Thursday, April 28, 2011
How Jiffy Lube Charges $201.75 for an Oil Change vs. Getting It Done at Ford for $39.95
Why do people go to Jiffy Lube? Easy. Because it is cheaper and more convenient.
Using a 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid with over 87,000 miles on it, we went shopping to find out.
The first stop was to the local Ford dealer where we asked for a comprehensive inspection to find if anything was wrong with the vehicle. We tagged along with the service technician as he did his work - oil was fine, filters were OK, tires safe, all fluids good-to-go and topped off, brakes with plenty of life left, shocks and struts working fine. All they found was a broken license plate light and cracked windshield. When asked for the bill they refused to charge us anything.
Mr. Jiffy Lube came in and called out “Sara Carlisle” - that’s the name in their computer system. He validated where we live and asked. “you still using synthetic oil?” (Ford had already told me that the oil and filter were OK - we had taken off all oil service window stickers before the Ford visit.) I said, “We don’t use synthetic oil.” He replied, “Well, that’s what she’s been using.” I replied that we did not need synthetic oil. He came back at me and said that the “Hybrids are supposed to use synthetic oil.” I asked what it costs. He said “$64.99.” So, we let him put in the synthetic oil, because “Hybrids are supposed to use synthetic oil.” We got the car back in about 15 minutes, paid $67.25 and they did not even find the bad license plate bulb.
We went back home and did something that service customers rarely do - we checked out the owner’s manual.
Next stop was to the Ford Owners Center to see if we could learn anything more. Sticking out like a sore thumb was “The Works” - Ford’s synthetic oil change and comprehensive inspection for $39.95. Their inspection was a lot more comprehensive than Jiffy Lube’s - hey, for free they even found that the license plate bulb was broken.
Now the Big Question: Was Jiffy Lube Cheaper and More Convenient?
Bottom Line: That guy Sy Syms really got it right. An educated consumer really is your best customer. We need to educate them.