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ATS Euromaster are your typical Tyres, Brakes and Exhausts chains, running up and down the country. They are situated in most big towns and seem to be running alongside quick fit in popularity, however good or bad that is.
I have only visited ATS once, and probably will never do again, unless I’m in desperate need of a Tyre quickly, but I won’t bother taking their advice on my car! You see, ATS tried to con me out of some of my money, something which I don’t really like someone doing to me!
I needed a Tyre, just for one of the back wheels. I had already gone to National Tyres, and they had quoted me £39 for a budget tyre. (I don’t really want a super tyre for the back, my front wheels do all the work, and I have better tyres on the front). So, I went to ATS to see if they could do a budget tyre any cheaper. Indeed they could, £32 including everything. So, I left them with my car for fifteen minutes while I walked round town and got a couple of things I wanted to get.
I went back to ATS, who had given me a new tyre and my car was parked in one of the bays waiting for me to collect it. I went to pay which was all straight forward, however, when I had paid, I got a speel off the bloke there telling me different things wrong with my car, and it went a little something like this....
ATS: “Sir, do you realise that your rear shocks are seeping, and really could do with urgent attention” Me: “No, I didn’t realise, how bad is it” ATS: “Well Sir, the other back tyre is wearing on the inside due to the shocks, and they will also become very dry in the next few weeks, which means you will be back for new tyres before you know it” Me: “Oh right (with a worried look on my face), how much will it cost to replace them?” ATS: “Well I have taken the liberty of arranging a quote for you it and comes to £145 inclusive” Me: “Well I will leave it for now, and take the quote” ATS: “Ok Sir, but only if you are sure, I wouldn’t want you to have to spend money on new tyres again because of your shocks” Me: “Ok cheers”
So, off I went to a garage I know down the road from ATS. It is an independent garage who are VERY honest, won’t do you out of your money, and will give a second opinion free of charge if you have had work done there before. They have their heads screwed on, they know if they are honest and cheap, you will go back. One of the mechanics there said that my shocks were absolutely fine. The reason for the back wear is that the wrong type of shocks for my model of car were fitted before I bought the car. He then went on to tell me that it’s not worth replacing the shocks just for tyre wear when a new tyre costs £32 and each shock costs about £60. ATS had indeed sprayed lubricant onto the shocks to make it look as if it was seeping.
I wasn’t very pleased with this, so I went back to ATS with a mouthful, telling them what they could do with their shocks. They apologised, but said that the lubricant wasn’t anything to do with them and that National Tyres must have sprayed it on when I got a quote from them. Now, unless National Tyres can work miracles, there was no way they could spray my shocks, the car was at least100 yards down the road! ATS offered me a £10 voucher off a pair of shocks out of good will, I just gave it back telling them I have no need for it as I won’t be coming back to ATS again.
That’s my own personal story, and there are loads more like it. You mention it to someone, and they have had a similar thing done to them. Whether it be brakes, shocks or tyres. ATS are crafty, and if they need money, they will look for work, and if they can’t find work, they will do something on your car to try and give themselves work. It’s amazes me the lengths a big company will go to to try and get some work out of you.
On a sidenote, another ATS garage I went to when I bought the car refused to give me a free check, telling me that he didn’t want my work as I’m a boy racer and he doesn’t want the business to have a reputation! He was an old guy, having a fag outside the place....however, I thought this might just be a one off! Sad really that it’s not...
So anyway, onto what ATS actually do:
ATS offer replacements on Tyres, Oil, Brakes, Batteries, Exhausts....oh and I nearly forgot! Shocks! They have most parts on the shelves, so when you go in, you can normally get it done there and then. Service at the garage that told me about the shocks was friendly, even when I laid into them. I suppose they have go to be! However, this doesn’t make up for lies! Prices seem pretty reasonable, and seem to match most of the other chains in this sector. In fact, the one I went to had a sign up saying they would beat any quick fit price by at least £1! Oooooo!!!
They also offer you a 10 point check, free of charge, but having said that, I bet theres never once when someone has come out after a 10 point check and not had a quote for something that’s wrong. If they did that to my shocks, think what they could do to my whole car! Unfortunately for ATS, their 10 point check consists of most things that you can do very easily yourself. You can check the depth of your tread, your tyre pressures and your screenwash pretty easily can’t you!? So why take it to ATS? The only thing of use that maybe some people can’t check themselves was the battery and exhaust checks. I mean, a windscreen clean in a 10 point check? They try to make it look good by saying they will get the bugs off your headlights....come on guys, we all know how to get rid of a few flies!
I don’t like ATS, as you can probably tell. However, I have also seen a couple of good reviews, and people who swear by them. They must go to a good centre, that’s all I can say. ATS got 1 star out of five from me. They are ok for a new tyre, and I would go again for a new tyre, but I wouldn’t take any crap off them again! I’d much rather go to an Independent garage, and now I do, I may have to wait for them to order a part for me, but it’s cheaper, and they are a lot more honest!
For more info, if you really want it, check out: http://www.euromaster.com
Sounds typical! The extras and unecessary costs some commercail places add, I wish I could find an independant. I actually stumbled across your opinion as my tyre's just blown -puncture, worn thread -Avon's! I need a new front tyre ,as the other front one's worn too I am looking for 2, any opinion on choice of tyre? Just realised it's a year since you wrote this hope your car is running well! -CH
firelighter 23.07.2002 21:50
My experience with my local ats is about the same! Every time I have been there, they have found something wrong. Once, it was shocks, and at least twice for tracking, but each time I got a second opinion, there was nothing wrong. Dave
limotec 07.06.2002 15:26
good review, so many garages these days rip people off. I actually worked for one some years ago Not (ATS) and I know what goes all to well.Most branches are given targets and bonuses that have to be met and so they try it on with the customers. Paul