I recently took my car to an independent auto repair shop displaying the NAPA Autocare Center logo. I verified with the service adviser that my repair job would be covered under the NAPA Nationwide Peace of Mind 24 month/24,000 mile warranty. However, the final invoice didn’t mention that warranty, but instead stated the warranty was for 12 months/12,000 miles. He again stated that I would be covered under the NAPA warranty. I didn’t feel very confident about that, so I called NAPA Autocare customer service and explained the situation. The agent told me that my warranty with that shop is whatever they state on their invoice (12/12), but that if I needed warranty service when more than 25 miles away from that shop, that the NAPA Nationwide warranty would then apply and would cover me for 24/24. Everything I’ve read makes it seem that every shop participating in the NAPA program should offer the 24/24 warranty, but apparently not, according to the NAPA agent. Was the agent right; can participating shops offer less than the advertised 24/24 warranty? Anyone have any experience with this?
You’re going to have to talk with the owner of the shop I think. Forget what the service writer told you, go straight to the horse’s mouth, ask to speak w/the shop owner so you can clear up this ambiguity about the warranty. If you need to ever make a claim on the longer warranty, and the shop then tells you they won’t cover it, I doubt you’d have much luck convincing a small claims court judge to insist they cover it, b/c the paperwork you have says they won’t. It may be that NAPA would cover it, but who knows, you have no paperwork from NAPA. The owner of the shop may be able to provide you NAPA paperwork, then you’d be set.
This reminds me of the time I went for an emissions test, and there was a big sign on the wall that said “Second test is free, if you don’t pass”. I didn’t pass, so I asked for my free test. The shop guy said there would be no free second tests for me. I pointed out the sign with the huge letters. He ripped the sign off the wall and threw it away … lol …
The service adviser was actually the owner’s son, so I think he’s pretty much in tune with how that shop operates. The NAPA agent seemed kind of evasive. I asked him if he could verify that my repair job was listed in their records as being covered under the 24/24 warranty, and he told me that he was unable to. I then asked him that if I needed to request warranty coverage, how would they know if I was covered. He said to just call them and supply information from the invoice and they could verify my warranty coverage, so I told him that I had the invoice in front of me and could supply that information now, so could I verify my coverage. He hemmed and hawed and refused to tell me. He was basically covering for the shop, which does not give me much confidence that I will be treated fairly by NAPA should the need arise. I originally chose that shop because it was a NAPA Autocare Center, but I no longer have confidence in the NAPA brand.
If I had to hazard a guess, I’ll bet that NAPA will cover the cost of the part for 24/24, but not the labor. So, in effect, the individual shop dictates how the warranty works. It’s not NAPA’s fault, but they want repair shops to buy parts from them, and they can not tell those shops how to handle warranty claims.
This is the same for everything, except for new cars, where the car manufacturer has enough leverage to make demands of dealers - and even then this doesn’t work 100% of the time.
Write a short letter to the CEO of NAPA and explain — citing the example above — why you’ve lost confidence in them. I’ve had some pretty good results using that method in the past. Not w/NAPA, but with other large corporations. Once the CEO starts asking questions of his subordinates, things that were stuck solid become remarkably pliable for some reason.
So if you get $20 throw out bearing installed for $500 labor in Boston and drive to Denver the next week where it fails NAPA will gladly furnish a replacement bearing there to another authorized shop for replacement at the cost of their labor. Does that sound like a good deal to anyone.
Genuine Parts(NAPA), has a reputation for selling quality parts and they in fact own a great many of the manufacturers of auto parts sold by themselves and all other parts distributors but a lot of hype is used to inflate their reputation beyond reality. My local NAPA store was not my first call for the vast majority of parts and the local owner was one of the most difficult to deal with regarding bad parts and bad service. The local owner convinced me to use his machine shop and promised me great service but the first engine I sent to be machined for rebuilding was returned with a cam bearing installed incorrectly resulting in my doing the entire overhaul over and I was told that the block would need to be returned to them and put in the lineup for inspection and repair as needed. The machine shop that I had used for years sent a man over with the tool needed and a new set of bearings and corrected the problem within an hour of my calling. Needless to say NAPA’s number was called rarely after that.