reimbursed me in cash same day. It's all done.

01-21-2005, 04:01 PM
Great news Steve.

Is it OK to forgive, but not forget?

My vote is yes.

Happy Camping

01-21-2005, 04:07 PM
Sure. We'll still buy from Walmart but I won't have them do any work that involves lifting the truck. I will miss that six-dollar wheel rotation, though. I have some Walmart stories you wouldn't believe. Once the lift broke as they tried to lift my truck. Another time, in Beckley, VW, they made me remove the truck because they just got called with a bomb scare. They told us all to go over by the gas station in the far corner of the parking lot. I think standing in a gas station is the last place I want to be when there's flying, flaming debris from a building explosion! And it goes on...

01-22-2005, 02:05 AM
Glad to hear everything worked out well for you!

Charlie and Sue

01-22-2005, 02:28 AM
Great Steve

We are happy you got it all fixed!

Great bomb scare story, a bomb scare in a Wallmart?? Just WHAT is this world coming to??

01-22-2005, 02:18 PM
I had one tell me they didn't have a socket or wrench to fit the can for the oil filter so I bought my own socket and removed it for them. Sigh. Another told me they won't remove the filter from the canister because it's too messy. The canister is on top of the engine. I had them watch while I removed it myself. On the Ford 6.0, when you remove the lid off the can it opens a valve that drains the filter. Then you lift the element out. Don't even need a rag under the filter. No drips. Those encounters really made me nervous about Walmart "techs" and after this latest episode I'll just avoid them altogether. Went to Jiffy Lube this last time. They even cleaned the windshield and vacuumed the inside of the truck, which is really needed. And they had me out of there 15 minutes after I drove up. And they had Rotella T oil although they didn't have the brand of filter required for my engine warranty so I provided my own filter.