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Valvoline Instant Oil Change / Damage to car during oil change!

1 Maumee, OH, United States Review updated:

I took my Saturn in for a routine oil change. After trying to sell me a long list of expensive and entirely unnecessary repairs/windshield wipers/filters, etc, the "customer service rep" began to get surly in response to my repeated "no thanks, not today". He then huffily informed me that I had a transmission fluid leak and that I should have it repaired at Valvoline, at an entirely unreasonable price, of course. I informed him that I had personally checked my fluid levels the previous day, and that the fluid levels had been fine. He got really snippy then, basically telling me I was an idiot for not falling for his bait-and-switch sales pitch.

The next day, my transmission started gushing fluid. When I had it towed to my reliable and honest mechanic, he told me that Valvoline had pulled my transmission filter off and broken the seal when they put it back on. Since there is no need to remove that filter during an oil change, they either pulled the wrong one because they're ignorant or deliberately damaged my car in hopes that I would buy the $200 repair at their shop.

The manager offered to cut me a check, but also gave me quite a bit of bureaucratic runaround, and I'm sure I won't be seeing that check anytime soon.

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Comments

Ck
  4th of Nov, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Unfortunately it happens. Its not a matter of ignorance, but a lack of training. Saturns have to types of external filters, one for the oil (wich is "hidden" above the passenger side a arm) and one for the transmission (wich is extremely visable and easily accesable) This is a complete lack of training. To imply that VIOC would intentionally damage your vehicle is extrordinarily arrogant. As for the service advisor, his attitude sucked. But to refer to bringing general maintinance to your attention as a bait and switch sales pitch is quite rude. Thats his job, thats what he gets paid to do. He isnt trying to pull a fast one on you, hes just giving you general information. Its your call, not his. Most of the services that he recommended probably were not unnecessary, you just didnt want them. Some guys just dont know how to handle the word no.

Im
  15th of Dec, 2009
Agree Disagree -1 Votes

Just lack of training regarding the removal of the transmission filter etc. Hardly.
This was much more than just lack of training. The lack of training was when the shop in error, removed the transmission filter thinking it was the engine oil filter and then reinstalled it causing a leak. The deception by the shop was when nothing was said that this had happened in the first place. The customer was "rude"? The shop was "rude" for not admitting their error to the customer and making it right the first time. The job of the service advisor is not just to "sell" or recommend additional services. His job includes being truthful to a customer when an error is made by a technician and make it right "before" the customer leaves the shop.

Qu
  16th of Jun, 2012
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

I was a CSR for Valvoline, and I did like my job. However, what you do not realize is how much stress the CSR is put under to 'make numbers' constantly. I am in NO WAY excusing his behavior. Chances are, he is usually a technician and the store either doesn't have a permanent CSR (most low volume ones do not, so the technicians have to rotate- which most of them have not been trained on the csr position- and it is nervewracking because more often than not, the csr is the one getting cussed up and down the street for telling you about your car)! However, first of all- if this is a vioc, we do not do ANY kind of repair work. We do preventative maintenance services- oil changes, tire rotations, recharging the AC, trans and radiator flushes, battery replacements, etc. I am going to assume that you just misunderstood him. He probably recommended an ATFE (auto trans fluid exchange)...but, if you truly did have a leak, we would not have done that service.
As far as your transmission leak, and other visual inspections that were noticed, these are communicated from the technicians. But, going back to what I stated in the beginning- it is our JOB DESCRIPTION to go over all these inspections with you. Not only that, but let's hypothetically says your serpentine belt is very worn and cracked. We don't say anything to you about it, nor do we note it on the invoice. On the way home, it's had it and breaks. You're stuck on the side of the road, and somehow find us liable for not communicating this with you. Making sure you are aware of EVERYTHING we notice is not only important in making a sale, but it at least gives you an idea of what we found, what is due based on mileage, and also protects our company.
Also, I did not work at this service center, but at miine, we had to go to several classes and be certified by the Manager and Area Manager, and get reviewed at least once a month, before we could even touch a car. I am certified to work on top side, and had to do this job for a month before I was a CSR. It's definitely not a "lack of training." Mistakes DO happen, and I am sorry for that one. I KNOW they would not remove the plug on purpose for you to buy that service. If it's the service I'm thinking of, draining your fluid out would not do anything. We also will not perform a TFE if there is no fluid...plus, we top off transmission fluid for free (Automatic transmission anyway...you did not specify whether you have a manual or sealed transmission). But, in this case, the tech probably thought he had fixed the error and didnt want to cause unnecessary drama by telling you. I'm SURE he received a final written warning, if not termination, for not saying anything. But, he didn't tell the CSR, so how would he have known?

The CSR is TRULY there for your benefit. It is solely their job to inform and educate you on thiings we noticed and services you're due for- simply based on your mileage. I do not pressure my guests. We do not work on commission, nor do we get any kind of bonus for our sales...just hourly employees, so if you do not want to do the service, the most that will happen to us is a tongue lashing from the SCM about our sales. So, please, do not blame all your issues on the CSR.

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