My bad experience at Pep Boys and good one at ThompsonMar 9th, 2009 | By Zach | Category: Blogs, Opinions
I have some advice for those who need vehicle repairs; don’t go to Pep Boys (at least the one in Springfield). I took my wife’s car in their about a month-and-a-half ago and they never did fix the problem that they said they would (although they did work on lots of other expensive things).
Her Pontiac Sunfire is almost 10 years old and we’d been having starter problems, specifically an extended cranking problem. When it was cool outside, it would usually start okay, but when it was hot and had been sitting out for a while, it would have trouble starting.
I took it in there and had them analyze it and asked for an estimate. They told me the problem was the result of a series of problems with the car, and that they needed to replace the fuel filter, leaky gaskets, and spark plugs, I think. I’m not a mechanic (that’s why I took it to Pep Boys), so I trusted their opinion, even after I almost fainted when they told me it would cost about $900 to fix.
So, anyway, they did their repairs and I go to pay for it and pick it up. It worked fine, until the next day when it was warmer out and it wouldn’t start correctly again. Same problem, $900 poorer. But hey, they have a 90 day warranty, right?
Well, I took it back to them, talked to Rufus and he said they’d take care of it at no cost. (As a side note, Rufus was very nice and courteous through the whole situation even as I took it back to them several times. I can’t say the same for the other service guy I dealt with.)
They said they’d look at it, but then I didn’t hear back from them. Finally, about a week later I went back in to see what was going on. Well, they couldn’t replicate the problem, the service guy told me, insinuating I was crazy and had made it up.
Took it back home, same problem the next day. Took it back to Pep Boys again, they said they’d take care of it, and didn’t hear back from them. Called again, they said it starts fine and pretty much I’m crazy. Take it back home again… ad nauseum. The last time I called to see if they’d worked on it, I said who I was and the service guy said “oh yeah, the guy with the Sunfire that starts perfectly every time.” What an asshole.
So much for the 90 day warranty…
Finally, we just took it to the service garage down at Thompson Buick Pontiac GMC Cadillac Saab .
They checked it over, looked up the vin number and saw that Pontiac had issued a recall notice for this very problem which is with the starter wiring about 5 years ago. They replaced the wiring harness (which had started to melt in places) and also saw that the starter was only working at about 50 percent due to this problem.
After Thompson fixed those problems, it starts just fine.
As for Pep Boys, well, I’m never spending another cent there!