Stay away from STS Tire and Auto Centers. Either take my word for it or take the time to read what follows.
Sometime in the early 1990s Sears was caught ripping off auto owners on a national scale.
The California Better Business Bureau set them up in a sting operation. What they did was to disconnect a wire from the voltage regulator on five similar cars, and went around to all of the Sears Auto shops complaining that their battery was not charging. In 90% of these visits, Sears repairmen sold the BBB agents a complete charging system including alternator, regulator and battery, rather than tell them that a wire had mysteriously become disconnected.
The outcome was a huge embarrassment in which the CEO of Sears had to fall to his knees before the nation and beg forgiveness. In the end, it turned out that the mass rip-off was not limited to California, but was nationwide.
The root of the problem had to do with the payroll practices set up for Sears mechanics. Sears mechanics were payed well below the national average for their trade, but were given the opportunity to make sales commission on auto parts. The way it worked was that each month the mechanics had to make $2000 of parts sales in order to cross the threshold in which they would then be making a percentage of any further sales that month.
So naturally, the mechanics went crazy in the beginning of the month to get over the threshold, by hoodwinking people into paying for things they did'nt need. Once over the threshold they went nuts in overselling, to make as much commission as possible before the end of the month.
The CEO of Sears put an end to this practice, and Sears began paying its mechanics a normal salary.
STS TIRE AND AUTO models its pay arrangement after the old Sears method of commissions on a monthly sales basis. As a result everone I know that's gone there has had serious problems. In one case the mechanics refused to release a car unless the owner agreed to have the front brakes done, which were done two months prior. He had to threaten them with a call to the local police.
In March of 1998 I sued STS for selling my wife a battery and essentially stealing her good one, when in fact the alternator had gone bad, which they didn't fix. I wound up having to fix it. To make a long story short, I won a $650 award on a bad faith claim.
STS mechanics are going to rip you off if you go there. An it's really not their fault. They're just trying to put bread on the table at $8.50/hour plus commissions.
From what I understand, Pep-Boys has the same type of pay arrangement, but I may be wrong.
The moral of the story is DON'T GO TO FRANCHISE REPAIR SHOPS. Go to your local independent garage. If they give you an estimate and then charge exactly that amount or less, that's the first sign of their honesty. Most private garages estimate higher than franchise operations because they like to stick to their estimate.
Washington, New Jersey
U.S.A. STOP! ..before you think about using the Better Business Bureau (BBB)... CLICK HERE to see how other consumers were victimized by the BBB's false or misleading information. Don't be fooled! It has been reported, when there are thousands of complaints and other investigations underway by authorities, the BBB has no choice but to finally give an UNsatisfactory rating to a BBB member business that is paying the BBB big membership fees every year. When a business is reported that is NOT a BBB member, BBB files WILL more likely show an UNsatisfactory rating, then reportedly shake down that company to become a member of the BBB. One positive thing about the BBB is, either way, if a business has an unsatisfactory rating with the BBB, you can be sure, the business is bad. But what about all those BBB member businesses that had complaints filed against them? Consumers never get to hear about them. What about the BBB advertising to the public? Is this a false and misleading perception they are giving about consumer confidence when dealing with a business? Click here to understand more of what consumers and business alike are saying about the BBB. You decide. ..Remember. The BBB membership is not earned, its paid for! Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on PepBoys