I love Sam's Club. Matt and I go there to walk around, sample food and occassionally grab some food at the cafe, which we then eat while sitting on the display furniture (they have some REALLY comfy chairs!!). We like it there.
Unfortunately, not all departments are created equally. Take, for instance, the tire department. They have good prices on tires, decent prices on tire installation, but horrible...HORRIBLE service, at least in Winchestertonfieldville.
Last year Matt & I arrived at 6pm, immediately after he got out of work, to have his snow tires put on. It takes 45 minutes. They're open until 7pm. All is well...we thought. We go to the service counter and are informed that there must be at least two mechanics in the shop to do the work. There are two guys there. However, one guy has to leave at 6:30, so they can't take us. Did they tell us this when we called and asked how late they're open? No. Was there a sign posted anywhere saying they were closing early? No. What did the manager have to say about it? "Welll, they need two guys working, so they can't do it tonight." Apparently not one other mechanic in their entire employment was available to work that day, so they decided to close early, tell no one and the administration was fine with it. Okay...maybe it was a fluke.
Fast forward to Winter 2007: we go in at 5pm to get tires changed. We are informed that they stopped taking new customers at 3pm because they are already booked until 7pm. Completely understandable. The man gives us some hints: first, come when it's not snowing or when the forecast for the next day is clear (people aren't thinking about tires until it's snowing or they predict snow) and second, get in line by 6:30 am. When they expect snow there will be 20 people in line when they open the doors at 7am. Wow! Thanks for the help buddy...that's great to know! So on Saturday, December 1st...our day off, a day of rest, a time to relax...we get up at 5:30 am to be in line at 6:30 am. Matt is the 5th person in line!! The doors open, the man looks up and says, "Do you have a business membership? Anyone with a business membership goes to the front of the line until 8am." WHAT?!? Did anyone tell us that?? No. Is it POSTED anywhere?? No. By 7:15 am Matt is now the 15th person in line!!! The response that we get..."Well, we have to serve business members first". Nice to know. At 7:15 we left Sam's Club...and went to Belle Tire. At Belle Tire they opened the doors early so we could wait inside, out of the cold, and took EVERYONE on a first-come-first-serve basis.
The moral of this story (as I always like to have a moral): Buy yourself an extra set of rims if you are going to change your tires seasonally. You can have the tire shop mount the tires for you and then swap them yourself, in your driveway, whenever you want (because, even though the guys at Belle Tire were patient, helpful and very kind, it still took until after 1pm for them to get the tires done).