Pep Boys is the Worst Place to Take Your Car!

January 21, 2014 On My Mind 16

Today has to be one of the shittiest days I’ve had in a long time. I had to go against what wiser people said and in the end, I basically got ripped off and suffered a whole lot of emotional and mental stress.

My open letter to Pep Boys:


I just wanted to let you know about my experience regarding your company’s service to me and my car on Tuesday, January 21, 2014. I have never felt so swindled, ripped off, and left helpless before in my life!

This morning my brake light comes on so I decided to take it into the nearest Pep Boys, my first time using your service, only because its right near where I’m going to school. They said they wanted to charge me $1200 for new rear brake pads, caliper, master cylinder, & brake hoses which, personally seemed outrageous to me, and after checking with a mechanic friend (or even just mentioning it to my colleagues), was clearly a rip off. They said they weren’t allowed to give me my car back after I refused the service because it was “unsafe”, which I understand, but I don’t understand how a person can, say, sign out of a hospital AMA, but I can’t sign some paper saying I refused service on my car. The employee, Tom, then said he could knock the price down to $750, which is still a rip off to me, or that I could get my car towed out of the place instead. I had thought to do that, since it would be cheaper, and mentioned it to him, he talked to his manager, and then knocked the price down again to $500. Clearly, I’m getting ripped off, since I know a friend who got all FOUR of his brake pads replaced and such for only $200. Which means even if you charged that much for only TWO, that’s $300 in service. I find that ridiculous.

Then, to make matters worse, they call me hours later saying that they don’t even have calipers for my car, they have to keep my car until tomorrow and I had to find my own way home. They had the nerve to say that it took so long for me to decide what to do that they used the part they had on some other car. And let me tell you, I’m from Philadelphia and am in CT for school. I know absolutely no one, I had no cash on me, and was basically stranded at my school for two hours waiting for a taxi driver who mercilessly braved this crazy snow storm we’re experiencing in order to take me to my apt. The manager said to save the receipt and he would “work something out” with me regarding credit/reimbursement for the taxi fare.

I’m basically a young woman, stranded in a city/state I’ve never been to, with no one I know, in tears because they’re gouging me and leaving without any means to get home in the freezing snow and they couldn’t care less, just saying “you figure it out”. And like I said, I’m also a student, with a huge loan debt and no job, so they’re taking money that I don’t even have, that I have to borrow from someone else, and drive me more in-debt, unnecessarily. I’ve never had such atrocious customer service before.

Who knows what they will try and sneak into the invoice tomorrow or when/if I’ll ever get my car back. I’m very aggravated and just exhausted from this migraine of an experience. I hope the employees there enjoyed stealing my money and making my life miserable.


Fingers crossed I get my car, and my sanity, back tomorrow so I can put this dumbass mess behind me. Chalk it up to my own stupidity!

Consider this my lesson learned, oh soul-sucking world out there! I’m just sad I had to break the bank to learn it!

EDIT: This morning went considerably better, another Pep Boys employee called to say my car was done and it drove it to my apt. They did cover my taxi cost and the total was less than I thought, but still a bit of a rip off when you look at it.

2014-01-22 10.50.17

Of course, nothing can cover the emotional stress they inflicted on me, but that’s to be expected with crooks. In the end, I’m just going to chalk this up to a bad experience that just happens in life and I know now to never trust big corporate asshats like these people again (They definitely like to treat their employees well with that crazy Labor charge & I don’t even know that the “Other” charge is for because nowhere on the sheet does it specify). Beware, my friends!

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16 Responses to “Pep Boys is the Worst Place to Take Your Car!”

  1. Andrea @ The Bookish Babe

    Okay, Vi. I just read this to my husband who is extremely knowledgeable, and he said you should have been charged approx no more than $300 for all FOUR tires. I can only imagine how frustrated and helpless you must’ve helped. I hope this all gets resolved quickly in your favor.
    I hope you send this letter to their corporate headquarters.

  2. Yara @ Once Upon a Twilight!

    Oh Vi, Im sorry that they did that to you. Those chain stores like pep boys are vultures. They will use the “car unsafe” rule to stick people with fixing their cars there for a Hefty price. I know now there isn’t much you can do, but when its over and you do have your car back. I would report them to the better business bureau. and just post where ever you can leave comments about the crappy service they gave you and what they put you through.

    They should know not to mess with a book blogger, they have friends and SOCIAL MEDIA, we can put stupid places like that on blast!!!

    Hope your day gets better real soon.
    Yara @ Once Upon a Twilight! recently posted…Blog Tour: Ruined | Tracy Wolff | Guest Post | GiveawayMy Profile

  3. Denise F

    That is crazy! I told my husband and he said Pep Boys is notorious for that kind of thing, but I had no idea! He also said it is theft for them to keep your car from you. I personally think you should call the police. Thank you for the warning…I will never go to a Pep Boys now.

    • Vi

      I couldn’t believe it myself and was wondering wth was going on. Yeah, I was really tempted to call the police and get confirmation on this “law” thing they kept spewing, but it was already late, I was tired from work, it was snowing like crazy, and I just wanted to go home and forget this mess. Yes, tell your friends & family to avoid Pep Boys at all costs! Thanks for your concern!
      Vi recently posted…Pep Boys is the Worst Place to Take Your Car!My Profile

  4. Jaime Lester

    Hi there. I just wanted to comment and let you know that you are so not alone with being ripped off by a car service. I recently had a fender bender in my truck, and the insurance company suggested which body shop to take it to, where there was a Geico rep working that would help expedite things. So we took the truck to this place, because we trusted the insurance company. Mistake, big time. We were told it would be about 4 days for the work to be completed. A week later, they called and said it was going into paint and would be ready in two days. We got a call to come pick it up that day, and were told it wasn’t ready. This was last Friday, so we had to wait until Monday. Monday we came to pick it up, and my hubby and I were checking it out to make sure everything was good. They did a terrible job. Gaps weren’t right, the headlight wasn’t working, a piece of trim was flopping around, the grill wasn’t attached, the hood wouldn’t shut all the way. We told them about it, and they said they would fix it that day. No go. They said the next day, when the part would get there. We called them at 4 the next day, and they said it would be the NEXT day. Ugh. Turns out, during those 3 days, they did nothing. Not a thing. They ended up telling us they couldn’t do anything more, that everything was done correctly. They literally fixed nothing… not even the headlight. It turned into a huge fight, and Geico rep told us to take it to another shop and if the shop said that things were wrong, they would cover all the cost so we wouldn’t have to pay anything more. Needless to say, the other shop said everything was messed up, so we don’t have the car again for a few days while they fix things. Again. So we spent $500 for nothing, and still don’t have a car for a few days.
    So yeah, I understand your pain and frustration. Here’s thinking about you! I hate that you had to be treated like that. Customer Service these days pretty much sucks, apparently!

  5. Jennifer @ The Bawdy Book Blog

    The problem is not them, it’s you (but not really). It’s because you have a vagina that they think (and often times know) they can take advantage of women, thinking we don’t know when we are being ripped off because we (often times) don’t know shit about cars.

    Jiffy Lube did something similar to me back about 15 years ago, actually causing my car to break down while I was on vacation; and they admitted it was their fault later, but the manager wouldn’t refund me the repair money, or even the money for the work they did, because they thought I wouldn’t pursue it – because I’m a girl.

    I got that manager fired. BOOM. I’ve also never used JL since.

    Squeaky wheel gets the oil. I hope this gets circulated far and wide, and I’ll spread it among the car forums I belong to and on facebook. Nothing pisses me off more than being taken advantage of by car guys simply because we’re girls. NOTHING.
    Jennifer @ The Bawdy Book Blog recently posted…Eleanor & Park by Rainbow RowellMy Profile

  6. Chelsea @ Starbucks & Books Obsession

    I am so sorry you experienced this! What a fantastic letter your wrote and I think it’s great you put it out here on your blog. PepBoys should be boycotted by all women for this and I certainly know I will never go there. I hate that these companies think they can take advantage of women because they think we don’t know anything and aren’t resourceful enough. Hope you have a better week!! <3

  7. Andrew Landis

    Oh, I’m SO SORRY you had such a bad experience. I have had so many bad experiences with those quickie car service joints (Jiffy Lube and E-Z Lube) that I refuse to frequent them anymore. It’s all about quotas that they have to meet from their management teams and upselling services and products that aren’t necessary. I know this doesn’t help you now, but in the future, maybe check out some other mom-n-pop places via recommendations (or Yelp) if possible and/or take someone with you who might know how to speak their lingo. Once they get the sense they can make a buck, they behave like a pack of hyenas. Disgusting.
    Andrew Landis recently posted…We’re Not In Kansas AnymoreMy Profile

  8. Jenni

    Ugh there is nothing worse than when something goes wrong with your car! I always get my husband to take it in because I swear mechanics see a woman coming and just try to take them for everything they have. I’m happy to see that the next day went much better than the first!
    Jenni recently posted…Review: Faking Normal by Courtney C. StevensMy Profile

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