Why I Will NEVER Shop at Batteries Plus Again, and I Suggest You Do the Same!
Before the spring of 2012, I had NEVER stepped foot inside of a Batteries Plus store. My first purchase from there were 2 watch batteries, which they installed and I think I probably paid about 12.00 or less for. The next time I came into their store was in August of 2012 because the original battery that came with my 2007 Trailblazer LS (V6/4WD), was going out and I needed a replacement. Now at this time I had just lost my job, I was not getting ANY unemployment and the only income I had was a very small weekly salary from this church I was playing for. So that means I was on a very STRICT budget. I called and even visited a few stores shopping for a new battery for my SUV, and of all of them, Batteries Plus had the best price at I believe 92.00 + Tax for a brand new battery with a 2 year warranty.
I went to the store in Omaha which is located on 90th ST, south of Fort ST. AT THE TIME . . . I dealt with an associate whom I found to be very friendly and helpful. After I made my purchase the associate installed the new battery, and discarded the old one at no extra cost to me, which was greatly appreciated. Fast forward to December of 2013, the first week of that month actually, and we experienced our first cold snap of the season. I had not driven my truck since Tuesday, and I was quite surprised when I went out to start my vehicle on Thursday morning, and it wouldn't start. I thought maybe it was just a fluke, sometimes these things happen. Well I got my brother to come over and give me a jump start and the truck ran fine the rest of the day. The next morning, went out to start my truck and the same thing, it would NOT start! Once again my brother came to my rescue and jump started my SUV with his SUV. But before my brother got over to the house this time, I called Batteries Plus and told whomever I spoke to, (says he was a manager), about my truck not starting 2 days in a row and having to get a jump. He pulled up my information and told me when the battery was purchased and it was within the 2 year warranty. HOWEVER, I would need to bring them that battery so they could put it on their charger and after the battery is charged then they run their test to determine if the battery has gone bad. When asked how long does this process take, he responded that it takes 24 hours. I asked him what was I to do in the meantime, as in how am I supposed to get around if they have my battery? He tells me that they could sell me a new battery comparable to the one I already have, and if the old battery is found to be deficient, then they would refund my money and I could keep the new battery. If the battery under warranty was found to still be good, then they would re-install it and refund my money for the new battery. I was very leery of this, because I am wondering, why does it take 24 hours to test a battery? And why would I pay you for a new battery when the one I have is under warranty? I mean . . . they have my information, shouldn't they just loan me one? But I digress . . . for now.
After my brother jump started my truck, again for the second time in as many days on that Friday, I went looking for answers. I went to Batteries Plus first. They took out their big battery tester and alternator tester and hooked them up to my battery and determined that the alternator was fine, and the battery is fine. Without any diagnostic equipment other than the aforementioned gadgets, he suggested that maybe my starter was going bad. I went to the AutoZone closest to my house, and had them do the same test and they determined the same thing. I asked the attendant is it possible that my starter is draining the battery, he told me it was a slim possibility but the best way to be sure is to have my starter tested and he was not able to do that at that time. Later that night I went outside and started my truck and it did turn over. I remembered that the AutoZone in midtown closes at Midnight, so I decided that since I had a couple of hours till then, I would run out there and see if they yielded the same results.
After I got there I stood in line and waited for the next available attendant, (who turned out to be a real smart-***)! I asked him if he could test my starter, and he asked me where it was, I told him it was in the truck. He said where in the truck? I told him I don't know wherever the starter is on the engine! He then tells me in this matter of fact voice, that the starter has to be off of the truck in order to be tested, to which I matter of factly told him I didn't know that! So then I asked him to test the battery and the alternator. He said the battery was good, but the alternator was putting out a couple of extra volts so that needed to be replaced. Why the other AutoZone store didn't catch this I don't know. But I didn't ***. I know that when an alternator goes bad the battery light on the dash will come on, and the dash and external lights will dim because everything is running off of the battery. You see . . . on a previous car I had an alternator go out! So I left there, and to my pleasant surprise the truck started and ran fine everyday for about the next 2 and a half weeks. Until . . .
The Friday before Christmas, after having driven my truck all week and also having enjoyed unusually mild weather, the temperature dropped again, and in rather dramatic fashion! We went from 50 and upper 60 degree weather to 10 to 15 degree weather just like that. So I went out to leave that Friday afternoon, low and behold the truck wouldn't start again. So I went and grabbed my portable battery booster and jump started the truck. Went about my business, and didn't trip. Until I went out on Saturday morning and the truck would not start AGAIN! This time my portable booster couldn't do the job, so I had to call my brother again. We stood out there in that 10 degree weather, wind blowing and all, and waited for 15 mins for that battery to get charged enough to start it. Got it going, let it warm up, then I drove STRAIGHT out to Batteries Plus. Explained everything of the past two days to the attendant, he came and did those same damned tests! He said he could not warranty the battery because it is testing good. Well of course it's going to test good, because I got it jumped, and I drove it 6 miles to get out there so those two things alone are going to give the battery a good charge. He checked the connections to the battery and hooked it back up (so I thought), and told me to start it up. Well I open the door and go to start it and there was absolutely no activity, as in . . . NO LIGHTS . . . DASH DIDN'T LIGHT UP WHEN I TURNED THE KEY . . . and he tells me, "You need a new starter dude . . . " To which I said . . . "Well don't you think you need to hook the battery up first before you make that determination?" So he tightened the connection, interior lights came on and the truck started RIGHT UP! So he tells me about the test they do, and even though I thought it was some BS, that I had to come up off of 100.00 to get another battery while they tested the old one, I agreed to it, because it was supposed to be cold again the next morning and I had to be up and out of the house before 7:30 am, and I had no one to depend on to get me to my destination, nor to come and give me a jump.
So I write a check for the new battery, he puts it in, and tells me that I could come the next day and they would have the results of the test. Once again . . . 24 hours? Really?! So I told him the soonest I could come back was Monday because I had a busy day Sunday. Monday comes and I call to find out what's going on with the battery, of course IT TESTED GOOD! So I told him, then how do they explain having to get it jumped 4 times, 2 days in a row per instance as soon as the temperature dropped? He had no answer, but to say there was something draining my battery, so I drive out there. Went in and waited for this *** we will call "Derrick", who smelled of alcohol, and whom claimed to be the manager. (First of all I didn't like how I asked him if he was the manager, and he responded with, "Sure." ARE YOU THE MANAGER OR NOT?!?! YOU WORK HERE AND DON'T KNOW WHAT THE *** YOU ARE!! But again, I digress). I explained . . . ONCE AGAIN . . . all of the aforementioned as it pertains to them and my battery. He looks on the computer and then tells me . . . and watch this . . . that whoever sold me the battery back in August of 2012, sold me the wrong battery. I should have gotten the more expensive AGM battery that is designed for my type of vehicle. So I said, "Now we've gone from it's my trucks fault, to whoever the employee is at this store that sold me the first battery sold me the wrong thing?" Then this dude says, "Well who told you this was the right battery?" I told him, "WHOEVER IN THE *** WORKS OR WORKED HERE! AIN'T Y'ALL THE BATTERY EXPERTS?!" So I told him, I am not coming up with another 100.00 to go with this "superior quality" battery that you now claim is the right one for my vehicle . . . I AM NOT *** TO FALL FOR THAT! So then he suggests that it might be my alternator . . . to which I said . . . "You mean the very alternator that you all tested what . . . 3 times now?! And said was good?!"
So if you are keeping score, Batteries Plus . . . who does NOT have an automobile diagnostic machine, nor are they mechanics have suggested that my then 6 year old truck needed a new starter, a new alternator, and I was sold . . . BY THEM . . . a battery that was not the right "fit" for my truck. So by this time I am asking how is it that the new battery they put in 2 days earlier started my truck right up as if it were 80 degrees outside, but the battery I had wouldn't start once the temperature went below freezing? By this time "Derrick" got frustrated and told who I assumed was HIS manager, who invited himself into this little exchange, under his breath . . . like I couldn't hear him . . . "I'm done with this." To which I said loudly . . . "OH YOU'RE DONE - THAT'S FINE!" I turned to the other "manager", Wayne I believe his name was and said "What do you say?" Well he was unapologetic as well claiming that he didn't know enough about the situation. So I did remind him that he did invite himself into the middle of this when I was talking to somebody else, but that's okay, I gave the Clift Notes version of ALL OF THE AFOREMENTIONED! He went into the same spiel about the battery was good and they couldn't warranty it. So I asked, well what happens when they put that old battery back in my car it doesn't start again . . . then what? He had no answer. So I told him I needed my money back, and in true throwing gasoline on the fire fashion, he told me that since I wrote a check for it, there is a 10 business day wait period for the check to clear, (IN THIS DAY AND AGE?!), and once that has passed the regional office would cut me a check for the amount and MAIL IT TO ME! I SAID . . . "*** NAW!!!! I will bring you a bank statement showing this cleared, and YOU WILL give me my money back then!" He tells me . . . with a straight face mind you . . . that they do not keep a lot of money on the premises. So I say, "So . . . you ain't got 107.00 on hand?" He said no they don't. It took everything in me not to cuss him up and down and side to side, not to mention start turning over display shelves! So he says he would have to clear it with some regional finance manager to refund my money on the spot, but she probably wouldn't do it. I told him to give me her information and I would call her myself. He refused, saying that that information is not public. I told him "You are really going out of your way to show me how much I regret ever spending ANY money in here aren't you?" So he goes over, gets my old battery, and puts it up on the shelf next to the tester, and goes into this thing about how it's charging good, and I told him his test, versus my experience are 2 different things, not to mention the crappy customer service what with all the dismissiveness and all. So I told him I would be back with that bank statement as soon as that check clears and we would go from there.
As soon as I got home I Googled Batteries Plus Customer service and dialed the number. I spoke with Deanne, told her EVERYTHING about this immediate situation. She took my information and verified some things, then told me she would call me back that day before she left or, first thing tomorrow when she came in. But she needed to call that store first. Well, never heard from her again! So the next day, Christmas Eve, I called that same customer service number. Whomever I talked to told me that Deanne was off, but she did call the store and it turns out it is a franchise store so they had no jurisdiction over their operation . . . . SO HE REDIRECTED ME BACK TO THE STORE! USELESS!! But he did tell me that their records reflect that this was the 2nd return in 4 years . . . SERIOUSLY?!?! HOW IN THE *** CAN I RETURN 2 ITEMS IN 4 YEARS WHEN I'VE ONLY BEEN IN THAT STORE SINCE 2012, AND BOUGHT 2 WATCH BATTERIES, AND A CAR BATTERY?!?! Now I'm REALLY PISSED!!!
So on the day after Christmas which was that Thursday, I called out there and Wayne answered and proceeded to tell me that the owners son authorized him to refund my money back to my debit card as soon as I presented the bank statement. I was still pissed off from Monday's episode and asked who was the owner's son and where could I contact him. So he gave me the name of Chris and he was at their store on 132nd ST. I also told him to him to CORRECT THE RECORD REGARDING THE FALSE INFORMATION ABOUT THE NUMBER OF TIMES I HAD BEEN IN THERE! So I hung up from him and called out there and here is yet another arrogant *** with no manners and no customer service skills!
I calmly told him the entire chain of events, and he acted like he could give a ***, so things only escalated from there! He too went into all this BS about how it was probably this that and the other wrong with my truck, cause their battery is good since they did all of this "Industry Standard Testing" and HE KEPT REPEATING IT!! So I cut him off after about the 5th time of him saying the same thing, and said, "So you mean to tell me, and you are proposing that I spend anywhere from 7 -800.00 for parts and labor, for something I don't need, and you are guessing about, JUST TO RULE OUT THAT THIS 100.00 BATTERY DOESN'T HAVE A DEAD CELL?!?! DO YOU KNOW HOW *** THAT SOUNDS?!?!" By the end of that call I gave him a few choice words and hung up on him! The next day, Friday I went back to the 90th ST store with bank statement in hand, they credited my debit card and re-installed the old battery.
From Friday to Tuesday which was New Year's Eve, truck turned over each day, but I noticed that the turn over was getting gradually slower. Wednesday, New Year's Day, I went nowhere, but I still went out and started the truck and let it run for a few minutes that night. Well . . . Thursday came . . . went to leave and that battery was completely absolutely unequivocally without a doubt DEAD! When I hit the key fob, the headlights BARELY even glowed. I opened up the door and the interior dome light gradually lit up. In essence there was just enough juice in that battery to unlock the doors! So I had to manually lock the doors . . . I called out to Batteries Plus . . . . AGAIN . . . told them my battery was dead . . . AGAIN . . . and this time IT WAS COMPLETELY GONE! So he went into the spiel about testing it again, told him I already went through all that and they needed to replace this battery! So the next morning I had roadside assistance come and get my truck and he took me and it out to this place. Pulled up in the parking lot and all 3 of the staff were standing outside smoking. Walked up to where they were standing and the only greeting I got from one of them was, "Back again, huh?" I just looked at him. So after the tow truck driver got my truck off the flat bed, 2 of them went in and got their equipment and went straight to it. They tested the battery it only had 4 volts. They take the battery out and come back in the store and go to the back.
"Derrick", the alcoholic from earlier, was behind the counter. One of the guys told him the battery only had 4 volts in it . . . to which he said "Hmm . . . Imagine that. 4 volts huh? IMAGINE THAT?!" I just turned and looked at him and gave him a "Go to ***" look! So Steve is the one I dealt with that day. Now that I think about it, I think he is the one that sold me the battery in question a year and a half earlier. He's also the one that sold me the replacement battery when they did this "industry testing" several weeks earlier. He told me that they needed to test the battery again, I asked for what . . . being as how the last charge they put on it only lasted 6 days, and here I am out here a week to the day that they put it back in my truck! I told him they have wasted my time, gas, and energy running back and forth out here, all because they did not want to honor this warranty on this defective product that I paid good money for!
In spite of my growing rage, he did maintain his cool and told me that he would test it again, and it would probably come back bad since it only had 4 volts, but they just needed to run the test. Since the battery was completely dead and I had to get the *** outta there, I had no choice but to once again BUY ANOTHER LOANER BATTERY! The next day after I attended a funeral, I drove straight out there. The guy that was there the day before, his name escapes me, told me the battery charged up and held a charge so they weren't going to be able to warranty it out. I told him to give me my money, my battery, and I would take my business elsewhere and would NEVER step foot in that store again! He re-installed it, and even though I paid cash this time, refunded the money to my debit card . . . because they can't refund cash for anything over 25.00 . . . WHATEVER! Left there and went straight to AutoZone, again nearest to my house and not only did they price match the battery from Batteries Plus, they installed it for me and discarded the junk battery that I was sold a year and a half ago.
But here's the thing . . . as "Jay" (from AutoZone) was installing my battery, I asked him so pointed questions. One, if a year from now this battery goes bad, as it is under a 2 year warranty, and I come back in there, what do they do? He told me that we would test it, install a new one and the remainder of the warranty from the first one would be available on the replacement. AND . . . if that replacement battery went out within that time they would do the same thing, but would also recommend that I have my vehicle checked for any electrical issues. Two, when they test batteries, do they need to hold them for 24 hours in order to make sure they meet "industry standards"? He told me no, they test them on the spot and it only takes a few minutes. There is no need to take that long to test a battery. I also asked, what if they say they need to charge it so they can do a "load" test and it is the "industry standard"? He had a puzzled look on his face, so I proceeded to tell "Jay" the WHOLE SORDID TALE! He then tells me, that their store had some bad dealings with Batteries Plus, turns out AutoZone bought 5000.00 worth of bulbs to install in about 7 of their stores here in Omaha. Within 90 days, most of the bulbs had gone out. When confronted with this information, Batteries Plus levied the blame for the blown bulbs on what was probably bad wiring in their store. According to "Jay", they were told in return that if it was one store, maybe, but these bulbs were installed in 7 stores across the city! He didn't tell me how or if that matter was rectified. It just felt good knowing that I wasn't the only one they pulled this BS on!
Finally, today I called Batteries Plus "customer care" once again, and SURPRISE SURPRISE DEANNE ANSWERED THE PHONE! I told her I think I talked to her before, she did and she remembered me. I didn't bother to ask why she lied about calling me back. She started to explain how that was a franchise store so there wasn't much they could do except reach out to them. I told her, "That's fine, because I just called to tell you to tell the powers that be, that I would NEVER buy anything from their stores again, I am in the process of writing up an essay about the matter, and I am going to post it to every consumer website I could find, and make sure I get a copy to the Better Business Bureau too!" She asked me what happened since the last time we talked, so I told her. She said that she would notify the franchise owner of my dissatisfaction and also forward my complaint to the higher ups that she works for. Don't remember if she offered any kind of apology. It doesn't matter, I said what I had to say and ended the call.
In conclusion, Batteries Plus - SUCKS! Their management - SUCKS! Their employees (except for Steve, and partial credit to the chubby dude with the pony tail), have NO customer service skills and they too - SUCK! And apparently they are operating under the assumption that people are just ***, and will go for anything! They are more interested in disenfranchising their customers by not honoring warranties or standing by their products.
I know there are going to be some that will read this and think this is a pointless rant, but times ARE HARD! Ain't nobody got no money to be throwing away, ESPECIALLY WHEN THERE IS A WARRANTY INVOLVED!!! I SHOULD NOT HAVE HAD TO GO ELSEWHERE AND BUY ANOTHER NEW BATTERY WHEN THE ONE I HAD SHOULD'VE BEEN REPLACED!!! Their "industry standard testing" versus my bad experience should have been weighed heavily in my favor! The appropriate thing to do, especially after I towed it out there, would've been to honor the warranty and replace the battery at no charge to me. Had THAT battery gone bad in a matter of days or weeks, then there would have been a case to get a diagnostic to see if something had gone wrong with my truck that could cause that. But to TOTALLY dismiss that their product was the problem? And I was supposed to spend more than what the battery was worth to rule out that it was not the battery in question? How am I not supposed to be pissed off and insulted by that?! Again, I WILL NEVER EVER SHOP AT THESE STORES AGAIN - AND I SUGGEST YOU DO THE SAME - YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
Monetary Loss: $107.