Tag Archives: Customer Service

Customer Service: Pep Boys

( @pepboysauto, #repairs )

I had an interesting couple of days with our cars. On Thursday, my friend known as GTT texted me to tell me that my wife’s car in the driveway had a flat tire. I was in the office and could not deal with it until I got home (my wife and I carpool). Long story short, there was a screw in the tire and I decided to wait until the next day since we were both working from home.

The next morning, we got the spare on and I followed Allison over to Pep Boys so she could get the tired repaired. Heading down Woodbury-Glassboro Road in Pitman, the cops decided to have a check-point. Allison got through with no issue, but my car had a brake light out, and when they pulled me over I informed them that my driver-side window was broken. This thing has been giving me trouble for months (it kept getting stuck). Long story short, I got stuck with the cops for a while, but didn’t get a ticket. I knew I had to get this thing properly fixed. So after her car was fixed, we left mine. I knew this was not going to be cheap.

This is where I will pause and pose a question that I generally get: “Why do you take your car to Pep Boys?”

My answers are many and there will be several in the course of this little story:
1. They are close
2. They are a corporation, so should I get poor service (which I have not), there is a chain of command I can follow to get my issues resolved.
3. They always have parts
4. They are much much better than Firestone (I have a whole story with them for another day).

One other thing about this particular chain (Glassboro, NJ), they have done several small fixes for my wife and I at no cost. A month ago, a heat shield half fell off my car and they removed it and cleaned up the area at no cost (and told me I didn’t need anything else to be done even though I was willing to get repairs done). They also fixed my wife’s flat at no charge (but I think that comes with their tire service when you buy from them – but either way, it was nice).

Back to my story, the manager called me and told me the repair was not going to be cheap (over $500) because the motor in the window had to be replaced. As I said, I was expecting this. They had to get a part from another store, but the car would be done that day. THAT DAY. When the car was done and I went in to pay, they let me use a 10% off coupon and the cashier noticed I had a $30 mail in credit that I didn’t think I could use in combination (so I didn’t mention it), but they saw it in my hand and let me use. Pep Boys sends coupons for service almost every month. Its smart of their part but also works out well for the consumer.

I figured I would put this out there since several popular blog posts document my negative experiences with car rental places, ticketmaster, and other retail outlets. I always have decent experiences with Pep Boys and never feel like I got taken advantage of. Their monthly coupons are smart because they keep us thinking about services for our cars. They execute a nice mix of good service, good marketing, and availability. Well done.

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Customer Service Showdown: Blockbuster vs. Netflix

On Friday night, I received an email from my Blockbuster rewards account informing me that my subscription plan would be ending at the end of the month and I would have to choose a new one. The email then states that the most similar plan to the one that I had is $7.00 more per month and I would not be able to exchange mailed movies in-store in an unlimited capacity. After I did some digging, I found this to be a mistake and the $25.00 subscription is for unlimited in-store rentals but I was pissed nonetheless because I had to look…

My issue is that Blockbuster’s online service is terrible (although I will say that the in store staff in Glassboro is excellent and friendly – consistently). A returned movie may get back to the processing hub within 24 hours, but it takes several days to ship new movies to you, their online queue robot is buggy and gets confused if the movie you want is in waiting status (it doesn’t skip to the next one). In store movie selection usually sucks: old movies are quite limited, and the newest movies are always out (it takes about three weeks to snag them). In the last month, their online queue has been getting backed up for movies that you would never guess would have a wait (Karate Kid, North by Northwest). Blockbuster’s direct competitor Netflix online service is much better although they don’t have a store to go in a get movies, but you can watch movies on demand online as part of your subscription process. Netflix recently reduced their subscriptions by $1.

Bottom line: I am going to let my remaining 44 movies in my Blockbuster queue ship and then I am canceling the service and going back to Netflix unless I see a massive improvement with their online service.

~~~~UPDATE~~~~
I just dropped off movies at blockbuster and wasted 40 minutes due to their crap selection in store. When I got in line, I heard the gentleman in front of me asked the staff (who is newer) about the change in the program. The manager made it seem like nothing is different and I open my mouth and say that they are taking away the unlimited in store movies for the current price ($18) he was paying or you get to pay an addition $7.00 per month for the same service.

The man wasn’t happy and the store manager proceeds to tell us both that Blockbuster was doing us a favor before by giving us the service at that price. I THEN find out that they are doing away with the free monthly gaming coupon as well. The manager asks me if I am really unhappy with the change. I replied to him with “you are charging me 25% more and giving me less services, what do you think?” The guy says you can always cancel.

What an asshole.

The website makes it seem that the $25.00 plan allows you to rent unlimited games, but the guy in the store said that isn’t the case. I must verify.

Update to follow

~~~UPDATE~~~
Not getting free game coupons anymore. You get a “discount” which as of yet seems undefined (probably $3.00 off the $6.00 game rental).

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