The following letter was sent to Pep Boys coporate Customer Relations Department via e-mail on July 30, 2000 and August 6, 2000. Pep Boys did not respond to either e-mail. As such, a complaint was filed with the Better Business Bureau on August 8, 2000. The less than surprising result of the Better Business Bureau's involvement follows the letter.
One more time. I am resending this e-mail with the hope that you'll actually supply me with an answer. Seventy-two (72) hours is your stated response time - so where's the response??
Not that it do will any good, but I had to express my deepest and most profound disappointment in the Pep Boys store located in Highlands Ranch, CO. On 02/05/2000 my step daughter's car had $751.81 worth of work done - $451.81 after a $300.00 reduction in labor charges - Invoice No. IN1058246. This work consisted of among other things, transmission service, including the replacement of the transmission pan gasket, which by the way we were told had to replaced because there was a danger of fire from the fluid leaking onto the exhaust pipe.
On June 30, 2000 my step daughter, her husband and her three (3) year old child ventured forth from Omaha, NB to spend the 4th of July weekend with us. As it happened, they only got as far as Ft. Morgan, CO. They stopped for gas and the car would not engage in drive. So, guess who got the call to rescue them?
Jim Vinal, my step son-in-law noticed that transmission fluid was leaking from around the pan seal. He tried adding fluid and let the car sit idle to cool off the transmission, but to no avail. We arrived on the scene 2 1/2 hours out of Denver, CO and verified that the transmission fluid was leaking and that the car would not engage in drive. I called the Highlands Ranch, CO store and told them we had a problem. All I got was "it's out of warranty." Much to my dismay, after telling them that the work was not done properly or the seal they used was bad, I was again told it's not their fault. The warranty on labor was three (3) months and on the seal four (4) months or 4,000 miles [this is wrong - the warranty as stated on the invoice is 6-months or 6,000 miles]. Well, doesn't say much for your labor force and/or the parts you use are sub-standard. Funny, the original seal lasted almost 100,000 miles and yours is only guaranteed to last for four (4) months or 4,000 miles [this should be 6-months or 6,000 miles].
The car was towed from Ft. Morgan to Cottman Transmission in Aurora, CO, who by they way has been in business since 1962. Their telephone # is (303) 343-0400. They discovered that, yes indeed, the "transaxle fluid was 1 1/2 quarts low causing lack of lubrication to the planetary gear set," which as you might imagine blew the transmission. Not having too many choices, the transmission was replaced at a cost of $1,955.73. It took an extra day of time and labor to get the old, now blown, transmission out of the car because it was so screwed up.
Despite your insignificant labor and parts warranty, which is laughable at best, I contend that Pep Boys owes my wife's ex-husband and me $1,955.73. My step daughter, her husband and her daughter could have been killed at worst if the transmission had locked up while they were driving at the posted speed limit of 70 mph down the highway. Your Highlands Ranch, CO store and the parts they used cost us enormous inconvenience and a large amout of money.
I can't believe that your company, which advertises how much cars and people love Pep Boys, would have used and uses parts in which it has such a lack of faith - considering the short warranty period.
We are still considering a law suit againt your company to collect, if nothing else, the cost of replacing the transmission. Before we take such a step, I did want to give you the opportunity to comment/reply to these allegations. I am so utterly disappointed in what happened and I think you would be as well. Consider your own families put into this situation. How would you feel? What would you tell others about Pep Boys?
Please respond as soon as possible. If your law department responds to this e-mail vs. your customer service people, you can be assured that any further communication concerning this matter will be handled through our attorney as well.
After this complaint was filed with the Better Business Bureau, Pep Boys finally responded that their local District Manager refused the claim. The Better Business Bureau forwarded their response to me and was received on September 8, 2000.