What's Wrong At Jiffy Lube?

Web Page Contents
Option 1 Add Your Experience to This Website
Option 2 Alert Your Local Media
Option 3 Contact Jiffy Lube.
Option 4 Contact Jiffy Lube Franchisee
Option 5 Join a Class Action Law Suit. 
Environmental Charge Class Action
Option 6 Contact Local Organizations:
A. State
B. State Agencies
C. Better Business Bureau
Option 7 Contact Your Credit Card Company
Option 8 Picket Jiffy Lube Shops
Option 9 Use Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act
Option 10 Don't Buy Shell Oil Brands
Option 11 Go to Small Claims Court
Information OK Judge Set To Approve Oil Surcharge Settlement

TIP:  Select all options which you want to apply to your situation.

Option 1:  Add Your Experience to This Website.

This will show others that they are not alone.  Your experience may also help others to form a solution to the problems at Jiffy Lube.  This will also help us create a critical mass which can create appropriate changes.

Option 2:  Alert Your Local Media.

Send a copy of your "Add Your Experience" e-mail to your local media.  Many media are seeking stories which affect a large portion of their viewers and readers.  Some have special segments which focus on the type of problem you had. 

Sometimes media have contacted us about selected "Add Your Experience" which they want to include in their program.  We never reveal your identification.  However, we will contact you directly to give you the option of contacting the media directly.

Option 3: Contact Jiffy Lube.

Send an email directly to Jiffy Lube.  If you also send a copy to us at JiffyLubeProblems@att.net, we will consider adding your experience to our website. 

Jiffy Lube can be reached by phone at 800-344-6933.

Option 4: Contact Jiffy Lube Franchisee

Jiffy Lube International, Inc. is a franchisor. Most stores are franchisees. That means that the store you visited is likely to be an independent company regulated by various state agencies. Therefore, if you have a dispute, your best bet is to work directly with the franchise, not Jiffy Lube International, Inc.

You should find two names at the top of your invoice: Jiffy Lube and the name of the franchisee (e.g. ABC company).   Since most companies of this type are incorporated in their state, you can look-up the franchisee’s name with your state’s Secretary of State.

Option 5:  Join Class Actions

Join a class action law suit. 

"The law firm of Shores, WIlliamson, and Ohaebosim, LLC is investigating gross misconduct against Jiffy Lube, Inc.  In fact the firm will file a class action petition against Jiffy Lube within the near future.  The suit will attack three general business practices that has harmed consumers across the country.  (1) The company pushes "mechanics" to make sales that in turn causes the "mechanics" to place undue pressure on consumers and often causes the "mechaincs" to recommend services and products that are unnecessary. (2) Jiffy Lube represents that the "mechanics" that it employs are certified, yet in reality such individuals receive more training in sales techniques than in mechanical areas, thereby causing extreme damage to the vehicles of individuals.  I am not prepared to disclose the third aspect at this time.  I will just state that the defendant is committing a serious fraud.

Why am I here?  Currently the firm represents a consumer in Kansas.  However, the more compelling stories from accross the country that we see, the more we are learning that Jiffy Lube has problems that are not isolated to a few locations.  If you would like to join this suit, or at least have your story heard, please send an email to l.williamson@swolawfirm.com.  Please include your first and last name, contact information, nature of complaint against Jiffy Lube, whether or not you retained receipts, date of last visit with Jiffy Lube, and what you would like to see happen in a class action suit against Jiffy Lube.  We will send more detailed information about the process to those who are interested.

Lastly, we are extremely interested in hearing from current or former employees who can shed some light on the practices of Jiffy Lube.  Your information will be held confidential unless you state otherwise.  Thank you.

Environmental Charge Class Action

[157] Richard in Seattle, WA

The attached Complaint, which was filed in federal court in Seattle, is one of a number of suits involving the so-called "environmental surcharge" imposed by Jiffy Lube and most of its franchisees. Unlike the suit against Jiffy Lube International, settled in an Oklahoma state court for coupons (which settlement we have opposed), we seek money from Jiffy Lube franchisees throughout the country for the members of the Class who either paid the "environmental surcharge."

We will forward a copy of the Complaint to interested Jiffy Lube oil change customers who have paid this charge.

Also see: Class Action

For more information, contact: Richard D. Greenfield [whitehatrdg@earthlink.net]

Information: OK Judge Set To Approve Oil Surcharge Settlement
[Submitted by a visitor to the website]

December 2006.  An Oklahoma judge is set to approve a nationwide settlement of class action lawsuits by drivers who accuse Jiffy Lube International Inc., a subsidiary of Shell Oil Co. of adding surcharges to their oil-change bills over the past five years, NewsOK.com reports.

The settlement, which would close at least nine pending class action cases from California to New Jersey, will give customers a $5 discount on their next oil change, while the three law firms that negotiated with Houston-based Jiffy Lube would split $2.75 million.

However, some attorneys are trying to kill the nationwide deal describing at it as a sham that would shortchange millions of customers and are now planning to ask a state district judge in Tahlequah to reject the deal at a hearing Nov. 17.

According to the Company, the added charge in question is the "environmental surcharge" that ranged from 80 cents to $1.25 added to the price of an oil change at Jiffy Lube's 400 company- owned stores from late 1999 until April.

Jiffy Lube refused to reveal how many customers paid the charge, which the company stopped imposing after customer complaints and several lawsuits and instead stated that the company performed about 30 million oil changes last year at Jiffy Lube shops, including franchise stores.

In accordance with the settlement, the company has mailed around 7.3 million coupons to customers of company-owned stores, who were identified from a database, and promised not to charge a similar fee again.

Critics say the company called the fee an environmental surcharge to fool customers into thinking it was a tax. But, according to Scott R. Shepherd, a Pennsylvania attorney who sued the company "It was just a straight rip-off for $1.25 every time someone came in. They were hiding a price increase."

According to Mike Lawrence, a publicist hired by Jiffy Lube to answer questions related to the lawsuits, the company began charging the fee to recover the costs of environmental regulations designed to prevent and clean up oil spills,

The lawyers who are attacking the settlement complain that customers who went to one of the 1,800 stores run by franchisees will get nothing. Marc A. Wites, a Florida lawyer, said it would only cover eight million of the 34 million people who paid the surcharge. He further adds that consumers would only get just a $5 coupon, which is less than what Jiffy Lube's advertised deals state.

Option 6:  Contact Local Organizations.

The following suggestions were e-mailed to us as their "Add Your Experience":

A. State.  Since most companies of this type are incorporated in their state, you can look-up the franchisee’s name with your state’s Secretary of State. For California, follow these instructions:

1.      www.ss.ca.gov
2.      Select California Business Portal
3.      Select California Business Search
4.      Type the name of the franchisee in the Corporations box.
5.      Select the blue link with the company’s name
6.      Select printer friendly to print a copy for your records.
7.      This record contains the real address of the franchisee (not the address of the store you visited), and the name of the owner.
8.      If no record was found, type the company name in the LP/LLC. This is another form of business organization called Limited Partnership / Limited Liability Corporation (doesn’t really matter for our purposes).

Now that you have the real address of the franchisee and the owner’s name, you are empowered to write the owner a letter about your dispute. Even if the owner delegates the dispute to someone on his or her staff, you are still way ahead of the game because you have established you are a smart consumer by writing the owner. For serious disputes, don’t waste your time with the store manager.

B. State Agencies.  Companies such as Jiffy Lube franchisees are regulated by various government agencies. In California, the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) is one agency that regulates Jiffy Lube franchisees. Follow these instructions:

1.      http://www.dca.ca.gov/
2.      Select Bureau of Automotive Repair
3.      Select Verify a license
4.      Type Jiffy Lube in the business name field.
5.      Type the city of the Jiffy Lube you visited in the city field.
6.      Type your state in the state field
7.      Select the find button.
8.      Select the blue link under the name.
9.      Print this document

Note, previously, we mentioned that the franchisee name, not Jiffy Lube, would be needed to search for records like we have done here. But, as you just saw, we did not type the franchisee name in the BAR web site. That is probably because the BAR figures that most consumers would only know the Jiffy Lube name, not the name of the franchisee.

As you’ll see, the name of the owner(s) can be found in the owners section. Now return to the BAR main menu and select how to file a complaint.  Select Register comments / complaints with the DCA.  You might also want to select the link for mediation to learn how the DCA can help mediate a dispute with an auto repair store.

The Bureau of Automobile Repair tip also allows the consumer to find the real address of the company and the name of the general manager or owner. This web site also has information about filing a complaint against the franchisee.

If you live in a state other than California, using any search engine, search for your state’s Secretary of State or consumer protection agency.  

C. Better Business Bureau.  Most Jiffy Lube franchisees are members of the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The BBB keeps track of complaints filed against companies such as Jiffy Lube franchises and can help resolve a dispute your dispute. Follow these instructions:

1.      http://www.bbb.org/
2.      Select the blue Business Link in the upper left corner of the screen
3.      Using the franchise name from your receipt, type that name in the name field (again, this is not Jiffy Lube, but the name of the franchisee).
4.      For quicker results, you might want to enter the state of the franchisee
5.      Change the page orientation to landscape and select the print report option in the lower right corner of the screen. 

Pay particular attention to the rating information and the statistics about the number of complaints filed against the company.

The BBB tip allows the consumer to learn more about the store’s complaint history. The www.bbb.org web site also allows the consumer to learn about the various dispute resolution programs offered by the BBB– conciliation, mediation, and arbitration.

Bottom Line.
 The consumer should establish that they are street-smart and that they know what they are doing. Unless the dispute is very simple, it is a waste of time to deal with the store manager (or assistant manager). They have no authority to do much of anything.

Option 7.  Contact Your Credit Card Company

The following is a success story from [80] Barrett in Mountain View, CA:

An update. I appealed the charge to American Express, expressing my dissatisfaction, and how they mislead my daughter. They investigated, and reduced the charge for our services from the $150.00+ to the $33.00 for the basic oil change service. They had to eat the rest. My advice to others is, use the leverage of your credit card company to deal with these things.

Option 8. Picket Jiffy Lube Shops

Read the experience which was sent to this website:

[242] Active in Oregon  Picketing

" ... I have just begun picketing the shop and carrying with me print outs from this web site and another one: www.consumeraffairs.com/automotive/jiffy_lube.htm I am also carrying a sign with the web site addresses on it and on the back side it says: "Beware Jiffy Lube!!".

I am handing out copies of pages from the web site to anyone that asks about my sign - often its customers that pull into the JF shop to get service. Once I talk to them many leave without getting service. I am legal: I stay on the sidewalk and do not restrict people from going into and out of the JL parking lot. I do not say anything to anyone unless they ask.

I intend to continue picketing during high traffic volume time periods and to make this shop lose thousands of dollars of business by making people aware of JL's irresponsible behavior. ..." 

Option 9.  Use Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act

Read the comments from the experience on this website:

[263] Scott in Hanover, PA  Transmission

"...I suspect they keep no records as required and have never settled any claim are in constant violation of Federal Magnuson- Moss Consumer Warranty Protection act as a matter of business practice.

I have also personally observed them attempting theft by deception, claim perfectly functioning parts, brand new serpentine belts less then three weeks old, new PVC valves, were defective because they "rattled" and needed replacement.  (Note:  PVC valves rattle because there is spring and a ball valve and this clacking noise means the valve is working.

This Hanover Jiffy Lube appears to be, in my opinion, just an ongoing criminal enterprise.

Magnuson-Moss Warranty--Federal Trade Commission Improvement Act, 15 U.S.C. 2301, et seq. ..."

Option 10. Don't Buy Shell Oil Brands

[573] John  Boycott Shell Oil Brands

Since the parent company (SOPUS) doesn't care about its customers, you can do more than just boycott Jiffy Lube & Shell. They also sell additional products well known to most consumers. Pennzoil, Quaker State, The Outlaw, Snap Products, Gumout, Slick 50, Blue Coral, Axius Products, Black Magic, Fix-A-Flat, Westley's, Rain-X , & Medo Products.  Many of these products make claims that they can not substantiate. Slick 50 for example, was proven by the FTC to be a fraudulent product. SOPUS still sells it through out the US with out any regard for the consumer. http://pennzoil-quakerstate.com/brands/default_brands.htm

Update:  Shell Oil has sold the above items.  However, they still own Jiffy Lube.

Option 11. Go to Small Claims Court

From Experience 643 ...

Just returned from my appearance in small claims court in Northern California on this matter.  JL didn't bother to show so I won my entire claim which included ten hours of time paid at my work rate but as I expected, did not include any inconvenience or pain and suffering bucks.
I suspect JL has a national policy with respect to their corporate stores at least which does not include defending small claims cases.  This would be helpful for your readers to know as they can pump up their claims as much as possible and if JL does not appear, then the judge awards the full amount after questioning what the items are.

Attention Journalists & Attorneys:

The identification of the sender and their e-mail address have been removed from their unedited and unverified comments.  If you wish to contact any of them, then send us an e-mail.  We will forward it to the appropriate party.  Then they will have the option to respond directly with you.

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