PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY -- All I needed was a simple oil change. I made an online appointment for 11:00am and arrived 5 minutes before. Waited 20 minutes in line while others tried to resolve their problems and finally spoke to somebody at 11:15. I was told at that point that it would take 90 min. to complete. I asked what do long and was told it was because of the tire rotation which takes an hour (bull).
This is part of the basic oil change package and online appointments are scheduled at 60min. intervals.... I thought this to be excessive. I decided to try it anyhow, but after an hour my car was still sitting in the lot and I gave up, got my key and left. Terrible management at this place and even worse customer rapport. They actually asked me if I wanted to reschedule. I'll never go back. Appointments are a total waste of time.
SIMI VALLEY, CALIFORNIA -- I went to Pep Boys Simi Valley to have my P/S pressure hose (steering) remove and replace because of the leak. Aside from the cost of labor of $245.80 for removing and replacing the pressure hose, Pep Boys added what they call Pepguard Limited Extended Labor Warranty for an additional $36.47 making total labor cost of $282.27. They said that the additional $36.47 is a warranty in case the work done by the mechanic is not satisfactory, I can return the car without any labor cost.
I feel I am being rip off so I asked information from a Nissan dealer and got an information that they do not charge their customers additional labor warranty. I requested Pep Boys to return to me the amount of $36.47 which they did. However, the following day, I found out that the pressure hose is still leaking. I called Pep Boys and told them about the matter and inform me since I do not have a labor warranty anymore, I have to pay again the labor for repairing the job that their mechanic did not do his job well.
CULVER CITY, CALIFORNIA -- Well I went in for an alignment, added an oil change. They started with the oil change. After 2 hours and still in the oil change I told them it was the slowest oil change I ever had. The manager overheard me, tell the asst. manager and offered to give me 10 percent off the bill. I thank him. Then after the alignment the asst manager gave me the bill and took off 2 dollars off 186 or 184. 10 percent is 18.60. I said, "You told me the total was 186." She said, "I took 10 dollars off the alignment." I guess if she did she added 8 dollars to something else. Well in case they don't know that's one and a half percent, not ten.
CRESTWOOD, ILLINOIS -- First, some history on my 2000 Chevy S-10 4X4. My truck is in excellent mechanical condition. Maintenance has always been performed by the book, on time, no short cuts, no exceptions. On my way into work on 12/10/2010, I began hearing a noise on the front driver's side of my truck which I assumed to be a bad wheel bearing. I took it to Pep Boys in Crestwood Illinois and talked with the service manager. The service manager initially gave me an estimate of $45.00 to investigate the noise.
The service manager called me a short time later and stated that the noise was from three lug nuts that were where loose on my front wheel and that these were tightened and everything was OK. The service manager stated "you could use rear brakes". The service manager went on to say "You could use pads, rotors, and bolt kits(?)". I explained to the auto repair manager that I had rear brakes/rotors replaced 7000 miles ago. The service manager stated that "they look real bad". Given that I had no interest in doing a brake lob in 5 degree weather and against my gut feeling, I told the service manager to go ahead with the rear brake work.
The service manager called a second time a short time later. He stated that I needed a front lower ball joint, that there was a lot of play in it. Given that I did not feel like doing a break lob AND a ball joint in 5 degree weather again, against my gut feeling, I told the service manager to go ahead with the repair. The service manager called me a third time a short while later and his opening comment was "how long do you plan on keeping your truck". My first thought was "here we go, I am getting my leg humped by this guy for un-needed work". The service manager stated that his mechanic "chewed up the upper ball joint trying to remove the lower one".
At this point, I said "stop what your doing". I told the service manager that I brought my truck in for a noise in the front end that was resolved by tightening the loose lug nuts and now I have purchased rear brakes and a ball joint that "I could really use" and now you are telling me I need another ball joint. Already having the feeling that I am being taken complete advantage of. I told the service manager NOT to do any additional work, do NOT call me with more needed work and to return the old break shoes, rotors, and ball joint to me. I picked up my truck later in the day. The initial estimate of $45.00 swelled to $650.00.
The next morning at work, I asked our truck mechanic (32 years' experience) to take a look at the parts that were removed from my truck by Pep Boys. The following is what I was told about the parts: Brake pads when new typically are in the range of 3/8" to 1/2" of pad thickness. My old pads had 3/8" pad surface left. My rotors were not smooth like glass but showed normal signs of use. New rear rotor thickness is 0.79. My rotors were at 0.77 and could have been lightly turned rather than replaced.
The stud end of the old ball joint was clamped into an 18" vise mounted to a plate steel table. A 36" pipe wrench was applied to the underside of the base adjacent to a steel block. Upward force was applied to the ball joint base. Using this crude set up to measure play, it was established that there was less than. 005" of play and the ball joint did not need to be replaced. In addition, after checking my receipt, I found three line items for "Extended Warranty" which I never authorized to be put on my credit card.
I went back to the store and saw the service manager waiting on a customer back in the service department. I told one of the store associates that I wanted to speak with the service manager and left my name. 5 minutes later the associate told me that the service manager was not available and that he (the associate) could help me. I told the associate that I have two questions. First, what is the $35.00 shop fee that was charged to my credit card? The associate said it was a disposal fee for the parts removed, especially the brake pads because they contain asbestos and are hazardous.
I explained that all the parts were returned to me and therefore Pep Boys disposed of nothing related to my repair and I asked that the $35.00 disposal fee be removed from my credit card. The associate stated that that was a standard fee charged to all customers and the fee could not be removed. I then asked about the "Extended Warranty" charge of $23.46. The associate told me that the service manager had asked me if I wanted an extended warranty and I agreed to the charge. I asked for documentation to this effect and the associate said "see, here it is right on the receipt - authorized by phone".
I explained to the associate that I did not authorize the warranty in fact an extended warranty was never discussed and I wanted the charge credited to my card which he did. The associate stated in a very authoritative voice "if you cancel your warranty and the breaks fail after 90 days, we will owe you nothing." I replied "IF MY BRAKES DO NOT LAST LONGER THAN 1 1/2 TO 2 YEARS, I WILL NEVER SPEND ANOTHER PENNY AT PEP BOYS". I have submitted the facts above to the CEO of Pep Boys. While I intend to pursue this, I thought it fair to allow the CEO a reasonable time period to respond to this predatory, fraudulent behavior first.
Depending on the CEO's response, and in view of many similar complaints I have seen on the internet, I am considering contacting my states attorney to discuss a class action suit against Pep Boys. Having purchased at Pep Boys from time to time over the last 20 years and having been mostly satisfied, as far as I am concerned after this fraud that was perpetrated on me, Pep Boys is a predatory auto repair facility. Pep Boys is dishonest, and Pep Boys has lost all credibility with me.
NOTE: The Pep Boys CEO contact information can be found via Google search. Might not hurt to drop him a few lines if you have been defrauded, taken advantage, or otherwise cheated by Pep Boys.
PANAMA CITY, FLORIDA -- I dropped my truck off for service this morning at about 10am for hesitation and rough idle issues at the Panama City, FL 23rd Street location. I was told by the service manager that they would run a diagnostic test and have an estimate for me by early that afternoon. I left at that point to run some errands. By 4pm today I had not heard from them so I called to check the status of my vehicle. I was told by the employee that he just got on shift and would check on it and call me back. Two hours later at 6pm I still had not gotten a call. So I called again. Again I was told there was no information and I would be called.
An hour later at 7pm I physically drove to the location thinking that they must know something. When I arrived the employee at the counter pulled my file and told me they didn't really know what was wrong with it but I "should" replace the coils, plugs, plug wires, PCV, Air Filter, Fuel Filter, and get a Fuel System Cleaning to see if that fixes the problem. I had a problem with this as I had recently had the wires and plugs replaced and the fuel filters replaced at Firestone 3 months ago. This told me they really didn't look at anything on my vehicle. And to top it off they had no estimate as to how much all of this would cost and told me they would call me later.
I decided at that point I did not want them to touch my car and asked for my keys. The employee then rang me up $103.97 for the "diagnostic" test that apparently can't tell them what is wrong with my truck. I asked to speak with his manager which turned out to be a big mistake. When I told the manager about my wait, the issue with not knowing what was wrong and my dispute about the diagnostic fee he became very belligerent and aggressive. He screamed at me and when I tried to speak he talked directly over me. Towards the end of our conversation he came to the counter, put his finger in my face and leaned forward in a threatening manner.
I told him if he continued to be aggressive I was going to contact the police. He continued to do so and was extremely belligerent. At that point I stepped out of the store into the parking lot to contact the police. I advised them I was not comfortable with the situation as a 6 foot tall well over 200 pound man was threatening me. (I am a 5 foot 2 inch woman and very small in stature.) When the police arrived the manager accused me of threatening him and that I was going to leave without paying the bill. Neither of which I had done or intended on doing. It was at this point I just paid the bill and am in the process of contacting their corporate offices.
I wanted this to go out to a warning to anyone thinking of going to this or any other Pep Boys. I do not recommend going to Pep Boys for any repair as I believe them to be dishonest, belligerent, aggressive, and they have the worst customer NO service I have EVER experienced. They will charge you for diagnostic fees and then tell you they do not know what is wrong with your vehicle. They are unapologetic for their incompetence and totally unhelpful.
EVANSVILLE, INDIANA -- I notice a small amount of antifreeze on my garage floor. I do most of the mechanic work on my car and truck. So I started checking for the leak. Checked radiator, radiator hoses, heater hoses, coolant line for oil cooler, I noticed small amount of seepage around lower timing belt cover and water pump. I was going to make the repair but my wife thinks I'm too old to still be working on my truck. So I took it to Pep Boys and told them about the water pump leaking. I know when you replace the water pump it is best to replace the timing belt too because you must remove the timing belt to get to the water pump. This was quoted as five hour job.
Took it in first thing Monday morning. Repair was completed on Saturday at 7:00 PM. Picked up truck first thing Sunday morning. Asked the service manager if I could drive it to Indianapolis IN, he said no problem. I paid my bill and drove to my home in Newburgh IN which is about seven miles from the Pep Boys location in Evansville IN. I parked my truck outside my garage while I put some of my things back in my truck when I noticed antifreeze leaking rather badly under my truck. I drove back to Pep Boys while watching temp gauge which never ran hot.
I was telling the service manager about the leak when the mechanic standing there said, "are you driving the T100?", I said "yes I am." He said you have a bad radiator leak, I told him it was not leaking when I brought it in, and he said he did nothing to it. The top radiator tank was cracked on the side next to the motor. I asked if he removed the radiator to replace the timing belt and water pump like the manual calls for and he said no. He laid a piece of cardboard on the radiator and laid on it to do the work. The top radiator tank is plastic like most cars and trucks use nowadays. Without liquid in the tank it is not very strong.
And when he was lying on the radiator he cracked the tank. They wanted 379.99 for the radiator and 79.00 for labor to replace it. I got my key and left. They wanted me to pay for the radiator that they damaged while working on my truck. The next day I went back and spoke with the store manager, he went and spoke with the mechanic that had worked on my truck, then we went out and looked at the cracked top radiator tank, he said "it's been leaking a long time. We can not do anything about it." I told him it was not leaking when I brought it in.
I went home and was telling my neighbor about what happened to my Toyota truck since he has a Toyota truck the same year. I told him what I had replaced and about the leak when I got it home. He said "they cracked your top radiator tank." I said "how the hell did you know, I just left the store." He said when Toyota replaced his timing belt and water pump they cracked his top tank. They did not remove his radiator to replace timing belt and water pump, they laid across the top of it like Pep Boys did. But Toyota replaced the radiator that they cracked, no charge because they cracked it.
I called the store manager and told him about what Toyota did to my neighbor's truck. He said "but your truck is going on sixteen years old", and I told him my neighbor's Toyota truck is the same year. He said "yours has been leaking a long time." I filed a complaint with the BBB. Have not heard anything yet. Do not trust PEP BOYS AUTO. I will tell everyone I meet not to take anything to Pep Boys Auto. Pep Boys did a pressure test on my truck while they had it. No mention of a radiator leak. Isn't that strange. They also charged 35.00 for an electrical evaluation. I don't know why. Bunch of crooks.
Pepboys payed for the radiator that they damaged, and refunded the money charged for and electrical evaluation that they failed to do. Still will not do business with them again.
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.
HICKSVILLE, NEW YORK -- Back in December, I brought my car to the Pep Boys in Hicksville, NY (on Long Island), as my engine was overheating. They took it in and worked on it for a few hours while I waited. That night, I got my car back and, ~$500 later, it was working. Fast forward to March, and my car started to have the same issue. I thought "There's no way it's the same thing" and had it towed to another shop nearby that my boyfriend had used. Lo and behold, it was the same issue (thermostat housing was leaking). I called Pep Boys and had it towed to their shop. They had the car from Thursday til Monday, and when I picked it up Tuesday, my car was dead.
An employee jumped my battery, while casually informing me that my battery was old and I needed a new one (he didn't push me to buy it there, but noted I should have it charged when I got to my destination, which was school). My car was also completely out of gas, but thankfully I was able to fill up. As I drove home from school that night, the engine started to overheat again. My father called Pep Boys and they admitted that the car was left on overnight (with the keys in ignition), and that's why it was dead. They also fixed a "different leak", and told me to bring it back. I left it off again, and picked it up a few days later.
I brought it to my boyfriends for the weekend, and when I drove it again on Monday, the same problem happened again. I brought it back and left it off, as I couldn't afford to bring it elsewhere. When I picked it up this time, they let me know that back in December, the wrong part had been put in, but they ordered a new one from the dealer. However, my freeze plug had popped out and they couldn't fix it, so they made me drive my car to another auto shop (they insisted that it was safe, despite my complaints, and the fact that it was smoking). The man at the next shop told me it was a huge job where he'd have to drop the engine, and would cost me about $1700.
Finally, corporate got back to my father, as he had been calling the last few weeks. He spoke to a woman, Mrs. **, who apologized and told him to bring the car to Pep Boys, and they would tow it to another of their locations equipped to handle the job. She then called me and let me know that this was not how Pep Boys works, and told me they would refund my tows, any travel expenses I had incurred from not having a car, and the original $500. She was incredibly helpful and nice, and gave us no attitude or problems. She admitted their faults and assured us the employees would be dealt with, and kept in close contact with us.
When my boyfriend rented a car (as I am not old enough) she also reimbursed us for that. I was extremely upset and frustrated with the company, and felt cheated. However, ** is an amazing person and knows how to truly run a business. She worked with our issues to come up solutions and was gracious and honest.
It's hard when a well known company has some workers that don't care or misunderstand their jobs, but what's important is that the company itself was willing to admit wrongs and take care of their mistakes. Her help has restored my faith and showed that the company truly does care about its customers, even if someone else doesn't follow policy and makes a mistake.
PORT JEFF STA, NEW YORK -- I have been a customer for many years at this Pep Boys. Until the last 4 months I have not experienced any problems. But they have misdiagnosed now 2 different cars, and charged me money for those evaluations. First was my car, towed into the shop after it broke down. They tested the car and said I simply needed a battery. I drove the car to the store and home and to work the next day. I left work that night and again the car broke down. After a second 2 hr tow wait, again to the shop they said they retested the electrical system and must have given me a bad battery. They installed a new one, and I left.
I went back and forth to work the next day, however, the next morning the car broke down on the way to work. Another 2 hr wait for a tow, back to the shop. Waited for a 3rd evaluation and the 3rd mechanic comes in to inform me not only do I need another battery, but the problem was the alternator. They made good on it by obviously paying for the 2nd and 3rd tows (19.99 ea) and didn't charge me labor on the alternator.
A few weeks later I went in for a simple oil change and also to complain my belts had been loudly squealing since the alternator work. They changed the oil and told me they checked the belts and there was nothing wrong. (They squeal to this day.)
My daughter's car went in on Mon. We told them it needed a tune-up, but that there was a shimmy in the front end of the car. They told me it would be 89.99 to evaluate. We said OK. The man, **, said all he had to do is get the keys, have her sign the order on the little screen and he would print out the order and give her a copy. I step away to the ladies room. I came out she was there waiting, we went to breakfast. I asked her for the paper and noticed another 19.99 charge in addition to the 90 dollar one.
He also put down she needed brakes instead of the tune-up we told him about and wrote down her engine light was on (we said it flashed because of the tune up) and that the car was shaking violently (it was a shimmy) - I asked "What is this?" and did he say anything to her. She said all he said was to sign the screen. Needless to say when we got back, I complained about the extra charge, he said he told us about it. The disagreement ensued and they removed the charge. They then informed me they couldn't help me that it was her differential. We would have to take it to a transmission place.
The next day we took it to Aamco. They evaluated the car (for free) and told us they don't know why Pep Boys said it was the differential, there was nothing wrong with it. He suggested to take it to another mechanic. Day 3 of our saga, we went to another shop, recommend by a friend. The shop evaluated the car (for free) and found it was the left outer tie rod causing the shimmy. (Please note Pep Boys did a Steering/Suspension evaluation too which was the extra charge we found out it wasn't included it the car evaluation.) Finally the car is fixed after 3 days and 3 shops.
I called the 1800 Pep Boys number to lodge a complaint for the 90 charge for an evaluation that was totally useless. They gave me a complaint number and said I would hear from them within 48 hrs. About 45 minutes later the Service Manager, ** called me from the PJ shop and was angry. He was rude and in the end told me "Just come get your refund, because you're really not worth the aggravation." I went down there, walked in, he greeted me with a smile, until I told him who I was. The smile left his face to anger, told me to follow him, (to the register) he told the girl to give me the refund for the amount on the paper.
He leaned over to her ear and said "2 and 3 party evals and she wants a refund from us? This is **." and he walked away. That is the last time I will ever go there for anything. It's sad it used to be a nice, knowledgeable shop, but they've had mechanics leave and the talent is no longer there. I have a new place to go for car work and if I need any auto goodies I'll go to the new Autozone that just opened across the street. I called the 1800 PepBoys number back and the person was very uninterested in my experience.
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, let's 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.