Sunday, June 8, 2008

Jiffy Lube? Not Quite

I let my car go further than I would have liked without an oil change, so I took it in today. Things kept coming up to prevent my task, so I had no choice but to just get it done today. Unfortunately the place advertising $14.95 oil changes was not open today. I decided to give Jiffy Lube a chance.

When I got there I was pleased to find a short line. This short line turned out to be misleading. The people were very friendly when I pulled up, and pointed out where I should park my car. If you read my post about Wal-Mart you would know that this was a great start to my day. I was told to sit down and a guy would fill out the paperwork. I had my wife with me in her car, as oil changes typically take forever. The plan was to go to lunch and pick up my car when we were done. This was not to be.

A few minutes go by and nobody has contacted me regarding paper work. I walk outside from time to time to make sure I have been noticed, and after 15 minutes or so I was approached. I was on the phone with my wife who was still waiting in her car when the guy started calling out some name. It wasn't mine so I kept talking. Finally he got my attention and repeated this name and confirmed I had the Taurus. I told him the Taurus was mine but he had the wrong name. I then remembered the JiffyLube sticker on my windshield. The last owner was in the system.

I went through the process with the guy, making sure all my data was recorded. He tried to sell me the usual extras, but I had found out a moment before that the price would be more than double what I usually pay at Wal-Mart. I told him I would wait to buy the extras until the "sticker shock" wore off in the future. As he got to the bottom of the form, a older lady pulled up in her truck. He told me to "Hold on sec" and tried to convince the lady to sell him her truck. Apparently he either knew her or she was a regular customer, as they continued to talk as old friends. I finally got his attention and asked how much longer the process would take, as I wanted to go to lunch with my wife. He said "15 minutes". I told my wife it would be 15 minutes. It wasn't.

A quick price comparison follows:

  Wal-Mart Jiffy Lube
Oil Change $27 $39
Tire Rotation $1.50/tire $20

While I was waiting a lady was called to the front because her car was finished. He gave her the final price and she was confused. She asked him if they had done all the extra stuff. Apparently the price was lower than she expected. She had asked for a fuel filter and a tire rotation. This wasn't on the paper work he told her so she asked him to do the work. To their credit he went into the garage and hounded the guys to get her stuff finished quickly. At least they didn't try to argue with her.

Finally my turn came. He gave me the final price which turned out to be slightly lower than the quote. It was only a dollar or two, but I was still happy about it. When all was said and done it took about an hour. Considering the fact that my car was first in line in it's particular stall, I don't think it should have taken an hour. I will be making the trek to Simi Valley to let Wal-Mart do my next oil change.


outofthepinksky said...

Wow, I've always been in and out of my local Jiffy Lube in the promised 15 minutes. The price comparison is good to know!

Anonymous said...

Surf Jedi,
Sorry to hear that your visit took so long and that left you with a "not quite" experience. I work for Jiffy Lube and we would rather be known for "quite the outstanding experience." I've already told our Customer Service Department about your experience and if you contact them, they can put you in direct contact with the manager in charge of your service center. We are always happy to hear from our customers and would like to opportunity to address your concerns. You can call Customer Service at 1.800.344.6933 or email

Hope to hear from you soon,

SurfJedi said...

Paul, I appreciate your note. I will look into the options you provided. Thanks for reading.

Tim said...

Jiffy Lube stinks. I went to my local one near my work in Irvine by the Spectrum expecting to be in and out. I was also ignored. I think the managers are probably okay but aren't around so you're left with minimum wage workers who don't care about the work they're performing. After 40 minutes of sitting inside I walked out, took all the cash in my pocket out of my pocket, handed it to the guy and got in my car to drive away. Only then did the guy pay any attention to me.

The manager called the next day to appologise and offer me a free oil change. I told him thanks for the offer but it's not worth it. As a result I continue to go to the place next door that's quicker, friendlier and leaves me happy.

Kudos to you for writing about it. JLI customercare should be addressing the stores and not spending their time searching for blogs about them. If they addressed their stores they wouldn't have bad press.