Thursday, October 06, 2005

Cheatin', lyin', no good, low down...

SO here's the story.

So back in April I go into Jiffy Lube...I can hear you groaning now, but let me finish...I go into Jiffy Lube in Poway and I get the fuel filter replacement service. Now up until this point I've gone to Jiffy Lube for 5 years and never once had a problem. OK back in 2003 they left something in the engine and I threw timing belt in Utah on the I-15 in the middle of nowhere. OK it was just north of Fillmore. Anyways I drove into the gas station there and this wonderful lady, who just happened to once manage an apartment complex off Broadway and D in Chula Vista, called the local mechanic out of bed at like 6am and he took care of me. In 4 hours my car was fixed. I paid the $75 and drove home feeling relieved and entirely grateful.

Now back to the story. So two weeks ago Tuesday, I'm driving to work. I'd just dropped Victoria off and was on the I-5 just passing the junction with the 805 when the engine I felt the gas give and power drop. I tried punching the gas but it wouldn't upshift and the gas pedal was pushing back. It wouldn't let me press down any more and I wasn't even halfway to being to the floor.
Well I merged over to the slow lane and parked in the safety lane at the end of the on-ramp from the westbound Hwy 56. I called AAA and they towed me to Encinitas Ford.

I talked to Dennis Heath at Encinitas Ford and he gave me an estimate of $128 and mentioned to me it seemed I was leaking a lot of fuel. I know I smelled gas but thought it was the freeway and that it was a normal smell. He calls me back a few hours later and asks me, "Who did your fuel filter replacement last?" I told him Jiffy Lube in Poway. He tells me to take it to them and have them fix their problem. I asked what the problem was and he told me the bracket and filter were missing and the clips were broken.

I didn't want to take it back there and have them do it wrong again so I asked him to repair it. He told me sure he'd do it but it would cost me about $628. WHAT?! Just for clips?! "No," he tells me, "we can't order just the clips. They make us order the entire fuel line." "Bullshit," I think, "what's he trying to pull on me?" So I tell him thanks but no thanks. I'll just have Jiffy Lube fix their problem. Luckily there's a Jiffy Lube up the street. Shouldn't cost anything to have it towed back up there again.

So I call back and ask them to have the shuttle come pick me up. Dennis says, "Why not just have the towtruck come pick the car up, and have it towed to Jiffy Lube? Have them fix it and get a ride from someone at work?" OK now I'm pissed. Not only is he trying to upsell this from a simple fix to $625, but now he refuses to send a shuttle out? I agree just to humor him and meanwhile I call enterprise for a rental. I also call AAA for a tow truck to pick the car up. This is about 4:10 or so. Enterprise picks me up at 4:30 with a blue Camry. Nice car.

So I drive out to Jiffy lube in Encinitas expecting the car to be there. NOPE. I call Encinitas Ford and Dennis says the tow truck driver left because I had to be there to show my card. NICE. I could have told him that. So I call AAA again and assure them I will meet the driver at the dealership. I go out to the dealership and meet with Dennis who gets under the car with me and shows me exactly what's wrong with it. I ask again why this will cost over $625 and he shows me. "See this," pointing to a couple tubes and clips, "this is all you need but I can't order just this. They make us order the whole line," as he runs his finger along the length of the car. "OK seems a bit much." He agrees and tells me I oughta have Jiffy Lube pay for the diagnostic too. Get whatever I can get out of 'em. It's been a long day and I'm not in a mood for a shouting match. I'll have them fix it and I'll be on my way. Ford charges me $128.79 to diagnose the problem.

The car is towed to Jiffy Lube in Encinitas and I talk to the manager. I can't remember if it's Trevor, Justin or something in between. He's a bit short but buzzed hair, older, mean blue eyes and gritty teeth. He talks like he's pissed at me and like it shouldn't be the other way around. He calls Troy, the manager at the Poway store, to confirm that I did come in there for a fuel filter replacement and that I'm not just some schmuck off the street trying to get a free service. When Troy confirms, he tells me to wait a minute and he goes downstairs under the car.

He comes back a few minutes later with a little piece of tubing and a bit of plastic on the end. He tells me the old style clips could me pulled out slightly so you can remove the inlet and outlet pipes. In the newer style, you push them in and that loosens the hold on the clips and allows you to remove the pipes. Well, I had the newer kind and the guys at the Poway store didn't know that. They pulled the clips out which broke them. So Trevor/Justin/whatever replaces the pipes with new ones and offers to drive me back to Enterprise to return my Camry. For having the car one hour, Enterprise charges me $50.63 for an entire day. Trevor/Justin/Whatever tells me that he called Troy, told him he better get some training and a better hold on his boys and that he oughta at least offer me a couple free oil changes. "Yeah right," I think, "like I'm ever coming back." He drops me off and sends me on my way. I drive home and assume all is well.

Yesterday I left work early cause I wasn't feeling well. When I turned on the car I had just under a half tank. Everything was fine until I reached the southbound I-15 from Hwy 78. Just north of Felicita Rd I smelled gas from the air conditioning, the fuel gauge all of a sudden read empty and my car started acting up again.

Somehow I got the car to reach the Shell station near North County Fair and I filled up the tank. I noticed gas was leaking bad out of my tank and there was a trail of liquid where I'd pulled into the station. I was determined to get home. I made it home and called Perry Ford of Poway. Kristine Nightingale told me she'd take care of it in the morning and that it was most likely covered by my warranty. Thank god I paid for the PremiumCARE ESP.

So in the morning I call AAA and have them tow the car to the dealership. I could have maybe made it there myself cause the car started and I still had a full tank of gas for some reason, but I didn't want to risk anything. Kristine meets me there and says she'll have a look and see what the problem is.

Around 2pm she calls and asks me, "So, who's the last person that did your fuel filter relpacement?" WHAT?! "That sounds familiar...what's the problem?" "Well," she tells me, "The clips on the inlet and outlet pipes are broken and the bracket and filter are missing."

I tell her I just had this problem two weeks ago and I took it back to have Jiffy Lube fix the problem. "Well these are factory pipes, so it seems to me he just replaced the clips and hoped it would hold. He didn't do anything to fix it." No, really? Well I'm definitely not going back to Jiffy Lube again. "How much will it cost for you to fix this for me?" She tells me...get this...$145. ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY FIVE. NOT SIX HUNDRED.

I tell her that's funny cause 15 days ago, Dennis at Encinitas Ford quoted me $628. "For what" she asks. "He told me he had to order the entire line. That Ford won't let him just order the pipes." "Bull," she tells me, "he's wrong. It's just $145." OK enough for me. I ask if this will finally, once and for all, fix the problem and that I won't have to worry about this again. "Yes it will, as long as you don't have Jiffy Lube touch your car again." You can bet on that.

SO I just picked up the car. I have to get a 60,000 mile tuneup done in a couple weeks. She quoted about $500-600 for that. Said it's like a complete overhaul practically. I don't doubt it. I've heard other people quote more than that. If she gets the tuneup done, and this Focus makes it to Salt Lake City and back this Christmas without a problem, she's gonna get a big pretty present in her stocking. I'll think of something. It's hard to find honest people in the auto service industry. If this thing holds and she's being honest to me here, I'm going to repay her for it with future service. THey'll be doing all my oil changes and routine maintenance. If not, it's on to the next guy I guess.

Meanwhile I'm considering suing Jiffy Lube. I've written a formal complaint and if they don't tell me what I want to hear, they're gonna hear from my lawyer next.


At 9:47 AM , Anonymous Joanna said...

Call Consumer Bob!!!


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