Following the massive recall of more than 6 million Firestone tires in 2000, federal law mandated that tire retailers take steps to notify customers of a tire recall.
Until recently, that meant bookmarking each tire manufacturer’s Web site, navigating there and inputting the customer and tire information, according to Tom Gebbie of Lansdale, Pa.-based Gebbie’s AutoCare.
A self-described “good typer,” Gebbie, who sells 1,000 to 1,200 tires a year, said he was able to carry out the registrations in about a minute.
But, with help from a feature built into his shop management system’s add-on software, Gebbie said he’s been able to cut that time down to under half a minute.
Gebbie began using the time-saving tire registration feature on Bolt On Technology’s Report Pro and with the push of a button, fields auto-populate, easing the entry of information and keeping him from having to remember which Web sites he needed to visit as part of the registration process.
“It’s been very handy,” Gebbie said. “This is definitely an improvement.”
The Firestone recall of 2000 was the only instance to date that Gebbie said impacted his customers. Back then customers were given postcards to register their new tires.
But, as Gebbie found out, “not a single one of those had registered their tires,” meaning he had to call the 25 customers who had purchased tires that had been recalled.
At Elsy Auto Repair in Newark, N.J., John Slater said the Report Pro tire registration function “makes it a thousand times easier.”
Slater said the “one click deal” is much easier than the manual entry and switching back and forth between two open programs.
“If the software takes 10 seconds, manually it’s going to take five minutes,” Slater said of the online tire registration process. “It’s like a night and day difference.”