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Discussion Starter #1
Recently I didn't use my van for over a week. I have a paging alarm system on it in addition to the factory alarm. So, the battery was a bit low after that week so I connected my baattery charger to it. After about an hour it came back with "BAD" on the display meaning it detected something it didn't like.

So, I disconnected that charger and connected a special charger I have that has a computer in it and runs a series of tests on the battery. Eventually, it ALSO reported the battery as bad.

So, I took the battery to my local Advance Auto Parts where I had purchased it less than 1 year ago...guess what...they could find no record of my purchasing it. (NOT THE first time this has happened. I have the receipt, just have to dig it up)

Anyway...their "$5000" tester said the battery was Good. So, I then took the battery to Auto Zone...again, their battery tester said the battery was good.

So, since I always found my two battery maintainers at home to be reliable, I had some doubts as to what was going on.

I haven't yet...but this is what I THINK is going on.....you give me your take on it....

I think AutoZone and Auto Parts stores that sell batteries get a TON of batteries back from people and it is in their BEST INTEREST to show that as many of them are good as possible to prevent mass warranty exchanges. So, where a battery might be down a bit in capacity, their tester will show it as a good battery anyway as long as it meets certain acceptable load requirements. So, it might be down to 80% capacity, but they will say it's good.

Ok...that's just a theory...maybe even a bit paranoid theory?

I don't think both my battery chargers and maintainers are bad. My next test is to measure voltage during cranking and see how low it goes. I also have a load tester I'm going to try on it.

Anyone have any info they want to share on this?

thx
 

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I would think that if they were going to cheat they would be better off cheating the other way, i.e., say that good or marginally weak batteries needed to be replaced. They test batteries from a lot of different sources. It would also be very bad for business if people like yourself were suspect and went to another reputable source to have the battery tested and got different results.

Find your receipt and get another battery under warranty.

I think your real complaint should be why your purchase is no longer in their system.
 

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That seems to be the way that Valvoline Oil Change shops roll too.
You might as well buy your battery from Walmart. At least you will get free replacement for 2 years. They no longer prorate.
I have had zero issues with the Die Hard Platinum (and I had better not!) that I put in my wife's van.
 

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oh I've taken starters I knew we're bad to O'Reillys before and the tester said it was good, but these people had personally seen the car it came out of and it failed at even starting the car.

their testers well something tells me they aren't accurate I wonder if I could bring in a battery with a dead cell and it would say that its still good lol. to me I just break out my DVOM and to me if its under 12.0 its time for a new one, speaking of batteries I think come next year I'll have to replace the battery in my PT and my dad's van probably could use a new one.

but I'm with IrishBrewer, I wouldn't worry so much about their testers as why they don't have your purchase in their system.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I would think that if they were going to cheat they would be better off cheating the other way, i.e., say that good or marginally weak batteries needed to be replaced. They test batteries from a lot of different sources. It would also be very bad for business if people like yourself were suspect and went to another reputable source to have the battery tested and got different results.

Find your receipt and get another battery under warranty.

I think your real complaint should be why your purchase is no longer in their system.
First...remember that I have TWo battery testers....one is a complex computer device that can tell if the battery is low on electrolyte, frozen, sulfated and so forth.
My other is a relatively new popular name brand charger sold at Walmart. BOTH, independently evaluated the battery as bad....that doesn't mean it's not useable...just as a tire with steel belts is still "useable" to some. Both of these devices have been dead on with batteries for 10 vehicles I own including motorcycles, marine batteries and at least 4 car / van batteries. So BOTH would have to be suddenly mistaken. I guess anything's possible.

This entire argument depends on the ratio of batteries that are coming IN their doors to be tested....

Are the majority batteries THEY sold ?
Go with Yes just for the sake of the explanation....
If the majority are batteries they sold, then they want to warranty as few as possible...agreed?

Now, if the majority of batteries that come in their door were NOT sold by them, then yes, it would be
more "profitable" to sell the customer a battery.

I am no more privy to those marketing statistics than you. But...one guy I spoke with there who I know had been there a LONG time
said most of the batteries that come back were batteries sold by them and still under warranty.
I have to take his word for it.
So, if (and it's a stretch)....70% of the batteries that come back would be covered under warranty
then it would seem logical that by keeping those batteries in service as long as possible, thereby using up pro-rata value, would equate to the MAXIMUM profit
on the battery for the store.

On the other side of the coin, you would be right if more batteries came into their store for testing that did not come from them in the first place.
Then it would be better to fail more batteries. I can't say there is any validity to my original theory because I simply don't have the statistics.

BTW...they outright told me that unless THEIR tester said it was bad...they would not replace the battery under any circumstances.
What if it has an intermittant short and I'm on the road with the kids, wife and grandma?
So, you buy a battery from Advance Auto and they are the judge, jury and executioner. This rigid policy alone is enough for me to be suspect of their testers.
I can always go to my tire store and have it checked...I think I will. They have no vested interest in it failing or not....except to sell me a battery lol.

I will be buying my batteries from Walmart from now on....like gsmagnum suggests. Their profits dont hang on battery warranties.
 

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I'm not sure if it applies to all Walmarts but their pricing locally changed a while ago. Used to be able to get a battery for between about $35 to $75 depending on CCA rating. Now they are all priced $67 or $77 except for home tractor/motorcycle batteries.
 

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A battery being down in capacity doesn't mean its bad, up to a point. My van has an 8 year old 750CA battery in it. I tested it over the summer and it only is putting out just under 525 cranking amps. That's around 70% of the original strength and it still works perfectly. Now that I said this, it'll probably fail this winter but 8 years is a good life.

It would be very costly to replace every battery that has lost some capacity.
 

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Batteries are products, and no matter what trademark they are sold under, Walmart, Autozone and AdvanceAuto are not product manufacturers... If they sell a product that is provided with a specific warranty by the manufacturer, they will honor that warranty just for the purposes of customer satisfaction.

I can't speak to your test equipment, but the stores do invest significant money in the test equipment used on customer cars because they help sell more merchandise by showing the actual condition of what you currently have in your car... it isn't magic, and it is a lot more reassuring than the sales person telling you that "Yep, it looks okay to me!"

I have had Autozone in particular tell me that despite how bad a battery that was in one of my cars looked, or the fact that it was 5 years old, that my battery was testing as if it were new and that I didn't need one. ...and NO the battery was not one of theirs. He could just as easily told me that because of the age and the way the battery looked, I should go ahead and replace it.

The MANUFACTURER of the battery is the entity who has to make good on the failure, not the store. So their profits do not depend on battery warranties... their profits depend on sales, and REPEAT sales by satisfied customers.

If any of these sales outlets experiences a high percentage of failures in a line of merchandise, the stores will advise the manufacturer that they will no longer use them as a source if they don't honor their warranties.
 

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If they are jerking you around on the warranty, and you know it's bad, and you know that it's still in warranty, and you have the receipt., then there is an easy way to fix that.

Run the battery dead, and stick it in your freezer for a few days. Then take it out, thaw it out, put it back in your car, jump start it, and go have them warranty it.

I know it sounds dirty, but that's why I said "If you know it's bad" and it should be replaced anyway. It's no more dirty then them jerking you around on a warranty they sold you.
 

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Advance

Recently I didn't use my van for over a week. I have a paging alarm system on it in addition to the factory alarm. So, the battery was a bit low after that week so I connected my baattery charger to it. After about an hour it came back with "BAD" on the display meaning it detected something it didn't like.

So, I disconnected that charger and connected a special charger I have that has a computer in it and runs a series of tests on the battery. Eventually, it ALSO reported the battery as bad.

So, I took the battery to my local Advance Auto Parts where I had purchased it less than 1 year ago...guess what...they could find no record of my purchasing it. (NOT THE first time this has happened. I have the receipt, just have to dig it up)

Anyway...their "$5000" tester said the battery was Good. So, I then took the battery to Auto Zone...again, their battery tester said the battery was good.

So, since I always found my two battery maintainers at home to be reliable, I had some doubts as to what was going on.

I haven't yet...but this is what I THINK is going on.....you give me your take on it....

I think AutoZone and Auto Parts stores that sell batteries get a TON of batteries back from people and it is in their BEST INTEREST to show that as many of them are good as possible to prevent mass warranty exchanges. So, where a battery might be down a bit in capacity, their tester will show it as a good battery anyway as long as it meets certain acceptable load requirements. So, it might be down to 80% capacity, but they will say it's good.

Ok...that's just a theory...maybe even a bit paranoid theory?

I don't think both my battery chargers and maintainers are bad. My next test is to measure voltage during cranking and see how low it goes. I also have a load tester I'm going to try on it.

Anyone have any info they want to share on this?

thx
Hi, My name is Bree.

I work for Advance Auto Parts so I thought I would try and lend a hand in this discussion.
Our testers do not ask if the battery is ours or theirs or anything so warranty or not it will test bad for bad batteries and good for good ones. One thing a lot of people don't know is that it also tests incomplete. If there is not enough juice in your battery to run a proper test it will come up as such and an experienced salesperson will (at least should) explain this to you.

It benefits our stores to warranty anything we sell. We get credit for warranties from our manufacturer, so it costs us nothing; and by fulfilling a warranty we are tracking our customers loyalty. It is good for us to have warranties in our records because it shows us how we are doing with customer service. I have had many customers come in with batteries still under warranty at other retailers but buy from me anyways because in our store we will do our very best not to sell you something you don't need- it is bad for business.

About the Customer history. Here is the best I can explain it.
Any time you purchase an item you should be handed a receipt of sale. This piece of paper IS your warranty. I always recommend my customers to make a copy and save it somewhere so they can retrieve it when they need it. We do keep a history for most sales with warranties such as Batteries and CV axles and stuff like that- any time we ask your phone number we are entering the information of the sale into your history. I agree that it would be nice to save everything forever but the truth of the matter is that our servers are only so big and we can only save so much. It would be illogical to assume any system can save complete histories for every customer and everything they ever purchased, still after only a year the item should still be under history profile. I would recommend making sure the store you are physically in is the actual store the item was purchased because our systems are not linked with other stores- we do however provide excellent customer service by doing the footwork in finding your history if you can provide us with the store location your purchased it from. Also, it is recommended you make sure that your phone number hasn't changed since your purchase because essentially that is the first thing we will ask for to surf your info. If you can't remember we can do a name search and that request is never denied.

We don't botch tests to benefit us- as a matter of fact there is no option to do so even if someone wanted to. We work the best we can with the information we are given to make sure our customers have everything they need and are entitled to. As long as a battery meets the required OEM requirements for it's class the battery will test good. If you bought your battery from Advance Auto Parts and you do not have the receipt and your history can not be located there is still another option to better serve you. There is a date code located on the battery- should be a little colored sticker with a number and a letter that tells us when the battery was made. Since we rotate stock and send back old batteries if they haven't sold the odds of your battery being more than 6 months old at the time of sale are slim. With this code we can pro-rate -or- replace your battery if it is still under warranty based on this code. Granted, it wont be as accurate as an actual sales record but it is the extra little bit we do to ensure we have exhausted every option to serve our customers in the best ways possible.
I am not a corporate mogul or anything like that. I am a bottom-dollar sales person/ delivery driver at my local Greenville store and if you have any questions feel free to call our Customer service at 1-877-ADVANCE
Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi, My name is Bree.

I work for Advance Auto Parts so I thought I would try and lend a hand in this discussion.
Our testers do not ask if the battery is ours or theirs or anything so warranty or not it will test bad for bad batteries and good for good ones. One thing a lot of people don't know is that it also tests incomplete. If there is not enough juice in your battery to run a proper test it will come up as such and an experienced salesperson will (at least should) explain this to you.
Yes, you work at store 5830. Laurens Rd, on the west side. I've met you. Last time I was there I bought some wheel covers. Good people there.
Thx for the explanation. I can see the battery issue could just be a misunderstanding. Let me also say that Advance Auto Parts for the most part is a good store and I have friends in several of them. Most of all, when I am in need of a part and Advance Auto Parts has the
item then that is all I can ask. I'll also say that my issue is NOT with the employees. I've had Employees come through for me when out on the road BIG TIME. So I have a lot of respect for the employees. It's the Corporate shenanigans that I have issues with. In addition, these issues are not unique to Advance. Seems the same applies to AutoZone and the other big auto parts chains.


That said....

It benefits our stores to warranty anything we sell. We get credit for warranties from our manufacturer, so it costs us nothing; and by fulfilling a warranty we are tracking our customers loyalty. It is good for us to have warranties in our records because it shows us how we are doing with customer service. I have had many customers come in with batteries still under warranty at other retailers but buy from me anyways because in our store we will do our very best not to sell you something you don't need- it is bad for business.
Getting "credit" for items is still a losing proposition as employees still have to spend man-hours processing the returns rather than selling parts and creating income. As you well know, returns and warranties are time intensive. People always have lots of questions etc. There is no Profit in returns. It benefits the CUSTOMER to do a warranty, it does not benefit the store. A store cannot survive on returns alone.
It's also evident that most of the warranties are "limited" lifetime warranties, meaning a one time replacement. If warranties were "beneficial" to the store, the stores would offer truly unlimited warranties. Stores live on Profit. There is no Profit in warranties. A credit from the supplier is NOT profit.


About the Customer history. Here is the best I can explain it.
Any time you purchase an item you should be handed a receipt of sale. This piece of paper IS your warranty. I always recommend my customers to make a copy and save it somewhere so they can retrieve it when they need it. We do keep a history for most sales with warranties such as Batteries and CV axles and stuff like that- any time we ask your phone number we are entering the information of the sale into your history. I agree that it would be nice to save everything forever but the truth of the matter is that our servers are only so big and we can only save so much. It would be illogical to assume any system can save complete histories for every customer and everything they ever purchased, still after only a year the item should still be under history profile. I would recommend making sure the store you are physically in is the actual store the item was purchased because our systems are not linked with other stores- we do however provide excellent customer service by doing the footwork in finding your history if you can provide us with the store location your purchased it from. Also, it is recommended you make sure that your phone number hasn't changed since your purchase because essentially that is the first thing we will ask for to surf your info. If you can't remember we can do a name search and that request is never denied.

The receipts are obviously VERY important. The receipts seem to be bad about fading out. Is this just the stores I visit? I've learned to scan or photo copy my receipts in order to preserve them.
Phone numbers used to be stable. Nowadays in the cellular age, phone number tend to change MUCH more frequently. Corporations know this. Very little is guess work or left to chance.
They hire guys with all kinds of degrees to calculate profit on angles you would never consider.
Anyone disagreeing with this also believes politicians always run for office because it is their nature to help people.

Also, on all my "warranty" items, both Advance and AutoZone seem to "lose" all the history periodically, so not having the receipt means no warranty on all those "lifetime" items purchased. Frustrating when the printing on the receipts disappears after a few weeks.

Whatsmore, Harddrives are available that can hold the life history of every human being alive today with room to spare. Multi-Terabyte drives can easily hold thousands of times the data we are talking about...for Under $100

So I cannot accept your argument about not enough space to hold the data. They retain all the information they want to. I would venture a guess that they do in fact keep records on every purchase for some time. Actually, they have to for Federal Tax liability reasons. I believe it's 7 or 10 years. So, yes, they do keep a record of every sale for a LONG time.

I'm sorry, but these two things seem easily avoidable. In this day and age a major corporation
simply "losing" all their critical data is HIGHLY unlikely. Even in cases of hacker breeches. The data is compromised...not lost.

Finally...even across stores their computers also are tied together in so much as they can look at other stores inventory availability. So, not sharing information about customer purchases is a corporate choice (or claim) rather than a logistical limitation. If you have a bank account in Florida, a branch of that bank in California can instantly look you up. There is an underlying profit motive in not making all that information available.


We don't botch tests to benefit us- as a matter of fact there is no option to do so even if someone wanted to. We work the best we can with the information we are given to make sure our customers have everything they need and are entitled to. As long as a battery meets the required OEM requirements for it's class the battery will test good. If you bought your battery from Advance Auto Parts and you do not have the receipt and your history can not be located there is still another option to better serve you. There is a date code located on the battery- should be a little colored sticker with a number and a letter that tells us when the battery was made. Since we rotate stock and send back old batteries if they haven't sold the odds of your battery being more than 6 months old at the time of sale are slim. With this code we can pro-rate -or- replace your battery if it is still under warranty based on this code. Granted, it wont be as accurate as an actual sales record but it is the extra little bit we do to ensure we have exhausted every option to serve our customers in the best ways possible.
I am not a corporate mogul or anything like that. I am a bottom-dollar sales person/ delivery driver at my local Greenville store and if you have any questions feel free to call our Customer service at 1-877-ADVANCE
Thank you!

Yes, the battery issue could just be a misunderstanding. If you read my OP you'll see the results from the store were different from results I got. The store tester passed a battery that had decreased capacity....but the KEY as you said, was that it passed OEM requirements. The battery still works, yes....but the capacity was a bit low. Makes sense. My OP was a more of a question than an accusation...I hope.

Being a "bottom-dollar" counter sales person (as you describe yourself) means you don't likely know what the Generals up top would know. Corporations, like the military, have chains of command. Not all plans and strategies are openly shared with Privates and Sargents.

Let me just say that in general, anyone who believes that all major corporations (including auto dealerships) are totally upfront and totally honest with only the consumers best interest at heart.... is a bit naive. Not you specifically. Just in General. Some are better than others...but they all have profit as their primary goal...not customer satisfaction. They can survive on profit alone...they CAN NOT survive on good customer satisfaction rates without profit.

A Toyota dealership on Sample Rd in Coconut Creek Florida recently tried to get a friend of mine to spend nearly three hundred dollars on a new remote and re-programming when all that was needed was fresh batteries in the remote. That was unforgivable. Unfortunately we live in times when greed is omnipotent.

Some may disagree but these are facts to the best of my knowledge.

Again, my beef is with Corporations...not the foot soldiers like yourself. As I said, I have great respect for guys like you because you folks have been there for me (such as loaning me tools when on the road in an emergency) and in general are very helpful.
 

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I will be buying my batteries from Walmart from now on....like gsmagnum suggests. Their profits dont hang on battery warranties.
I had a Wal-Mart Group 34 battery that came with my 96 Grand Cherokee go bad after being completely drained by a Wal-Mart trailer adapter that had the center of the 7 blade RV part connected to the brake pin of the 6 pin receptacle part so when connected to the trailer the brakes were constantly drawing 12V. The battery was two weeks beyond the 3 year free replacement period at the time (per the battery date sticker), but it did take enough charge to start the jeep so I didn't return it until a month and a half later after it repeatedly lost charge and a cell finally died.
I took the adapter and the battery in together and it took an hour, having Joe the automotive guy test the battery and say it had a bad cell but "the adapter could not possibly drain the battery", and three successive assistant managers to convince the third one that the adapter was the fault and that the battery should be replaced free instead of the $40 pro rate Joe wanted to charge. The assistant manager told Joe to replace it free as a "Customer Satisfaction" replacement. It helped that I also took in printouts from the net showing the standard trailer plug wiring with 12V auxiliary on the center pin and not the brake pin. So...I guess I'll try Wal-Mart for batteries again too, even though I've had a couple of their marine batteries go south at a young age in our little motorhome. At one time their Maxx 1N was the highest rated battery in a Consumer Reports test of the size that fit my Jag XJ6s, and those have lasted pretty well.
 
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