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Hey folks--

I'd like to get your opinions on this and also get it off my chest. Thanks in advance for reading.

End of July, partner takes car in for two new front tires, alignment, etc. (I ripped one to sh** doing a K turn and ending up on the curb, and he agreed to take it in while I was out of town. But I digress.). I get back a week later and notice immediately marked vibration/rattling from front left. We are busy guys, so no one wants to take it in, but in two weeks I take it back to the place (the local National Tire & Brake, NTB, which otherwise is a great outfit, IMHO) for a look see.

I'll skip the Keystone Cops routine of how they took care of me that day (delays, guy assigned to me leaves for day, etc.), but they have a nice system where they encourage you to walk back into the bays and watch your work being done. Excellent. I go back and the mechanic greets me, takes a look, and then just starts apologizing. Turns out the lug nuts were loose, and the guy KNOWS that given the electric thingie they use, NO WAY these were tightened properly when the tires were changed three weeks ago. Calls higher up mechanic over who also really apologizes, "Good thing nothing happened, would have been awful..." etc. I feel lucky.

Okay. Whew. Caught it in time. Mechanic says "of course no charge," and have a good day, you can take it, but no, Tom (me) has to go back to the counter and let the "office" know what happened. The person now taking care of me is distant, almost snide, grudgingly takes down my information, feels the need to ask me three or four times if I've done anything to the tires since they were replaced, etc., and gives me a semi-lecture on how you can tighten these yourself without jacking the wheel up (don't laugh at me). Not one apology. All he had to do was say, "Geez, we're really sorry," and I wouldn't be posting.

Question: Which of the following, in your opinion, is correct?

1. Tom, anybody would have checked the lug nuts as a matter of course. You've had cars since you were 16, they have all been used, you do basic stuff yourself, you should have known. The mechanics apologized, nothing happened, move on. This is life, these things happen.

2. Those idiots at the counter/office should have rolled out the red carpet for you, begged your forgiveness, thanked you for not suing them (aside: I know -- no damages -- and I would never do it anyway), and given you a free cooler-in-the-shape-of-a-car-battery they had laying around.

3. Other?

Thanks for reading and responding.

Have a good weekend.

Fool on,
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