Howard steps in after woman is overcharged for 2 flat tires

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QUEENS, N.Y. (PIX11) -- A flat tire shouldn’t be a big deal. And two flat tires may be a pain in the you know what but still shouldn’t be a big deal. For Melana Kay they were an expensive big deal.

She found out she had two flats at work in Queens. So she did the smart thing. She called Triple A.

They sent a tow truck that towed her to their own shop, 196 Hillside Service Center in Queens Village. And Melana says they charged her $765.43 for two new Goodyear tires, all work included. Melana got suspicious, thinking that she’d been ripped off.

She checked with a nearby Mavis Tire and the discounter’s price was $229 for the same tires. We checked with Sears Automotive. Sears is no discounter but its price was only $599.22 all inclusive.

“I tried to call AAA and explain the situation to them,” Melana told me. “All I wanted that body shop to be removed from their register so nobody else gets ripped off like I did. Bu AAA said unfortunately that nothing could be done and it’s not in their power. And they could not even find me an address to file an official complaint.”

So she got in touch with me. I went over to the service station with her. The manager said we had to speak with the owner. We met her in person the next day. And after a little discussion, she gave Melana an apology and $100 back.

She was grateful for my help, saying otherwise no one would ever have even spoken with her.

“And it’s not about 100 dollars. It’s about feeling helpless in a situation where you just lack some knowledge. And people try to take advantage of you.”

As for AAA, it claims it was speaking with Hillside about Melana’s case.

And one very important point. If you’re a AAA member and need a tow, the driver is supposed to ask where you want to go. Melana says she never had that option. She was just taken to the service station that dispatched her tow truck.

In any case, situation resolved.

1 Comment

  • eric roberts

    hi the lady who thought she was ripped off should have been more street wise, it is easy now with mobiles to check out tyre prices, some of my customers do this in front of us, just to check that our prices are in line and they aren’t getting ripped off. I am glad that it all ended up well for her, but this sort of stuff is easy prey for some garage owners, “the damsel in distress” scenario. many thanks a good story eric roberts

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