The most trusted and popular consumer complaints website
Explore your opportunities! Create an account or Sign In

Valvoline Instant Oil Change / Fraud and scam

1 United States Review updated:
Contact information:

I went into a local Valvoline oil change station for an oil change. I had my own oil (synthetic) and car manufacturer's oil filter. I had my oil changed before at that station and others. I have only been charged $15.00 to cover labor. Upon completion, I was presented with a bill for $33.99. I was aghast. I had the bill rechecked on 2 different computers. As I watched, the entries for 'customer oil and filter' or regular were the same. The manager called someone, who stated that the computer is correct, even though it was clearly wrong. The bill lists $12 for labor and 16.99 for parts. I questioned them about the parts and Valvoline stated for use of equipment and shop supplies. I asked what equipment and shop supplies. I was contacted by a Valvoline representative who quoted me a different initial price ($36.00), less $6 for my oil and filter. The bill lists $33.99 less $5.00 for my parts. They are scamming people who don't know what is going on.

Sort by: UpDate | Rating


  • Gv
      28th of Apr, 2009
    -8 Votes

    that's easy. if you don't like the service at vioc, don't go. you must be black and on a budget to care if the cost of labor is 33.99. you should do your research before enterring a location. if you don't like the service go to walmart or the chop shop down the street. you pay for quality service and convinience. did you think you could pull a fast one?!


  • Dr
      12th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes

    I go to a VIOC every 3000 miles and do the same thing. It's 34.99 now minus $8 for my product. I asked why just like the previous person and this is the exact answer I received... The crew at the service center is doing the work, I don't have to get dirty, I don't have to use any tools, I don't have to worry about disposal of oil and filter, and I don't have to worry about something going wrong that someone won't guarantee 100%... after about 1 second I decided from that day on no one else would change my oil but that guy. That made complete sense and as far as the bill, it's been explained that for tax purposes they have to break down what would be labor.

  • Ph
      17th of Jul, 2010
    +1 Votes

    So if you explain that the initial price of the oil change is $33.99, but you have me add $12 + $16.99, then add an approximate of 7% tax to the cost of parts--the labor is not allowed to be taxed by federal LAW-- your sub-total on the invoice would then be $30.18, right? Subtract your $5 discount and you paid about $26 for an oil change. If your friend wanted to change your oil, a fair amount would be about $20, right? Does your friend do a complete maintenance check on your vehicle, top-off your fluids, and check your tire pressure as these trained technicians did? And above all, as mentioned previously, include a 100% satisfaction guarantee? Unless your service was incomplete, or your vehicle is leaking in ways it wasn't before, you have no valid reason to complain. The prices are clearly posted in the service center and if you were worried about cost, you should have inquired upon arrival. A lot of VIOC centers now accept competitor coupons up to $10 off, which is better than your $5. One last thing is that you said you were charged only $15 during previous visits, however no VIOC I have ever been to has ever offered that type of deal; sounds like you must have paid cash that was probably split up amongst the employees after you drove off. They stole money from the company and your oil change was not entered in the computer. To them, you were never there, therefore no guarantee.

  • Ny
      13th of Jan, 2011
    0 Votes

    Word of advice-don't go to any valvoline instant oil change-they are thieves. Good luck on trying to get just an oil change. They will always I mean always try to sell u something. First they dont use the correct transmission fluid unless your car is from the1980's. They use dextron 3 and add an additive to every car no matter what kind of fluid your car uses. When your transmission fails good luck in small claims court cause they are not going to fix it. They will always tell u a/c is not working correctly and charge you more than a $100 for 0.5lb of freon. thats bullsh..and after the service they will put a note on your receipt-no guarantee on a/c service. U ask why. Dont even think about getting your antifreeze flush cause they will flush it with 2 quarts if you are lucky. If you do get an extra service-Watch them at all times. Get a Fuel injection service and be ready to take to your mechanic cause it just ruins your car-this service is not even recommended by manufacturer- but they recommend every 12, 000 miles. Dont do it. They will always try to upgrade you to buy synthectic oil which is also not needed unless you drive an exotic car. If you fall into buying a cabin filter please check the quality. Its garbage and expensive.Wipers are cheapest they can buy but will charge $20 a piece. Spend a little more money and time and take your car to your mechanic. Even though VIOC is not cheap just convenient you think. Pay for what u get. This is from a long time still employed employee. I make decent money selling services u dont even need. Bring your today and they will sell u anything you have never brought from them accordingly to their history. bring the same car tomorrow and we will find something else to sell u. Do your self a favor and go to dealer or mechanic..

  • Ph
      17th of Jan, 2011
    +2 Votes

    NYTHEFT, chill out. If you don't want to buy something, just say no. Be nice about it, though. You get the same level of respect out of people that you give to them. Your poor experiences may be due to an attitude problem as well. The transmission fluid Valvoline uses is usually Maxlife ATF, compatible with all automatic transmission except some CVTs. It exceeds standards for ATF +4, Mercon, and Dexron VI. The 'freon' as its called, or R134A, is quite expensive to buy and for a trained person to completely evacuate, vacuum, recharge and pressure check your A/C system for about $120 is a good deal. Your car may take .5 lb but others take much more, the price is the same to prevent confusion. It's not a top-off, its a full service. On the cooling service, I can't say anything. If you saw someone use only 2 qts, you should have asked questions, dude. Cabin air filters are thin so that a volume of air can pass through, they are still particulate filters that are statically charged, so rest assured. They last for a year, change it often. It's about $40-$60 for this filter because A. They are expensive, and B. on most vehicles, the cowl, or glovebox has to be removed to perform service. The cabin air filter service on a 2003 Honda Odyssey can take a half hour to complete.
    You spent more time complaining about prices than you did the services, maybe that's what the problem is. It doesn't involve luck to get a good service. If you need something, take care of it, if you want to wait, tell them you'll wait. If you don't have the money for it, just say so. These people aren't your enemy. Why would you take your car to your enemy?

  • Ha
      25th of Apr, 2011
    0 Votes

    well my complaint is they dont hire qualified tech's, I have a 2003 F-150 truck and my wife took it in for oil change, They put in five quarts when the truck is a six quart engine, and my wife payed and left when she got home we checked the oil sure enough it was a quart low.My question is why wasn't the oil checked pryer to shutting down the hood to make sure it was at proper oil level, granted i only payed for 5 quarts but i would have paid the dereference to properly fill my oil. very un happy with there service will not be going back. What a joke i guess its on me i called and complain did no good. I, m not saying every store is like that because i wouldn't know but the one near where i live will no longer get my business .

  • Lu
      2nd of May, 2011
    +1 Votes

    I certainly agree about the hard sell in the Valvoline center near my home (it's in Elmsford NY). They always try to sell something over and above the basic oil change. They do take no for an answer. But in one area they are very close to running a scam, and that's in the kind of oil they provide for their oil change service. If you don't specifically insist on the "Conventional" oil change -- that's the low cost one that they feature in the advertising -- they will give you expensive Synthetic oil instead. It's not enough to just ask, you have to insist. They go ahead and fill you up with synthetic if you don't say anything. Even if you do, they will try to use the synthetic -- that's an $80 bill instead of less than $40. They don't create a work order ahead of time, they just go ahead. So be warned -- say "Conventional" early and often (don't wait to be asked because they don't ask), then refuse to pay for synthetic if they put it in.

  • We
      7th of May, 2011
    0 Votes

    You people are some cheap self-righteous dicks. As a valvoline instant oil change employee I can tell you my job depends on selling you more than a cheap ### conventional oil change. If you buy your own filter and oil, change it yourself. I don't need your terrible attitude. If it had been my store I'd have drained1 the oil back into your containers, put the old ### back in and sent your cheap ### down to castrol.

  • Ri
      21st of Jul, 2011
    -1 Votes

    "We've got a hot shot" is a perfect example of the type of give a ### attitude the typical Valvoline employee has. You wonder why you get ripped off by these people.

  • Ck
      4th of Aug, 2011
    +1 Votes

    Heres the deal folks, the automotive indutry is just as crooked as the health care industry. The nature of the business is genuine, its the people running the business that is the problem. At some point the owners forget what its like to be an average consumer, not the $150, 00 millionare consumer. Even as employee I dont pay our costs for an oil change. I go to the part store and get everything I need and do it on my break at work. I wont take my car to the dealership because of their costs.

    The nature of this business is to ensure the reliability and dependability of your vehicle. Yes we are going to make suggestions for additional services and we will probably make money off of it (if we do it) Yes we will be presistant in acquring these services, as we will ask you many times over the course of your visits. Yes some of our paychecks depend on how many extra services we can sale, and yes some people will lie to get what they want. But you have to understand that this is our job, its nothing personal. I dont take it personal when bill collectors call me at dinner, thyre just doing their job; thats all. We all have the right to say no, especially as a consumer.

    Not everyone in this business is out to get you. Some of us are actually trying to take care of our customers. I try to make sure that people know that have the option and feel free to take advantage of our services at their convienence. Its no sweat off my back if you dont rotate your tires or get that airfilter, its not my car, its yours. You do what best for you.

    In society, if we feel attacked we take the defensive real quick. In business we do the same thing. As a consumer you have many choices, where to eat, where to get your oil changed, where your kids go to school... just remember if someone wants to talk to you about the state of your car, its not personal and you have the right to decline anything you dont want to do.

  • Fr
      11th of Dec, 2012
    -1 Votes

    For the dumb ### who works at Valvoline Instant Oil Change calling consumers cheap! Kiss my ###! "Cheap" has nothing to do with YOU dipwads trying to rip hard working people off! THis is why your shop is always empty when I ride by it to go to your competitor for service! In this day and age the majority of people can't afford to pay $70-$80 for a freaking oil change! Its A FREAKING "Oil Change" not a freaking tune-up! Bad business practices result in customer complaints which result in a lack of business for your company! Word-of-mouth is a mutha when it comes to business! Really?????...didn't you use to be "Instant Oil Change?? What name will you change to next, right before you go out of business?...SMFH...

  • Jo
      21st of Dec, 2012
    +1 Votes

    Why would you bring your own oil to a place of business? Try that next time you go out to eat and see how much of a break you get at mc donalds. If you go somewhere for them to service your car, pay their price or walk away.

  • Jo
      3rd of May, 2013
    +1 Votes

    What kind of tool brings their own oil and filter to an oil change station? What, you can't allow them the meager markup on materials?

  • Du
      23rd of Jul, 2015
    0 Votes

    I work at a Valvoline in Ohio. Myself we are educators. We are not just a salesperson. Within my Shop where I am most of the Manager on Duty besides my store manager I ensure my guys are trained right, and properly. In both Mechanical Standards and safety Standards. If my guys did wrong I will be more than happy to fix the issue at hand. I want to keep customers. Whether you buy our basic Premium Conventional or our full synthetic with maxlife Technologies oils.

    What some of you have experienced are recommendations ONLY. We have to go through that. It's part of our education process for our customers (which 99% of people don't know what a transmission flush is/does) or if they even realize there is such a thing as a Power steering flush. We are a PREVENTATIVE maintenance shop. Not a full service Mechanic shop. I cannot speak for EVERY Valvoline but I can personally speak for mine THE ONLY reason our customers walk away is because of price. We are a pricey Oil Change. But with what we are taught and SUPPOSED TO do we are one of the best. Our Free FLuid Top off program no other Oil change place does that either Ask your local valv shop about that. WIth our oils yes there is a huge price difference. BUt MOST manufacturers started recommending synthetic blends or higher oils in vehicles starting around 2005. That is why a lot of our Techs will stress the Synthetic blends. But I also guarantee you this. WE DO NOT GET A COMMISSION. I get the same rate of pay whether you buy ALL of our services with a FULL Syn oil change or just a Convent Oil Change and NOTHING ELSE. It doesn't bother me at all because it DOES NOT AFFECT MY PAY. If you don't believe me stop by any Valvoline and ask to see their paycheck. NOTHING will change from week 1-week 4 except HOURS worked. But our Oils are one of the best and our FUll Synthetics rival if not beat Mobil 1 and Royal Purple.

    The employee that responded above is not our sponsor nor is he the kind of employee that I would want at my store. Bad attitude. Any of you who had a bad experience PLEASE stop by my store in Lima Ohio and we will be MORE than happy to show you a great experience. If it's the price I apologize but other than that you will be fully satisfied. That's how I train my staff.

  • Am
      17th of Feb, 2016
    0 Votes

    I use to work at valvoline in MN and honestly i have nothing but great things to say about my experience as an employee and a customer. I would still be working for the company if they had a market in WI. From day 1 you are trained not only to be proficient with the services they provide but to be a leading example in customer service. It is true they cost a little more then there competitors but if you look at the service they provide it is worth it. I still bring all of my vehicles there even though I know how to do all of the services because I know to do it myself would only be about $5 cheaper and would have to do all the work myself. I highly recommend valvoline to everyone and even if you have had a bad experience in the past i urge you to try it again because valvoline is a company that makes a huge effort into trying to make customer experience better.

Post your comment