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Published on August 15, 2005

Mail Call, Aug. 15

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Opinion

Scammers again


I recently experienced a phone scam that apparently has been dormant, and I wanted to re-alert tire dealers about it.


It was done by the relay system for the hearing impaired, and although I had caller ID phone numbers, the name and address of the card holder and a credit card number, the police—who were standing in front of me after I called 911—couldn't do anything while I had the person on hold. Pretty scary, huh?


The only thing I can do now is notify everyone the best way I can because the Visa processing company didn't do anything, even though I had so much information available. I became suspicious almost immediately and probed for answers when the caller requested five sets of tires for a BMW and was pushing me to process the credit card.


Upon calling the warehouse for availability of the tires, which were an odd size to begin with for a BMW, that's when I was told about the scam going around months ago. I had not heard about it.


Some dealers have already got bitten. Something needs to be done.


I'm just thankful they called our after-hours phone number by mistake and I answered, or this could have been a disaster for us if an unsuspecting employee eager to make a large sale had received this call.


Linda J. Rovisa-Agresti


President


Churchville Tire and Supply Inc.


Churchville, N.Y.


Six years? Nonsense


I have been following the controversy that has been generated by Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler A.G. concerning their planned instruction to their customers that tires be scrapped after six years of use.


I am not a chemist, an engineer, a rocket scientist or a tire manufacturer, but I have been in the tire business for 55 years. I have seen the demise of tube-type tires, the advent of tubeless and radial, the many changes of tire “profiles” and have followed all with interest and wonder.


Tires are the best value in the world for the money. People who use them have become so complacent as to their reliability that tires are often forced to operate underinflated, misaligned and undersized and, in many cases, under terrible conditions for which they were not designed. And yet they perform for thousands of miles without a whimper of complaint.


Have we reached the stage where everything must be legislated? What has become of common sense? I have seen tires that became unserviceable within 500 miles and others that were in perfect condition after 10 years and 100,000 miles of service. Yes, passenger tires!


Now with the advent of nitrogen inflation, which will make maintenance easier and also prevent oxidation and heat—rubber's worst enemies—tires can be expected to give even better service over a longer period of time. Now is certainly not the time to give tires an arbitrary “life.”


Neither Ford nor DaimlerChrysler can tell me when to change my tires. I hope that they will not convince the government when to tell me either. Well, I can always buy a Chinese car.


Everard G. Scott


President


Harmony Hall Inc.


Margate, Fla.


Time for name change?


We need to rename our industry the service industry—not the tire industry!


Everybody in this part of the country who's been in the tire industry and sold tires for many years is now doing full automotive service in order to survive. We need to admit this and move forward.


Doug Swanson


Co-owner


Modern Auto Care


Eden Prairie, Minn.

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