For years, Jiffy Lube employees around the country have repeatedly been accused — and sometimes caught — charging for repairs that weren’t necessary or weren’t even performed. The company has promised change, but that memo didn’t seem to reach everyone.
NBC 4 in Los Angeles had previously caught Jiffy Lube stores cheating customers, so it thought it was time to do an undercover investigation to see if the “system wide changes” promised by Jiffy HQ had been enacted.
Over the course of four months, reporters took a test car — one that experts had determined needed nothing but an oil change (check out the above video to see how they rigged the cars’ cameras) — to 11 Jiffy Lube stores in the L.A. area. But instead of getting the $22 oil change, some stores wanted to perform more than $600 worth of work on the car.
There was the one store where an employee said the car required $649 in repairs. But even though the undercover reporter agreed to most of the repairs, hidden cameras show that not all the invoiced work was performed.
An employee appears to be caught on camera removing the air filter and “replacing” it… by putting the old air filter back when the customer wasn’t looking. For that, the customer was charged $27.
That same store insisted that transmission and differential fluids were near empty and needed to be changed, at a cost of $200. Thing is, the cameras showed that no one ever actually checked those fluids — and those fluids were perfectly fine because they had just been serviced.
At another Jiffy Lube, the customer was told the car’s battery was in “critical” condition — even though it had just been tested and found to be in good condition — and that it needed to be replaced. But NBC 4 claims that the employees at that Jiffy Lube were deliberately entering incorrect numbers in to the battery-testing device in order to guarantee the “critical” reading.
This same Jiffy told the customer that the freon level in the car was low, but cameras showed that no one ever tested the A/C before recommending it be serviced.
In all, seven of the 11 tested Jiffy Lubes attempted to sell unnecessary repairs.
NBC 4 says it offered to meet with Jiffy Lube execs to show them the undercover video, but the company declined. Instead, it said what every other company in its situation says… that it’s taking this seriously:
At Jiffy Lube, our customers and their vehicles are our top priority. We aim to provide quality service to our customers in the maintenance of their vehicles, which is why we require more than 20,000 Jiffy Lube service center technicians across the country to complete a comprehensive training program.
It is our intent to help educate our customers so they can make informed decisions regarding their vehicle’s maintenance services and products. We base our recommendation on Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) recommendations when appropriate and we also review the condition of the customer’s vehicle at the time of service.
We take all allegations regarding technician performance at our franchise service centers seriously, and encourage customers who are dissatisfied with their service to contact us at 1-800-344-6933 or http://www.jiffylube.com.
Here are just some of the Jiffy Lube stories we’ve covered over the years:
Jiffy Lube Ditches Dubious Oil Change Frequency Stance
Woman: Jiffy Lube Didn’t Inspect My Car
EECB Convinces Jiffy Lube To Pay For Repairs After Damaging Car
Jiffy Lube Tries To Scam Yet Another Customer
JiffyLube Caught Upselling Car-Damaging Repair Services