Jiffy Lube Begs For Forgiveness

A followup to reporter Joel Grover’s undercover investigation revealing Hollywood area Jiffy Lubes to be staffed by crooks.

Jiffy Lube is now running an ad asking customers to give them a second chance.

In response to the hidden-camera reports Jiffy Lube fired eighteen people involved in the cheating, including a district manager and several store managers.

Jiffy Lube announced it will be starting a nationwide mystery shopper campaign to root out criminals working in their auto shops.

However, several customers wrote to the president of Jiffy Lube and asked for refunds. They say they haven’t heard a thing back.

“It just shows that they don’t really care about the customers,” says an aggrieved customer in the video. — BEN POPKEN

Previously: Jiffy Lube Scam Revealed (Again)

Comments

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  1. acambras says:

    WE’RE SO SORRY

    …that we got caught

  2. AndyfromIL says:

    I only do my oil changes, you really can only trust yourself to do these things right.

    On the other hand, I wouldn’t do a transmission change or an a/c recharge, but anyone can change oil, and it only takes ten minutes. Anything big, to the dealer we go. Yeah it costs, but they are probably the only ones you can trust, unless you have a brother in the business somewhere.

    Any store that sells oil is supposedly bound to take used oil from self-changers, from what I understand.

  3. acambras says:

    Again, reasons some of us don’t change our own oil:

    1) Could cause warranty problems if you don’t have documentation of regular oil changes
    2) Hard to find legal place to dispose of used motor oil
    3) Some apartment managers or homeowners’ associations get really snippy about parking lot or driveway car maintenance/repairs
    4) Opportunity cost (it would take some people a lot more than ten minutes to change their own oil)
    5) Where I live, it’s about 30 degrees outside right now and I don’t have a nice warm garage. F*** that s***.

  4. jitrobug says:

    For what it’s worth, a corporate owned Oil Can Henry’s in Portland (OR) killed my transmission. I wasn’t the one driving, I think they failed to close it all up and everything leaked out. My girlfriend made it halfway across portland before the car stopped going, they drove out to patch it up and refill, but the car stopped shifting about a month later.

    Eventually they paid for it, but I was without a car for 6 weeks.

    So, if you’re looking for a better alternative, don’t look there.

    Maybe look here:
    http://www.kk.org/cooltools/archives/001299.php

  5. Spooty says:

    No personal experiences to add (I get my changes at the BMW dealer, and pay through the nose for it).

    But JL’s web presence SUCKS! I browsed http://www.jiffylube.com and most of the links have no info – no press releases, no customer info, not much of anything. Dead links abound.
    And, presuming the http://www.jiffylubecares.com site is part of their PR effort, it too is sorely lacking , as the site doesn’t even come up.
    They really need to sink some money into refunds and a more informative web presence, rather than a commercial or two that most people will laugh off, as the four ex-customers did in the linked movie….

  6. Demingite says:

    One thing that was not mentioned in this latest report is that the illicit behavior of Jiffy Lube employees occurred in the context of a corporate policy of sales quotas. Local dealers were expected to sell $66.00 of services to each customer. Pressure came from higher up to do this. I imagine managers’ jobs (and consequently front line employees’) were at stake. They had to meet the quota, or else.

    Trouble is, of course, a sales quota has nothing to do with what a given customer wants and needs. Some customers — probably most — really don’t need $66.00 of services when they go to a drive-in oil change place.

    So Jiffy Lube, as a company, set up conditions that were ripe for corruption with their thoughtless sales quotas.

    They are now paying for running a company on weak theory. Weak theory that informed a lousy business model.

    How about treating customers as human beings rather than walking revenue opportunities? How about going for a reputation of integrity and quality (with happy employees, and happy customers)? What kind of steady, long-term profit could integrity and quality bring?

    I share the cynicism of the consumers queried by Joel Grover. Any company can hire a PR firm and produce a slick commercial. It’s also super-easy to just fire 18 people and lay all blame at their feet. Much harder is to soul-search, admit policy-level mistakes, acquire new knowledge (including on systems theory), and actually change the culture of the company. I don’t think anything less than that will reform Jiffy Lube, and in the meantime I and many consumers will be staying away. (It’s ironic that their $66.00 sales quota policy should ultimately translate to many sales of $0.00.)

  7. JT says:

    I received a check a few years back as a result of some class action lawsuit. I don’t even know what it was all about but I was a part of the ‘class’ that took action.

    THere is one way to get them to pay. You’ll have to sue them.


    It’s such a dichotomy.
    On the one hand, I just heard on the news that some drunk lady drove her scooter into ditch. So she is suing. It makes me thing ‘there is too much litigation.’

    The other, company X wont lift a finger unless you force them with a lawsuit. And they can blow it off because most people can’t afford the cost to pursue things.

  8. JuliusJefferson says:

    Another reason many of us, including myself, don’t change our own oil – the terrible places modern cars place their oil filters. Even with the car jacked up all the way, I have to maneuver my arm like Stretch Armstrong just to reach it, let alone try and unscrew it.

    Also, for those of us who live in city apartments, it’s kind of hard for us to change your oil while cars are driving and parallel parking 3 feet from your legs sticking out from beneath your car.

  9. james275 says:


    i’m so glad i saw this story — here’s a true first-hand experience. about 7 years ago i took my nissan pathfinder in for an oil change to the jiffy lube on monona drive in monona, wi. now, you can’t change the oil or oil filter on the pathfinder without removing a 3ft by 2ft plastic drip guard. i watched them the whole time, and not once did they remove the drip guard. after 20 minutes of dinking around, they told me my car was done.

    “You changed the oil?,” I asked
    “Yes,” said the manager.
    “Oh really? How’d you do that without removing the drip guard?”

    after a few minutes of investigation, the manager comes back to me and apologizes, says there was a new guy who didnt understand that the oil had to be changed, thought that he was only supposed to check the fluids or something. yeah, right. i wonder how many other people they got away with ripping off using this scam.

    lesson: don’t ever, under any circumstances, go to jiffy lube. ever.

  10. soulbarn says:

    There’s a second oil-change chain in LA – EasyLube – that has also been the subject of investigations over the years, and has been shown to do the same thing. I stopped going to JL because I was sick of the constant upselling and the “you need a new air filter” BS (I actually did need a new air filter before one change – so I stopped at Pep Boys on the way to JL, installed the filter myself – and still “needed” a new one.)

    For oil changes (and everything else) find a good neighborhood mechanic. Ask your friends, and also check with the recommendations at cartalk.com (from the NPR program.) Real people write in and rate their local shops. I found reliable repair facilities in NY, LA, and SF that way.

  11. Old_Car_Guy says:

    I am one of those who is not allowed to change oil at my residence. I have an Avalanche and take it to a Chevy dealer. Yes, it costs more, but if they jerk you around, contacting the higher-ups seems to have some pull. I used Jiffy-Lube once many years ago. I am surprised they are still in business. Jiffy “Lubed” is what you get. Especially your wallet.

  12. HawkWolf says:

    we have a chain called Uncle Ed’s around here (southeast michigan.) I’ve gone to them and had zero problems. They never tried to upsell me at all. They even read the sticker on my air filter that says, “this isn’t a paper filter, don’t touch it” and paid attention.

    My family stopped using them because my dad’s old car, a Toyota Van, required that the driver get out of the vehicle while the engine bay was open (because it was under the front seats). This apparently wasn’t allowed by their liability insurance, since the driver could fall down the hole….

    Never had a mechanical problem, never had a mean person, never had a mistake.

  13. Ran Kailie says:

    Yeah it costs, but they are probably the only ones you can trust, unless you have a brother in the business somewhere.

    Sorry Andy I almost died laughing when I read this. Dealerships can sometimes be the worst and biggest scam artists of all automotive shops. They often claim to do work they never do, especially pricey work. Or they claim to use the higher end part and use the lower end one. And they over charge for everything.

    And Dealers are notorious for taking a customer’s ignorance to their advantage. I can’t tell you how many times I had dealer “technicians” tell me something to get me to agree to pay for something that was complete and utter bull.

    The bottom line, if people take their car places to get the oil changed or ANY work done, WATCH THEM DO IT.

    When i take my car to Jiffy Lube I stand out front and watch them remove the filter and replace the oil.

    When I take my care for an alignment or the tires rotated I stand out front and watch. You think while I’m watching any of those guys are going to try and pull a fast one? Sure I had times when they forgot things, and I’d remind them and they’d fix it.

    You have to be vigilant, if you’re sitting in the warm office drinking crappy coffee and reading a 6 month old time magazine you’re just as much at fault as the scam artist you’re giving the opportunity to.

  14. HankScorpio says:

    A few years back my wife took her car to JL, and this was a crappy Geo Tracker with 100k+ miles on it. They told her she needed to buy this special oil for high mileage vehicles. It was not synthetic, and was something like $6 per quart. The oil change ended up costing more than $50.

    I drove over to talk to the manager, and while I was waiting the tech that did the oil change said “What’s wrong did she not like the oil?”. I told the manager that I felt like they took advantage of her because she trusted them to give her good advice. The manager actually refunded the difference between regular old oil and the price of the special oil. I am glad they resolved it, but I will never go back to JL again.

  15. KenyG says:

    I take our cars to a friend of mine, who has his own shop. I pay his normal price, which is $29.99. With that, I get my oil and filter changed, tires rotated and door hinges oiled.

    Plus, we get to shoot the shit for a while.

  16. KenyG says:

    I take our cars to a friend of mine, who has his own auto shop. I pay his regular rate of $29.99 for which I get – an oil & filter change, tires rotated and door hinges oiled.

    Plus, we get to shoot-the-shit for a while.

  17. The best part is when they laugh at the ad.

    You have to be vigilant, if you’re sitting in the warm office drinking crappy coffee and reading a 6 month old time magazine you’re just as much at fault as the scam artist you’re giving the opportunity to.

    All the fault lies with the scam artist because they’re breaking the law.

  18. TedSez says:

    I’ve seen their ad several times, and it makes me trust them even less. They say, “If there’s anything more we can do for you, just ask.” Well, gee, I don’t want to have to ask. I’d like you to provide the service I’ve paid for as a matter of course. What’s more, what good does it do to ask for something when a company is known to be staffed by liars?

    As a general rule, whenever a company advertises itself as doing a good job on a specific aspect of customer service — a cable company says its representatives will be prompt and polite, say, or a car-repair company claims not to be crooked — it’s because they’ve been caught doing the opposite.

  19. loraksus says:

    I worked at GM for a while on the customer complaint line. Holy christ, some dealerships are absolute scum.
    Guess you shouldn’t really be surprised though…

  20. rijnusnoc says:

    Jiffy Lube is the absolute worst. I had work done at their Natick store a couple of years ago. The guys took off the splash shield of my car and never returned it (I found out after the fact when my regular auto mechanic noted it was gone). Not only that in moving around down there they detached a vacuum hose. A few days after the oil change my check engine light comes on. I take it to my regular auto mechanic and the entire diagnostic procedure plus replacement of the splash shield cost me $300. I write to JL about this and the most they would do is offer me half of what it cost me to fix the problem they caused! Never again. Take your business to your regular auto mechanic. He knows better than to detach parts and not return them. He also knows better than to mess with vacuum hoses.

  21. duncan36 says:

    For something like a fuel filter ask to see the old one after they change it out.
    If you’re concerned about them doing the work they’ve promised put a little bit of scotchtape and affix it on both the cap and the neck of the various fluid receptacles you expect them to fill.