Sue N. ·
June 5, 2018
First, I want to say that the service staff was friendly, and their work looks great. I've only had the car back a half a day, so I've not had time to truly see the results of their work, as you have to wait 3 days before you can roll down your windows or clean the tinted side.
My 3-Star rating instead of 5 is ENTIRELY about the Groupon promotion and how Car Stereo Max treats it. The Groupon cost $169 for tinting a "standard" car with up to 4-doors. That is supposed to be 39% off the "normal" price of $279. So - that's the attraction of the deal, right? So the value of the deal is actually $279... but you get it for $169 - which is WHY it's a Groupon. You are supposed to be getting a deal on it.
It says right on the Groupon promotion, "Promotional value expires 120 days after purchase. Amount paid never expires."
Amount paid = $169. Promotion value? $279, right? Ok.
Here's some of the fine print restrictions:
"Voucher includes SunTek tint. May upgrade to SunTek Carbon. Excludes ultra-exotics, Corvettes, VW Beetles, and a few select difficult to tint vehicles. Removal of existing window film not included, but available at an additional cost."
So when I called to make my appointment the first time for my 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback - which is technically a 5-door because of the hatch, they told me it would be an additional $50 charge because of the difficulty of the hatchback. I wasn't happy, but I said, OK. Mind you, this was BEFORE I knew what the regular price - without a Groupon - that they would have charged to do my vehicle.
When I took the vehicle in to the actual appointment, I was only THEN told that it would be an additional $100 charge, and NOT the $50 because of the difficulty of tinting the hatch. Needless to say, I was not happy about that and told them so. He said there was nothing they could do, that it was a more difficult car to tint. I asked him point blank how much it would have been without a Groupon to get my car windows tinted, and he said around $300.
At that point, I needed to get the tinting done and only had about a week left to use my Groupon gift before it expired and the only value would be the paid value of $169. So I had them go ahead and do everything and paid the additional money they told me was required over and above the Groupon value.
My receipt shows the regular tinting for $169 and the $169 "value" of the Groupon appled towards that. Then it shows an additional $100 charge for the 5th door difficulty, as well as an additional $40 charge for a strip across the front windshield I elected to have added, another "shop" charge of $8 for some reason, as well as about $23 in taxes. So about $340 total - of which we paid $169 for the Groupon originally, and I paid an additional $171 at the store.
So WHY is the value of the $169 Groupon ONLY $169 instead of the $279 value I was sold? If there's no additional value to buying a Groupon, WHY OFFER A GROUPON? I could have just given the shop the $169 and gotten the same value! But that's NOT why businesses advertise through Groupon. They advertise to offer a BETTER deal than you could get otherwise, right? Or at least that is the perception both they and Groupon want you to believe.
In this case, $279 was the perceived value I was suppose to be getting by buying through Groupon instead of just handing $169 to Car Stereo Max. So whatever the final bill was, that $279 value should have been subtracted from it.
In this case, the final bill was $340. Minus the value I was sold from Groupon of $279, I should have paid the difference of $61.
Remember that the rep told me directly when I dropped off the car that, without the Groupon, this job would have been about $300? So, again, the Groupon for the "standard" 4-door car had a "value" of $279. The salesperson then says to do my car is really on $20 more than their regular price, but charges me an extra $100?
NONE of it adds up - which is the point.
And we DID complain directly to the store and to Groupon and Groupon did refund us, so I'm happy with the outcome on the financial side, and so far on the quality of the work. But we are NOT happy that the terms of the Groupon were not held up by Car Stereo Max as to the actual value of what we purchased.
And they aren't alone by far in not liking people who come in with Groupons - I've experienced other instances before where people with Groupons are just treated differently when they should see it as a chance to build their customer base and get future business. But they've missed that opportunity this time by trying to make us feel like WE didn't understand how it worked.
No - we did. It's in writing. It's clear. I don't buy a $50 Groupon for anything unless I'm getting more value for that Groupon. That's the point of Groupon! So no, I didn't pay $169 to get $169 worth of work. I paid to get $279 worth of work - exactly what it says it's valued at.
So be forewarned if you purchase this Groupon - you will either have to argue with the shop if there are any variances with your car, or you'll have to complain to Groupon after that the deal offered was not honored as presented.