Highland Utah Jiffy Lube will want reputation management

Occasionally I experience something in the business world either so good or so bad that I cannot help but blog about it. My goal (beyond ranting) is to remind the business owners who read this blog about the priceless value of real customer service, as well as providing a taste of the business-crippling effects that spawn from bad customer service.

The Good

A few weeks ago, Andrew and I were introduced to a new restaurant by a client. This Utah Thai Food Restaurant was a refreshing experience in every way: 1) The food was outstanding, 2) The service was TOP NOTCH (the ladies we interacted with were the definition of customer service), and 3) The owner gave us complimentary homemade coconut ice cream just because we had never had any before.

I left craving her food and accompanying service for weeks. I have since been back more than once and told many friends and family members about the company. All of this message spreading happened for the price of 2 coconut ice cream scoops. Every business owner worth his/her salt knows that good experiences beget referrals. That is probably the simplest rule in business, but unfortunately is not followed like it should be.

The Bad

Yesterday, I had a horrible experience with the Highland Utah Jiffy Lube. My wife was in a small car accident yesterday and so I took the car out to have it checked out, serviced, etc. I decided I should have the oil changed while I was out taking care of bizness. So I stopped at the Jiffy Lube and was greeted by “KID” (to protect the un-intending I will just call him KID) who proceeded to instruct me to leave the keys in the car and take a seat in the waiting room. So I left the car, with the door open, and the keys on the front seat. A few minutes later “KID” comes into the waiting room and asks me if I locked my keys in the car. Excuse me? No KID, I sure as H did not lock my keys in the car, in fact I left them on the front sear with the door wide open like you asked me to.

I let the Jiffy Lube crew try to break into my car for an hour with a clothes hanger. Unfortunately, the pit crew is better at changing oil than jacking cars. I had now been at the “service” (yes, that is a pun) center for an hour and a half. So, I kindly walked in and asked KID if I can talk with his manager and request that they hire a locksmith to come pop open my door so I can go home to my family. KID breaks out in a sweat, grabs the phone, and goes to another room. He comes back with the phone and says “Mike wants to talk to you.” (I am going to call this guy Mike b/c he was a 1st class jerk). Mike greets me by saying, “I understand you locked your keys in the car and would like us to pay for a locksmith… we are not going to do that b/c it was your fault.” WTF. I left a door open. KID closed a door. But, this is my fault? Me and Mike “conversate” for 30 minutes or so. In the end, there is no offer for a locksmith. Guess what? It is now 6:00 pm and the store is about to close. My cell phone has died and my wife is not around to come pick me up. So, I WALKED home on the Highland Highway (which is a narrow road at the mouth of an imposing canyon) in the snow and ice. It was very dark, and VERY cold.

This morning I wake up and call the Fleet Manager for this region. I leave 2 voice mails describing my experience and requesting that he please call me back to help make the situation right. It has been 8 hours and I have not received a return phone call. I finally convinced a friend, who is also a police officer, to come unlock my car – she is a sweetheart and came to the rescue. (Yes, I REFUSED to pay for a locksmith as a matter of principal).

Guess what? Highland Utah Jiffy Lube will absolutely lose business as a result of this “Service” Center’s service. I will never go there again. I will not let anyone I care about go there. And, I have written the first of many negative reviews to come about their “Service” center. Not to mention the business they lost as my car took up one of their three service bays for what amounted to one full business day. That is the type of decision making and service that over time will cripple a business.

Lesson To Be Learned

With all of our attention and focus on ways to more effectively advertise and manage our company’s reputations; please do not forget that one of the easiest ways to grow your business and prevent negative press is to provide great service. To the Jiffy Lube’s of the world, if you cannot provide great service at least provide fair service.

24 thoughts on “Highland Utah Jiffy Lube will want reputation management

  1. Mat Siltala says:

    Dave – your first mistake was going to Jiffy Lube in the first place. I hate going there because all they try to do from the time you get there (your windshield has a chip in it) to trying to sell you all this crap you don’t need. I hope they take care of the situation for you!

  2. Paul Brown says:

    Dave – My name is Paul Brown and I work for Jiffy Lube. I read about your experience and wanted to apologize for the series of events that led to your friend unlocking your car instead of getting your oil changed as you planned. I spoke with the Manager of Customer Service this morning and we would like the opportunity to speak with you and put you in contact with the franchisee that operates the Highland Jiffy Lube location. Please contact customer service via email at jiffy-lube-customer-service@shell.com or the phone number is 800.344.6933.

    Thank you for your time and we look forward to hearing from you.

  3. Russ says:

    I live near Highland Highway as well. You’re a brave man for traveling that road on foot.

    On another note, I vowed a few years ago to never, ever use Jiffy Lube again after the “kid” lied to my face about something he said they did to my car but didn’t.

  4. David Mink says:

    @Russ – That walk home did bring some fear! The canyon wind was screaming and there were a lot of cars out (there must have been a high school basketball game that night). Seems a lot of people have had a bad go at J Lube, too bad I am not alone.

  5. JesseAnn says:

    Not to mention we were extremely late for a Christmas Party that night. I actually canceled previous arrangements to go, and by miracle, found a babysitter. I had been trying to call Dave, not understanding how he could still be at Jiffy Lube. When he walked in the door, I could not believe he walked home, not that he had been at jiffy lube for 3 hours!

  6. Mat Siltala says:

    @Nate Moller
    Yea Right – they missed the opportunity to do the right thing when they let it happen. There is no class with the apology, or what they did either – all they were sorry for is messing with the wrong person and getting caught. This Paul Brown guy knew the situation and problem already, and only when corporate got involved offered any apologies because he had to. Yes, it was better they do something then nothing – but these guys have a long way to go before I will even think about forgiving them for what they made Dave Mink go through.

    My point is the Highland Utah Jiffy Lube should have take initiative on their own to make the wrong – right. Corporate should never have had to get involved if they handled their business and customer service correctly. That is where they need to take the lesson and learn to have better customer service and listen to the customer.

  7. kevin says:

    what a joke. That guy has no business being a store manager if he can’t resolve that type of situation. How is it even possible to lock your keys in your car at jiffy lube? They always have you leave the door open.

  8. David Mink says:

    @Kevin – Thanks for commenting. You won’t believe this, but the guys at the station told me that keys get locked in cars semi-regularly at the J Lube. This comment prompted me to suggest to the store owner that they have a sign at the bay when you pull up which reads, “Please roll down your window.” The store owner told me it is actually part of their protocol (that KID should have followed) to ask each customer to roll down his/her window before exiting the car. So… as one of the Jiffy Luber higher ups told me yesterday, “it was just a comedy of errors.”

  9. Nate Moller says:

    @Mat Siltala
    I agree that I probably won’t stop by Jiffy Lube in Highland any time soon, mostly because it is geographically stupid for me to do so, but I guess my point is that we don’t want to turn in to a RipOffReport.com who makes business PAY to get bad press off their site.

    To me, the negative Word of Mouth advertising will serve its purpose in this case. It sucks for them that they happened to step on the wrong toes!

  10. John Hollar says:

    I hope you understand that not all Jiffy Lubes are like the one you went to. I manage a Jiffy Lube and have never run into this kind of problem. First off, “KID” should also have asked you to roll down the drivers side window. We do this not only to avoid the problem you ran into, but also so that the technicians can communicate effectively during your service. In the case that I might run into this problem, my upper level management has the same philosophy as myself… Take care of the customers that you do have. Calling a locksmith should have been no problem, and if it was neccesary, should have been handled way before you had to even ask. Jiffy Lube has over 2400 stores in the US alone and is the largest quick oil change company in the world. It is a shame that the mistakes of the few sc**w it up for those of us that care for our customers, and greet them with a smile three thousand miles later

  11. John Hollar says:

    As a side not, JL International and their customer service policies were not followed. JLI customer service number is 1-800-344-6933. If you really want to do something about the lack of customer service I would encourage you to call the people who are dedicated to your satisfaction

  12. David Mink says:

    @John – I completely understand that not all J Lubes in the world are like the one that I had the unfortunate experience of doing business with. In fact, I realize that Highland Jiffy Lube probably does a great job 90% of the time. That is why this post was about my specific experience, with this specific branch of J Lube, and the specific store manager that acted like a novice.

    My best friend from high school manages a Jiffy Lube in ABQ NM and I decided to share this experience with him in order to get his take on the situation and frequency of problems like this. He was floored to hear the steps that the Highland J Lube crew took.

  13. ZZ says:

    Here is the deal. If the car is a Japanese brand and it has the key fob with auto door locking and unlocking and you leave the keys anywhere that is within the range of the fob they will automatically lock the car doors when unattended for a short period of time. Thus it is possible the doors locked by themselves. When going to a service station of any kind or a public parking place – anywhere the car is going to be left with the keys – you should take the extra key and keep it in your pocket for these very reasons. Also, the gentlemen would have left his keys in the ignition the auto lock would not have activated the locking sequence.

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