Saturday, September 02, 2006

Repairing Tires with Class

Between my car, da po’ wife’s car, and my work vehicle, we have suffered 11 flat tires since Katrina. Of those, six tires needed to be replaced.

Given my proclivity for collecting nails and screws with the inside of my tires, I quickly became aware of a shop in the 9th Ward [EDIT: Make that Bywater (I think) because it is upriver of the canal] on St. Claude that specialized in repairing tires. For a while, it was the only place close to the 9th Ward that could fix a tire. I never had to use its services, but I did notice on my many work trips to the Lower 9th the long line of customers that did need a good plugging.

During spring break, when many visitors were taking “the drive,” the line of cars with flats or slow leaks waiting to be fixed stretched a block and a half down St. Claude. Since many of those waiting looked like they weren’t from these parts and like the type of people that couldn’t change a tire on their own, I remember thinking the shop’s owner could charge whatever he wanted and those sorry suckers would pay it.

Little did I know that owner Joe Peters was a World Class NOLA resident:
I asked him if he raised his prices a little during that time. "Stayed the same," he answered. "$8.00 to fix a tire. Same today. I don't want to get rich on poor people."
I recommend Joe Peters of St. Claude Used Tires for the position of New Orleans Recovery Czar. He's consistent and doesn’t want to get rich on poor people.

Hell, yeah.


Tim said...

Eight bucks! Way back when, I paid $20 to get a tire patched at a shop in the Sliver by the River. When I went to pick up my tire I noticed a nail sticking out of another tire. The guy jacked up the car and plugged it without taking the tire off. After no more than 10 minutes of effort, he rang me up for $20 more. I asked, "Don't I get a discount for the second one?" He humorlessly said no. I never went back, nor will I for any business ever.

It's not just the price, it's the attitude of some vultures that will short-circuit their businesses.



ashley said...

Hell yeah.

Might I also recommend Burch Tire in Metairie, right offa Airline. They fixed it on the spot for $12, and took a look at my brakes for free. This, when the Goodyear place down the road told me, at 1:00 on a Saturday, that they couldn't get to it until Monday.

But from now on, I'm driving to St. Claude. Get me a Gene's Po Boy on the way.

And I'll second that nomination of Joe for recovery czar.

Schroeder said...

I've started plugging my own tires. At least 6 flats since the storm.

BTW, that guy wasn't just the first guy open after HK -- he never left! Cops were going to him for tire fixes through the hurricanes aftermath, because, he's said, fixing tires is what he does, and he knew people would need his help.

The city should raise a statue to him.