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iffy jiffy
August 27, 2006 9:22 PM   Subscribe

The dangers of Jiffy Lube in which the average customer pays for services never rendered. (.asx video)
posted by The Jesse Helms (45 comments total)

 
I don't know who should be put against the wall first, Jiffy Lube employees or local news personalties.
posted by xmutex at 9:28 PM on August 27, 2006


SLIME in the ICE MACHINE!
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:30 PM on August 27, 2006


I mean, come on!!
posted by boo_radley at 9:43 PM on August 27, 2006


Anyone have a link that plays on my poor Linux machine?
posted by floam at 9:50 PM on August 27, 2006


JiffyTube
posted by jaronson at 9:51 PM on August 27, 2006


Well, there's one business I won't be spending money at.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:57 PM on August 27, 2006


What Astro Zombie said. I don't give a shit what they write on paper or if they put vid cameras at their stations. They're obviously bent scam artists. Why would anyone who's seen this ever go there again?
posted by dobbs at 10:04 PM on August 27, 2006


floam, VLC will play this.
posted by riotgrrl69 at 10:08 PM on August 27, 2006


Uh, this reminds of every localnews scare-o-rama Behind the Scenes sweeps week ever. I think they just recycle the b-roll.
posted by ninjew at 10:08 PM on August 27, 2006


Give poor district manager Steven Ayoub a break, it's hard to pay attention to all the little details while managing your professional poker career
posted by nanojath at 10:09 PM on August 27, 2006 [1 favorite]


lol at monju and boo.

Anyone from Houston? MARVIN ZINDLER, EYEWITNESS NEWS!
posted by fungible at 10:09 PM on August 27, 2006


I probably need to learn how to change my own damn oil (so embarassing).
posted by nanojath at 10:10 PM on August 27, 2006


I don't know who should be put against the wall first, Jiffy Lube employees or local news personalties.

They both deserve to have the oil delivery thingy stuck their their mouths and run until it reaches five quarts.

Why would anyone who's seen this ever go there again?

Because, honestly, I have no level ground to change my oil on. And the dealers charge more and are just as untrustworthy, if not more.

I've learned to go to JiffyLube towards closing time. They're not in the mood to scam you then; they just want to get home.

All this is another reminder why I don't watch the local news here in Seattle, though usually the "CAN YOUR PET GIVE YOU THE AIDS -- WHILE CHEATING YOU OUT OF YOUR HARD-EARNED MONEY???" stories are reserved for sweeps. We just have Jim Foreman standing on top of Queen Anne in full polar gear any time the word "snow" is mentioned.
posted by dw at 10:26 PM on August 27, 2006


If you do go to one of these joints, ask for oil from bottles. Otherwise you're just getting remanufactured oil. And anything they recommend on top of what you came in for, take it to a local mechanic.

I've had three friends demand to learn how to change their oil after losing engines to Jiffy Lube-type places.
posted by notsnot at 10:40 PM on August 27, 2006


Man, I'm glad I walk everywhere. Every time I'm tempted to bite the bullet, get a driver's license and buy a car, I see something like this. Plus, I don't trust myself enough to control a 1000 lb chunk of steel moving at 60 mph. You should all thank me for that.
posted by brundlefly at 10:47 PM on August 27, 2006


Last time I went there they kept trying to up-sell me stuff I didn't need. And they were so aggressive. I kept telling them that I only wanted the services listed on the coupon special I had in my hands. Yeah, I double-checked that bill when they finished, you better believe it. I won't be returning.
posted by schmedeman at 10:59 PM on August 27, 2006


Man, I'm glad I walk everywhere. Every time I'm tempted to bite the bullet, get a driver's license and buy a car, I see something like this. Plus, I don't trust myself enough to control a 1000 lb chunk of steel moving at 60 mph. You should all thank me for that.
posted by brundlefly


1000lbs? That won't even dent the 22s on my Hummer.

Disclamer: ninjew does not actually own a Hummer.
posted by ninjew at 11:08 PM on August 27, 2006


Chains are always under pressure to increase profits - you shouldn't go to them for that reason. The best strategy is to find a local mechanic that you trust (they do exist). Never get your oil changed at a place that offers it for $10 or $15 - they plan to make it back by finding something else wrong. You need to pay for the labor or you'll pay another way.
posted by QuietDesperation at 11:37 PM on August 27, 2006


This has actually happened to me in the past when going there--I asked only for an oil change and transmission fluid change and they wound up doing $200 worth of work--I had to yell at the manager before finally "applying coupons" to make it $80. Have never been back since.

I miss being able to see the "Slime in the Ice Machine" segments on Channel 13.
posted by Hot Like Your 12V Wire at 11:41 PM on August 27, 2006


I took my car twice - twice - to a Jiffy Lube. The first was to get an inspection sticker, and they failed me because my washer pump didn't work (non-existent rule in Hawaii), the second because I was travelling and had no place to change my oil. The guy at the lube station (or whatever they call it) said, in reference to my car, "What's that?" I ran away and never went back.

The moral: if you can't recognize my car, you can't work on it.
posted by 1adam12 at 11:47 PM on August 27, 2006


1adam12: Inquiring minds want to know (or I do anyway) what make your car is?
posted by Harald74 at 11:57 PM on August 27, 2006


It would have been totally awesome if they would have pointed the camera in the district manager's face and he would have said "I'm Steven Ayoub!" but then the guy behind the counter would have jumped up and yelled "No! I'm Steven Ayoub!" and then the mechanic would yell "I'm Steven Ayoub!" and then the cameramen would be, like, "What?" and the reporter would be like "What?" and then back at the studio the girl anchor would be, like, "So ... hahahah... are you Steven Ayoub, too?" and the reporter would be, like, "If it gets me some a' that sweet clean, I am!" and then they'd do it!
posted by mph at 12:19 AM on August 28, 2006 [2 favorites]


I've learned to go to JiffyLube towards closing time. They're not in the mood to scam you then; they just want to get home.

What gives you that idea? If they just want to get home, don't you think they might be more likely to scam you at the end of the day, just to get the hell out of there faster?

Never get your oil changed at a place that offers it for $10 or $15 - they plan to make it back by finding something else wrong.

Or by not actually changing your oil, of course. Getting $10 or $15 for writing "we changed your oil" on a piece of paper is pretty profitable business.

If JiffyLube does this, you can be sure that every similar company does it. DIY.
posted by pracowity at 12:29 AM on August 28, 2006


This is now the third time in three years that Jiffy Lube told us it was cleaning up its act.

The old "Fool me up to three times, shame on you. Fool me four or more times, shame on me" rule...
posted by clevershark at 5:59 AM on August 28, 2006


monju_bosatsu : "SLIME in the ICE MACHINE!"

Texas REPRESENT!

pracowity : "If they just want to get home, don't you think they might be more likely to scam you at the end of the day, just to get the hell out of there faster?"

I think the idea is, if they start saying "You need service X, Y, and Z" and you say "No", they're less likely to keep trying to force you to get those services. During the day, they might have more time to try to convince you to get what you don't need, but at the end of the day, any sign that trying to scam you would lead to thm staying late might stay their hand. Dunno if that's true, but that's how I interpreted the initial statement.
posted by Bugbread at 6:09 AM on August 28, 2006


mph...heh. Now that's a Sweeps Week local-news gambit I'd like to see. Especially with a couple of the particularly comely rip 'n' readers we've got doing news in my market. Ratings would go through the roof.
posted by pax digita at 6:11 AM on August 28, 2006


The sad thing is that a report like this probably has a negligible effect on Jiffy Lube's profits even in the local area where it is aired.
posted by jayder at 6:23 AM on August 28, 2006


I went to Jiffy Lube once in Virginia, and I didn't really have a problem with them. Yeah, they gave me the standard "we recommend you upgrade to this premium service, etc." line every mechanic I've ever been to gave me, and I said "not this time," and that was it. Oil changed, tires rotated, bill paid, no problems. I go to a local mechanic for annual services, but for a standard oil change and nothing else I'd go to them again without any worry.

A few months later I had a flat, and went to get the tire replaced. The tire guy said "you should really replace all four tires; it's better for the car and your treads are weak anyway." I said no for the same paranoid reason, and six months later I'm getting an annual tuneup at a mechanic and he says "I'm taking $100 off your bill because I didn't do the tire service. Three of them are nearly stripped and you need to replace them." Which worked great for me because it meant I knew I had an honest mechanic and an honest tire dealer at the same time.

That's obviously not to say I don't believe my own eyes watching the video or anything, but the argument that the entire chain is corrupt seems illogical. Chain companies, from Jiffy Libe to your local McDonalds, are franchised. They pay to use the name and have to use certain materials, but a corrupt manager in California doesn't necessitate a corrupt manager in New York. I mean, the reporter even says this happened at only half the Jiffy Lubes they went to. If the guy went to a hundred mechanics in California regardless of brand affiliation, I'd wager he'd get a high percentage of bad and fradulent service too.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:27 AM on August 28, 2006


How timely - my husband is at a Jiffy Lube right now getting our oil changed. I gotta call him and tell him if they offer you any additional services, just say no!
posted by msali at 7:24 AM on August 28, 2006


The tire guy said "you should really replace all four tires; it's better for the car and your treads are weak anyway."

One useful strategy in this situation is to ask the tire guy to just show you. Worn tires are really easy to identify visually, and in the meantime your paranoia endangered all the other people that had to drive around you if you flatted out at speed.
posted by mendel at 7:37 AM on August 28, 2006


If JiffyLube does this, you can be sure that every similar company does it. posted by pracowity

My parents own their own oil change center and they don't pull crap like this. They even have cameras in the pit so that the folks getting their cars worked on can watch what the guys are doing. You just have to find a place that you can trust. It is too bad that so many Jiffy Lubes give all oil change centers a bad name.
posted by nimsey lou at 8:05 AM on August 28, 2006


Car War Change Thieves Action Squad!
posted by iconjack at 8:50 AM on August 28, 2006


1adam12: Inquiring minds want to know (or I do anyway) what make your car is?

A Trabbi 500?
posted by MikeKD at 8:58 AM on August 28, 2006


I take my car to Jiffy Lube every so often for an oil change, but I definitely nix on all the 'added' services.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 9:01 AM on August 28, 2006


The T-Tech transmission fluid machine at Jiffy Lube is actually a pretty good device that many places don't have. But yea, never going to JL again after seeing this. And I agree nimsey lou there are some places that are trustworthy.
posted by stbalbach at 9:59 AM on August 28, 2006


Yeah, I'd just like to give a shout out to the local Kearney, Nebraska JiffyLube, where they just decided not to put a $200 shroud back on the underside of my Passat, after changing the oil (too time-consuming, I guess). Got them to pay for the replacement, at least. You lost money on me, you morons!
posted by spock at 11:18 AM on August 28, 2006


Plus, I don't trust myself enough to control a 1000 lb chunk of steel moving at 60 mph

My '79 MGB weighs in at 2400 lbs. And it's a LBC (Little British Car).
posted by spock at 11:24 AM on August 28, 2006


I've learned to go to JiffyLube towards closing time. They're not in the mood to scam you then; they just want to get home.

What gives you that idea? If they just want to get home, don't you think they might be more likely to scam you at the end of the day, just to get the hell out of there faster?


It means they're not going to sell me a bunch of unneeded crap, because the sell is too hard and long.

I've seen some terrible things at JL -- one person had their crank case overfilled and the pressure blew out the gaskets within seconds after starting. That was a mess. The manager then ran out and in between ripping the lackeys a new one and trying to keep the owner from reaching into his chest and pulling his heart out, he ordered every single guy working to pull every dipstick, confirm the oil level, and show it to the customers.

I think he was too smart for the place.

But I saw something similar happen at a dealership once, too. JL isn't the only place you can find stupid people.

Most of the JLs in Seattle are BBB members in good standing. That helps a bit.
posted by dw at 1:03 PM on August 28, 2006


The funny thing about the "Jiffy Lube" in my area (Philadelphia) is that it's anything buy "jiffy." And I always wondered if they were really doing what they said they were doing...from what I could see, they had a bunch of low motivation people doing very little at a very slow pace. I made a commitment to myself that I'd never go back after my last oil change took over 2 hours. Nuts.
posted by orchidthief at 2:46 PM on August 28, 2006


This thread rendered 24% more humourous when you've seen a Jiffy condom. Real men come in a jiffy.
posted by Sparx at 4:53 PM on August 28, 2006


Changing your own oil isn't so hard. For the price of a Jiffy change you can get your own oil and filter plus a Haynes manual that shows you where everything is (like the drain plug - don't confuse it with the tranny drain plug!) and what the procedure is to change the oil and filter (plus 100 other maintenance things that you might want to at least try to do yourself!)

Another alternative is to make friends with an indy garage nearby that specializes in your type of car. They are much cheaper than the dealership and much more likely to know how to properly change your oil for you. And they're likely to charge just about what Jiffy does, since it's a 15 minute job and they want your business. If you get the hard sell, just go somewhere else next time.

(How do I know this? I who used to go to Jiffy Lube, and got shafted in some fairly expensive ways. It convinced me to learn to do it myself.)
posted by drmarcj at 7:04 PM on August 28, 2006


Getting your car smog tested is another *HUGE* risk of getting ripped off in a similar way. Much much worse actually.
posted by BillsR100 at 7:20 PM on August 28, 2006


Oil is easy, filters are often a bitch.

I've modified three different filter wrenches to get at mine easily, and nothing works quite right (It's the front differential being in the way. 4wd has a price.)

I like my motorcycle. That I can change in 20 minutes... and that I always do bike work myself because there are a great many stories of dealership mechanics claiming to do work they didn't do (valve adjustments being the most common skipped item).
posted by flaterik at 11:46 PM on August 28, 2006


It's the proper disposal of the old oil that is often the pain.
posted by spock at 3:36 PM on August 29, 2006


Not the best of links to have come up while I'm (still) waiting for a callback from my mechanic whom I feel to be slipping since last I visited...
posted by Ogre Lawless at 3:41 PM on August 29, 2006


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