Pep Boys Portage Scummy operators Pain in the Rear Horrible Customer Service Portage Michigan
Here is the letter I sent to he corporate office. I took an hour to type this up and of course I never heard back from anyone:
I see that you are the person that receives the how are we doing evaluation cards from customers. I thought it might be beneficial to you to receive a recap of my visit to the PepBoys store 289 in Kalamazoo Michigan today.
In this morning's paper I received a PepBoys ad flyer which offered a basic oil change for $16.88. I was planning to get an oil change today (Saturday), so I called up to make an appointment. I was told on the phone that they were busy right now but if I came in an hour later, 12:30pm, that I could get right in.
At 12:28 I arrived at the service department. A middle aged man and a young girl were discussing how to find a part number or something. No other customers were present. After a wait of about 4-6 minutes, I was finally greeted and asked what I needed. I said I was there for my 12:30 oil change. They told me they do not schedule oil changes, but that they are on a first come first served basis. I explained that I was told to come in at 12:30. They yelled around asking the other employees if someone had told someone to come in for an oil change at 12:30. Another employee stated that they thought an employee who was not there right now had done so. So the male did something I don't remember, perhaps checked the schedule, and declared that they would have a mechanic stop what they were doing and just do my change, which seemed appropriate to me since I had made a special trip.
I was asked what oil change services I wanted, and said I would like the oil change that is in the flyer for $16.88. I was told there is no oil change on sale for $16.88, that the cheapest is $18.xx. I said I saw it in the flyer I received this morning, which I have out in the car, and offered to go get it. They looked at it, and asked me when I got it. I told them this morning. They looked all over to find a date on the flyer for when it is valid, but apparently none is printed on your flyers, or at least not on this one. They told me this must be next week's flyer, starting tomorrow. I said that I had received it today and saw no reason to think it would not be valid today since there is no dates on it. The manager happened to wander over and inquired into the situation. The man explained it to him, and they went hunting around for next week's flyers, which they found in a box somewhere. They opened the box, found the flyers, and verified that the one I had received this morning matched the ones in their box. The manager then looked for a while and verified for himself that there were no dates on the flyer. The then conferred about what they should do about the situation, within my hearing. The manager finally told the service guy to go ahead and give it to me for the advertised price, and acted like they were doing me a favor. They took a few minutes to type up my info into the computer, took my keys, handed me some paperwork, and turned to do other business.
At this point I had already been there ten or fifteen minutes, and I was thinking that if I had gone to jiffy lube or snappy oil, I would have been done with my oil change already.
There is a stark waiting area near the service area but I thought that since an oil change only takes ten or fifteen minutes I would just walk through the store and see if I could find something I needed. I wandered along the end of the isles because I enjoy finding things on sale or clearance. The first and most noticeable thing was that there were plastic boxes full of merchandise, one to three per isle, just sitting there in the walking area. It appeared they had been there a along time. It looked very sloppy. I did see one person shelving some merchandise from a box in a different part of the store.
Also, the store seems dimly lit, the isles are visibly dirty and dingy, the merchandise is not neatly stacked on the shelves or on the hangers, and many places there were large gaps where an item is sold out. This was early in the afternoon on Saturday, and it seemed obvious that the shelves must not have been straightened or stocked for much longer than just that morning because of the quantity of messes and items missing.
I made a full circle around the outside of all the isles, then went up and down through them, which took about 20 minutes, but no sign that my car was done. I thought that since I had a sheet of paper with a price on it that I should go ahead and pay for the service and the item I had found to purchase. There were several people standing behind the counter but only one person working the register who seemed to be in no hurry. I waited in line around five minutes, showed them my paper, and was told that I can't pay from this sheet. I figured out they must be planning to give me a different sheet when the work was completed but was not ever given any instructions.
I wandered over to the service area, looked through the window, and could see my vehicle was up on a hoist but no one was near it. I went back to the seating area near the service department. There is nothing to read there, so I went looking through the store to see if perhaps there was a magazine being sold or lying around to read to pass the time. All I could find was a road atlas and a telephone book. I circled the store again, checked the window, and saw that my car was now down off the hoist and it looked like someone was checking the mileage and writing it on some paperwork. I then grabbed the phone book to read and sat down in the service area,
I spent several minutes thumbing through several sections of the yellow pages, then checked the window and saw that my car was no longer on the hoist. I asked the clerk if perhaps my car was done. They looked around a bit and finally found my paperwork in the completed slot. I am guessing it had only been completed a few minutes, but I had been waiting a long time and should have been told it was done.
They cheerfully completed my transaction in the computer and had me sign another printout, which I did. The Paperwork said $27.73 so I asked if perhaps they might write the proper amount on there which they did. I asked if my keys were in the car, and was told, oh no they'll have them, whatever that might mean.
I took my purchase and my paperwork and went back to the cash register. Same situation with three or four people standing around while one worked the cash register. I was behind three other people but thankfully this line took less than five minutes. The clerk rang up the $27.73 but immediately changed it to $16.88 without my having to ask. I paid and she handed me the keys which thankfully turned out to be in a drawer next to her cash register. I went out to my car, popped open the hood, and saw that no oil had been slopped all over, for which I am glad. I got in the car and immediately noticed I did not receive a window sticker saying the date/mileage of my next oil change as is customary.
So let me summarize, and hopefully my experience will allow you to revamp your store into one in which regular people would wish to patronize.
I had been specifically told to come in at a certain time as though I was being given an appointment then when I did so was told that the store does not have appointments for the service I wanted.
I had to prove the advertised price was in fact the correct price and was looked upon suspiciously.
The store is dark, dirty, messy and badly stocked.
The ratio of cashiers to folks sitting on their thumbs is 1:4 or 1:6, meaning an uncommonly long wait to pay.
My oil change took over 45 minutes during which time there is nothing to do, not even an old magazine to read.
I was not ever told that I should expect to have to wait that long, when to pay, where my keys would be, or that my work was done.
I arrived at 12:28, and left at 1:31 or so. My oil change cost me over an hour of my time!
Plus several other details which I will not repeat but are indicated in the more verbose part of this letter above.
I am not writing to complain about the Kalamazoo PepBoys, but rather give you this feedback for your benefit. In this age where the customer is King, I wonder how much business you have lost to customers who will never come back a second time. I certainly don't plan to.
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