WATERTOWN, Mass.-Direct Tire Sales stores in Watertown and Norwood, Mass., have increased sales by giving customers a service most dealers charge for, according to President Barry Steinberg. With any snow tire purchase, he said the dealership removes and installs the snow or summer tires-including mounting and balancing-at no cost to the customer for the life of the tires.
``We said, `The heck with it! We're going to do it as a courtesy to our customers,'*'' said Mr. Steinberg. ``We appreciate their business; we want them back.''
``It costs us some revenues,'' he added. ``But we feel that people are going to be faithful to us and be here when we need them.''
The dealership goes one step further, sending cards to remind customers when it's time to switch tires-even calling to set up appointments.
With customers coming in regularly, mechanics have the opportunity to check the brakes, shocks, exhaust, or change the oil, he said.
Once their off-season tires are removed, Mr. Steinberg said customers can store them for $100 a year or $2 weekly at Direct Tire, which currently has more than 300 sets of snows in storage.
``People love that service because it's just one less thing for them to worry about,'' he said.
``They're going to consider going a little bit out of their way to come to us and let us do it for nothing.''