- 10:00 PM, Friday,
January 9th, 2015:
- Man I hesitate
saying "Scam". I absolutely abhor people that
flippantly notice something askew with a company and
call things a "Rip-off" or a "scam" not realizing
their sample size is anything but a true sample. And
you can't defame an entire company based on one store
or one clerk or one experience. But this was 3 stores,
plus 2 other companies and... well, if anyone from
AutoZone can explain this any other way? I'll include
it in the entry. But this looks bad and I can't fathom
any other explanation other than their machines might
be outdated when it comes to these newer AGM type
batteries (even though their testing machines have the
AGM option). I'm trying to give them an out, but it
just isn't working. Here's the story:
- There are 2
massive truck batteries and an inverter in the trunk
of the Delorean Time Machine that run the fog
machines. Fog Machines are BEASTS when it comes to
power and it's actually a remarkable challenge to pull
of the powerful fog machine I have. Recently I've
been having trouble and narrowed it down to the
batteries which have been charged in parallel the past
couple of months. Took them to Autozone and one was
fine (just low) and the other was bad and needed to be
replaced. Finally I had an answer. When in a
parallel series (tied together), if the first one is
bad? The charge can't even get to the 2nd one, and
this was surely the problem. They were both under
warranty and through some research I found they were
bought at a Sam's Club in Texas. We have one about 30
minutes from us, I took the bad battery there to get
- They tested it,
said it was fine. (sigh) I get annoyed. Of course
their machine says it's fine, it's their battery and
they don't want to replace it. They ask me to get the
other one to see where that one is at. I drive
ALLLLLL the way back home, bring it ALLLLLLLLLL
the way back and both batteries test good, though the
AutoZone "bad" one was a bit more
"used" than the Autozone "good" one. Pissed
I look up an AutoZone in the area near Sam's Club
to retest them. Now? Both batteries come up "Bad".
They print up the receipt showing "bad" and I go
BACK to Sam's Club. The guy just looks at me
like "the fuck am I supposed to do?". He
wasn't shitty, I actually shook his hand and
laughed with him because really, what is he supposed
to do? How can he tell his boss that he gave away a
brand new battery as a replacement when their testing
equipment says nothing was wrong!??!!? Something
however, is clearly up.
- So I go to a
THIRD AutoZone. Tests them. Both bad.
- What the serious
fuck. I walk out so pissed. My shit doesn't work
on my Time Machine which is all that really matters.
So, I don't give a fuck what your machine says, I'm
gonna be out $400 because I have to buy new
batteries either way. Maybe since they're being used
for a fog machine they have to be in PEAK shape to
work? So they're only ever gonna be good for like 6
- On my way home
I pass a big Interstate battery warehouse that is
open to the public. Why not. Now this guy has a PIMP
tester. It has a laser that gets the temperature of
the battery before running the tests and he does the
first one? It's perfect. In fact, it's rated higher
than even the posted rating of 825 on the battery.
It's as if it's brand new.
- He tests the other
one? Same. It's perfect. I mean he looks at me
like I'm wasting his time because they're NEW.
I tell him that 3 different AutoZones said they
were bad and he said "Of course they did, they want
you to buy new batteries." I have little choice but
to agree and head home. I end up charging
both batteries NOT in parallel and voila, they both
get charged and everything works great. I then go into
another AutoZone, one close to me I hadn't had
them tested in...
- Ever look at the
batteries they sell? There's the "price" and then
there's the price if you trade-in your
"bad" battery for like, $20 lower...
- ...and it all
becomes clear. Because had I not found that
Interstate place? I would've had to buy the new
batteries that run close to $200, and of course
I would've handed in my "bad" batteries to save
even $20 a piece because "what am I gonna do with 2
monstrous bad batteries?"
- ...except they
weren't bad. They were perfect. In fact, better than
perfect. They tested better than new. And what do you
presume AutoZone does with these "bad" batteries
that they will "take off your hands" for a trade-in
discount? Duh. They sell 'em. You can also "refurbish"
actual bad batteries for resale, but nothing beats
getting a fucking BRAND NEW battery for $20.
Now, devil's advocate:
- One of the 6 times
these were tested, I noticed on the receipt the girl
didn't put in "AGM" (battery type) and it
defaulted to standard. That could've been a simple
error that caused "Bad Battery" to come up
- ...but isn't that
ridiculous? Shouldn't it show the error on the
computer and not just tell the customer "bad battery"?
But of course, all the other bad readings had the
appropriate battery type so... something is clearly
- I also don't
believe anyone working there was being malicious.
They're trained on how to use the equipment and have
just as much knowledge on the results as the customer
do. I asked ALL of them what the settings were to
produce a "bad" reading. Like does it have to be
75% good or better? Is this something internally that
can be changed? They had no idea. Most seemed to think
that it had to be completely fucked for it to read
"bad". Clearly, that's not the case.
- So, unless someone
tells me otherwise - I'm fairly certain I've stumbled
upon a MASSIVE issue with AutoZone. Now because my
website is all but hidden from search engines because
of my coding, I would have to really work to get this
story out there and I'm so goddamn busy I can't see
how that happens - but I do want this out there.
And I do want a response from AutoZone because
not only were my batteries not "bad", they were tested
as BRAND FUCKING NEW from an actual battery
place and they indeed work great once I charged
them separately. AutoZone might very well have a
company-wide scam going on here. Where basically any
"mistake" typed into their testers comes up "bad"
instead of highlighting the mistake or even more
nefarious - they change the settings to show perfectly
good batteries bad (maybe an algorithm of every 3rd or
4th battery) simply to sell new ones and rip people
off. Either way, something is DEFINITELY up and I
want to figure it out.
- Now, this is a
video blog and actually, I did shoot some video
but to be honest? I don't find it "fair". I don't
believe this has anything to do with the girl working
the register that tested the batteries and putting her
face online under the guise of "Scam" is just wrong on
every level. So instead? I give you incredibly
cute video of my kid getting the biggest kick out of
telling her dada that she is indeed a cow a horse and
a pig when the book expects you to answer
- That video right
there is gonna make an old man WEEP in a few decades.
THE CUTE. IT BURNS.
- Love being a