TL;DR - Had some OZ wheels. Bent two rims in a pothole, had them repaired 'professionally' by the Wheel Repair Specialist, 80 Newbury Street, Route 1 South, Peabody for $300 and got cosmetically ruined wheels back. YMMV but no recommendation from me.
It is no secret Boston is riddled with potholes and I am saliently aware many may say serve me right for driving with low profile tires and expensive wheels. But this is about the fact I took two wheels in otherwise good cosmetic condition to a 'professional' business that has now pretty much destroyed them cosmetically if not more at this point. I will say however they are/were at least true and balanced again.
I purchased new OZ Alleggerita HLT wheels, they were less than a year old when damaged. I had them on from June to September last year and had them on for less than a month this year. I took great care of them, kept them clean and polished and although they picked up minor stone chips if you looked really closely, they were never curbed and had no rash marks on them at all.
Early one morning in April I was on my way to Logan airport through the tunnels and the front and rear passenger-side wheels hit a very good sized pothole which immediately caused shaking issues but no air loss. I went to a tire shop and they found and marked two flat spots on the inside edge of the rims. They quoted their own repair rate of $175 a rim plus mounting/balancing charges. I declined at that cost and put my all season tires/stock wheels back on. I have often passed "The Wheel Repair Specialist" on 80 Newbury Street, Route 1S Peabody MA. 01960 - seemed to be the right place to go. http://www.wheel-repair-specialist.com/
They advertise 24 hour turn around and pricing starting at $75
I've have since heard horror stories similar to my own, even down to similar damage done to the center of the wheels. I have found an unresponded report on BBB (they aren't a member so they don't care) so they seem to get away with it and why I write this now for others because if I had known more about this place I could have made a more informed decision. Yes I should have done this homework first but there you go, there's always a bad review for most places and you never know both sides of the story.
I took this first picture before I took the wheels in on April 30th, it shows the wax marks noting the flat spots on the rear of the rim. When I dropped the wheels off I was warned that they were busy and it would be a few days. The price would be $125 for each wheel because $75 only applies to rim only and the unmount/mount balance would be extra. Still this is less than $175 plus from the tire place. All fair enough. They took my phone number and put a tag on my wheels and made me remove the center caps so they wouldn't get lost. the shop was busy and lots of Audi and Mercedes cars around. Certainly nothing to set any alarm bells ringing.
I travel a lot for work and I am away for days at a time so I can be patient and wasn't bothered when a week went by but after another week with no call I stopped in Monday May 14th. After a very long wait in the reception I met who I believe is the owner/manager. He acted surprised I hadn't been called and said that the hubs needed machining as they were warped and it would be another $25 a wheel for machining and were waiting for my authorization on the extra work. I gave my go ahead immediately and was *promised* the wheels would be ready by Wednesday that week (16th). $150 now a wheel and when you're already in for $125 a wheel... whatever, it was getting done.
Again it was easy to be patient when distracted by more travel and finally got a call from them saying the wheels were ready Thursday May 24th. I went in on Friday May 25th and collected the wheels. I paid $300 and was left to collect my wheels from outside. They were incredibly dusty and had oil marks on them, oh well... I'd clean them later that day and then discovered they had tool marks and some much larger "stone chips" bigger than I remembered. I was disapointed but figured they had been repaired and ultimately they are just wheels. I tried to just let my disapointment go and put them aside for that moment rather than get upset. That weekened I had a bit of an accident
so it wasn't until later I actually put the wheels back on the car to discover the center caps just dropped through the wheel! The center of the repaired rims were trashed and the paint all cracked. The repair to the wheels was in fact okay, they were balanced and true but with all the damage and poor care to what had been otherwise cosmetically good and looked after wheels now was too much. It was irritating to have paid so much and have all this additional damage, I would have let it go but there is no way to secure the center caps - the weels looked rough showing a rusty hub nut in the center plus water in the cracked paint would centrifically drive outwards and destroy the finish further.
I went back May 31st and another very long wait in reception. One of the guys who works there dismissed my issue saying they didn't work on that part of the wheel and tried to install the center cap telling me I was doing it wrong and was dumbfounded as it just dropped through the center when he tried.
The owner/manager returned at this point and asked what was going on, he immediately got irate with me after I explained and with fairly hostile reactions made sure I knew they never touched the center part of the wheel and I must have lost a part or something else happened but it was not their fault. I was starting to feel backed into a corner with getting help attempted to point out how poor the customer service was and being treated like I was in some way trying to defraud them. I mentioned the condition of the wheels when they were returned and although I was warned it would be a 'few days' over the normal 24 hour turnaround I had waited nearly a month and for $300 received the wheels in this condition with no apology or explanation. The owner/manager lost his temper with me as I finished my statement and aggresively I was put in my place, I hadn't paid him to wash the wheels, if I had I'd have something to complain about, they only touched the hub and straightened the wheel and I was free to have come and got the wheels whenever I wanted so didn't matter the wheels had been there a month. They were in no way responsible for the damage and I hadn't paid them to refinish the wheels only straighten them. I was also told they worked on cars worth $300,000 or more so 'these wheels don't mean anything to us...' - my response was just to acknowledge the measure of his personality and his less than professional reaction and surprisingly this seemed to change his tune. He was suddenly calmer and more responsive and said this was a professional business and wanted to make this right he questioned his staff if they had lost any parts and even if these were my wheels and not another customers - he then took pictures of the center caps with his phone and said to give him a week to research the problem and he would give me a call, he was going to find whatever was missing or he'd make up a piece if needed so We shook hands and I left. In hindsight the owner/manager lost his temper as soon as the problem was pointed out and I don't think he was mad at me although his reaction was vitriolic, I honestly think it was misplaced and he was just cross his guys had wrecked customer wheels again through lack of care.
I waited a week and then into the next week. I stopped in again on June 12th. Another long wait and the owner/manager appeared his face sort of fell and he looked at my wheels again said he would repair the wheels and seal the cracked paint, if I dropped off the wheels the next day just give him a couple of days and he'd give me a call. I dropped the wheels off the next day but received no phone call, so I stopped in again on June 25th and waited again in the reception. Owner/Manager appeared and seemed iritated I was there again. My wheels were apparently ready and leaning against the wall inside the garage. I was rushed out of the door with my wheels, it was pouring with rain and while they weren't nearly as filthy as the last occasion they now sported even more damage including mini curb rash and a deep cut out of the rear part of the rim, looks like a grinding stone was put against it.
The so called 'repair' to the centers is a very poor effort indeed and I have no idea if adequate. Again, I can ultimately let it go... but it is really disapointing and not at all how I expected to be treated. I certainly can't recommend others get their wheels repaired here, there's no question in my mind I'll ever return. I have lost interest in the wheels... I have two near perfect wheels and these two... back to the start, shouldn't have entertained nice wheels in Boston and none of this would have happened in the first place.