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The Tire Shop
The poster covering the entire back wall in the tire shop was unavoidable: One Hour Tire Change or It’s Free. Our Guarantee.
Leo went into the store with free tires and balancing on his mind. He could afford them if needed, but he reasoned that no one was able to get the car jacked up and change out tires in 60 minutes so it was a steal of a deal. The guarantee was as plain as day. And besides that, he had other plans for that money so he couldn’t miss with this offer.
Ninety minutes passed after Leo handed over his car keys, and the service manager called him to the desk.
“Ok, Mr. Lawrence, with tax, disposal and shop fees, your total comes to $538.32.”
Leo pulled out his cell phone and stopped the time clock app he had running.
According to the app, he had been waiting 93 minutes, 33 minutes longer than the guarantee. It was Leo’s lucky day.
“Ninety-three minutes and 29 seconds. Free tires,” Leo said to the service manager.
The manager turned around and pointed to the poster’s tiny print at the bottom. He said, “Did you read the fine print?”
Leo stared at the man and said, “Uh, no.”
“You should’ve, sir. The fine print to that deal in a nutshell states you must be an unemployed minority female and show proof that you applied for work during that 60-minute interval.”
Leo squinted, then cringed. “Wow. Seems very limited for such a large and prominent sign,” said Leo.
Two customers got up and walked out of the tire shop when they heard the manager.
“I don’t make the policy, sir, I just apply it. It’s all there if you take the time to read it.”
Leo asked, “How many people have actually done that, I mean, taken the time to read it since you put the poster up?”
“It’s what I thought,” Leo said. “I still think it’s a poor way to do business. I certainly won’t be coming back here.”
“And everyone’s who’s challenged me on the guarantee has said that.”
“So, you’re hoping people forget?”
The service manager smiled and said, “Hoping, Mr. Lawrence? No, we’re planning on it.”