After my experience at Pep Boys Winchester on Sunday, I am completely shocked.
I am 40 years old and a business owner. I have never in my life seen such unprofessional, inexperienced, irresponsible, incompetent, and unaccommodating behavior.
I brought a work truck of mine in to this Pep Boys for what I had thought may have been the starter. My vehicle just stopped turning over and there was no loss of power or any indication to me that it would be anything else. HOWEVER, I am NOT a mechanic and made it clear to the gentleman both on the phone and in the actual shop that I am not 100% sure of the problem.
I was given a quote for the starter and labor of $241. I authorized the work. I then showed one of the mechanics how I had been starting the truck so that he could get it into the bay without pushing it. Using my screwdriver I showed him that by touching the bolts on the cylinioid located under the hood, it starts right up. He used this trick to start it and move the truck into the garage.
After an hour and a half or so, I returned to the shop to find 4 employees standing around my truck having a discussion. The second that I approached them, they all walked away. I had a feeling that something was wrong. I was right.
The gentleman that helped me initially and had started my truck informed me that they had replaced the starter, however the truck still wouldn't start. He told be that he wasn't sure what to do. Confused, I asked them if they had tested the old starter before they had installed the new one and he said no. I asked him why and his response was, Because you didn't ask us to. Now I'm a little irritated and I ask if this is a normal procedure. His response was amazing. He said, Well, if you asked us to change your oil we wouldn't check your oil to see if it was bad, would we? I am on the phone with my wife at the time and she is as shocked as I am.
I asked him to please test my old starter. When I asked how much that would be, he told me that it was a free service. I told him that it makes absolutely no sense that he wouldn't have tested it first ESPECIALLY if it is a free service. Again, I am NOT a mechanic and I am relying on the experience and expertise of the Pep Boys mechanics to help get my vehicle fixed. He returns after a few minutes and says that my old starter is fine. Now I am extremely frustrated and even more so when I find out my new set of options. I can pay the $241 and they can start looking for the REAL problem at their normal hourly rate or they can put my old starter back on for $96.
I am now outraged. I contact my attorney and ask to speak to the supervisor. The assistant manager that I spoke to was rude and out of line. I expressed to him that I simply cannot afford to pay them $96 to leave with my truck exactly the way that I brought it to them. I have a family and can't just give away our money. His response was, well, if I have our mechanic put your starter back in for nothing, he can't feed his family either. Now I am just downright pissed.
My attorney instructs me to start contacting all of the mechanics in the area and ask if I bring my vehicle to them with what I believe to be a problem-ed starter, if they will test it first. I spoke to 6 mechanic shops in the area and ALL of them said that they would most definitely test it first. They all recognize that I and most of their costumers are not mechanics and cannot properly diagnose a problem with their vehicle. EVEN WORSE, 2 of the shop owners informed me that once any of the Pep Boys mechanics were aware that they can start my truck with a screwdriver on the cylinoid, it immediately eliminates the possibility of the problem being the starter.
I then take all of my information and problem to the manager. The name of the manager that I spoke to is SAL. Sal listened to my story and interviewed his employees. His conclusion was that I was at fault and that they would put my old starter back on for $96 and woud not release my truck to me until it was paid. I paid it and left. Exactly the way that I brought it. I was so disgusted that I can't even begin to explain. Not even mentioning the waste of my entire Sunday afternoon.
HERE IS THE CLINCHER!!! I took my truck home and and started looking through the owners manual. I found that there is a fuse in my Ford Ranger for a starter relay. The fuse was blown. I replaced it and my truck started right up.
I have never in my life witnessed such incompetence. I can only hope that I can reach some people out there and you will save some time and money by avoiding this shop completely. I can't help but wonder if ALL Pep Boys hire mechanics and employees of this caliber. I will never take my vehicle ANY Pep Boys again.
PLEASE!!! DO NOT TAKE YOUR VEHICLE TO PEP BOYS!!!!!