WEST CHESTER, PENNSYLVANIA -- Pep Boys in West Chester has got to be one of the worst stores ever for management and customer service. As a frequent shopper at the store I've had several disappointing trips but I'm going to tell about our last 2 experiences. My wife's battery died and left her stranded at work. Understandable batteries die, things happen. The battery was less than 1 year old. Having bought a new battery where she was stranded, a replacement was unnecessary. I brought the battery in to Pep Boys, they put it on the charger for 30 minutes or so and said the battery is holding. If the battery didn't hold the charge I would be refunded.
I told them the battery failed my wife once, I do not want the battery. I asked the employee if they would put this battery back into their wife's car? Nope. They told me too bad, I am going to have to eat it. So I went to get the core money back and was told I can't have the money for a reason I am still not certain of. While trying to clearly understand the reasoning the BOSS, as referred to by another employee, told me to "take the battery and leave." Seriously that's how it's handled?
So the previous experience went like this. My wife had a flat tire so I changed it and put the donut on. She went into Pep Boys to have the tire repaired/changed earlier the next morning. The manager was at the service desk, she told them she needed a tire changed. She was told they do not do that here. Pep Boys doesn't change tires? She left and went to Pep Boys in Exton where they did it free of charge. Do we really have to drive an extra 10 minutes to go to the same store? So in conclusion I will not be a frequent shopper at Pep Boys in West Chester no longer. I would advise anyone who reads this the same.
GLASSBORO, NEW JERSEY -- Pep Boys is a bunch of con artist. My heat was acting up so I took it to them while my mechanic was out. I wait for an hour on what's the problem and they tell me 2000 to repair my heat along with other things that need to be done. Apparently my water pump, oil, and holes in my radiator and hoses. Well firstly I got a new timing belt kit with everything about two months ago, about a month ago got an oil change. I take it to my mechanic, it's a FRACTION of the price and of course my radiator and everything else is fine. Oh don't forget the 3 days to fix my car if it was at Pep Boys and they said labor would go up the longer it was there. Never go there!!!!!!!!
MONROEVILLE/WILKINS TWP, PENNSYLVANIA -- My daughter recently took her car to a local Pep Boys store to have new tires put on her car. She was quoted a good price for the tires and the sales clerk she spoke with was knowledgeable on the product, friendly and very helpful. At this point she was pleased and decided to purchase the tires from the store. What happened next is typical garbage that you hear about but hope it never happens to you.
She was contacted by the store to say that her serpentine belt was cracked and needed to be replaced at a cost of $200.00! She thought something may have been wrong with the belt so she agreed to let them change it. But for a cost of $200.00 really? That is ridiculous. There is no way that belt and the labor to install it would have cost $200.00 at any other reputable garage. She was then told that her bushings needed to be replaced as well but it was decided that the work could wait until later. She was once again contacted stating that she needed a some type of a cam kit (?) on her car.
At this point she was extremely upset and I could not understand a word she was saying. This “kit” also resulted in a charge of a few hundred dollars. Her total is now in the $900.00 range. I have heard stories of Pep Boys overcharging customers and making repairs that do not necessarily need to be done and now we have had the unpleasant experience ourselves. It's a shame as I too am due for 4 new tires on my car and was considering taking it to the same location she has. After what has transpired today, I will never take my car or refer anyone to any of your stores for any type of service. I won't even enter one of your stores to purchase an air freshener.
I truly feel that they saw a young women coming into the store alone and she was taken advantage of.
OK, sent my Pontiac to Pep Boys to get it fixed. It wouldn't start. I told them I thought it may be fuel related, but a previous diagnostics (from Pep Boys) indicated a Cam Position Sensor. Any rate, needed checked out. Guy said he wanted a new diagnostics, to keep from having to randomly replace parts looking for the answer. I said OK. Sounded pretty solid to me. Then he calls back needing to put a battery in because mine would not take a charge. Yes it would, I know it would cause I charged it a year ago, and have been driving it since, with no problems. Until the car wouldn't start.
"Fine", says I, "put in a new battery for 94 bucks so you can run your diagnostics". Didn't know they were going to charge me 15 dollars to put in this 94 dollar battery, of course. I called to check on it a few hours later, yes they put in the CPS but they recommended a 4 step pro fuel pkg and tune up and a tune-up pkg, because it looked like it needed it. This was somehow going to jump the price to over 900 bucks. Yes, I told a couple people it was 700 bucks because I was starting to feel silly about how much it was costing, but my reasoning was that I was going to get a car totally redone, and purring like a kitten.
Then I would have a vehicle that presumably lasted me til I graduate. It did. For a day and a half. Back to the story: I called them the next day (Sunday) and asked them how it was going. He said they got the car to start, but it would not stay running, they said it needed an ignition module, 120 bucks with labor run round 300 dollars. I said, put the breaks on pal, I'm done with this. Forget the tune up and stuff, lets get the car running again. He said the tune up was done already. Really. A tune-up done on a car that isn't running. Right. So now we are looking at 1200 plus.
I said "I'm not paying another dollar to get this car fixed. You guys don't know what you are doing." He said he talked to the supe, and she said eat the ignition module and the labor, get me the car, I ended up paying 800. The car ran like a charm til Wed, I get in it to go to class, won't start. This is the same thing it was doing to begin with. So I towed it right back to Pep Boys. Now, today, they said a "MasterTech" looked at it and said the fuel is white. I changed the fuel filter a month ago, and I didn't see any white fuel. It has a gas lid on it. The diagnostics they ran has no codes written down so I can't figure out how much of that stuff should have been done.
At the very least, the diagnostics was worthless, because they ended up randomly replacing parts anyway. Ended up with all that stuff, new belts, plugs and wires, and the CPS unit, the module and some other thingy and no FIRE! For another 523 dollars they could hook me right up. The big issue is, this happens a lot in America. Business doesn't do business professionally or ethically any more. I should have gone and bought the tools and the fuel pump and changed the crap myself, and you can believe me, next time I will. But the more peeps do this, the worse it is for the economy.
I am not the only person this stuff happens to. I bet there is a veritable army of people out there who just really don't want to do business with anyone. :( So where do we go from here?
UPDATE: There was nothing wrong with the fuel system in my car. The problem is still in the CPS. First, the wiring harness was fried. Apparently they changed the plug thingy on the end but left the fried wiring while they started randomly replacing parts. Then, the sensor thing is both internal and external. The thing the plug plugs into has a magnet on the inside of the timing cover that sends a signal to the thing with the wires. The magnet also has to be replaced, and the new mechanic has to fish the old magnet out.
Incidentally, this is the main reason I wanted a mechanic to do it in the first place. I read this on a Pontiac mechanic fix-it forum, and I don't have the tools to go this far with it, and it's a bit above my pay grade. :) So... IF I had gone ahead and let Pep Boys drop the tank for 550 bucks, I would, once again, have gotten my car back still screwed up. And a "Master Tech" was the bright boy responsible for this newest diagnosis. I think I should get my money back. First, the diagnostics report is blank, so I dunno if they should even have replaced the other stuff. 85 bucks for a 4 step fuel tune up pkg that apparently turned my fuel white.
I told them they could take all the belts and battery stuff back off but they said my stuff had already been picked up and tossed. The new mechanic, fixing the real problem, is going to need 578 dollars. At the least, Pep Boys should pay for this, since it was part of the first issue that was supposed to be fixed.
LANCASTER, PENNSYLVANIA -- I brought my car in the shop on Thursday 6/9/11 to have it looked at. The coolant light was on and the temperature was overheating. They explained to me that the water pump and thermostat needed replacing and that was fine. From Thursday afternoon until Saturday afternoon, car still was not done. By the time they called to let me know the car was done, it was explained to me that they had to replace the water pump twice because the first replacement part was defective, and they also had to replace a part in my car that didn't need replacing because it was removed and broken by one of the mechanics. OK, things happen.
Cost of repair $400+. I get the car home and my check engine light is on which was not a problem before I brought the car in. There is a terrible buzzing sound coming from the engine. The car "jumps" every time it is put into gear and while driving on the road so bad that I keep thinking I'm breaking something by putting it into gear. Now the car rides so bad, I'm afraid to drive it, let alone have my 18 year old daughter drive it to work too. I had NONE of these problems before bringing it into Pep Boys. So I bring it in Monday morning to get it checked and question why I am all of a sudden having all these problems with the car.
Spoke to salesman, he stated that NOW my "air sensor" went bad and that needs to be replaced. OK, but why is my car running so bad AFTER I get it fixed for another reason at Pep Boys?? And this is the THIRD time this has happened. The FIRST time, I had my car towed to the shop because it stopped running and wouldn't turn over. They charged my $600+ to "reset" my antitheft system, and the next day the car did the same thing. I had to take it to another shop, who in turn charged me $80 to fix it and I haven't had the problem since.
The SECOND time, I take my car in to get serviced (around Oct 2010), paid for about $980 worth of work on my car and the very next day, I'm driving down the highway and my battery light comes on, my check engine light comes on and the car practically stops in the middle of the highway! When I took the car in after almost crying because I was so afraid to drive the car, they gave me the same story; a part suddenly goes bad right after it gets fixed for another reason that they were unable to find the first time. I asked them to tell me EVERYTHING that is wrong with it so that I can get everything fixed on the car at one time.
When this occurred, the district manager stepped and saw something was not right about this situation and told me to bring the car back to get if fixed properly, free of charge. Now this is happening again to the point where my car is practically undriveable and now I'm thinking about calling an attorney about this and reporting the bad business practices of this shop to everyone I can including the media. And just for the record, I have had my car fixed at other shops and have NEVER had this problem with anyone else. This situation is risking the lives of me and my children and I really don't appreciate this since I've been a loyal customer.
I'm sorry, but as of now, as a single, black female, I'm beginning to take this personal. (Just for the record, it's not the customer service because everyone has been exceptionally nice.)
MORENO VALLEY, CALIFORNIA -- Two years ago I took my 1998 Dodge Grand Caravan in to have the serpentine belt replaced since it was original to the vehicle that now had 119,00 miles on it. The service was relatively quick and the van seemed to have new power and life. Two days later, the belt started squeaking again. I called the service department and the man there told me that it does that for a while when it's new and to not worry. I am not a mechanical person. Over the next 2 years my wife and I drive the van a total of 8,200 miles since I drive a company car.
Fast forward to last night, my wife is driving the van home from work at night and the van suddenly loses power to the steering, but can still accelerate. My wife attempts to pull over, nearly wrecking the van due to no power steering and then the van starts overheating. Upon inspection, the serpentine belt had just come loose. We called Pep Boys since the belt had a 3 year warranty and they came and towed the vehicle to their store nearby. Tow service was quick by the way. :D
Inspection revealed that the serpentine belt had come loose, causing loss of power steering, water pump power was lost and caused the radiator to overheat and crack, thermostat was now damaged as well. After replacing the radiator and reattaching the new belt, the system was pressure tested and revealed that no other components were damaged that may have led to the belt coming off. Interesting... I commented to the service manager that it was not a labor warranty issue as the belt would have come off in a matter of days if not immediately if something was not tightened. Since there was no other problems with the van, then it had to be a belt problem.
To make a long story short, the belt failure falls under warranty and resulted in the damage to the radiator. The service manager does not want to cover it under warranty for unknown reasons. He says that the part was put on 2 years ago, I told him that it had a 3 year warranty. He was then evasive and did not talk to me anymore. I have contacted corporate office and haven't heard back from them yet, I have also contact the Bureau of Automotive Repair and filed a complaint with them.
LAUREL, MARYLAND -- The short story: after a smooth drive of about 30-minute (about 20 miles) from a Pep Boys store to my home, all four wheel covers, claimed by the store to have been installed, on my Honda were missing. The store insists that this was not the store's responsibility. Sounds unbelievable? That's what has happened to me. I record the whole story in the rest of this complaint.
On 7/15/2009, I had some repair/service work, including brake check for my 1996 Honda Accord at the Pep Boys Laurel Maryland store. At about 9:45pm we (my wife and I) picked up the key of the car, which was parked immediately outside the workshop's first bay and was heading to the bay. We walked through the bay to the car from the front and thus didn't notice if the wheel covers were on or not. It was approximately a 30-minute and 20-mile drive from the shop to our home and the car was parked in our single home garage, with garage doors locked.
The next morning, I found that all four wheel covers were missing. I drove the car to the store and spoke to the technician: “you forgot putting on the wheel covers yesterday”. To my surprise, he replied “No, I did put them on”. He also said something that it was not easy to install them and he actually spent some effort getting that done. Well, we had this car for more than 13 year and had driven it for more than 150K miles. The car had been left for services in different shops, including another Pep Boys' store. We never have experienced one single occasion of losing one single wheel cover. How could it be possible for all four to fall off in such a short drive.
I spoke to Mr. A at the service desk on this (note: I know his first name but hide this info for now). Mr. A helped to check the workshop but didn't find any unclaimed covers. He said he would think about this issue and asked me to contact him in an hour. He gave me a business card and wrote his first name on it. I called him after more than an hour. He said that they didn't have the spare Honda wheel covers and asked me if I would accept other covers. I said that other covers would be fine because the car was pretty old. I told him that I would be in the store after work.
However, I later learned that there are different types of wheel covers, some clip-on type and others screw-on, and that my Honda uses the screw-on type. I then called Mr. A in the afternoon asking him what type of covers he had. He told me that the store only had clip-on type. I then said that I would want the screw-on type so that they wouldn't fall off. He said that he needed to order the covers for me and asked my vehicle's identification number (VIN), for ordering purpose. He said that he would call me once the covers became available. I waited for more than a week and never got any call from the store.
I then called the store on 7/24 but the agent answered the phone said Mr. A was not in. I called again today (Monday 7/27) and reached Mr. A. He told me that he actually didn't work on this issue and apologized. He said that he would talk to Mr. B (I know this person's first name but hide it for now), who checked in my car on 7/15. He said that he'd let Mr. B call me. I waited for about three hours but nobody called. I then called Mr. B. To my surprise again, Mr. B insisted that the technician had put the covers on. I asked if the technician put the covers on appropriately and he answered yes.
He said that because I didn't check the wheel before I drove off the car the store would not be responsible for the missing covers. This was not a good logic. Even if the covers were on when I took the car, they shouldn't have fallen off in such a short drive. I ask him to explain why the covers were missing in a 30-minute drive. He said that he didn't know. I told him that there were only three possible scenarios: the covers were not installed; the covers were not installed appropriately so that all of them fell off in a 30-minute drive; and I stole the covers myself.
Since he insisted the first two cases were not true, the only conclusion seemed that I had stolen my own car's wheel covers and tried to cheat the store. No kidding, this would be a criminal act and would warrant a police report (which I probably will need to file if the issue cannot be resolved with the store). I asked to speak to his manager, Mr. B said that he was the associate service manager and that the service manager had known this and shared the same opinion with him.
I asked to speak to his store manager. Mr. B said gave me the manager's first name but said that the manager already went home. He said I could call Pep Boys' corporate 800 customer service number. I found the number from the Pep Boys website and filed the case. I'll report more on this later.
NORRISTONW, PENNSYLVANIA -- Dear Michael CEO of Pep Boys, I decided to take my car to Pep Boys on 5/23/09 store 19 on Germantown Pike in Norristown, PA. My car was cutting off while I was driving it and when I tried to accelerate the car would shake and choke on the gas to the point the check engine light came on. I explain this to the technician. A few hours later they called me and told me my car was ready and what the bill was. I paid the bill and on my way back to my house all the symptoms I dropped the car off for continued. I called the store and spoke with ** the manager. He told me to bring the car back right away.
When I got there he reviewed the work done and said that there was an error code for the transmission and I need to take it to a transmission specialist. I said "I just paid you 411 dollars, my car is just as bad as when I dropped it off and you're telling me to take it elsewhere to have it fixed. Unacceptable." Why did you ask me to bring the car back if you weren't even going to look at it? I felt like I was just being dismissed. He also told me that the tech who worked on it didn't tell him about the transmission error code.
After going back and forth with him for about twenty minutes and being told I don't know what you want me to do, he decided to reimburse my labor money. I would still have to pay for the parts. This is of no help to me. I am not looking for a hand out. I just want my car fixed. The next day I took my car to a transmission place where they told me the symptoms the car is doing has nothing to do with my transmission. I put the car on drive and it goes and I put on reverse and it goes. Not a transmission problem. That same day the car died on me completely. It wouldn't stay on.
I called Pep Boys again on 5/24 and spoke with **. She told me to bring the car in and it would be looked at on 5/25. I get a call on 5/25 from ** who tells me the car starts up rough but it runs. I thought to myself well if it starts up rough as he is stating then clearly there is a problem. I said you have to run it for 25 min or so and that's when the car chokes, shakes and dies out. He said he doesn't know what's wrong with it and I would have to wait till another mechanic looks at it that isn't available until 5/26.
I thought to myself, isn't every mechanic there qualified to work on cars. Why do I have to wait till another mechanic comes in? So here it is Tuesday 5/26 at 1:30pm and I haven't heard from the shop at all. I call the shop and once again I had to explain to the person who picked up the phone what the issue was with the car. I told them I spoke to ** the day before. They put ** on the phone who tells me again they still don't know what the problem is. I ask if they looked at the car yet, he said yes, I asked if I would hear back from them today, he said yes. Gut feeling told me no one had looked at it and I doubt I get a call at the end of the day.
Four days later they haven't figured out what the problem is with the car. That is why I'm writing this email. It seems like there is a lack of communication at the store since I've had to explain what is wrong with the car to various people. Not to mention, when I took the car back on 5/24 I was told by ** the information wasn't in their system. Yet she was looking at a record of the work done that was stored in a file. I am frustrated and I just want to get the service I paid for. If they can't figure it out the problem then let me know and I will pick up the car and take it elsewhere. But don't nickel and dime me in the meantime.
FT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA -- This letter was sent to Corporate without response. On January 30, 2009, I brought my 2000 Chevrolet Blazer into your Pompano Beach location to have my vehicle inspected. I advised the shop manager that I did not have any heat in my vehicle. After 2 hours of diagnosing, it was advised that my thermostat needed to be replaced. I was then quoted to replace that item with some additional services which I declined because I thought it was priced too high.
2 days later, I had replaced this item myself (due to the simplicity of this task) and then proceeded my trip to Connecticut (of which I advised the shop manager this was the reason I originally brought it in). I was traveling through Georgia when it began to get chilly and I turned on the heat but alas, I did not feel any heat even having it turned up hot to the maximum. I turned it off and continued my trip so I can at least make it South Carolina, but could no longer continue the trip due to diminishing weather temperatures.
I pulled off of I-95 to an establishment called Carolina Cars located in Florence, SC and the mechanic, **, diagnosed the problem - my heater core needed to be replaced. If I had known this prior to traveling, I would have had it replaced at that time, but your mechanic, **, diagnosed my problem as the thermostat. I paid a total of $80.09 for a 2-hour diagnosis that wasn't even CLOSE to what the actual problem was. If I had just replaced the thermostat (which I did) and just kept traveling, I could have destroyed my engine.
Adding to this issue, I brought my same vehicle in to have my oil changed on January 5, 2009 which was fine, but while that was occurring, I bought 2 wiper blades in your store and had asked ** to have the mechanic put them on for me while he was doing the oil change. I got back to work and noticed that the wiper blades were not replaced. I then had to take time from work again and have them put them on. Later on in that week, I noticed that there was a shop rag tucked under my hood very close to the motor (I was checking my windshield washer fluid at the time). Could you imagine what would have happened if that rag flew into my motor?!
So let's recap the events: The oil change involved me returning to your shop to have new wiper blades replaced and if I didn't look under the hood of my truck, I would have never noticed the shop rag near the motor that your mechanic neglected to remove before he closed the hood. Secondly, I paid for 2 hours of diagnosing a "no-heat" issue for my truck which was a thermostat replacement only to find out in South Carolina that it was my heater core. If this had not been replaced, my vehicle motor would have eventually been destroyed based up the fact I was traveling 1,400 miles.
This is UNACCEPTABLE under any terms of your establishment! The incompetence of your mechanics could cost customers thousands of dollars in repairs due to incorrectly diagnosing critical issues such as mine. Here is what I proposing: The cost to replace the heater core was $568.29. I am seeking restitution along with $500 for my grief, aggravation, YOUR incompetence and frustration that I was counting on your company to provide me an accurate diagnosis which was never delivered - this is almost comparable to a doctor who diagnosed his patient incorrectly and the patient suffered for it - this is called a lawsuit.
This is not a direct threat in any way or fashion, but merely a way for me to inform you that you are held responsible for your employees actions. So the total settlement I am seeking is $1,068.29. If you choose to decline, I will seek legal council advise, advise the Better Business Bureau, Consumer Affairs and possible media/newspaper publications. There will be no exchange of phone calls. All correspondence will be letter sent as legal documentation.
SALISBURY MARYLAND AND ALL OTHERS, MARYLAND -- Before taking your car for ANY type of service, PLEASE call the service dept for an estimate of repairs. Then call several other places. Shop around. Reason being, Pep Boys recently jacked up their labor rate to 83.00 per hour!!!!!!! In my area, not only is this high, but it's nowhere near comparable to even the dealer! The dealers here, as well as everywhere else is $65.00 per hour. A timing belt installation through Pep Boys is $50.00 MORE and comes with a 6 month labor warranty. The same repair at the DEALER (with dealer parts and certified techs licensed to work on YOUR car) is $50 less, and has a 1 YEAR warranty!
Furthermore you never know what kind of quality you're going to get. You can take you car for engine work and have a MECHANIC with 6 months experience. You can go back the next day and get a certified TECHNICIAN with 15 years experience. More helpful advice if you have NO OTHER PLACE TO GO (like maybe you breakdown on a Sunday, out of town), Pep Boys marks their parts up as much as 40% at the service side. So to prevent getting raped on prices, simply go to the retail side, have a parts person look up the parts you need. Purchase the parts at the register and put the newly purchased parts in the TRUNK of your car.
NOW go to service, and let them know you already have the parts, you just need them installed. You just saved yourself A LOT of cash. Same thing goes if they tell you they have to "out purchase" from another parts store (like NAPA or AUTOZONE). Tell them no thanks, you'll come back with the part. "Out Purchase" literally means the associate at the counter can mark up the price to WHATEVER THEY WANT. The higher the markup, the BETTER they look to corporate!!!!
I've read a lot of other reviews about unhappy customers not getting their money back. I worked at Pep Boys (not proud) for 7 years. THEY WILL ALWAYS GIVE YOUR MONEY BACK if you stand your ground. I've put engines in cars because the customer drove their car 50 miles overheating in excess of 260 degrees (we put a radiator hose on 1 FULL YEAR prior). All you have to do is stay respectful, DO NOT CUSS (you'll just get thrown out), and politely tell them you'll just call 1-800-PEPBOYS. That's usually all you need to say to get a FULL refund.
Simply put, the store manager does not want to deal with the paper work, poor customer satisfaction rating, and being yelled at by corporate big wigs. IF YOU DO have to call, it's usually settled over the phone from there. Just DO NOT leave the store. Let them watch you make the call, or better yet, ask to use THEIRS. Again, YOU WILL ALWAYS get whatever you want. All in all I would say avoid the store completely, they have nothing positive to offer you. Even the parts sold are bottom shelf, VERY poor quality parts. 50% of all starters and alternators installed at Pep Boys are defective right out of the box.