Jiffy Lube agreed to pay Alison over $250 after botching routine work that forced her to interrupt her road trip for emergency car repairs. Alison’s mechanic said that Jiffy Lube’s attempted transmission fluid flush could have caused “catastrophic car damage” if left unfixed. Jiffy Lube denied all responsibility until Alison fired off an Executive Email Carpet Bomb to C.E.O. Rick Altizer, who agreed not only to reimburse for the repairs, but refunded the original cost of the transmission fluid flush, and tossed in a few coupons for free oil changes.
I know Jiffy Lube gets a bad rap but I’ve never had any problems with them and have been taking my car in for regular oil changes there for years. That is until a few weeks ago when my husband took our ’94 Corolla in for an oil change at a local Madison, WI Jiffy Lube before a big trip. They suggested flushing the transmission fluid. I don’t think we’d ever looked at the transmission fluid and we figured it could use some attention, so my husband agreed. The next day we drove to Chicago to visit my parents before driving on a few days later to Louisville, KY for a wedding. My mom immediately noticed something leaking under car. We were able to get our car in to see a mechanic who told us that the transmission drain pan plug was completely stripped and we were just a bump or two away from losing it, losing our transmission fluid, and having catastrophic car damage. He repaired the damage and we were on our way, although miffed about all the money we just spent. When we finally returned home I drafted a complaint email and submitted it via Jiffy Lube’s website. I actually submitted several emails over a period of about a week because we never heard back from them, or so I thought. We did find out later that they were trying to contact us via our landline phone fairly regularly (we don’t use it and it’s not hooked up to an answering machine). Their phone calls were showing up as Heartland Automotive and after reading about car warranty robo-callers on your site we didn’t answer, thinking it was one of them. Doh!
Another couple weeks go by and I start getting ready to craft an EECB. I do some research and find that Jiffy Lube’s CEO, Rick Altizer, has done a YouTube video on Jiffy Lube’s commitment to service which lists his email address. I also find out that my Jiffy Lube is actually owned by Heartland Automotive Group “America’s Largest Jiffy Lube Franchisee.” The email addresses for CEO’s at Heartland Automotive Services were relative easy to find with a Google search. I sent my email out and that night we get a call (coincidentally or not) from the manager of the Jiffy Lube store (this time we realize who’s calling from Heartland Automotive and pick up the phone). He was polite and spoke with my husband about the situation with our car. Not surprisingly they denied all damage and gave an excuse that is too lame to repeat here. After confirming with our mechanic that his excuse made no sense, I re-sent the EECB with a follow-up regarding the phone conversation and expressing my continued disappointment with how the situation was being handled. That was this morning and by this afternoon I had a reply email from the CEO of Heartland Automotive Services assuring me that they were taking this matter seriously and apologizing for what happened. They also will be reimbursing me for the original transmission fluid flush, the repair for our car (that’s about $250 total) and throwing in a coupon for a free oil change. I’ve already had someone contact me about getting the reimbursement rolling. I couldn’t be happier with their response to this matter.
Thanks Consumerist for helping empower me as a consumer—EECB’s totally work!
Learn how to craft your own Executive Email Carpet Bomb by reading this post.
(Photo: Gregg Sperling)