Jake is onto something.
Most places will check the front end for anything ' loose ' VEFORE doing an alignment. Tie rod ends, rack and pinions, balljoints, wheel berrings.. if anyone is worn/broken/out of tolerence, a proper alignment can't really be done.
Go to a different place then you initially went, tell the people there ' Can you check to make sure everything is tight for me ? I checked at my friends garage but he doesn't have an alignment machine so he couldn't do it. '
This will do 2 things.
#1, if they find something loose, they will probably SHOW it to you as you informed them you already had a garage look at it. They will WANT to show you they are better then ' joe down the road '.
#2. this will also prevent you from spending 50-150$ on an alignment that would be worthless in weeks if something was wrong.