Pep Boys Complaint - Unbelievable: A Pepboys store doesn’t assume its responsibility which is as clear as black and white
LAUREL, MARYLAND -- The short story: after a smooth drive of about 30-minute (about 20 miles) from a Pepboys 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 Pepboys 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 Pepboys’ 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 persons 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 no body 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: a) the covers were not installed; b) the covers were not installed appropriately so that all of them fell off in a 30-minute drive; and c) 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 Pepboys’ corporate 800 customer service number. I found the number from the Pepboy’s website and filed the case. I’ll report more on this later.