on friday 7/17/09 i had some extra time after work so i decided to go to jiffy lube to get an overdue oil change. they work on my car, i pay, i leave with my freshly oiled car.
except that i get three miles away on the interstate and huge clouds of white smoke start blowing from my exhaust. not a good sign. i pull over, call my girlfriend, and she asks her dad to drive out and help me since he's a mechanic. after he's off work he finds me on the side of the freeway and takes a look. the first thing he does is check the oil level- the dipstick is showing the oil about two inches above the max line. his theory is that they never actually drained the oil, just added more on top. he drained around a gallon of oil out and checked the level again, and it looked about right. we started the car up but it was still smoking like crazy, so we called a tow truck and had them tow it back to the jiffy lube (which was closed already, they had closed right after i left).
so saturday morning (7/8/09) i borrow a car and go out to jiffy lube. explain the problem, they look at my car and determine that there isn't any permanent damage, but that there is a lot of oil that is going to have to burn off, hence all the white smoke. they tell me they are going to run the engine for a while and drive it around a little bit to burn most of the oil off, and i can come back in an hour. they call me, i come back, the car seems to be doing fine. they let me know that it will still be smoking a little as the oil moves around but it shouldn't be bad and will stop eventually. i ask about a refund for my oil change as well as for the tow truck, and they tell me i have to come in on monday to talk to the store manager. i agree to come in before work, between 8am and 9am.
my roommate came with me to drive the car back home, so she gets in and starts to follow me. as soon as we hit the on ramp, huge clouds of white smoke pour out of the car. great. i call jiffy lube, tell them my car is NOT in fact fixed. the person on the phone argues that this is just going to happen until the oil fully burns off, and that there is no other way to clean the oil off of the engine so i might as well just keep driving. i say no, that it's not safe for me to drive the car in this condition, so they agree to drive out and meet me to drive the car back. they do so, drive it around a little more to burn off more oil, and then tell me the level of smoke has thinned out a lot so i should just take my car and go home. i fill out a claim and leave.
monday morning, 8:30 am, i go to jiffy lube. the manager is in a meeting, so i ask if he'll be back at 2 so i can go during my lunch break. they agree. at 2, i go back (this is now the seventh time i've been to jiffy lube in 4 days). the manager is still not there, and at this point the receptionist (different person than i had talked to before) tells me that he wasn't going to be in all day, and that he had told her that he would personally be calling me, so i was wasting my time coming there. i ask if i will be getting a call that day, and she isn't sure but says if not, then she will call me and let me know. that day she calls me and leaves a voicemail saying the manager will call me on wednesday. i'm pissed, so i call their 1-800 number for customer service. they tell me that it's an independently owned store and all she can do is fill out a claim, which i've already done. i call back and get connected to the office of the president and leave a voicemail.
tuesday i missed a call back from the office of the president because i was at work. i called them back wednesday and left another voicemail. the store manager of the location i went to never called me, and the office of the president hasn't returned my call either. at this point i am out $175 (the tow plus the oil change), and money for the gas i had to waste running my engine to burn off the oil. apparently the guarantee they put on the wall and on your receipt is a lie though, because there is no one to hold these people accountable for their mistakes. i have left another message for the president's office as well as for the division leader but no one will call me back.
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