Complaint: It begins when I brought my automobile into Chicago’ Elston Ave. Jiffy Lube #593 on a very cold morning, January 31, 2004 at approximately 10:00 AM Saturday. As I pulled into the Jiffy Lube drive I realized there would be a significant wait due to all the cars parked in the drive and two to three deep at the stall doors. I was waiting in my auto approximately 8 minutes when a young Jiffy Lube employee waved at me to get out of my car, that he would pull my car into the stall. I thanked him and went inside. There was nowhere to sit and the inside area was like a sardine can filled with people. The man at the cash register was conversing with one of the young employees and he stated, it was so slow during the week, now were getting hit hard. The young employee smiled as he walked away. At 10:14 AM a Jiffy Lube service tech inside the work area motioned for me to come over to him by his computer station inside the work area. He asked me what I wanted and I told him that I wanted an oil change using, synthetic oil. He went through the usual checklist, wiper blades, air filter etc and I said, ok, change the air filter too. For now all I need is an oil and air filter change. He said OK and he hit the enter button on his workstation computer. It was now 10:15 AM. I again entered the sardine filled customer waiting area and the young man that had earlier been speaking to the man at the cash register about how busy it was, stated to me, it won’t be long now. We are getting people in and out of here very quickly this morning. Just then my car was pulled into the work stall. I thought to myself, they are working very quickly. My automobile was now to be worked on in the stall closest to the window that separates the work area from the customer waiting area. Since I was told that they would be finished quickly I decided to stand by and watch the service as it was being performed. A young man walked up to my car and changed the air filter. I noticed he had a difficult time closing the apparatus housing my air filter. He pushed, pulled and could not close it. He looked around as if to see if anyone was around to help him and when he didn’t see anyone he shoved harder and made it close. At the same time there was a man vacuuming the interior of my automobile. I could see a work light moving around just below my automobile in the pit area. It is at this point that I believe the damage process to my automobile began. I believe that the Jiffy Lube employee located in this pit area for some reason or another, because he mistook another work order for mine, loosened the plug of my transmission fluid reservoir. For what reason I will never know. I believe that this Jiffy Lube employee located in this pit area either did not replace the drain plug or did not secure (tighten) it properly on my vehicle. About five minutes later I saw the man that I had given my order to at his work station walk up to my automobile with five quarts of oil in gold containers. He poured the oil in without a funnel. I watched him put five quarts into my automobile and then check the dipstick. He shook his head, walked over to his workstation and picked up another quart of the same oil. He walked over to my car and poured in the 6th quart. He pulled the dipstick and was satisfied. Then put the oil cap back on and using a small red rag tucked into his pocket he wiped away his oil drips on my engine block. A few minutes later the work light went out below my automobile and a very young man came out of the pit area. I thought he looked too young to be working at Jiffy Lube. This very young kid looked about fifteen or sixteen years old. He had his baseball cap on backwards as he walked into the customer waiting area to use the restroom. I couldn’t believe my eyes at how young the kid looked that had just been working on my automobile . I was told by the young man that changed my air filter that I could go outside that my car would be driven out of the work area in one minute. I went outside, the garage door was lifted and my car driven out. I proceeded to drive the short distance from Jiffy Lube #593 located at 3630 North Elston Ave. to my home where I parked in front of my residence. *It is important to note that later that same day a wet spot of transmission fluid was observed by myself and others where my car had been parked earlier that day after returning from Jiffy Lube, # 593 Around 4:30 PM Northbound on 90/94 the Kennedy Expressway my car began to slow down. I began to step on the gas pedal the engine raced but the car kept slowing down. A petroleum based smoke began to come up from underneath my hood. With my five year old child crying in the backseat I pulled into the first Emergency Site located just south of the Chicago downtown area. I used my cell phone to call a friend whom is a mechanic. I described the symptoms and he said it sounds like you have little or no transmission fluid. Luckily, I remembered that I kept emergency fluids in my trunk in case of an emergency. Power steering, brake and transmission fluid. With my friend on the phone I checked my transmission fluid dip stick. It was an eighth of an inch. My friend told me the reservoir needed fluid. I proceeded to put transmission fluid into my automobile immediately. My friend instructed me to let it drain in, wait about ten minutes and then test the automobile very slowly within this emergency area. As I waited an Illinois Police vehicle pulled up to me and asked if everything was alright. I told him I wasn’t sure but I believed I had some type of transmission problem. An IDOT safety vehicle also pulled up asking me the same questions. I waited the ten minutes and then noticed that I had the ability to move my vehicle. My friend on the phone said, good, good. Then he asked me to drive near the area I was first parked at as I put in the two quarts of fluid. He asked me to get out of my vehicle and look at the ground for leaks. I told him there was only a few drops on the ground. He said you should be able to get the six miles to your home. My friend then told me to call Jiffy Lube as they surely must have loosened something for you to be losing transmission fluid. I pulled back onto the road and my automobile was handling fine. I was now confidant that I would make it home. About two miles down the road the problem reappeared. Now I am in the center lane, smoke is pouring out of my hood I cannot see and I have no transmission. I get the car onto the exit ramp and it just stops ! Traffic is barreling up behind me. I quickly put the car in neutral, jump out and push like hell moving the car away from a very dangerous traffic lane. Fortunately, I am now at the Division Street Emergency site. I used my cell phone to call my good friend the mechanic and he told me to stay put he would leave his job and help me out. I gave him the specs on the transmission fluid I needed him to bring and he brought ten quarts with him. When he arrived it was now after 7:00 PM Saturday night. He checked my transmission fluid level using the dip stick and he replied, Mike, you are now bone dry. He proceeded to pour up to six quarts of transmission fluid into my automobile. He said we need to let it drain deeply in so let’s just wait a little while. We proceeded to talk and he noticed a huge puddle off the front passenger side of the car. He loudly roared, What the hell did Jiffy Lube do to you? You are losing all of your transmission fluid. It’s coming out as fast as I’m pouring it in! Just then the same IDOT emergency vehicle pulled up and I told him that I needed a Tow. He stated that it was a busy night and gave me the name and phone number of a towing Services. Forty Five minutes later the tow truck arrived and the driver recommended, Pep Boys Automotive. The driver charged me $100.00 and the tow truck driver parked my damaged automobile in Pep Boys parking lot. My friend drove my daughter and I home. As we disembarked his automobile he pointed out the small puddle of transmission fluid at the place I normally park my vehicle. He told me to phone Jiffy Lube the very first thing in the morning. Also, the damaged transmission in my vehicle is the second transmission to be installed on this car. The automobile’s previous owers, personal friends, had the original transmission go out on them in late summer of 2000. It was brought to a Ford dealership where Ford installed a brand new transmission. This took place in September 2000. I have now obtained the receipt of this. From the morning of Sunday, February 1st, 2004 until Thursday, February 19th, 2004 I communicated on a regular basis with the chief mechanic at Pep Boys Automotive and other mechanics that work directly with him or for him. I have meticulous notes on these conversations. beginning with Chuck the manager of Jiffy Lube # 593 and all of my conversations with the the Pep Boys Crew. In each and every one of these conversations with Pep Boys mechanics prior to the conference call of 2-19-04 that was initiated by Fred S. in Jiffy Lubes Houston Customer Service Dept. Each and every mechanic I conversed with, including the chief mechanic stated to me that my drain plug was completely missing. I was told by Pep Boys that the part had to be ordered from the Ford Plant in Michigan. When the seal ring damage was noticed each and every mechanic including the head mechanic stated that this was consistent with being burned away from the heat that would be generated from running the transmission without transmission fluid. Reviewing my notes, in one conversation Pep Boys would tell me that a man named, Michael from Jiffy Lube, maybe the #593 franchise owner was out with another guy looking at your car for just a couple of minutes today. Recently the Pep Boys chief mechanic called me to say that a Jiffy Lube photographer quickly snapped a few shots of your car and left the other day. I believe that Michael or whomever is the franchise owner of Jiffy Lube #593 put the pieces together about what happened to my automobile, along with the young kid working in his pit area that Saturday morning. This is when the CYA process was put into effect. Thursday Morning, Feb. 19th, Fred S. from Houston phones me to put forth his CYA assessment of what really happened to my automobile. This assessment was completed with information obtained independently from the mechanics at Pep Boys that were servicing my car. Based on conversations with Pep Boys head mechanic and his crew at Pep Boys this information was obtained during an examination that took minutes, followed by a couple of pictures that took minutes to shoot. So, this assessment of Fred’s was being based upon an exam that took minutes. Fred places the blame on me, the customer that it was purely coincidental that this damage happened to my vehicle and that my vehicle happened to be in Jiffy Lube # 593. According to Fred my seal began to fail and leak maybe minutes or maybe seconds after I left Jiffy Lube # 593. That Jiffy Lube employees could not have possibly removed my drain plug. I replied to him that I wasn’t going to buy into the absurd theory that my seal began leaking seconds after I left Jiffy Lube and that Jiffy Lube did not cause my problem. At 12:17 PM I sent a four page fax to the personal fax machine of Mr. Larry Burch, President of Jiffy Lube International. This fax contained the details of my problems sustained by damage caused by Jiffy Lube franchise #593. At approximately 2:00 PM I left a tactful and diplomatic voicemail message in Mr.Larry Burch’s personal voicemail. The message briefly stated the problem and Also informed him of the four page fax sent an hour or so earlier. In my opinion it is simply beyond coincidence that I received a phone call from Fred S. in Jiffy Lube’s Headquarters at 3:13 PM with the so-called solution to the problem. After nineteen days of Fred putting my problem on his back burner. After nineteen days of Fred not even returning half of my phone call inquiries. After nineteen days of Fred not communicating whatsoever with the Pep Boys Automotive, chief mechanic. A little over one hour after contacting the President of Jiffy Lube International, Mr. Larry Burch by phone and fax. The solution to the problem appears. In my book, this is beyond any and all coincidence. As I have stated, I am in the Financial business. My contacts have made me aware of the business, or rather stockowner relationship/s that exist between the Shell Oil Company, parent company of Jiffy Lube International and the parent company of Pep Boys Automotive. Very convenient indeed ! Not only have I seen this done in my business, but I know it happens everywhere. One convenient phone call is made at the very top of the food chain and the head mechanic at PepBoys suddenly has to change his story or rather falls into line with the official 2 minute Jiffy Lube assessment. A convenient solution that releases Jiffy Lube from any and all liability. To my utter amazement,the Pep Boys chief mechanic now agreed with Fred S. at Jiffy Lube International in Houston that the drain plug had been intact all the time and that my leak had to come from a faulty seal ring. He apologized that he and all his men had made the same mistake for the last nineteen days. A little pressure on the Pep Boys Chief Mechanic from high above in the Pep Boys Corporation and it’s very easy to see how a man with a wife, children and home would get a new outlook on the facts and matters at hand. Isn’t it amazing how every Pep Boys mechanic including the chief mechanic could have made the same mistake? How they all could have been so wrong when they were all looking at my vehicle on a daily basis. How Fred S and his theory derived hundreds of miles away in Houston based on a two minute examination that pinned the blame on me and relieved Jiffy Lube of any and all liability was right AND each and every Pep Boys Automotive mechanic working on my automobile was dead wrong! As Fred S. in Houston chucked and quipped with the Pep Boys Chief Mechanic on the conference call, even the best of us are wrong once in a while. to Fred’s, chuckle, chuckle. A rather tidy solution that turns a customer complaint into a problem caused by the customer. As the anecdote goes, Hey, John you poked me in the eye. No Bob couldn’t you see that you poked yourself in the eye. AND all of this occurring less than two hours of my making contact with the President of Jiffy Lube International, Mr. Larry Burch. Playing hardball tactics with little Mr. Joe Consumer, Michael Popilchak. The events that occurred on the road that Saturday, January 31, 2004 was for my five year old daughter her first traumatic experience of life. She will remember this event for the rest of her life. This memory of this trauma is still scary and very real to her. She has been having nightmares about this incident. I am a divorced dad and this Jiffy Lube experience now leaves me without a car to even hold my five year old in my arms. After all was said and done Thursday, Feb. 19th an oil change at Jiffy Lube will now cost me a new transmission. Sincerely, Michael Chicago, IL 60618 Click here to read other Ripoff Scamss on Jiffy Lube
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Address: 3630 N. Elston Ave Nationwide U.S.A.