MOBILE, ALABAMA -- Traveling through Mobile en route to Florida, I had a hose bust in my engine. I got towed to a Pep Boys because they were open on Saturday. I purchased a generic hose because they didn't have the right one in stock, and I installed it myself. At that point, upon leaving the parking lot, my serpentine belt snapped, so I turned around and got in line. A new belt was installed inside of 20 minutes for a staggering 108$ (I guess I should carry a ratchet set with me) and I was on my way.
Around the corner from the Pep Boys, my car stalled in the middle of an intersection. I had to jump out and push it out of the intersection because it wouldn't restart. I called the store I had just left and they told me to call the national hotline for a tow back to the store (less than a half mile). The national hotline told me it would be 90 minutes for a tow, and I promptly told them I could push it there faster, which I proceeded to do.
I was unable to get it over the final hurdle into the parking lot, so I solicited the help of a mechanic at the store, which he was glad to do. This was a few minutes after noon. That same mechanic said it was likely bad spark plug wires or a bad timing belt, but the diagnostician was needed to say for sure.
Long story short, I must have asked them for an update on my car a dozen times, with no updates available. After waiting all day, I finally booked a hotel and called a cab at 5pm. I still haven't received a phone call on the diagnosis, and I have grave doubts about actually receiving said phone call. Hopefully something happens before checkout time in the morning, though.
MARIETTA, GEORGIA -- I have a 10 year old BMW with 101,000 miles on it. It crapped out on me for the first time in 10 years in a city I had only been in for six months. The tow truck driver recommended Pep Boys. I told the service rep, with a car as old as mine, there would probably be a lot of bells and whistles going off when he ran the diagnostic and I will get to all of those problems once I have bought my son a car. I only wanted him to perform the work needed to get my car back on the road as fast as possible.
I get a call later that evening with a quote of $1960.61. I understand BMWs cost a little more to repair than other cars, but I knew instantly that I was getting screwed. With a little help from my big brother, we got the estimate from Pep Boys and ran a check on parts through the BMW dealer's service center in my area. Pep Boys was charging me 45% over retail cost of the dealership service center! Labor charges were $25.00 more per hour at the dealership, but it would have still cost more at Pep Boys and here's why. They estimated around 8 ½ hours of labor.
I had my car towed to the new destination around 1:00 in the afternoon. I left around 1:45. I was told not to expect to hear from them until the next day, but at 6:00 pm (4 hours later) I received a call telling me that my car was ready with the exception of the airflow box and vent Pep Boys failed to include with my car when I had it towed! It only took 4 hours to fix my car!
Remember that $1960.61 price tag Pep Boys put on the parts and repair? Well, the total cost to fix my car which included the upgrade to a hydraulic tensioner (much pricier than the one Pep Boys was going to put back on my car) came to $834.58. Over $1000.00 dollars cheaper! Work performed by a certified BMW technician and all OEM parts. Might be a good idea for Pep Boys to change that catch phrase about doing it for less before someone pelts them with a false advertisement law suit… LOL! Needless to say, I have found my new car doctor and it is NOT Pep Boys.
As I moved through the hiring process at a Pep Boys, I found agreeable manager. After repeated specific comments regarding a low back and knee problem, I was told (promised) that I would be able to use a stool intermittently due to disc problems and knee issues, pain. As I began working, I found out that the $9-11 per hour salary and commission was in fact $7.25 per hour and 7% commission. On day 1 I read and agreed to a lesser sum of $72.5 per hour wage and 7% commission.
I liked the staff and the job, so I stayed. I was constantly quoted that the combined hourly wage and commission total about $11-12 per hour. When another service writer shared his sales and commission, it was paid out at approx. 2.25%. Ok, again this was a learning situation, and if the money did not develop, I could take my experience and move on to another company. So to recap...the store manager quoted $ 9-11 per hour wage and 7% commission, not bad for a hectic, angry public interaction sales job. Well it became $7.25 hour and about 2.25%.
Finally, the (we will work it out) promise/commitment was a completely denied by another "manager" from another dept. You see, everyone is the other bosses's boss when the other boss is not there. I was told no stool-no way. There are cameras watching. They will see you, and I will get it. This "manager" on duty from another dept. called the 'manager' that hired me and promised the "stool use" I was asked, "What is going on?" I mentioned the stool and suddenly the stool use was only during the time I was sitting in front of the computer terminal doing "learning modules".
That was absolutely not what was committed to me at the hiring/interview phase. I am not lazy. I have a particularly aggravated disc/sciatic nerve problem, that will not get better in spite of physical therapy, per the dr. and physical therapist. Now I understand why my co-workers curse the manager, and company "This is how they get you" is one quote...Some others can not be printed too much cursing.
In 6 days I resigned. The manager never admitted to an error, a misunderstanding or anything of the sort. It is policy not to allow employees sit at the service desk. It seems they hired me in spite of my physical problems, and made false ("lied") promises of "making accommodation", "working it out" etc. This was a loss. I liked the job, and the co-workers. From all I experienced and was told directly from co-workers, this false promises and outright lying are standard operating procedure at this store, and maybe company-wide.
BAY SHORE, NEW YORK -- Despite hearing not-so-great things about them in the past, I'd go there frequently simply because the hours are convenient. I took my car there for an oil change and State Inspection. I also noticed some stiffness in my steering wheel; mostly while backing up, so I had them check that.
They quoted me $1400 and told me I needed a WHOLE NEW RACK AND PINION on a three-year-old car with only 58,000 (that has never been in an accident). They also FAILED my car on the safety inspection and told me this needed to be replaced before they'd pass me. They said it was, "a huge safety issue and I shouldn't be driving my car."
I definitely didn't have $1400, so I called my car's manufacturer all frantic and upset hoping for SOME sort of help. They told me they needed an official diagnosis from the dealer first, which is completely understandable. My car passed EVERY SINGLE DIAGNOSTIC TEST the dealer ran on the steering system. They found NOTHING wrong with my vehicle--other than my tires desperately needed replacing. I knew I needed new tires, but I didn't realize they were SO bad that THEY were causing the steering tightness! They increased the tire pressure at the dealer, which RIGHT AWAY made a huge difference in the steering.
I went to a trusted independent mechanic (recommended by two of my co-workers) who installed four brand new tires and told me--AGAIN--there was absolutely NOTHING WRONG WITH MY RACK AND PINION! He also told me that even if there was, NO WAY it would ever cost even close to $1400 (Oh, and by the way, he PASSED my car on the state inspection--which I should have passed in the first place at Pep Boys!)!
I am FURIOUS!! Pep Boys not only caused me three days of stress and money worrying, but they had me second-guessing my car's manufacturer that I've been loyal to and trusted for many years! Plus I was scared to even drive my car! Shouldn't someone who "knows about cars" simply at least suggested tires FIRST before going all "rack and pinion" on me? Moral Of My Story/Lesson Learned = NEVER GOING TO PEP BOYS AGAIN!
MESA, ARIZONA -- In May, 2009 I took my van to Pep Boys on Country Club Drive in Mesa, AZ for a replacement alternator. I declined the extended warranty for $16. Here it is September, 2009 and I'm going to have to pay a little over $100 in labor to get the three-month-old alternator replaced again because the bearing is going bad.
I find it very interesting that this bearing failed a few days after I had an air conditioning compressor package installed because the compressor bearing was going bad. It was dropped off Friday evening with the understanding it would be ready Sunday. They waited until Saturday evening to start on it and they discovered they needed a hose they didn't have. It took 2 days (Sunday and Monday) to get the hose. When they got it on Monday the mechanic was out sick and they couldn't finish it until Tuesday.
I just got off the phone with the guy about the alternator. He wanted to sell me the extended warranty again. I told him that if I needed the extended warranty again, I would be going to another shop because they sold crappy alternators. He said, "It's not the alternator. It's the bearing in the alternator." Geez, can you believe that? I asked him if they were going to replace the bearing or the alternator. When he said the alternator, I said, "Then it's a crappy alternator, I don't care what part of it failed." Idiot!
An alternator, or any part for that matter, should not fail in 3 months. There should be no need for an extended warranty and Pep Boys should be replacing this for free. THAT would be good customer service and THEY don't have it. Pep Boys used to be good, but I've seen a decline in their parts and service across several of their stores in the past few years. I'm done with their "service" department.
QUEENS, NEW YORK -- My muffler was making a lot of noise, so I took my 1997 Nissan Sentra to a Pep Boys at 38-50 21st St, Queens, New York. The mechanic who took my keys told me to wait inside the store while he takes a look at it and provides an estimate for the cost to repair whatever is the problem.
An hour and a half later, I am tired of waiting and go up to the service counter to ask about the estimate. The guy at the counter (Jermaine) told me he is typing up my estimate "right now," and that it'll be ready in just a few minutes. Then, as I'm patiently waiting, he proceeds to take calls and get distracted. After asking him for my estimate once again, I finally get it -- THIRTY MINUTES after he told me he's typing it "right now."
They said there was a crack in the exhaust gas pipe, and the estimate to fix it totaled about $250, NOT including labor. However, they also included a handful of parts or repairs in the estimate that I absolutely did not need or ask for. They tried charging me to replace my front struts, when they are just fine; replace all my tires, which are also fine and have plenty of tread on them; replace the rear motor mount (g-d knows why); replace transaxle mount (again, didn't even explain why); and computerized wheel alignment, for which I did not ask and did not require at the time.
The total amount for the NON-REQUESTED repairs or parts is almost $900! NOT including labor! Interestingly enough, they failed to mention anything about my oil leak (which I know for a fact that I have). I suspect they hardly even looked at the car -- instead just glancing at it and writing down whatever repairs they think they can get away with. After such terrible customer service and an estimate full of b. s., I'm never going there again and I will warn all my friends to stay away from them as well.
FOREST PARK, GEORGIA -- First, I would like to give you a little background. I am an Army Reserve transportation officer stationed at Fort Gillem, GA. and consider myself to be at least above average in knowledge of mechanics and do much of my mechanical work myself. On Saturday, April 4, I noticed my alternator belt began making a chirping sound, so I stopped and purchased belt dressing in hopes I could make it home to Florida on Sunday to replace the belt. However, Sunday morning, my battery went dead as I drove onto Fort Gillem.
I drove to the Pep Boys at 4853 Jonesboro Rd. in Forest Park… just outside of our gate and told them I thought I needed a new alternator belt. They checked me in and said they would do a diagnostic on the charging system. Later he called and said I needed a new alternator. Since I needed to be in Florida that night, I said to go ahead and do the repairs. He did and I was charged 432.72.
I left Atlanta that afternoon and drove approximately 35 miles when the battery ran down again. I pulled into a truck stop in Jackson, GA, where the mechanic there did a check and said my alternator wasn't working. Since it was Sunday night after hours, I spent the night, recharged the battery and drove back to Forest Park on Monday morning. When I got there, I told the service manager I would like my old alternator back and my money returned.
He said the old alternator had been disposed of. He said he would do what it took to get me on the road. They ran a check on the alternator — which I have the results of -- and said I needed a new alternator belt. He replaced the alternator belt…at no charge to me.
Since that time, I drove back to Florida and have had no trouble with my car at all. I asked if a test had been run on my old alternator and was told it had been, but no one knew what had happened to the results. The fact remains I paid $432.72 for an alternator when I contend the problem could have easily been corrected the first time with an $83.28 belt replacement.
I am an employee of Pep Boys for over 8 years. During the course of these years. I have been denied promotions that I rightfully earned by obtaining ASE certifications. Our health plan was taken away and replaced with a "heath fund." Under this plan I cannot afford to go to the dr. Last year the company decided that they would not be giving raises.
This year they decide that they will change the vacation plan. The new plan is fine but they are stealing our days that we have already earned. I have 10 vacation days left until the middle of next year. They are telling me that any unused vacation days by December 28, 2008 will be paid out at a rate of 75%. This rate depends on your anniversary date. Some will only be paid 25%. They act as if the vacation has not yet been earned, but it was earned last year.
On top of this the months that I have worked this year until now those vacation days that I would have got next year are now gone. Those days are worth about 2000 to me. Every turn Pep Boys shafts their employees. People complain that they do not get good service at Pep Boys. There is a reason for that and it is the way the employees are treated by the company in turn is the way they treat customers. Pep Boys fails to realize that when you screw your employees, it makes them not care about their jobs, which shows when you enter a Pep Boys. Pep Boys needs to realize you must spend money to make money.
Give the employees a good reason to want to keep their jobs and you will see dedicated employees, which will result in higher sales and customer satisfaction. On top of this offering the best pay rate around will get the best people around. Happy Holidays Pep Boys. :(
WEST CHESTER, PENNSYLVANIA -- I had my car towed to Pep Boys on a Sunday. They assured me that the problem was my water pump. So they put in a new water pump for me and charge me $580. OK. They call me RIGHT before they close to tell me they think that the water pump they put in is defective and they will have to look at it tomorrow. I'm OK until this point. On Monday, they call me and tell me that the water pump wasn't defective and the thermostat went. If the water pump and the thermostat go hand in hand, then why didn't they just check both? So they tell me the part for the thermostat is going to be $350.
I call my local Ford dealer and they tell me the part is $250. They jacked up the price and are trying to charge me $100 extra just for a thermostat housing. I call them back and they suggest that I can buy the part directly from the Ford dealer if I go pick it up and drop it off at the Pep Boys. News Flash! I don't have a car to go pick up a part. So after I speak to the supervisor, they drop the price to $250.
In conclusion, Pep Boys lied to me and now I'm not even sure if I had to replace my water pump for almost $600. The only reason I took it to Pep Boys was because they said they could have it back to that same day. Now they want $300 more from me to fix the thermostat and it will be done on Tuesday.
I know for a fact that when I (a 21 year old girl) walked in the store, they assumed I didn't know anything about cars, and are trying to take me for as much as possible. Do yourself a favor and don't purchase any kind of service from Pep Boys. It will snowball into this kind of aggravating situation that every time you want a fair deal, you will have to fight for it. Ask for a supervisor up front if you HAVE to use them.
SAN CARLOS, CALIFORNIA -- I called Pep Boys on Monday. Someone answered the phone after being put on hold 3 times. I asked how much a Power Steering flush would cost, etc. He quoted $59.99. I was surprised. Their competition several miles down the road was going to charge $193.00. I asked how much time it would take. About 30 mins. according to the person who answered the phone. They would get me "in and out" if I showed up @ 0800. Well...
When I arrived. They were opening the shop. The guy managing the front desk was brusque, no eye contact. Rough. I figured, heck, it's 0800, and he's burned out from customers over time. No problem. I was asked what # they could reach me for pick up. I told them I would wait. I was told that the mechanic doesn't come in 'til later. "How much later?" According to the front desk man, it's according to the traffic. I asked for an estimated time, and this guy got pissy.
He finally told me "1/2 to an hour, maybe?" Well, it was 1 1/2 hrs. before the mechanic finally arrived. I wasn't told anything. I just saw this guy show up, the front desk guy gave him the work order, and told him it was a power steering flush. It was about 0930. They were done with the car at about 1030. Almost 2 1/2 hrs. because the mechanic doesn't want to get up as early as I do to fight the traffic to be at work on time.
Must be nice. I wasn't told anything during this whole time. The funny part was this. When the front desk guy was working with me, he didn't give any eye contact, and very brusque. When other customers came in, he was courteous. When they rang up the bill, he told me my front brakes were low and would need service. I was about to tell him that even if I had to stop my car like the Flintstones cartoons, (using my bare feet), I would not bring my car in for brakes, front or rear.