Doubting Thomas

We’ve all heard the stories of how women going into car dealerships, car repair shops, plumbers, electricians, etc. can get taken for granted. It’s frustrating that some tradesmen assume that the pretty little lady won’t know better, and can be convinced to part with her hard earned money. Unfortunately, this must work often enough that they still do it. This is where it really pays off to be a Doubting Thomas.

Just the other day, one of my tires was losing air. It wasn’t flat yet, but I was worried I would come out of the house I was renting on vacation, and it would be flat, so I called AAA, and they sent a guy out to put on my “Donut spare”. There was no charge for this service as it is included in my membership, however, I still needed to get my tire fixed before heading home later this week.

I’ve been enjoying a week in Falmouth, Ma, my old home town, and the next day, I took the tire to a tire shop (who will remain nameless). It was 4pm, and the desk manager said that I would have to leave it, and they would call me once they had a chance to fix it.

At 6pm, he called, and told me that there were 2 holes. One was too close to the wall to fix. It would need to be replaced.

But wait, it gets better. My vehicle is all wheel drive, so all 4 tires need to match, and guess what, they don’t have my tire in stock. I’ll need 4 new ones.

He catches me a little off guard as I am out to dinner with family, but I ask him how long it would take for him to get me a matching tire, and he says “days- it would have to come from Connecticut.” The Doubting Thomas in me felt my radar go up right away. After all, I’m the perfect target for the unexpected upsell.

It’s just me and Spicy Girl, my dog. We are more than 100 miles from home, and the “donut tire” is unsafe for that distance.

Despite this, I tell him, no, just leave it. I’ll be by in the morning to pick up the tire. I know that I can get it repaired somewhere else. If it really cannot be repaired, I need to see the tire and get a second opinion.

A hassle? Sure, but so is spending $300-$700 for tires I wasn’t planning to buy while on vacation!

Spicy Girl and I were out for a walk this morning, when the phone rang. It was the tire place, and guess what, my unfixable tire was repaired and ready to go!

I tell the nice woman on the phone, how the desk manager told me I had to buy 4 new tires as it was not repairable. I said it innocently, despite the fact, that I have heard this story, or one like it hundreds of times from clients, especially women, who get sold up because they just assume they are being told the truth.

So, the story gets better. I go into the store to get my tire put on, and when I went into pay, they told me there would be no charge for the repair. They were sorry. I thanked them and then told them about the book I as writing and how I was going to use this in my book and on my new podcast as it was the perfect story.

I went from paying $700 I hadn’t planned on to $0 for the work I needed.

Sometimes, you just have to ask!

About the author, Kathleen

Kathleen Thomas, who often goes by KT, has over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry and understands the need for women to take control of their financial lives.

A Certified Investment Management Analyst, Chartered Life Underwriter, and Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner, Thomas earned her degrees in Finance and Political Science from Salem College.

Prior to founding NewDay Solutions, an independent Registered Advisor Firm, Thomas spent 20 years as a private wealth advisor for Ameriprise Financial Services. Many of her earliest clients continue to work with her.

Thomas is an avid long-distance runner and triathlon participant. She has completed the Boston Marathon seven times and the Ironman Distance Triathlon three times. She has volunteered as coach and mentor for Girls on the Run New Hampshire and Team in Training.

Raised in Newton, Massachusetts, Thomas now lives in Seabrook, New Hampshire, with her husband, John. They have one daughter.

Leave a Comment