Pep Boys Bilks Customer Over Tire Warranty Replacement

UPDATE: Pep Boys Apologizes

Pep Boys seems to be scamming Arnie on the tires he bought from them and trying to cheat him out of his road hazard warranty after he got a nail in them. So he’s sending off an executive email carpet bomb, reprinted inside. Road hazard, indeed.

date: Sep 29, 2007 5:50 PM
subject: Pep Boys Store Issue

Dear Pep Boys

In May of 2007 I came to realize that the tires on my 2004 Scion XB were quite worn and in need of replacing the full set. I price shopped many other tire outlets and found that Pep Boys not only offered the lowest price but also had a current promotion that would provide a rebate on one full tire. I also found that they were open on Sunday while most tire outlets were not and that was of great convenience to me. So I called the store, verified that the tires I wanted were in stock and headed into the store to purchase the tire set. This was the Bedford Texas store on Harwood Rd.

When I reached the store I was instantly unimpressed with the associate behind the counter whom I later found out to be the Service Center Manager. Jeff Whitman was his name and when I approached he was on the telephone. I patiently waited while he finished the call. He then took a moment to take a bite of a hamburger and greeted me with his mouth full of food. He took 3 phone calls while he was assisting me which I felt was highly unprofessional seeing as how, I was a customer who had taken the step further to come into the store and make a purchase. We agreed on the tires I would purchase and the price and I signed the work order. I was going to be leaving the car and I left my cell phone number with him to call when the work was complete. I also told him I was on a strict budget and if there was any cost above the price I signed for I must have a phone call from him before he did anything.

I received no phone call about the car, ever. Not even to tell me it was ready. I decided to come back to check on it about the time they were closing and it was ready. Jeff informed me upon my return that I needed an alignment so they went ahead and preformed it and I now owe them for the alignment as well as the tires. I told him I did not want the alignment and did not authorize it and he refused to take it off, but did offer a discount on the price of the tires. I agreed to this and he took the discount on the tires. However, later when I went to get my rebate, I was then shorted on my rebate because he took the discount on my tire price and I was only eligible for the price he adjusted them to.

I let this entire situation slide and never complained further to Jeff Whitman despite my general unhappiness with the entire experience. Then on September 29 th, 2007 I returned to the Bedford, Texas store with a nail in the tire. I had purchased a road hazard warranty with the tires. The new service manager Mr. Fernandez was there to assist me. I asked several questions when I brought the car in and none of which could he seem to answer for me directly. He said things like, ” I am not sure, we will have to see, maybe we can” all evidence to his seeming lack of confidence in what he was telling me. I left the car and when I returned he told me that the nail was in the side wall and the tire could not be repaired. I said fine, I assumed that I was covered by my road hazard warranty seeing as how I had only driven approximately 5,000 miles on the new tires. Mr. Fernandez informed me that I was only covered by a pro-rated amount on the tire because I had only 6/32 of tread left on the tire and that I had already used 80% of the tire’s life. I purchased the tires with 50,495 miles on the car and the mileage upon return with the nail in it was 54, 986.This was a 60,000 mile tire how could 5,000 miles have been 80% of the tire life? Again he never answered any question I asked directly or confidently. He told me he would enter it as 8/32 of tread to make it a lower price for me. I paid for the tire and drove 2 businesses down to a competing tire outlet and had the tread on the other 3 tires measured. They measured my tread at 12/32 on all 3 other tires. That is quite a large difference from what Mr. Fernandez measured (26/32).

So now I am coming to you, looking for satisfaction in this situation. I feel like I have been quite taken advantage of by the Bedford Texas Pep Boys automotive. I would like to have a refund of the alignment and the road hazard warranty. I feel like I was mislead on both of these purchases. I will post this letter as it reads to “the consumerist” ( as well as the Tarrant County BBB also and if this is handled in an appropriate manner from this point forward I will sing your praises for handling the compliant professionally.

I thank you for considering my complaint and I hope that you can restore my confidence in Pep Boys.

Amie Trainor
Fort Worth, Texas

Arnie hit all the main Pep Boys dudes in his blast. His letter is clear and lucid, though about half a page too long. Brevity, it’s not just the soul of wit, it’s also how you get busy people to read your letters. Hopefully this will get him some traction, even if Pep Boys’ tires aren’t.

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(Photo: klynslis)