Jiffy Lube’s Scam

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It’s easy to promise to have an oil change done in 15 minutes if you don’t actually change the oil, isn’t it? NBC4 in LA put cameras in cars and then sent them over to Jiffy Lube to get some service done, turns out 6 of the 9 didn’t actually perform the work promised but charged customers anyway. In response to the expose, Jiffy Lube fired all the mechanics and installed their own cameras in 31 LA stores. Interesting is the fact that this is the third time in three years they’ve been told to “clean up their act.”

My advice to anyone who gets any sort of work done, always watch them if you can and always ask for the old parts. Getting something swapped out? Ask for the busted or worn out part. Then check the part that’s in its place, it better look new. If the mechanic isn’t pouring oil into your car, then he’s not changing your oil. If you have no idea what that even looks like, do research on the Internet. Don’t be a sucker.

Thanks to The Consumerist for picking this up.

{ 21 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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21 Responses to “Jiffy Lube’s Scam”

  1. Miller says:

    That’s awesome. I wish I were surprised…

  2. Well that is certainly one way to increase your profit margin…

  3. LAMoneyGuy says:

    Very disturbing, given that I used to be a regular customer at Jiffy Lube. I always felt that they were sketchy, but now? Forget it. I’m done with them.

    • billsnider says:

      I don’t use them anymore.

      The last time i was there I told them I wanted an oil change – nothing more. Next thing I knew the manager was telling me that my car was going to fail if i did not do this and that. I told him no.

      Then a few minutes later the mechanic came in with all my filters in hhis hand. he said he recommended that i change them all (note – one was brand new). I told him to put it back.

      Then i had a guy tell me i needed a transmission flush. i told him all i wanted was an oil change.

      When i went to pay, the cashier was surpriesed that all i had was an oil change. He made me feel like two cents that I was neglecting his car.

      i will never return to them again.

      Bill snider

  4. Debt Free says:

    This is not the first time an auto repair shop has been caught by an undercover news investigation, and it won’t be the last. A few years ago Sears got stung (after they stung a bunch of us) by one of these investigations. I went to get my transmission fluid exchanged at the Jiff a few months back and was rather concerned when the technician informed me he didn’t know how to check the transmission fluid level! That’s a rather important bit of info you need when putting in the new fluid. The bottom line is that if you can find a good auto repair shop you trust, it worth its weight in gold.

  5. Matt says:

    I work at a Jiffy Lube and have been in this business for 14 years. I sickens me that there are shops out there, ecspecially a Jiffy Lube, that would do this. I know for a fact that Jiffy Lube does not tolerate these types of acts and I hope that the people running those particular stores never find work in this business again. I work very hard to win my customers trust and keep it. We never pressure sell, lie or shortcut any of the sevices we provide. I really hope that few stores that caused this will not discourage customers from still trusting the Jiffy Lube’s they have been going to for years and receiving honest service from maintaining there trust in us. Thank you

  6. Martin says:

    I have never had a Jiffy Lube not change the oil. I have been using them for years and always do a dipstick test after the oil change. I can tell it’s new oil since it is so clean. As to other work they want to do, however, I refuse to listen to them, except for changing the air filter, if they show me alot of dirt. My most recent reasons why I will only let them do these basic things:
    1. The technician told me that the oil level before the change was way too low and he said that half the oil had leaked out. They even let me look under the car and pointed to several gaskets that were leaking, all around the engine. They proceeded to detail the work and expense that it needs to fix this problem, before changing the oil. I politely and firmly told them to just change the oil and oil filter. It has been 6 months since the last oil change (synthetic oil so we can go 6 months) and no oil has leaked. The dipstick level is exactly like 6 months ago.
    2. We have a newer car with only 20,000 miles on it. They detailed $650.00 of manufacturer required maintenance items. As usual, I did not listen to them and had them do the minimum oil change. I later checked with the local manufacturer dealer service manager and asked him about recommended maintenance. He said do nothing except oil change until you have at least 30,000 miles.
    I don’t think the Jiffy Lube people are dishonest; I just
    think they are not properly trained or managed by overall intelligent bosses.

    • dufshjLKFH says:

      well if half of you took the time to sit down and read things in the waiting area you would see the sign that says the manufacturer rec. are based on severe driving conditions and to let the person that goes over your services with you know if you dont have these conditions. they are real recomendations.if you cant afford to take care of your car dont buy it and just because its synthetic oil you can go six months?hahaha lets see if you make it past 150k einstein some people just dont wanna hear there prized car is a p.o.s with several issues and wanna say everythigns a scam when it comes to paying money

  7. Yhabini says:

    This is a problem that will never go away, as the company doesn’t care to put the effort into taking away a money maker. For every one time they are caught & give the money back, one thousand times they are not caught. It’s not the odd store doing it here and there, it is company wide and condoned. Copy and paste this website into your browser.

  8. Jiffy Lube Employee says:

    To Martin: I am not sure what type of car you have, and I am not sure exactly what that Jiffy lubes policies towards service recommendations are, but at all the Jiffy Lube’s I have worked at (3), we have always gone by the Manufactures SEVERE SERVICE schedule, typically called schedule B in your owners manual. A dealer service manager Is the same thing as us. In fact, 3 of my former employees are now dealerships service writers or managers. You are right that some things we do are not required but simply recommended as added protection and your right, I cant think of any vehicle other than a Jeep that needs any amount of work in the amount of $650. And also, I dont believe you understood the technician when he was explaining the leak, since we at Jiffy Lube are not allowed to do ANY repair work at all, it violates the JLI Franchise agreement. We only do Preventative Maintanence and we will POINT OUT other things we see.

    And To Yhabini: Buddy, you need to get your facts together before you speak. I have been to that site and HALF the people who post there are complete morons when it comes to cars and wouldnt know the difference between a lug nut and a head gasket if I sat here showed them. I dont know where you live or what the Jiffy Lubes in your area are like, but I work in an area that only has 3 main franchise holders and they own all the stores between the 3 of them for almost the whole state. Now my company pays itself to have several mystery shoppers a month plus the one that JLI does to ensure that these poor service tactics and what not are not being done. Everyone that comes to our stores leave very happy and always return. Its Saturday right now and I just got home from a day of over 120 cars serviced and 0, that right… 0 dissatisfied customers. We also have the the top 5 stores in the NATION for car count, sales and customer satisfaction.

    I would like to say in closing that NOT ALL JIFFY LUBE’s DESERVE TO BE BASHED. If you have a problem with one Jiffy Lube find another location or another shop alltogether and just move on. Complain to that store or company, but feel the need to bash a company with almost 2000 locations….. if you get a bad burger at one Burger King, are you gonna never go to another one as long as you live, no, you gonna never go back to that one… right?

    • dufshjLKFH says:

      Jiffy Lube Employee hit the nail on the head completely,well said congrats on the business and keep doing a good job

  9. Andrew says:

    I used to work for 2 different Jiffy Lubes and I must say there policies SUCK.They are liars. They didn’t do half the stuff that was supposed to be done. So I quit there was no way I could ever work for a place like that. I know work for a better more Honest Lube shop. Were that kind of stuff is strickley forbidden. If we can’t do it we don’t do it and explain it to the customer. Like sealed transmissions nope, chrysler fuel filters nope. Not gonna happen. And thanks to Jiffy Lube Our sales are down because Society as a whole sees one place doing it ALL OF THEM WILL. Which completly ridiciolus. Thanks again JIFFY LUBE.

  10. Brent says:

    I was a Jiffy lube employee from 1988-1990. I was instructed on MANY occasions to mix dirt in with the fluid samples, or to show the customers grey factory air filter next to a white “jiffy lube” filter & tell the customer that it had gotten that dirty & needed replacement. I don’t know how many times I hear “no grease fittings” during the completion of service calls spoken between technicians for the customer to hear. (BTW my truck has 14 grease fittings) this is NO surprise to me & it happens more often than not. I worked at one of the shops mentioned in this report, at the time the district manager’s only concern was that we did 100 or more cars a day…no matter how many mistakes were made or unsafe the conditions were. There was even a “courtesy” technitian responsible for driving the cars into the bay who was LEAGALY BLIND!… needless to mention he drove a car into the bay that went over the edge & fell in. BUYER BEWARE!

  11. Calvin says:

    I own 2 lube shops (not Jiffy Lube) in Southern California. Both of my shops are located within 2 miles of Jiffy Lube locations. Three of my employees are former Jiffy Lube employees. I’ve heard many of the stories of how the Jiffy Lube locations they’ve worked at cheat customers; keeping a collection of dirty magnetic plugs, putting dirt from the undercarriage into differential fluid samples, filling up synthetic oil bottles with conventional oil and of course, charging for services and not performing those services. These three employees have worked at different Jiffy Lube locations (one of them in Northern California) and their stories are so simlar that I have to suspect this is not simply a case of a few bad apples. I also hear the same stories from my employees wo used to work for EZ Lube. Jiffy Lube and EZ Lube have made it harder for honest shops to get customers to trust us. But at the same time, as long as they keep doing a bad job, I’ll keep taking their customers.

  12. James says:

    Sears in the West Palm Beach Mall (Florida) is no different. I will never go back there.

  13. aaron says:

    To those of you who have had problems with jiffy services, Iam service manager for jiffy lube and honestly it is the main management of the franchise who hire the morons that i see everyday, now yes i understand that you might see sketchy employees, but where don’t you see them, dealers who suck you into buying cars or even yourself its not jiffy its all Americans getting away with not doing the right thing. Now iam a very honest guy and for those who do get services done by jiffy lube if your receipt do not have a note on the bottom that says “we do not warranty today’s service” and so on, because jiffy does not warranty services over 100,000 miles you should take it back to jiffy lube right away on all(radiator,transmission svcs). jiffy lube only warranty’s our products not your vehicle, if a radiator service is performed and the water pump goes bad, that’s your vehicle you did not take care of, not jiffy lubes!, and yes your dealers will tell you anything to keep you going to them because dealers are in debt! AND for any customers that have been scammed iam sorry for the inconvenience i think its sick! jiffy lube recommends services on a severe service bulliton your dealer will tell you otherwise but they don’t know how you drive neither do we so our recommendations are based on those driving conditions at the earliest they should be performed and not by and color of fluid which is illegal by EPA fluid changes are based on mileage if a jiffylube ever shows you a fluid sample tell them there nuts and see this website.

  14. Thom Wofford says:

    As a lube shop owner I can attest to some of the shenanegans that go on, because our shop gets customers from other places that use dishonest tactics and questionable upsells to make money.

    We have a different approach. The main focus of our busines is offering extended drain synthetic oil changes and other lube and filter related services that address the growing trend of longer oil drain intervals that car manufacturers are going to. We have to rely on developing good customer relations and providing quality and honest service to generate a large customer base because we don’t expect our customers to come back every 3 months or 3000 miles. We use products that give customers what they want; value,
    convenience and a warranty that guarantees the products will do what they are advertised to do.

    If there are any lube shop owners or managers or even mechanics out there that would like to learn how our extended drain synthetic oil change program works you can email me and I will be glad to tell you what we are doing and how it can be included in any shop as an upgrade for customers that are looking for premium products and service. I am also willing to offer information to interested vehicle owners about any lubrication or filtration issues they may have.

    There is a tremendous amount of misinformation about vehicle maintenance out there. Some of it intended to rob you of your hard earned money and some of it just passed on from one misinformed person to another. You can check me out at My picture is there and a brief description of why we do things the way we do them. It’s a different concept.

    Thom Wofford

  15. James says:

    I worked at Jiffy Lube for aboue 3 years now and I’ve seen some messed up things. In short, overall, the whole business is a big scam. Everything is overpriced, management sucks, employees get worked like dogs. I do miss smoking weed in the back and working on customers cars. I’m bringing this company down!

  16. pdare says:

    Hey all – Do you think another scam is what I’ll call “Ma’am, there’s no oil in your car at all, look at the dipstick!”

    They tell my wife this all the time and then strongly encourage her to get a flush ($80?!).

    I’m convinced that if she just drove in, the level is going to be lower as the oil is still in the engine and hasn’t drained to the pan to make the level look higher on the stick.

    am I crazy? I’m not a mechanic, but I’m not an idiot either.

    help! 🙂

  17. Thom Wofford says:

    I am a previous owner of a lube shop and have seen all the tricks that other shops try to pull in an effort to increase up-sales. After all they don’t really make much if any money on oil changes so they have to upsell to make a profit.

    I cover the subject of your post in the blog post I made today on my blog at htt:// Just hit the “blog” button on the Nav bar on the left of the page. If I can be of any help let me know.

  18. Hugh says:

    BEWARE! In between comments from legitimate complainers there are also some comments, cleverly infiltrated, from people affiliated to Jiffy Lube, trying to restore their company’s good name (if they ever had a good name) The majority of people complaining can’t be wrong.
    I also had a bad experience with Jiffy Lube when the mechanic failed to install a new oil filter but charged me for it. I had marked the old one with a blunt tool and I asked the manager to inspect the one on the car AFTER THE SERVICE WAS PERFORMED. He didn’t know what to say. That was the last time ever that I use that company to change my oil.

    The idiot who advices to go to another location when scammed failed to specifically indicate which other location is run by honest people. People complaining here are talking about not one but many locations where they have been scammed or were about to be scammed.

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