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Pep Boys Consumer Reviews - Page 3

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Rude People and Bad Service
By -

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.

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Worst Auto Shop Ever
By -

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.

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Pep Boys…. Scammers and Thieves
By -

Shame on Pep Boys - scammers and thieves. The Pep Boys at 830 Military Dr. in San Antonio, Texas, are full of lies and deceit when it comes to servicing your tires. Your boss, Pep Boys President, Mike O'Dell knows about this and will not get involved. An email to Pep Boys President gets no attention: Today I visited your Pep Boys location at 830 SE Military Dr. in San Antonio. I needed this visit to correct a vibration problem that was felt on my 1995 Mercury Mystique. This has been an ongoing problem since mid 2010, yet I was not made aware of this until recently from my brother.

I entered the service department and was greeted by service advisor ** (I soon come to find out he is the manager, he did not portray the position). I explained that I had a vibration that was getting worse daily and would like to have the balance checked since I had the lifetime balance. ** proceeded to write up a service order, he then walked out to my vehicle looked at the driver side front tire and he came back into the service area stating to me that the tires were almost worn out and they needed to be replaced. I felt this was odd since he just looked at 1 tire, so, I asked what the tread depth was; he stated 3/32"€.

I then questioned him as to what was causing the vibration; being sarcastic, I asked, "is it the air?" Again, he stated that the tires are worn almost to the point of being illegal, which is 2/32"€ (a scare tactic to make a sale by instilling fear into the customer). At that point, the service technician was bringing my vehicle into the bay. My vehicle was lifted into the air by this technician after he performed an inspection in the engine compartment. While in the air the technician also jerked on the front suspension, apparently to ensure there were no loose parts.

I asked ** to inform the technician be careful when removing the hubcaps since 1 hub cap was cracked on the last tire installation at Pep Boys (this still has not been taken care of). ** then went back out to the vehicle, this time a complete walk around the vehicle, looking at the other three tires, only this time he comes back into the service department counter stating that the right rear is not a Pep Boys tire. I tried to explain that my brother has had constant vibration problems with the Mystique, apparently having that tire replaced at another retailer. As a note, I found this Pep Boys tire in his garage gathering dust.

At his point the service technician was in the process of removing the 3 Pep Boys tires so that they could be checked. Each of the front tires were set up on the wheel balancer and spun to check for defects. At this point I noticed from the customer waiting area, that the right front tire had a severe separation which was more than likely the problem that was felt on the steering. I walked into the shop where the tire technician was measuring the tread depth, stating that it was between 4/32"€ and 5/32". This is when I realized that I had just been set up to be scammed. I asked ** where did he get his 3/32"€ tread depth reading from, his remark was by his eyesight.

** and Pep Boys integrity and honesty fell way to trying to make profit and personal gain. ** should have never lied about the measurement, in fact he should have done his job correctly and measured the tread then he would not have to lie to me by telling me that the tires were worn out and needing to be replaced. I know Pep Boys is in the business of making a profit but at whose expense. Also, how many times does this type of selling tactics performed with unsuspecting customers never realizing that they have just been lied to and ripped off?

The next issue was when he decided to do an adjustment on the 2 tires in front, he quotes me a price that put me in sticker shock. Without asking if I wanted the Road Hazard Warranty, he just added the cost into the invoice, then there was a charge for tire disposal (this tire is being adjusted and should be going back to the manufacture for credit, so, no disposal should have been needed), and then there was a charge for tire balancing. Most manufacturers credit the vendor for these charges for providing customer service for the handling their tire adjustments, at least this is the procedure that BF Goodrich used on their adjustments.

I thought this tire was a manufactures workmanship and quality issue not a mileage issue, yet the adjustment was based on of mileage; the terminal did all Johnny'€™s calculation which I feel over charges on this percentage of wear. I rough calculated the percentage worn from the beginning mileage of 80,000 and the current mileage of 116,000 shows mileage of 36,000 miles used out of the 60,000mile warranty. Which roughly calculates this tire worn at 64% yet the Pep Boys system calculated for 71%, I guess another way to make a profit. (A couple of dollars here, a couple of dollars there, sounds similar to a shop supply fee.)

I asked ** why the difference, he stated that he had no control on the pricing since it is all handled through the computer program, (it is easy to pass the blame to corporate, especially when uncertain on how to handle a situation in which he got caught being deceitful to a customer). He then proceeded to show me how he arrived at the adjustment price by inserting the required mileage in the fields provided on the terminal. We talked about other manufacturers of quality tires, (BF Goodrich / Goodyear etc) and the way the tire adjustment manual calculated the cost. I ask if he had the tire manufacture adjustment/warranty literature he stated, "no."

Frustrated, I finally told him to put my car back together and give me the number to Pep Boys corporate office so that I could see about what could be done on this situation, in which he blurted out "1 800 PEPBOYS." He did his best to try to keep me from contacting management in regards to this situation, stating that any calls to that number would be directed right back to him. ** stated, he makes the final decision on the outcome of this situation, since he is the manager and that is the way it is. I don'€™t believe this to be the case since the store name would be ** Boys or something of that sort. Although he does run it as if it were his own. You be the Judge.

I definitely don'€™t trust anything ** has to say now, since he lacks integrity, and has proven to be deceitful in lying to me about my tires being worn out and needing to be replaced, this just to make a sale and more profit. If nothing is done about this situation, then ** 20 plus years of management style will continue to go unnoticed until he is caught in another LIE, then again on this side of town due to the demographics. It is unfortunately easy to get over on customers by being deceitful. The sad part about it is most of them will or may never know.

Lastly, today I also did comparison shopping on this 60,000 mile tire, and it was on average $5.00 more at Pep Boys, than the equivalent name brand tires manufactured by Goodyear, BF Goodrich and others sold at Wal-Mart and Discount Tire, and when it comes time for understanding their customers needs for service and/or adjustments. These retailers are customer friendly, that really makes the difference. I don't want these Pep Boys tires any more after the aggravation this has caused and deceit that I have endured.

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Pep Boys Burbank
By -

My car broke down on the highway on 11/02/2009 and was towed to the Pep Boys in Fontana, they installed a new fuel pump and it ran fine afterward. A few weeks latter my car broke down again and I had it towed to Pep Boys in Burbank. They told me the engine needed to be replaced and it would cost $2,000.00 and I gave them permission to install a new engine. I ended up paying $3,195.00 and taking delivery on 12/9/2009. After a few days I realized the engine sounded a lot different than the original and it was ticking and knocking. When I called Pep Boys they told me it was just a new engine and it was just settling in.

I took it back to Pep Boys on 12/21/2009 and they said there was a problem with the lifters and worked on the vehicle until 2/2/2010. On Dec 23rd 2009 I filled a complaint with Pep Boys and they acknowledged the issue with the engine and provided a rental car until till my car was returned on 2/2/2010. It still sounded like a lighter tick but they insisted it was normal. In August of 2010 I turned my airconditioning on for the first time and noticed it was not working. I called and was told it had nothing to do with the new engine and that it probably would need to be charged. Pep Boys wanted $90 just to look at it and I declined service.

On June 25th 2011 I was returning from a business trip in San Diego when I stopped and filled my gas tank at an Arco station. About 20 min latter the vehicle stopped running completely. It was late so I had to have it towed to the local Pep Boys Tri City/Oceanside store number 742. The store was closed so I had to pay $25 for a taxi to the only hotel in town that had a vacancy on a Saturday night. I then paid $88.09 for the night and $25 taxi ride back to Pep Boys at 9 am the next morning.

On arrival I explained to the service tech that we are stranded and had been there overnight and they agreed to start work immediately on my vehicle and at the time they only had one other car in the bay. Two hours later I returned to Pep Boys and they had not even looked at it. There were several other cars there and after complaining they said they would see if it was the fuel filter and if it'€™s not that it may be the fuel pump. The person working on my car kept disappearing, off to lunch or wherever. At 5:00 pm I started to complain knowing they would close in an hour and I would be stranded again.

At 6 pm they told me the engine installed at the Burbank Pep Boys was junk and that they will have to install a new one. We also noticed that the original paperwork was incorrect and they showed my odometer at 1 mile at the time. After an hour of arguing the manager (**) told us it would take 7 days to install a new engine and we were told they would work things out with Burbank Pep Boys. He then made arrangements to get us to a rental car place and said they would pay for it for seven days while the work is being done and he called and got an estimate for $201.53.

He told me I would have to pay for it up front because the rental car they usually use is closed on Sunday but he would reimburse me at a rate of $29 per day. June 27th 2011 10:18 am ** the manager in Oceanside called me to say that they would not replace or repair the engine because it is no longer under warranty and Burbank Pep Boys will not stand by the repairs. He said that Oceanside will pay for the rental car they had me get yesterday but will only pay for that day and today and that I have to return the car today.

June 27th 2011 10:36 am I called and spoke to the service manager in Burbank (**) explained and talked over the whole situation. ** explained that the engine block they purchased from another vendor and it had problems with the lifters and that is why it was making the noise. He said that during the time they had it they sent it back to the vendor but he didn'€™t have the time or capacity to repair or replace it. I call, calling daily to get my car back and they were paying for a rental car so they cut their losses and tried to fix it themselves.

He said he will work with me and he would fix it no charge and if they couldn'€™t repair the engine (send it to a machine shop) they would replace it BUT they won't pay for the tow from Oceanside to Burbank or for my rental car. I called several towing companies and it would be a minimum of $500 to tow it to Burbank. I asked him why they can't just fix it in Oceanside and he insisted he would not and could not do anything unless they car was in Burbank. 11:55 am ** from Pep Boys tri city called and will release the vehicle at no charge and will pay for two days of rental car and told me I could return it to any Enterprise rent a car.

I called Enterprise and they will charge an additional $50 if I don't return it to the San Diego Airport. I've called 1(800) pep-boys but the line disconnects (4 times). Finally got through to the complaint division and spoke with **. I explained everything and they re-opened the case I filed back on Dec 23rd 2009. Total spent $3,880.57 and I still don'€™t have a car and am paying per day for a rental car.

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Pep Boys Thinks People Are Stupid - Nothing but Lies
By -

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.)

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How They Are Cheating the Customers
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MARLTON, NEW JERSEY -- Hello Guys, I got very bad experience with Pep boys Auto at Marlton, New jersey location. This whole thing is done in 3 days. This is I am writing for not to get cheated by others. This is all about my observation from my bad experience. It is lengthy but worth to read. You can get an idea how they are trying to cheat us. I am not good at written English so please excuse me If I cannot explain well.

My car details: 2002, Oldsmobile, Intrigue. Car Issue: Service engine soon light turned on. My experience with Pep Boys Auto: I went to Pep Boys Auto and gave for diagnose the issue. They said $103.96 (89.99 +parts 7.17 + tax). I said okay and gave for diagnose the issue. They called me after diagnose the issue and told that the issue with "Air pump diverter valve" (front one is damaged) needs to be changed (they recommended to change both valves front and rear). I asked him "how much the cost for part and labor is?" They said $69 for labor and part value is $371 (for front part only). I told him "I will call you back for the confirmation to change."

I tried to find out the rate from GMC dealer, when I find nearest dealer from Pep Boys. I got Marlton New jersey, I got Burn Buick - Pontiac- GMC (this dealer is apposite side of the road to Pep Boys auto (500 W RTE 70)). I called to this dealer and gave my car VIN and part name then the guy gave me the rate is $259 (front part only). I called Pep Boys and asked him which one is the best to get repair in low cost (I mean shall I go to the dealer or get repair with the Pep Boys which one is best?). He said "I will call you back around 11am." I said "Okay."

I got call from Pep Boys and he said that the rate is around $304 for the part. Then I asked him why is the rate is much variation with the dealer? He said "you can buy that part and bring that to here so that we can fix it and charge for only labor." I said okay and I went to the Pep Boys Auto and asked for diagnose report for bring the part. He said there is no diagnose report only they will say orally and by hand writing. Asked him to write the part name in a piece of paper. He gave me the Pep Boys Auto Business card to write the part name, then I took that and write on that required part name.

Then I went to Burn Buick - Pontiac - GMC dealer to get the part. I gave that Pep Boys Auto business card because I wrote the part name on that card. (My doubt has started here.) When I gave the card he immediately called to that Pep Boys Auto. I shocked. (In generally if we ask the part he should give the part and give the bill but he directly called to Pep Boys.) Here we can understand how the relationship between them. After he spoke with that Pep Boys guy he told me the rate $298+tax (it will comes around $304). Then I told him "I spoke today morning with your parts department and they told $259." (Here we can see his expressions in his face).

Then he called to Pep Boys again and told him about this issue. He spoke with him and trying to hide the issue. This dealer guy is told me he doesn't have those parts and the cost is $259 each after 20 minutes and he said "you should change the front and rear valve parts." If I want that, I need to give order. He gave me the estimation invoice with the parts details. Next day I called Pep Boys Auto and said that to fix the issue because I did not get the part from dealer. He said okay and he is going to give order for that part (I asked him to replace front part only).

After 1 hr I called again to Pep Boys and told him I need car before 5 pm on that day. He said it is not possible. So I said to cancel the order and do Oil change only. He said okay but if order cannot be able to cancel, I should pay the part cost. I requested him to try to cancel the order, he said okay. He called me and told me that my car is ready with only oil change. I said okay and I will come for pickup my car. I went for pickup my car to Pep Boys Auto. Actual required repair is not done, so I asked diagnose report for my future reference, if I need to repair my car in other auto repair shop.

Here is my question I asked Pep Boys auto service people: If I want to repair my car in another auto repair center, I need the diagnose report so that I can ask them to replace the part. (Because I don't want to pay again $100 for diagnose in another auto repair center.) Answer: But he (**) said there is no diagnose report only they will tell orally otherwise they will write by hand. (For getting this sentence from them I got ½ hr time). My request is declined from starting of my discussion. After ½ hr another senior aged person came and write required part name on my invoice paper (initially they written on my back side of invoice envelop).

Conclusion: Cheated by the dealer, GMC dealer guy parts department (**) is working for Pep Boys not for that particular dealer (its looks like cheating the customer). Cheated by the Pep Boys Auto guys, Pep Boys guy (**) is talking unnecessary things, because we should get repair by the Pep Boys or not decision taking by the customer not the Pep Boys guys (their intention is I should get repair in Pep Boys). If I was not realized because of this cheating I may be get repair in Pep Boys.

I spoke with mainly 3 guys totally in this above conversation. **: He was just did his job (I won't say he is wrong guy). **: I spoke with this guy ½ hr in above conversation. ** (GMC-dealer): around 20 minutes taken for giving the part rate and availability. Finally Surprising thing is: Without get repaired my car is now not turned on "Service Engine Soon light". If the issue is in my car still it should turned on "Service Engine Soon Light".

I think they are tried to cheat me without having the issue in my car, they tried to replace the part (I don't think they will replace the part they will charge me just like that) that means no part should be changed and there is no repair in my car but we get bill for some $300 bucks. I realized that "Service Engine Soon Light" is turned on because of doing late oil change. Here, they were not even changed the sticker for next mileage for oil change. Advise: Be careful guys If you are not careful they can do anything. Note: This is all my observation in my experience.

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Unbelievable: A Pep Boys Store Doesn't Assume Its Responsibility Which Is as Clear as Black and White
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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.

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Rip Off Boys
By -

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.

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Incompetent Company and Employees
By -

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 "€œno-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.

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Customer Satisfaction - Thanks Pep Boys
By -

NORFOLK, VIRGINIA -- Here is the following situation regarding Pep Boys in Norfolk, VA (Store no. 111): Nov 8, 2008 I went to Pep Boys to buy some products. I happened to talk to a sales person (black heavy set male) who seemed to be a manager and was very nice. I changed my power steering pump myself and after proper priming procedures still had a loud whine (95 Ford Ranger). I also noticed my brake fluid was very dark and was going to change it myself because Firestone wanted $74 to change it and the local auto shop wanted $60. I already bought fluid, etc.for the job.

However, last night the gentleman told me he would charge me $49.99 to change the brake fluid and thirty or so to flush the power steering to help kill the P/S whine. He also stated that the vehicle would have to be driven 500 miles or so before it should go away since the P/S was just replaced. We talked about Firestones prices and how because of his low price I would let Pep Boys do both jobs. He took my name down for a 9 a.m. appointment.

In honor of our agreement I arrived at Pep Boys at 8:45 a.m. and they got my truck in a little after 9. The sales person, who was also present the night before at the counter, completed the paperwork and asked me to sign so they could work on my truck. They finished the truck at 10:40 a.m. Before I paid I said the price for the brake service was incorrect and the sale person stated that's what we (Pep Boys) charge.

I explained that it was too high. I reminded her of the conversation the previous evening and she stated she only remembered the power steering part of the conversation. I told her that's the reason I came in to have the work done. (The sales person from last night was not present this morning).

I said can't you reduce the cost to what I was told last night and I advised her "why would I drive 5 miles and pay $65 for a brake bleed job when they charge $60 on the base where I am stationed?" She then stated, “You signed the paperwork!”

I stopped my protest at this point because she would not budge on her stance and I did not want to make any further scene in front of the other customers. I stated that I would not argue any further, that she got me, and she was right that when I signed, I didn't look at the price. I assumed that the brake fluid change was Pep Boys' regular price and that the price quoted the previous evening would be honored.

However, the next day the manager "Todd" called me and asked for me to come in to get the difference and he apologized for the mistake on our agreement. When I arrived we shook hands, he refunded me the difference and parted on great terms. Re-learned Lesson: read before you sign - don't assume! Note: Pep Boys' prices are lower than Advance Auto Parts on average. Thank you again, Pep Boys.

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1.9 out of 5, based on 39 ratings and
130 reviews & complaints.
Contact Information:
Pep Boys
3111 West Allegheny Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19132
215-229-9000 (ph)
215-229-5076 (fax)
www.pepboys.com
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