A letter to PepBoys President Mike O'Dell on the situation.
Today I visited your Pep Boys location at 830 SE Military Dr. in San Antonio. I needed this visit to correct a vibration problem that was felt on my 1995 Mercury Mystique. This has been an on going problem since mid 2010, yet I was not made aware of this until recently from my brother.
I entered the service department and was greeted by service advisor Johnny (I soon come to find out he is the manager, He did not portray the position). I explained that I had a vibration that was getting worse daily and would like to have the balance checked since I had the lifetime balance. Johnny proceeded to write up a service order, he then walked out to my vehicle looked at the driver side front tire and he came back into the service area stating to me that the tires were almost worn out and they needed to be replaced. I felt this was odd since he just looked at 1 tire, so, I asked what the tread depth was; he stated 3/32". I then questioned him as to what was causing the vibration; being sarcastic, I asked, is it the air? Again, he stated that the tires are worn almost to the point of being illegal, which is 2/32" (a scare tactic to make a sale by instilling fear into the customer) At that point; the service technician was bringing my vehicle into the bay. My vehicle was lifted into the air by this technician after he performed an inspection in the engine compartment. While in the air the technician also jerked on the front suspension, apparently to ensure there were no loose parts. I asked Johnny to inform the technician be careful when removing the hubcaps since 1 hub cap was cracked on the last tire installation at Pep Boys (this still has not been taken care of). Johnny then went back out to the vehicle, this time a complete walk around the vehicle, looking at the other three tires, only this time he comes back into the service department counter stating that the right rear is not a Pep Boy tire. I tried to explain that my brother has had constant vibration problems with the Mystique; apparently having that tire replaced at another retailer. As a note, I found this Pep Boy tire in his garage gathering dust. At his point the service technician was in the process of removing the 3 Pep Boy tires so that they could be checked. Each of the front tires were set up on the wheel balancer and spun to check for defects, at his point I noticed from the customer waiting area, that the right front tire had a severe separation which was more than likely the problem that was felt on the steering. I walked into the shop where the tire technician was measuring the tread depth; stating that it was between 4/32" and 5 /32". This is when I realized that I had just been set up to be scammed; I asked Johnny where did he get his 3/32" tread depth reading from, his remark was by his eyesight. Johnny and Pep Boys Integrity and Honesty fell way to trying to make profit and personal gain. Johnny should have never lied about the measurement; in fact he should have done his job correctly and measured the tread then he would not have to lie to me by telling me that the tires were worn out and needing to be replaced. I know Pep Boys is in the business of making a profit but at whose expense. Also, how many times does this type of selling tactics performed with unsuspecting customers never realizing that they have just been lied to and ripped off?
The next issue was when he decided to do an adjustment on the 2 tires in front; he quotes me a price that put me in sticker shock. Without asking if I wanted the Road Hazard Warranty, he just added the cost into the invoice, then there was a charge for tire disposal (this tire is being adjusted and should be going back to the manufacture for credit, so, no disposal should have been needed) and then there was a charge for tire balancing, most manufactures credit the vendor for these charges for providing customer service for the handling their tire adjustments, at least this is the procedure that BF Goodrich used on their adjustments. I thought this tire was a manufactures workmanship and quality issue not a mileage issue, yet the adjustment was based off of mileage; the terminal did all Johnny's calculation which I feel over charges on this percentage of wear. I rough calculated the percentage worn from the beginning mileage of 80,000 and the current mileage of 116,000 shows mileage of 36,000 miles used out of the 60,000mile warranty. Which roughly calculates this tire worn at 64% yet the Pep Boy system calculated for 71%, I guess another way to make a profit. (a couple of dollars here, a couple of dollars there, sounds similar to a shop supply fee) I asked Johnny why the difference, he stated that he had no control on the pricing since it is all handled through the computer program, (it is easy to pass the blame to corporate, especially when uncertain on how to handle a situation in which he got caught being deceitful to a customer) he then proceeded to show me how he arrived at the adjustment price by inserting the required mileage in the fields provided on the terminal. We talked about other manufactures of quality tires, (BF Goodrich / Goodyear etc) and the way the tire adjustment manual calculated the cost. I ask if he had the tire manufacture adjustment / warranty literature he stated, no. Frustrated, I finally told him to put my car back together and give me the number to Pep Boys corporate office so, that I could see about what could be done on this situation, in which he blurted out 1 800 PEPBOYS. He did his best to try to keep me from contacting management in regards to this situation, stating that any calls to that number would be directed right back to him. Johnny stated, he makes the final decision on the outcome of this situation, since he is the manager, and that is the way it is. I don't believe this to be the case; since the store name would be Johnny Boys or something of that sort. Although he does run it as if it were his own. You be the Judge.
I definitely don't trust anything Johnny has to say now, since he lacks integrity, and has proven to be deceitful in lying to me about my tires being worn out and needing to be replaced; this just to make a sale and more profit. If nothing is done about this situation, then Johnny's 20 plus years of management style will continue to go unnoticed until he is caught in another LIE, then again on this side of town due to the demographics, it is unfortunately easy to get over on customers by being deceitful. The sad part about it is most of them will or may never know.
Lastly, today I also did comparison shopping on this 60,000mile tire, and it was on average $5.00 more at Pep Boys, than the equivalent name brand tires manufactured by Goodyear, BF Goodrich and others sold at Wal-Mart and Discount Tire, and when it comes time for understanding their customers needs for service and / or adjustments, these retailers are customer friendly, that really makes the difference. I don't want these Pep Boy tires any more after the aggravation this has caused and deceit that I have endured.