Pep Boys Complaint - False information and billing practices
KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE -- On Saturday March 15,2008 the power steering on my wife’s 1998 Buick LeSabre stopped working about 4:30 pm.
When I got to her place of employment I found the car to be somewhat drivable and moved it about a quarter of mile to PEPBOYS store #151 located at 106 Market place Blvd. Knoxville, TN. 37922
On Sunday morning March 16, 2008 I went to PEPBOYS service explained the situation to them and asked if they could look at it and determine what was needed to repair it.
JOE a service writer/counterman said they would check it. He called me and said that the (3) bolts that hold the power steering pump in place had broken off in the block and they would have to remove some steering assembly to remove the broken bolts and repair the problem. He also at the time advised me that to removed the steering assembly would cost $139.50, that the drive belt tensioner was bad and that it would cost about $150.00 and may have caused the problem and a new belt (no price given but actually cost about $65.00) would be needed. And the total price would be $937.00.
I asked JOE why would it cost over $400.00 just to remove the (3) broken bolts and he then advised me there were only (2) two bolts that held the pump in place but it would still cost $400.00 to remove them. He later informed me that one of the bolt mounts had broken off and would need to be welded and that he knew someone who would be back on Monday March 17, 2008 in the late afternoon who could give an estimate as to whether it could be fixed or not and how much it would cost. I then advised him not to do any repairs, as it would cost more than the car was worth and I would need to see about towing it home. He said they would reassemble it and see if it worked OK by just replacing the bolts.
He advised me later that they had driven the car for about a half an hour and it would be safe to drive home and would not have to be towed. When I called him March 18, 2008 at 7:45am I was advised JOE was not in at the time but would be in later about 8:00 o’clock. I called back about 8:15am and JOE told me they had again driven the car and it was working safely and could be driven but they did not know how long the repair would hold.
When I arrived about 9:00 I noticed that when I dropped the car off and THEY entered on the paper work that the mileage on the car was 72993 prior to any work being done. When I went to pick it up after the above reported test-drives the mileage was 72994. Unless they drove the car around backwards for half an hour the mileage should have changed more than 1 mile. He advised they had driven it again between the time I called and the time it took me to drive the 3 miles to the store from my house, yet the temperature gauge indicated completely cold (The temperature gauge worked perfectly on the way home and prior to taking it there).
When I went to pick up the car there was a charge on the bill for Preventive Maintenance for $15.99 I asked why is there a PM charge on a repair ticket that stated a particular problem, the Service Manager (BILL I believe to be his name) who became quite surly when I inquired about the charge and would not discuss any thing about the discrepancies or the misleading information, removed the PM charge immediately. He advised JOE not to discuss the bill and took the bill to the cash register and told JOE the amount to have me pay. The final bill came to $390.07 for removing the broken bolts and the steering assembly removal and replacement. JOE advised me when I first inquired about the $937.00 that the labor rate was $89.00 per hour but the bill which I paid and have a copy of list a labor rate of $93.00 per hour to remove the steering assembly and a labor rate of $95.00 per hour to remove the broken bolts. Why are there three different hourly labor rates? It was not like that in the Las Vegas facility at any time in five years I used them for services.
I paid the bill and went to the PEPBOYS store manager and advised him of what had taken place and showed him the discrepancies and advised him that the service manager would not talk or discuss why there were so many different stories given to me about an auto repair problem. I advised the store manager and JOE the service writer that I would report this to the Zone and Regional managers and to PEPBOYS corporate offices as this type of customer service is not what I received in Las Vegas, NV. the 5 previous years that I used only the PEPBOYS facility for auto service (Tires, Batteries, Alignments, Brakes, Struts) on both of my vehicles before moving to Knoxville, TN. in December of 2007.
I advised them that I would report the attitude and misinformation all the way to the corporate level and if I received no satisfactory response I would make this information available to all of the local media outlets I do have access with and to state and national organizations as well internet sites dealing with automobile repair facilities.