• Report: #174429

Complaint Review: Pep Boys Auto, #0311

  • Submitted: Thu, February 02, 2006
  • Updated: Sun, August 17, 2008

  • Reported By:Houston Texas
Pep Boys Auto, #0311
601 Sunrise Blvd Fort Lauderdale, Florida U.S.A.

Pep Boys Auto #0311 ripoff: The incompetence and errors of Pep Boys Auto has cost us thousands! Pep Boys Auto's management shameful lack taking responsibility is NOW costing them a LAWSUIT! Fort Lauderdale Florida

*UPDATE Employee: d**n man

*Consumer Comment: We're really lucky..........

*Author of original report: PEP BOYS, USA - Volvo C70 $5700.00 Repair RipOff Update

*Consumer Suggestion: Don't get riiped twice

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The incompetence and errors of PepBoys Auto has cost us thousands upon thousands of dollars! The delays caused by them put us directly into the path of a major hurricane and harms way!

PepBoys Auto's management has shown lack of concern and shameful lack of interest in taking responsibility for the actions of their employees, which is NOW costing them a LAWSUIT!


In late August of 2005, we took our Volvo C70 (which had about 60k mile on it) into PepBoys Auto on Sunrise Blvd, in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. We were preparing for a cross country move and under a time constraint. The Volvo dealership was booked-up. However, living relatively near the PepBoys Store and Shop we decided to find out if they were able to service our make of car, since we wanted it in top condition for the long move ahead.

Upon arriving we told them we were interested in getting new brake pads as well as were concerned with a noise that seemed to be coming from the front strut, as well as another noise when we turned the front wheels of the car sharply. We also asked if they would be able to do an oil change and tune-up due to our upcoming trip.

Upon inspecting the vehicle they told us that we needed new front struts and possibly new rear shocks as well. After leaving the car, they called and told us that WE had to go get the struts and shocks from the dealership because the dealership wouldn't deliver to them and they were unable to go pick them up.

Luckily we had our moving van and used it to drive 40 minutes to the dealership (each way!) Upon arriving at the dealership we picked up only the front struts as apparently the rear shocks were out of stock.

While we were on the road to the dealership, PepBoys called and informed us that they made a mistake and that they were unable to use their premium grade brake pads and that we had to also get Volvo pads.

The shocks had not come in; however we did get the brakes. We took the brakes and front struts to PepBoys. The following day, we had to drive AGAIN to the Volvo dealership and pick up our shocks.

We left the shocks and returned to the motel we had now moved into (since we had closed on sale our house). PepBoys called us to inform us that they could not put in the struts and shocks, because something was wrong with them.

WE suggested that they call the Volvo dealership to inquire. The people at the dealership's service department explained to PepBoys that they were different in nature and were okay.

PepBoys admitted to us that they unsure as to how to put them in. WE suggested to their supervisor that they call Volvo and find out what the trick was!

We were again called into PepBoys and this time informed by the service supervisor that even though the Volvo Service Support people had told them how to put the struts in, that the mechanics (at PepBoys) did not agree that it was the correct way.

PepBoys also went on to also inform us that while THEY were certain that Volvo was wrong (about their own car), however that while they knew that to be certain, that PepBoys admittedly wasn't really sure what the correct way was either, and thus, said that they would be unable to install them into the car.


As the days passed, and PepBoys had sent us out as their parts runner, for our parts!... We were had started to grumble to them that we had to get to Texas in order to settle with the sellers of our new home there, who were waiting for us. That we had our 6 cats in boarding at the Vet, we were living in a motel AND that it had been costing us plenty of money.

When wer collected the car back from them, we only paid for the brake job, oil change and tune-up. We were late for an appointment and were rushing that day.

As we drove off the lot we noticed that the car did not really run better in fact it was running worse! In fact it started stalling out on occasion when we came to a stop!

We were livid. When were free of our appointment we called immediately, and were told to bring the car back, however that due to the time it would have to be the next day or the following . SO MUCH FOR LEAVING ON OUR CROSSCONTRY MOVE BRIGHT AND EARLY SATURDAY MORNING!

By late Friday evening the car had started to also make a distant groaning noise, along with continuing to shimmy and sputter when we were attempting to idle at a stop.

As Saturday came around, we hesitated and discussed as to whether or not we should even consider taking it back to PepBoys. We did not drive the car until we needed to that evening. By this time the groaning noise had become quite loud and suddenly the car became hard to steer (in the middle of traffic).

Once safely in a services station parking lot, this time WE groaned... Figuring that for some reason our Power Steering Pump was on its way out, something that really didn't make sense... As the car was not that old and had been properly maintained. We bought fluid, correctly filled the reservoir and continued back to the motel.

Early Sunday morning at the Motel, I poked around the engine compartment trying to determine what was making it run so poorly. And noticed that there seemed to be power steering pump fluid all over... And assumed it was indicative of the pump going bad.

While in the engine compartment, I checked for lose spark plug wires, or ones that may have been obviously split or broken, thinking that there had to be something simple that just didn't get re-connected by PepBoys or something.

That same morning, we decided to take the car back to PepBoys, we filled it with steering fluid and returned. We wanted them to fix the tune-up problem as well as find out if there had been something done to the power steering pump.

We left the car with them at their request and took a cab to a nearby shopping center to wait for their call. The phone never rang, so WE were the ones that kept calling and checking on it. They kept telling us to check back in an hour. HOUR after HOUR they kept telling us to check back.

Finally, we called and were told they were working on it, however, we had spent nearly the whole day at the shopping center and wanted to go back (home) to the motel.

Since we weren't going to be able to take it to another shop until Monday to have them look at the Power Steering Pump (if it was just coincidental that it was going out) as well as to have them put the struts and shocks into the car that PepBoys had told us to purchase but then refused to install.


We hailed a cab and called PepBoys to let them know we were on our way back. I was put on hold for so long that we were nearly there by the time the service supervisor picked up the phone. I told him that we were heading back to the shop, not realizing that it was literally 5 minutes before they were about to close.

As I was talking to him, telling him that we were coming, he informed me that they were working on it as we spoke. Another thing I hadn't realized was how close we had gotten to the PepBoys shop The cab was literally passing the parking lot (to U-turn) back to it as he was telling me this.

THE VOLVO WAS SITTING IN THE EXACT SAME SPOT, parked at the same awkward angle (due to the steering issue) as where I had left it, THAT MORNING with a huge puddle of fluid under it.


As the cab pulled onto the lot, I said that's funny, we're actually pulling onto the lot right now, and it appears that the car has'nt been moved all day! Can you tell me how it is that you're working on it as we speak? This is CRAZY, I'll see YOU inside. And I slammed my cell phone shut.

What were we greeted by? A ton of excuses? Nope. Apologies and explanations? Nope. We weren't even given that, as we walked in the doors toward the service area, the service supervisor was making notes (on someone else's work-order) and had his arm extended holding the car key out our direction.

He didn't even LOOK up to say a word, simply held the key out.

It was there that we were first met the TRUE spirit of PepBoys Auto; an uncaring, unconcerned and anti-customer service attitude that, as we were to later discover, clearly is passed down from several levels upward of corporate management.

It seems CLEAR that PEPBOYS does not value or respect the business of their customers, and are depending on sheer volume to make up for customer losses that are caused by their negligent, incompetent and unapologetic fleecing of their unsuspecting and trusting customers.


Later Sunday evening, flash light in hand, filling the car up again with more steering fluid (which had to be done anytime we parked for any length of time, or drove for more than a few miles). I discovered what the problem with the Power Steering Pump was.

PepBoys, in their skilled expertise, after moving it for some reason during the tune-up, had incorrectly re-seated the power steering fluid reservoir and not clipped the hose properly into an inconspicuous clip. Causing the hose to be rubbed by one of the car's belts, until it had sliced a large hole into the hose!

That Monday, again unable to leave on our cross country move, as we called various shops, trying to get the car in, we were told repeatedly, that no one would install the $500 dollars in struts and shocks that we had purchased, as told by PepBoys. That the garages would only install parts they had personally ordered and purchased for the car themselves.

Finally we were given a recommendation to an import car specialist (who was very busy) but agreed to look over the car and said he would install the struts and shocks. We rented a car, and dropped the Volvo off at his shop in the afternoon.

The following morning, he called and informed us that the car was going to need extensive work.

Not only had PepBoys done the tune-up incorrectly (wrong plugs, a bad fuel injector (most likely from their injector cleaning process), but the power steering pump fluid that had been spraying all over the car's engine compartment via the moving belt, had caused damage to several components of the engine.

(Remember, we were staying in a Motel, had 6 cats in boarding, sellers of a house waiting on the other side of the country, our belongings in a moving truck, baking in the Florida sun.)

The belts ALL had to be replaced. Various electrical connectors and components had to be replaced. GET THIS The Struts and shocks WERE NOT BAD, only a bushing ($70.00) on ONE of the front struts! NOT $500.00 dollars worth of struts and shocks! The noise from turning the steering wheel sharply? The steering stops, needed to be greased, something so simple it was FREE!

The cost for believing in PepBoys?

Pep-Boy Repairs (paid for): $ 422.94
Shocks Struts: $472.95
Corrective Mechanical repairs: $2,019.52
15 days @ Motel: $1,188.75
15 days Boarding (6 animals): $814.21
15 days Meals for 2 @ 30.00 per day: $450.00
(mostly fast food - probably was more)
Dollar Rental Car Bill: $342.84

Total: $ 5,711.21

Not included in the above figures?
Truck usage, cell usage, power steering fluid (gallons) etc

Now we pose these questions?

How much is it worth for creating a delay that appears to have cost us a home to come to in our move? (Since the Texas sellers had left and decided to sell to someone else.)

What about that same delay causing us to now arrive into Galveston, Texas (after a 1700 mile drive), now with a major hurricane (Rita) about to hit the area. Now with no home to go to (and unpack into) an island that we had to evacuate from, when there were no hotel vacancies for 800-1000 miles in any direction?

How about that due to delay, the lack of a home, the impending hurricane, no where to go, not knowing a sole, and being forced to simply park and leave our moving truck, and then evacuate in the Volvo filled with as much as we could cram into it (and six cats) onto roads that were clogged for literally days with no fuel available at service stations. Is that worth something?

Finally, being allowed to return nearly a week later, praying to find a moving truck that hadn't been damaged (by the 110 mile winds that Galveston got), stolen or looted which we found that thankfully, for the most part, it hadn't. However, water seepage, hot sun and mold had taken its toll on many of our belongings. Never to be replaced. Does that have value?

Doesn't it seem that it's very likely that if PepBoys had not caused a delay via their incompetence, lies and damages done to our vehicle, that we would have been more settled before that Hurricane arrived (even into an apartment if the house deal had still not worked out), rather than forced to live like homeless gypsies, only to return to damaged belongings and forever taken memories?

How about the emotional stress and pain? The cost of personal property that we endured losing as a result of our PepBoys delay? Does that have value?

We were told by PepBoys management, before we left Florida, as well as after our arrival and the hurricane that PepBoys would stand by us, and make good on their mistakes and the suffering they created

However THAT to this point was further misleading promises by PepBoys management. After we were able to finally settle and recuperate from our losses we submitted our bills and claims to PepBoys store management. WE were only seeking refund of the monies listed above Nothing else!

Our understanding from that store's management was that our story and claim was handed from Asst. Service Manager: Levore, to the Service Manager: Harry, to the Store Manager: Dwight Anderson.

At the end of November, well after we had faxed our info to Levore and waited, we called him to find out what was going on. He informed us that we were going to be getting a letter or some papers. We figured these would be legal papers, promising that we would not file suit or seek additional damages. However those papers never came. Nothing!


Our claim and letter had been given to the District Manager: Pablo Muerra who, not only never called us, but refused to return my calls as well. I was incensed by the sheer unfettered and uncaring treatment I was getting from this higher level of management.
By December, still no calls, no returned calls, and no communication what-so-ever I called Mr. Muerra's boss. I was unable to get his title and had to fight to even get his name, Michael McSorely.

I called Mr. McSorely several times. Each time, I was transferred to his voicemail, and was never so much as given the courtesy of a returned call. I think it's clear, from where the disrespectful attitudes that are displayed all the way down to the store level are being taught.

FINALLY. A letter arrives mid January that is dated January 10, 2006. The letter is signed by a Rebecca Puchalski - Claims Representative. The letter consists of two short paragraphs and a two sentence closing statement/apology.

Here are the important paraphrases;

Upon receipt of your claim, we [PepBoys] have conducted a thorough investigation into this matter

The damage to your vehicle and subsequent loss is unfortunate, and we do sympathize. However, there is no evidence of any negligence on the part of PepBoys or any of its employees with regard to the damage.

As a valued customer we regret your loss. However, we can only pay those claims that we are legally responsible for.

WHO did the investigation? PEPBOYS!


Did they contact us to get further details? NO!

Did they contact the shop that had to repair the damage they created? NOPE!

C'mon! PepBoys do you really think we're going to swallow that?!? I hope not because if you do you PepBoys are very, very wrong.

YOU have tangled with and screwed over the wrong people. Just thinking about the insensitive and audacious manner of dealing with your customers that you have the nerve to call customer-service frankly, makes our blood run cold.

Bottom-line See you in court PepBoys! You better hope our attorney and/or the Florida State Attorney General can't find some sort of criminal conduct or negligence in this matter.

We WILL pursue this injustice by you and against us, until every person, customer and every potential coprorate investor in this country that has access to a television, radio or newspaper knows our story and hears about how little you stand behind your cut-rate, incompetent and dishonest service.

Nearly everyone has been cautioned in life at some point to Choose your battles carefully PepBoys you should have listened! If in the past you have been able to Buffalo and Ignore previous victims of yours away, THE BUCK STOPS HERE!

We have the education, intelligence, desire and the means to take YOU! PepBoys, to task. Whether it be in reputation, dollars, or both, we will do everything to ensure that you are held fully accountable, not just for our sake, but for all those before us that you may have done similar.

By the way PepBoys, did we mention that we saved the various parts you incorrectly diagnosed, used or damaged to serve as added proof of your debacle?


ANYONEthat wants to help here's what you can do

We encourage anyone who reads this, not to shop or have repairs done by PepBoys Auto at any location. WE could have been YOU.

We also invite you to cut and paste this into an email and send our story to everyone you know, get the word out That it appears PepBoys Auto thinks that you as a customer are easily replaced by the next fool, and that it appears PepBoys believes they are somehow above consumer protection laws, or maybe worse.. above providing quality customer service to the very customers that pay their wages and salaries.

Feel free to contact the persons at the numbers below to let them that knoiw you will be spreading our story


We currently have an attorney in Texas who is working to locate an Attorney for us to use in South Florida In the meantime, if you happen to be an Attorney, have read this and want to know more We encourage you to contact us.

Media? There is more to this story just too much to post on this wonderful site!

REMEMBER WHEN You could return something to a store and get your money back and choose to take it somewhere else? When corporations stood behind their products and services and valued their customers? When you weren't issued receipts that had fading ink and ridiculously short time limits of how long a store would stand behind that product or service?




Thank you to all for reading our story Whether you agree or disagree with our accounting of our experience with PepBoys Please do not forget that we the people, are the power. The more we follow the heard, the more likely we'll be corralled.

Please keep checking back as we will be posting updates here on Rip-Off Report.com


B. Funk &
E. McClune

PepBoys Contact Info:

PepBoys #0311
601 Sunrise Blvd, Ft Lauderdale, FL
Tel: 954-779-1002

Levore (Levore was the only helpful management person we spoke to), Harry & Dwight Anderson (all members of management). Phone: Fax: 954.767.9352

Regional Manager: Pablo Muerra: 954-346-4041 (Office at the Coral Springs store)

Pablo's (alleged) Boss: Michael McSorley 215-430-9095 Ext: 3113

Rebecca Puchalski - Claims Representative: 215-430-9000

Lawrence Stevenson - CEO: 215-430-9000

B. & E.
Houston, Texas

Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on PepBoys

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/02/2006 11:06 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Pep-Boys-Auto-0311/Fort-Lauderdale-Florida-33304/Pep-Boys-Auto-0311-ripoff-The-incompetence-and-errors-of-Pep-Boys-Auto-has-cost-us-thous-174429. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report.

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#1 UPDATE Employee

d**n man

AUTHOR: Juice - (U.S.A.)

I find that hard to believe, are you by chance leaving anything out lol. Putting grease on a steering stop? are you sure the other place didnt ride you a little also? Sorry if this is true though and i hope you get your money back. Dont worry they rip their Techs off also by raising the labor rate and not our pay and other things as well too like the pep boys package that pays the tech less time(flat rate) than what he or she is suppose to get for the work being done. so most of the good techs that pep boys has had are now thinking of leaving or allready have left. its simple.. their turning into wal mart lol
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#2 Consumer Comment

We're really lucky..........

AUTHOR: Adolph - (U.S.A.)

"Pep Boys" packed up and moved totally out of our area. (N. IN) Good riddance!
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#3 Author of original report

PEP BOYS, USA - Volvo C70 $5700.00 Repair RipOff Update

AUTHOR: Brian - (U.S.A.)

After posting to Rip Off report and further pursing the issue with the corporate office of Pep Boys, having to go ahead of the "advocate" that was assigned to work with me by Pep Boys the, or a, Vice President for company contacted me and apologized profusely (and convincingly) within a week a check for over $5000.00 dollars arrived from Pep Boys.

I am grateful to the company for FINALLY listening, and more importantly taking the appropriate level of action.

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#4 Consumer Suggestion

Don't get riiped twice

AUTHOR: Steve - (U.S.A.)

In my 30+ years in the automotive aftermarket (now retired) This is the best consumer repot I have read on how the automotive mass merchindiser chain stores Pep Boys, Midas, AMMCO etc. fleese the general public.

What caught my attention on the above report was the consumer was not looking for a low ball deal. Unlike the person who gets sucked in on the $99.00 brake job. If you do this shame on you for consummer error.

Today you have three options of getting your car fixed. (1) The dealership. (2) The independent repair shop (3) The Mass Mdser. or chain store. You also have the option of using a friend of friend that knows who does repairs at his house. Know as a 'shade tree mech.' No disrepect to all of us who work on our OWN car/trucks.

It this case the consumer chose a name brand chain that did not have a clue of how to fix the car but even did the up sale thing. Then they bilked the customer on the 'up sale' and didn't know how to install the parts. Amazing! Just for comment there in nothing wrong for a shop to suggest services. I.E. air filters, when you can see they are plugged up. Or even shocks/struts when the car has 80-100K on. The key to this is you suggest the repair and not use the FUD factor (Fear, Uncernity, Doupt) to make the sale. I.E. your car is unsafe to drive.

Car repairs are not cheap. The local gas station the did the $29.95 tune up ( points plugs and condenser) and even compression check from the 70's are long gone. What the consumer has to do now is find a shop that can: Locate the proublem. Figgure out what caused the problem (normat wear a tear or another part of the system failed) Very importent becase there is still alot of 'parts replacers' in shops where there shoud be tecks. This is very costy to the customer. Botton line talk to your friend neighbors and find a local shop before before you need them. Keep in mind a good shop/dealership is like a fine restaurant they will be booked up.

We also have a Volvo with about 160K on the clock. It was leaking oil bad. If we took into a chain store they would have replaced gaskets. The ind. shop we use has an online service the is like the AWD's for planes and access the TSB's for cars. The shop found that our Volvo had problems with the crakcase vent system causing pressuse, thus the oil leaks. Volvo had a fix for it and they got the parts for it and fixed it. No gaskets/seals had to be repaced. I think it cost around $480. Not cheap but the car is fixed.

Back to the title of the post. Don't get mislead by some mouthpice on recovery. Do not put up any retainer becaue you have stated, on this public form, damages of $5711.21. I do not offer this as legal advice but as consumer advice before you spend any more money. The sad part of the situation is the consumer has no recourse and the 'chain/franchise' keep reeling in more victums. Due to the advertinsing. I'm sure not all chain/franchise shops are out to ripp people off but the consumer has to discount the illision that the biggest yellow page ad or TV means the best place to get the car fixed at the lowest price.
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