Friday, November 21, 2008

Pep Boys...A Saga

Yup, it was...

G and I wanted to get the car tires changed on our old Ford CV, so we thought we could get it done at Pep Boys. When we called the gentleman told us that they could change tires in 45 minutes for us. Excited that we will have spare time, we headed there immediately after reaching home. I know why all of us go to change tire right? But we are like this only!

We reach there, choose the tire we want, the guy tells us, buy three get one free. We are happy. We sign up for alignment and take our seats.

After roughly twenty minutes, the dude calls us, "Aye, come here." I was thinking in my mind, WTF, no one calls us AYE!

We walk up to him and he tells us that he does not have the tires we ordered in stock but he will give us a free upgrade. Around him four other guys stood with a serious face. They have no idea how to make their computer do what he had promised us and they were all breaking their heads over it.

So the price he had given us was $62 per tire + loads of crap + $55 for alignment (which was discounted from $70) = $410

So after one and half hour of labor we saw the mechanic drive our car to do the alignment. So G and I decided that we needed new hubcaps for our car and picked one up along with new wipers. We went over to the billing and the lady there looked flustered as she received instructions from the service guy.

I peeped into the computer and saw that they had some "Road hazard warranty" priced at $22. G and I decided that we did not need it as we did not see owning this car past another year or worst case two. So I requested the lady to take it off.

More flustering and mustering...she takes off the hubcaps we had bought and the wipers and tells us $410. I tell her very politely, "M'am, we need the hubcaps and the wipers, just take the road hazard warranty off. Please"

Totally flustered she starts muttering off in a language we do not understand to her boss. G and I looked at each other, "shayad gaali de rahi hai humko, itna choti si instruction samjne mein kya tang aa rahi hai usko."

So G and I wanting to have the hubcaps installed tell her to just get the hubcaps and wipers...and pay for it. We request the service guy to resolve the dispute.

In between all this, some random guy in the store who also works there but was off duty now started to advice us. And both me and G were like, WTF? Can we have the whole crowd come and explain to us what was happening while no one cared to tell the lady that all we wanted to do was something simple?

So, finally, the car is done. We have been there 2.5 hours, no exaggeration...

We go to pay the bill, the service guy manages to take the warranty off. We pay. Then G looks at the bill and see that they short changed us $15. So he talks to the manger who has the "what now" expression and gets the $15 back...well G is a banker's son after all...

"And what about the mail-in-rebate for the free tire?" I point out.

The old service guy hands me a form and tells us we will not get it anyway because we did not buy the warranty.

I am raging mad now but I calmly point out, "no one told us that." The manager and the service guy have the "I give up" expression on their face and so do G and I. Only thing, it is our money on the line...we were about to loose $50 because no one explained the rules to us!

The manger was now really confused how he was going to give us the money back. He stood there breaking a sweat and trying to think for almost ten minutes. Then G pointed out to him that he did not care about the warranty so a gift card would suffice to make up for the difference. Then the manager looked relieved and gave us an in store gift card.

We were so exhausted and I am sure that they were too, but the point is:

  • The person at the front desk should be able to understand English better. After all we are in America which is a English speaking nation. I really wouldn't expect this if I was in France or even in India for that matter.
  • The computer system they have should not be easy for the floor people to manipulate but it should be easy for the manager to manipulate and change things. There are always situations that you do not expect and the manager should be able to resolve them easily without breaking into a sweat.
  • Give the customer all the facts and the total cost before you do anything.
  • Check your inventory before pricing a product. For us it did not make a difference if we got an I mentioned, we are going to trade in our car in the next year or so.
  • DO NOT PROMISE 45 minutes and make us wait 3 HOURS!!!!!!!!!!!! UNFAIR. We have a life too, you know!
There, our entire evening was messed up. Both G and I were tired after sniffing car products the entire evening. We had dinner and crashed. Had no idea what had hit us.

Anyhoo, if you are in Dallas, then this PEP BOYS is located on Forest Lane and Webb Chapel Road...Avoid it if you can!


Megha Bansal said...

aww, this totally sucks. Car shops are like black holes of time!!! and so are salons..but cars do top the list!!!

Anu Russell said...

I agree

the car mechanics are followed by building contractors (handymen), a close second...

Prasanthi Neeladaran said...

Errrrr! How terrible! We've run into similar situations at wheel works and other chains. From that point on new tires = Costco.....It bugging to think these people get away with such service levels.....
nways, TC and have a gud weekend

arul john said...

Were they speaking in Spanish?