Yes it is the people that drive the business. The ase test is not based on real life in an aftermarket situation. The hard part of the people situation is the fact that most of the corporate managers will take the customers word in a dispute everytime. while the customer needs to be taken care of, it can be done without making your good employee look like a dumb a_ _.
It has surprised me that some of the most knowledgable fail the ASE test but what matters to me is their performance on the counter.I'm the only one in my store with it and most customers don't even see the little pin on my collar. As for all the talk of Advance or AZ being better. It's all in the individual stores. My AZ store is better because they have a bunch of kids at the Advance who tick customers off but before they changed mgrs up there, they were real competion. But I've seen AAP stores who kick butt. It's the people that drive the business and keep it!
This is by far not an insult to the ase parts certification you or your people have. i commend you and or them for taking the time to take the test. however having taken the test the first year it was out, and since renewing my ase, if you cant pass that test, you dont need to be behind the parts counter.
While i agree not to buy, you are wrong about the service dept. in the past few years of shakey stock market results at pep, the service dept was and still is the main money maker for them. the only purpose i could see in buying pep would be to be the dominant auto aftermarket supply and add service to advance. plus it would put them ahead of auto zone.