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Pep Boys / lies, lies, lies

1 United States Review updated:
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Pep Boys' advertising tag line is "Pep Boys does everything for less" - but nothing could be farther from the truth.

Customers walking into a Pep Boys auto service center will see a prominently displayed sign, comparing the Pep Boys store price for common auto services, such as oil changes, wheel alignments, brake jobs, etc. - about 10 services in all - with nearby chain-store competitors. The sign board will show that Pep Boys prices are slightly lower than the competition for these services.

However, what customers aren't informed of with equal prominence is that for all other types of services, Pep Boys bills on a time and materials basis. And Pep Boys' hourly shop rate is approximately the same as the rates charged by new car dealer service departments, which are almost universally regarded as the most costly place to obtain service for a vehicle.

This practice would seem to clearly contradict the claim "Pep Boys does everything for less." Pep Boys' prices are competitive only for a small selection of services. For all other services, their prices are typically about the same as a new car dealer, and significantly higher than independent auto service providers.

It doesn't take an attorney or auto repair expert to understand that Pep Boys engages in deceptive advertising practices. On top of that, as a survey of various consumer review web sites and Better Business Bureau reports reveals, Pep Boys has a consistent track record of providing poor service, charging for repairs that aren't effective, and using questionable techniques to upcharge customers for unnecessary parts and repairs.

Unfortunately, I learned these facts for myself the hard way. Pep Boys charged me for over $500 in repairs, including $90 for an "in-depth" engine diagnostic. But this work did not accurately diagnose or repair my original problem, which was later corrected when another mechanic simply changed my fuel filter.

Any consumer interested in obtaining high-quality and effective auto repairs at a reasonable price can do much better than Pep Boys.

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