Experiences with Pep Boys special ordering? (Mild inflammation may occur.)

Note: I’m placing this in IMHO because the vitriol below is about as strong as lukewarm milk, and I want to see if others have had experiences similar to mine. If a mod fields that this is sufficiently pit-worthy, please feel free to move it to BBQ.

So, I managed to rip the driver’s side mirror off of my Honda (I’ll give the story on how if requested). On July 10th I go to the local Pep Boys to buy a new one, since theirs was about $45 cheaper than anyone else’s. After repeating several times that I need a “driver’s side mechanical non-heated outside foldaway mirror for a 4-cylinder 2000 Honda Accord LX 4-door sedan with an American-built body and Japanese-built engine” (trust me, every single one of those words is crucial), I finally get the damn thing ordered and pay $53 up front. They tell me it will take 3-5 days for the part to come in. I ask what my guarantee is that I’ll get it in 3-5 days, and they tell me there is no guarantee, but it’s extremely rare for a part to come in late and they’ll call me as soon as it comes in.

Five days later, I’ve heard no word as to the status of my part. So I call them and they tell me, “No, it takes 3-5 BUSINESS days. It’ll be here Wednesday.” Now it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the Wednesday the week after the Tuesday I ordered is 6 business days, but that’s all right. I thank them and patiently wait until next Wednesday.

Wednesday comes. Still no call from them. I decide to drop by and check to see if the part has come. Yup, it’s there, but they never called me. Thankfully I had the gumption to open the box and make sure it was the right part before I left. It was the right mirror for the right car, but it wasn’t the foldaway kind. The sales rep researched the order and found that the lady who originally placed it forgot to request the foldaway mirror. They tell me that they can order the new one and have it overnighted. However, since it’s after 5:00pm, it won’t be sent until tomorrow. Fine, I’ll get it Friday. I’m getting irked, but it’s not the end of the world.

Friday comes. No word. I’m quite busy all weekend and yesterday, so I finally go in today to see if it’s there. After staring down a group of salespeople who were chatting away, I approach them and one reluctantly agrees to help me. I think this woman would rather that rusty nails wired to a car battery be driven through her girly bits than be working there. I give her my receipt and without a word, disappears into the back and brings me the exact same mirror I declined a week ago. I point out the new receipt, conveniently stapled to the top of multiple receipts for this one transaction.

“Look, I know this isn’t your fault, but may I please speak to a manager?”
“I am a manager.”

I tell her the trouble I’ve had getting this part, but I could tell that I’ll have to look elsewhere for any sympathy. After a few minutes of searching the system, the part came up “Order Cancelled by Vendor”. What does that mean? She calls the vendor and after 20 minutes of waiting, we she tells me that they can’t say why the order was cancelled and no one will take responsibility for cancelling it. They can reorder it, but they’d have to call the vendor back in three hours (which I know they won’t do… they can’t even call me) and make sure that the order was received, then overnight shipped again. Rather than deal with this mess, I asked for a refund and told them I’ll be taking my business elsewhere. She said, “That’s what I’d do if it were me.” Wow. Just… wow.

So she’s having a hell of a time trying to ring up a transaction for a refund. She asks me to sign the credit card machine, even though the display said: “Amount to be charged: $85.66”. I point it out, but she says just sign it. So I do, and her next reaction, however predictable, was, “Oh, shit. I just charged your card.” Simply amazing.

She spends another 10 minutes fiddling with the register, and finally manages to refund $107 and change to my card. I turn around and leave without so much as a thank you. Why? Because in the entire time I was in this place and on the phone, no matter how many screw-ups and time spent waiting around for an answer. I never got so much as one “Sorry your part’s coming late and that this is such a nuisance.” They wouldn’t even have to take the blame for the screw up. Just a “sorry” would be enough.

All in all, I ended up making about $30 on the deal because she accidentally refunded me the amount for the more expensive mirror, even though I paid for the cheaper one. Feel free to knock me for accepting it, but I consider it a tax for my time and patience.

Sorry this was such a long post. Has anyone else had experiences with special ordering from Pep Boys? Were they good, bad, or neutral? Please share!

My only experience with that gang of yahoos was when we were on the road and needed the fuel filter changed. (We got some bad gas, and so on…) They were our only available option at that time and location. Otherwise, I wouldn’t buy so much as a pine tree air freshener from them - they’d mix that up somehow and sell me pina colada.

The mechanic did the job and came back in with bright red eyes and stinking of gas. Apparently he was new to fuel filters and didn’t know that it was likely for gas to come out of the lines once they were disconnected from the filter and got a goodly amount of gas in the face with his safety glasses safely in a pocket. You think they’d teach “There’s gas in gas filters!” and “Gas in the eyes will hurt like you’ve never been hurt before, so wear those safety glasses that we gave you!” before lunch on Day One of mechanic school?

As for your saga of Honda parts - you’re right about all of those words being important, but you did leave out the part of which plant and which shift made the car, and if it was a Wednesday in April or not.

I have never seen a modern auto maker be so predictably variable in their parts and changing details of things unannounced during a model year. <grumble>

MY story about an auto parts store that screwed up is Schucks (Kragen or Checker in other parts of the country). I ordered a passenger side drive axle for a Chevy Corsica. 3 days later they call and say it’s in. I go pick it up, bring it home and compare it to the old axle. It is totally different. I take the old and new axle back to Schucks and the same guy that took the order double checks the part number on the computer. Yep, he says, that’s the right axle. I tell him he’s wrong. He tells me the part number on the box is correct. I tell him the wrong axle it in the box then. He tells me I don’t know what I’m doing. I ask him to shove the wrong axle up his ass and give me my money back. The gal that gave me my refund heard everything and tells me the guy is an idiot and hands me a customer survey form. I go to the NAPA up the street and they have the right axle in stock and at a cheaper price.

I sent the survey form in and got a $25 gift card for my trouble. I went back to the same Schucks to use the gift card and the gal that gave me the refund is behind the counter. She told me that it was the wrong axle in the box and that the guy that helped (?) me no longer works there. Besides helping me spend my $25, she threw in some promo stuff for free and gave me an employee discount too. And I was ready to never spend a penny at Schucks again.

If there’s anything I’ve learned in all my years, it’s that idiots can be employed anywhere. So rather than write off an entire chain, I’ll just make sure that I’m not helped by room-temperature-IQ. Of course, if there are enough idiots on payroll it is easier to just go down the street in some cases. YMMV

Ridicule them in your mind with this image:
Manny, Moe, and Jack, as their customers never envisioned them.

Disclaimer and warning: Cartoon of male heads on female bodies lies beyond yonder link. Cartoon breasts may be offensive to some.