What's Wrong At Jiffy Lube?

[126] and [128] and [136] and [171] Related Stories [Chicago, IL]

This web page provides Tracy's interesting but long story.  Toward the bottom of this page is Tom's story [128] which is related to Tracy's story.  Another view [136] has been added.  Another view [148] has been added.  A customer's experience [171]

[126] Tracy in Burbank, IL

This is a little long but bear with me. This comes from an insider's point-of-view (I was a manager with JL) and I think that everyone should know about the things my co-workers and I went through with a certain franchisee of Jiffy Lube.

I was a manager for Heartland Automotive Services, Inc. dba Jiffy Lube for nearly six months at store #325 in Burbank, Illinois. I had previously been an assistant manager, and started with the company nearly two years prior as a normal technician.  When I started with that company, they had just bought a number of stores from another franchisee, Autoserve. A lot of the Autoserve employees came along with that contract. During this time, Heartland had thought it would be a great idea to do a "sign program" in which employees were sent outside with a sign advertising "$19.99" oil changes, when the shop was empty and we needed business. It was a good idea at first, but it took a bad toll on the business later.

I worked in a shop that had one manager and three assistants, and our district manager was a great guy who kept everyone motivated in a positive way. Our store always did well, and our stats were great. Our regional manager, a jackass by the name of Curt Rhyne, was becoming greedier and greedier. They were increasing the expected T/A, but advertising this $19.99 deal. (T/A means ticket average, it is the amount of money they expected us to get per car as a sales goal.) Back then it didn't bother me much, as I was a technician and all I did was the work - someone else did the sales.

Our wonderful district manager fell ill, and was hospitalized due to the amount of stress that Curt Rhyne was putting on him. He literally lost 150 pounds (!!!) from this illness. He was a big guy before, he's pretty normal now. He asked Curt for a leave of absence to reinstate his health and get back on his feet. Totally denied. My district manager resigned, and took a position with Autoserve, where he had originally come from. His separation from the company took a toll on everyone, as proved in the stats for the following days, and it started a chain reaction.

Managers were moving everywhere; promotions, demotions, terminations were all so commonplace after that. This was when they promoted me to an assistant manager, and transferred me to another store.  Sales have never been my best quality. I am a terrible salesperson. They expected me to run a $57 dollar T/A, but they would not average in the $10 hit I would take on each car who came in while we were outside with the signs. (Another thing about this sign program: when the shop is empty, you go out, rain, shine, whatever. We were standing outside in the middle of blizzard conditions one day because if we were to get caught with empty bays and no sign outside, we would be fired. The only reason we ever had an excuse to come inside was the day the police pulled up and threatened to ticket the company for forcing its employees to stand outside during the blizzard.) The prices for some of the services we offered were very competitive, but others we just outright ridiculous, I will admit. We were always instructed to "wheel and deal" and do "whatever it takes" to make the sale. However, if we gave too many discounts, we were scolded. If we did not get enough cars, we were scolded. If a customer came in asking about $19.99 and we weren't outside, we were to give it to them (and then choke them for the rest of their money). Apparently I did a good job at what I like to call "raping" the customers, because I was promoted not even two months later to a store manager, and made another transfer.

Another big deal with Heartland is always labor. Labor, labor, labor. All I would ever heard from the greedy pricks I called my "district managers" was "How is your labor? What's your labor at? Give me your numbers, and labor." For Heartland, they had each store calculated to a certain labor budget (again, good concept as almost all businesses have a budget like this, but again Heartland approaches it wrong) that must be met, or else the managers can say goodbye to the bonus checks at the end of the month. The way this labor works is it is a percentage of your net sales for the day. Let's do the math. In my store, we averaged about $1200-$1500 a day in sales (during the good months, we'll get into the bad months later). My labor budget was 16.5%. That gives me a range of about $198-$248 to spend on labor. Considering that our shop was open for 12 hours a day on average, that gives me $16-$20 dollars an hour to spend paying employees. That's 2-3 employees I can have at any given time. Understaffed? Yes, I was. I also worked 90+ hours a week, open-close every single day. I had to, or else the shop wasn't properly staffed to run. We would have 3-4 people at any given time. I had to do all of my managerial duties during slow times or after we closed. How many times did I spend 20 straight hours in that shop before going home for two hours of sleep? I don't even want to recall it. When we were slow, we had to send people home. This often times left me with one other person to work on three bays. You can imagine how pissed my customers were that their oil changes took nearly a half an hour. (And don't forget that I'm supposed to convince them to stay the extra 20-30 minutes for that extra service that they really don't need!)

All of this eventually took a toll on me, as well. I was pregnant. I developed an infection in my cervix and was instructed to stay at home for a week by my doctor. I did - my shop's stats plummeted in my absence. I also have bad kidneys and a weak bladder. I had a kidney infection. Back to work I went, though. I was tired of my district manager calling me at home chewing me out about the shop. This was Erik Estrada (no, not the actor), and also my 4th district manager in my time with the company. He would constantly ask me if I was taking my job seriously, tell me I was immature amongst other things. Apparenly there were rumors going around the company that I was sleeping with numerous employees, and he would throw that in my face constantly. This is the type of company it had turned into, and the type of people the company now had (and still has) in their upper management positions. I miscarried from the stress. When I told Erik this, he did stop all the harassment - for about 24 hours.

Another district manager switch. This time the new prick's name was Shant Taroyan. This would be my final district manager before my resignation. He was a lot more mature than Erik, but the two were buddies, and shared rumors and stores - and lies. Shant made sure to tell me that he knew all about how I was from Erik. He knew I was a little kid, needed to grow up, and didn't take my job seriously. He -knew- all of this before he met me, because he spoke to Erik, the apparent expert about me. This is about where things started to seriously spiral out of control.

Due to my illness, my shop's stats were horrible for the prior month or so. I could hardly get around the shop. My roommate was one of my assistant managers, and my other assistant manager was a guy by the name of Troy Kelly. Troy was excellent with customers, and a great salesman that didn't rip the customers off. His sales were legitimate, and I prided the shop's stats in that. No more rip-offs for us! For awhile, my two assistants handled the shop very well together. Jeremy, my roommate, was excellent with the computer work and quality inspections. Troy would sell, sell, sell. I had a technician named Jeff that could do -anything-. It was an excellent combination, and I could trust them to run the shop while I sat in the office and did my managerial things. I could hardly walk, let alone work on a car at the time.

Then Shant had this great idea to transfer Jeremy to another shop. We were roommates, and he said it was bad for business. (Though I had worked with Jeremy for 6 months prior under other store managers and district managers without a single word from any of them.) He transferred him down the street to another shop, all because Troy had suddenly become jealous that he was the lesser assistant. This put another spin on my daily chores, because I only had one car, and he didn't have a car at all. It was troublesome for the five days that it lasted. One of Shant's roommates was working at this other shop, and called Shant to tell him that Jeremy was doing nothing but causing trouble at this other shop. Anyone who knew Jeremy would hear these stories and all say the same thing: "That doesn't sound anything like him." He was yelling at the store manager, throwing his keys at them, cursing them out, refusing to work, etc. - allegedly. Jeremy walked back to my shop after his shifts were over to wait for me so we would ride home (an hour drive). This time, Shant called my shop, demanding I hand the phone over to "that mother------." He fired Jeremy over the phone (illegal) and told him that if he ever set foot on Heartland property again, anywhere, he would be arrested. He told me if he caught Jeremy on my shop's property that I would be fired. "Alright, boss," was my response.

I had inherited another assistant manager by the name of Tom. Tom had previously been a store manager (and a damn good one, too), but he has his own drawn-out story about how he got demoted for being put in a monster store without any help, and couldn't pull it out of the hole in a week. Tom was a great help, as he required absolutely -zero- supervision, and was able to teach me some things I didn't know. Aside from Tom, I also got David. David was a good saleman, also, and a fun guy to talk to. I had two good assistants again.Stats were bad, though, according to Heartland guidelines. We were constantly yelled at for "using $19.99 as an excuse" for a bad ticket.

It wasn't an excuse, it was the sole reason. Heartland did a wonderful job degrading the value of our services. If we could just give away services for half price, why were they more expensive in the first place? I could see why customers were frustrated and didn't want to spend any money at all. But at the same time, customers didn't want to spend money but they couldn't understand why the shop never had enough employees. No offense to anyone who hasn't put 2 and 2 together yet, but a $19.99 oil change yields a tiny profit, considering all that goes into our oil changes. All those perks aren't free to the shop, and payroll isn't free either. Nobody likes working for free - but many of us did it just to keep our jobs. If you've ever been into a Heartland Jiffy Lube that has been understaffed - you now know why. Don't blame the managers, because it really is out of their control sometimes. Blame the greedy bean-counters that are collecting those fat checks and keeping it all for themselves. I won't repeat some of the very colorful words the Curt Rhyne has used to describe the customers that pay his salary.

The company was also switching all of its suppliers to cheaper suppliers, trying to remedy this. (We also had a budget to match in this category.) The downfall to this was a loss of quality. They switched a lot of our parts to a different, cheaper supplier. Well, you get what you pay for, if you ask me. The parts were more difficult to use, broke easily, and they were brands I would never put on my own car. It was embarassing when customers would ask what brands of filters and things we were using, to see the look on their faces when I would show them a generic, no-name-brand part that was flimsy and fragile. And we were putting these on -customer's cars-! Yes, I started suffering more claims, and I blame it on the parts - not the technicians. We had previously used Pennzoil and Service Champ - expensive, but reliable. Extemely reliable. They also started carrying Conoco oil, Union 76. We could get fully synthetic bottled oil cheaper than our bulk Pennzoil. Of course, we were still charging $49.99 for a synthetic oil change. ($59.99 if you wanted Mobil1.) They wanted everyone to stop carrying Mobil1, because it was too expensive. Many stores refused to, due to the number of high-end cars they would see that required it or wouldn't have anything else. As you can guess, those stores that refused to stop carrying it (mine included) were not among the favorites list, as we were labeled "wasteful." Sorry, but I wasn't going to void the warranty on a brand new Corvette or Mercedes doing it their way - which was labeling the receipt as "Mobil1" and putting Conoco in the car. I warn any customers of Heartland Automotive to be watchful on this one - this is happening nationwide in their regions.

Shant sent a fast-track manager, another one of his roommates, to my shop. He wanted me to train him, but I knew better. Shant did nothing but complain about how terrible I was, so why would he have me train his buddy? Yes, he was there to force me into quitting (thus, no unemployment checks). This lasted about two days before I got a phone call from Shant, the worst I had ever had with him. He harassed me for a good 20 minutes on the phone this time. He said he was giving me the help I had asked for (and it only took him two months to give it to me), that I was a child, and that he should have taken his other buddy Erik's advice (my old district manager) and demoted/fired me, or whatever. This coming from the district manager I saw the least in my entire time with Heartland, I was fed up. He never visited my shop. He stayed near his other shops that were much further north than mine, saying that they were more important. (So important that he would only visit me to chew me out.) After this phone call, I cleaned out my office and prepared to leave. No surprise here, he showed up that day and watched us from across the street. I let him know I was leaving and I told him the condition of the shop and what needed to be done. He didn't hear a word I said because he was instantly on the phone with Curt Rhyne, telling him I was a baby and a quitter and that I left the shop in shambles. (He did this right in front of me.) Interesting. 

Not too long after I quit, Tom did also. Apparently after I was gone the fast-track manager took over the shop and was doing to Tom what Shant did to me. After Tom quit, the fast-track manager was suddenly no longer on friendly terms with his roommate, Shant. He was about to quit, too. Many others quit right around this same time. One was told he would be demoted due to poor performance. When this manager pulled out the P&Ls for his shop and showed them to Curt Rhyne, questioning his decision about it, Curt kindly reminded him how uncomfortable his job would be if he didn't step down. A nice threat.

Tom went to work for Autoserve, whom he had originally worked for in the first place. No bonuses there, but Heartland always had ways of taking the bonuses you earned away from you anyway. I saw one bonus in my time with Heartland - we had earned bonus money nearly every month. There was always something stupid that took it away. Autoserve doesn't offer bonuses except for their managers, but they are a lot more stable of a company and they actually focus on customers service, not customer rape. Autoserve staffs their shops for success on their budget side and for success on their customer service level. They are never understaffed - usually they are quite overstaffed, but they prefer to keep the extra bodies "in case."

I found a job making $120,000 a year first year not one week after I quit Heartland. That's nearly four times the pity salary of $32,500 I was making as a store manager. I am also working only 50 hours a week now, and I work for myself as an independent contractor. Compared to the 90 hours a week I was working at Heartland, I think I'm pretty well off now. I kept the time sheets from my employment there, even - there are a number of lawsuits against Heartland from former (and current) employees, and I am involved in them. My love for cars has me working part-time for Autoserve now with Tom and three other former Heartland employees. (One who was fired because he refused to strip a differential plug because his shop did not have the proper tools to remove it.) It is amazing now to work for a company that you can tell actually cares about their customers. Autoserve sets budgets, but they are by far not the ridiculous budgets that Heartland expects come hell or high water. They refuse to use pressure sale tactics, but the funny thing is - this shop is far over budget each and every day! While Heartland stores are struggling to make their budgets staying open late, having ridiculous sales, etc., we are hardly trying and we are exceeding budget with ease.

It is amazing how different the customers are when they are happy customers. I am pleased to be working now, as just a technician, with a Jiffy Lube franchisee that knows their business. It's a great feeling when I hear customers' stories about how they went down the street to the "other" Jiffy Lube and had a much different experience and will never return.

It is a shame that Autoserve only owns a small group of stores, but I know that with their high ethics that they will expand. I notice far less complaints and see far greater results with this company. I am only working with them as a hobby job, but I could easily see why their employees are so loyal. Had I not landed my other job first, I probably would jump into management again with this company. For all of the customers that have had horrible experiences at Jiffy Lube, I wonder really how many of them were from Heartland.

I also newly acquired some information that Jiffy Lube International (aka - JLI) refuses to let Heartland expand anymore unless their customer service scores (the worst in the entire country, by the way) improve. JLI's next step is to start taking stores away from them.

This is what greed does to people. I am sorry that anyone on here has ever been a victim of it. I have never had a catastrophic complaint, never blown an engine, never killed a transmission, etc. Mistakes happen, and I have always fixed anything I have done wrong. Yes, I have accidentally left a wonderful smear of grease on someone's interior, but I personally paid for it to be professionally cleaned. I have had instances where something on a car is broken during service by complete accident, but I also reimbursed the customer for the repairs, or repaired it myself. I have seen some horrible things be done to customer's cars, and I have seen bad attempts at hiding these things. I can say I fully trust the employees of Autoserve with my vehicles if I ever would need them to do something I cannot, which is hard for me to do. As a 23-year-old woman I can say I believe Heartland would try to rip me off. I do not have this fear from the employees of Autoserve.

I guess the moral of the story here is just to be careful which Jiffy Lube you are going to. Not all of them are bad - there are quite a few reputable Jiffy Lubes. As a whole, Heartland owns more stores than any other franchisee, and their complaints list is very large. They bring in a huge number of complaints - I used to deal with many of them. As a Jiffy Lube customer, you have to remember that Jiffy Lube is a franchise. They do have to follow the rules set down by JLI, but each of them operates different and has a much different approach than the next franchisee. Just because you have a bad experience at one does not put each store into that same category. Pay attention to the franchisee's name. I know many customers who have had repeated bad experiences with Jiffy Lube, but I cannot apologize for that. I can only apologize for ever being affiliated with Heartland and all of their bull----. The drama that goes on within that company is worse than a soap opera series, and it is the customers and the lower-level employees that are suffering from it.

[128]  Tom in Chicago, IL

My experience is as a Jiffy Lube former employee.  My name is Tom and I used to be employed for Heartland Automotive Services, LLC., dba Jiffy Lube in the Chicago-land area.  I was referred to this site by my former co-worker and manager.  Her beef with the company is similar to mine yet different.  Well, from the beginning, I was originally employed for Auto-serve, a smaller franchise in the Chicago-land area.  In April of 2004, Heartland Automotive purchased 26 of the 35 Auto-serve stores.  I was part of the deal along with several District Managers, and other store managers.  At this time, I was an Asst. Manager.  The company sounded like a wonderful opportunity at first.  Excellent bonuses, higher salary, the complete package.  The store that I was at, at that time, was in Oak Lawn, Store #447.  The crew was all for it, the change over that is.  Well after seven months , I was promoted to Manager of Store #447.  My District Manager was a true team player.  When one store was down, his whole district sent people to help, at any given time.  The numbers were up, the cars were up, sales , CSS ( Customer Service Scores), were almost perfect.  That store, when I was the manager, hit bonus for 9 out of 12 months.  The three months that I was down however, my job was threatened constantly by the Regional Manager, Curt Rhyne.  He even went so far as to cal me one day at the store, asked to talk to Tom, I had answered the phone, and proceed to ask when am I going to get my labor under control because his daughter couldn't eat.  At this time I had gone through 3 Assistant Managers and the one that Curt had picked out for me was making $14/hour.  News flash, when you have an Assistant Manager making more than the manager, I think that labor will be a little messed up.  After that assistant quit due to the threats of termination from Curt Rhyne, I personally found a former employee from another store, hired her as my assistant, and trained her. During this period, I had a few personal hardships, my sister had been raped and I was told that I could not take time off to be with her.  Yet once again my store was under control.  After being successful at Store #447, I was transferred to Store # 325 in Burbank as the manager to " fix that store ".  I was there for about a month and a half and the numbers were where they wanted them.. They tell us to hold signs that price the Signature Service Oil Change for $19.99 and want us to run a $57 ticket average.  For those of you not familiar with what a Ticket Average is, that is the Average Amount of what the customers pay for the oil change.  If this was not met, once again, threats of demotion, or termination were made.  With this company, Heartland Automotive, that is all that matters to them.  I do unders tand that we are in business to make money, but at what expense?  Selling thing to customer that they really didn't need?  I am sorry to say that I was very good at " convincing " customers that they needed these additional things, even when they didn't.  The sad thing is, I was praised for it.  From Store #325, I was again transferred to yet another store that needed "fixing ".  This time it was the location in Crestwood, Store #2982.  I did not feel that I was ready to run that store and the Regional Manager, Curt Rhyne, basically told me to stop whining.  I was there as manager for two weeks and demoted to an assistant manager again.  I am still not sure why I was demoted in the first place.  Prior to my demotion, I had planned to take the Labor Day Weekend off for over a year.  Curt told my new District Manager and the fourth one that I had in less than six months, that if I went on this " vacation " that I was to be demoted.& nbsp; Well, after hearing that, I went home, put on my uniform, called my father and canceled my plans losing the $2200.00 I had invested in the boats and cabins for the weekend.  When Curt found out that I didn't go, he wanted to know why I did not go.  Needless to say, I was demoted anyway. I was then reunited with my old Store Manager from Store #447.  He and I made a great team.  The sales at 2982 where coming back on track and we had reached our CSS scores for bonus, which they never paid out.  After about one month, he and I were separated because we were " covering for each other ".  I covered the store while he spent time with his new wife while she had an operation.  If this is what Heartland calls "covering for in a bad way" how should an Assistant Manager help his manager?  I was once again transferred back to the Burbank location.  My former manager, Tracy, has also written to this site.  S he and I had made, once again, a great team.  The things that I did in that store, working open to close (roughly 85+ hours a week) and only being punched in for 40 to 45 I did that out of respect for her.  I had no more loyalty to that company.  This was starting to be commonplace at most stores.  When there are no cars in the shop, employees were told to punch out and wait for the next car to come in, that is if you were not outside in EVERY type of weather holding a $19.99 oil change sign.  I was even praised for sending on of my employees outside in a straight down-poor to the point of not being able to see the street which was 30 feet in front of the shop.  This employee did this without question because he was afraid of losing his job.  He no longer works for the company due to the fact he now has Leukemia.  I just want to say that I am sorry to Tony Delcorse, the employee who did everything he was told and more for me.  You deserve better.   Back to the Burbank store.  All the company cares about is what have you done for me today.  Regardless of my past performance, I was a piece of garbage or " Stump " as they like to call low performers at Heartland.  Now there is a positive reinforcement for you.  You are a stump because you didn't hit your sales goals today.  Never mind what you did yesterday.  After witnessing the harassment that Tracy put up with, I could no longer keep her calm.  The day she resigned, I saw the look on her face and didn't even try to stop her.  The District Manager, who never visited the shop to help in any way, showed up right as she was packing her car with her belongings and even questioned some of the things that she was taking with her as to the possession of the materials being hers or the shops.  Most of the things that she had bought for the store out of her ow n money she was leaving for the store to have, as did I when I was the manager there.  All the wrenches in the basement I bought out of my own pocket because I was told that I could NOT buy tools.  How can I change oil without wrenches?  I left those there and once again ate the $220 it cost me.  After Tracy had left the District Manager, Shant, said the knew that it was Tracy bringing the store down and that she was a bad influence on me and the crew there.  Shant brought in a Fast Track Manager, his roommate and best friend, to be the new Manager of the store in Burbank.  This person, Phillip Tucker, has no automotive experience what so ever.  I was told that I had to train him to be my boss.  I was the Assistant Manager training the Manager.  Does anyone else see something wrong here?  I still did my job to the best of my abilities, even while training this jackass FTM to be my boss.  When he threatened my job, twelve days after he was there, I resigned.  I also wrote a letter of resignation and sent it to the main offices in Bloomingdale and Omaha.  I also sent it to the Senior Vice President of Operations to let him know that I was no longer with the company and why.  I recently found out that the letter I sent in was laughed at by Curt Rhyne, Eric Estrada and Shant Taroyan, stating that " Tom tried to write this BIG letter and get us all in trouble".  Well I am truly sorry for any one of their employees and even more so for their customers.  They have a little slogan, " We Will Not Sell You Anything You Don't Need".  If this were true, their customers would be happy, their sales would be where they want them to be, and all would be fine.  I just wonder, how long will it be before Jiffy Lube International steps in and starts to shut them down?  Only time will tell.  Heartland Automotive is giving Jiffy Lube a b ad name and people are starting to see the differences in the Franchises.   I would like to thank you for your time.  I have also enclosed a copy of my Letter of Resignation for your viewing.

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing in regards to my resignation.  There are several reasons that I am leaving the company, starting with my demotion.  I was a manager for over one year at Jiffy Lube Store #447.  After being successful at that store I went to Store #325 to turn that store around and get the numbers up.  After about one month, I was once again successful and transferred.  From there I went to Jiffy Lube Store #2982 in Crestwood, the third busiest store in the region.  Without help from my upper management, I failed and was demoted to Assistant Manager.  I was then transferred back to Jiffy Lube Store #325.  I feel that my demotion was due to the upper management’s failure to support me and put me in a store that I was not ready or prepared to run.  I was also told by my Regional Manager that if I take days off during the Labor Day weekend, that I would be demoted.  I had that weekend planned off for over one year and had roughly $2200 invested in it.  After being told this, I did not go on the trip, losing the money that I had invested into it and then I was still demoted.  I still am not sure why I was demoted in the first place.  The upper management made the mistake and I was punished for it? 

The next reason I am resigning is due to the fact that when I did take my scheduled vacation, the paperwork for my vacation pay was “lost”.  I personally faxed in the vacation request form three times to the Bloomingdale office and my manager, who shall remain nameless by his request, also faxed the paperwork in.  My question is, how can four copies of the same form, going to the same place, all be lost?  After calling my District Manager and the Director of Operations about this, it took over two pay periods before anything was taken care of.  I still have not received my pay for those days off that I took. 

My final reason for resigning is as follows.  After my manager resigned, her replacement is a Fast Track Manager who has been with the company for four months with NO prior experience what so ever.  He is also the District Managers room mate and good friend.  I was told that I had to train this person to be my boss.  My question is, if he can’t do the job, why is he in the position that he is?  Also, why is it the responsibility of the Assistant Manager to train the Manager?  Shouldn’t it be the other way around?  Also during my last week, I was told that if I didn’t get the numbers to where they should be, keeping in mind that I am the only Customer Service Advisor and only person qualified to do the extended services, that I can consider today my last day.   This was the final reason for my decision to leave the company.  I have no bitterness towards the company, only the poor decisions that the upper management has made.  I have seen several District Managers and Managers, who did their jobs perfectly, resign.  One of the District Managers almost died from the stress level put on him from the Regional Manager.  My next question is "Is this job worth my health, or my life?”

[136] Manager in Chicago

I am currently a store manager for Jiffy Lube in the Chicago area and have read the most recent complaints from some past employee's. I know the two people from Chicago and am amazed about their stories. My story is a little different, I was one of the employee's that came to the Heartland company when they bought Auto serve. I don't know why they were so unhappy but I think it is only fair that is not the only side everyone hears. I would agree that most companies are "profit driven" but I have never been asked to do or "sell" anything that the manufacture did not suggest at a specific mileage. Our job is to inform the customer of what the manufacture suggest's that is all. We are a company that feels if we do thing's correctly the customer will be informed and make a decision to get the service done by us or someone else! If the manager is doing anything differently they took it upon themselves to brake the rules for their own personal gain. It seems when you have people that cannot follow the rules they like to blame others. The company I work for (Heartland) Has given me a chance that I could not have elsewhere. Yes I work hard and try my best to be successful for my customer my company and myself. I think we attempt to set higher standards and when some employees can't measure up they blame the people they work for. The company has offered careers to those that want to succeed and offer outstanding service. All I have ever heard from anyone I work for is way's to offer better service and yes control your expenses. I have to control my expenses at home so why not my business? If you do things the right way everyone wins. This is a company that is always willing to share in the success. We have customer service standards (CSS) this is all we talk about at every meeting. I find it hard to believe anyone would think anything different, there are some employees that do not understand that. My district manager always' tell us take care of the customer and they will take care of you. What I am trying to say- If there are issues with employees being unhappy then they are not listening to the message very clearly and are they are the one's taking short cuts because they can't do the job the right way. As far a ticket average, let me just say if you educated the customer about your service and don't "sell" them they will buy your service. When we have problems in our store no one likes it but we always make sure we do the right thing for the customer. I am one employee that thinks it is ok for my boss to set goals for us and for me to follow the rules to properly take care of our customers. I read the complaints from the two past employee's and they were correct about one thing they did not do a very good job. I think it shows how they ran their business. Unprofessionally they are using profanity to describe those that gave them a chance? It is typical of how things are today pass the blame it couldn't be them? I am one person that is very happy and grateful for the opportunity I have been given and so are my customers. If you do things the right way (and most of us do) you can be successful. Please do not let the disappointments of a few people that did a bad job make you afraid to come do business with my. I do care as most of us do. I want and need your business.

[148] Tracy in Chicago, IL

I had recently submitted a story to the site, which has since been contested. I would like to add the following, which I had previously decided to omit due to a respect for the involved parties. I will never forget this conversation, and now that one of the involved parties has decided to butt in, let me post this for Chicago customers to see.

When I was an assitant manager at #447 in Oak Lawn my boss (a party who will remain anonymous out of respect) had hired an employee whose "expertise" was selling t-tech services. For anyone not familiar with what that is, it is a transmission flush done by a machine that is hooked up to your transmission lines. My boss was right - as soon as this new employee started, we were doing t-techs like crazy. I wondered why, so I took it upon myself to listen to what this employee was doing.

I watched as this employee would repeatedly stick the transmission dipstick in USED OIL, and then go show it to a customer, basically stating that if they didn't flush their transmission, horrible things would happen! He would then proceed to "hook up" the machine to the customer's vehicle, let the car run for awhile with the hoses sitting under the hood (not connected), and then say that the service was completed, and return to the lounge with the ACTUAL transmission fluid on the dipstick, and show the customer their "brand new" fluid. I could not believe my eyes - and so I took the issue up with my boss, the store manager. Transmission fluid color means nothing; anyone who is being shown fluid samples should be weary. My boss said "Well, you do what you have to do to make that ticket. You know what happens if you don't make that ticket..." Again, I was unsatisfied. I called the district manager, who was at that time none other than Brian Hofer, the anonymous Chicago poster praising Heartland. What did this district manager do? He told me "Oh, we do that all the time here in Glenwood." (This is store #2983 for those in that area). After further discussion, Brian also told me it was common for him to charge customers for the t-tech service when in fact he was performing just a transmission drain & fill (a different service available on certain vehicles). Coming from a district manager, I was stumped. I turned to the regional director of operations; we'll just call him Jim. Jim could not believe his ears. He took care of the issue, I know, because I got two calls back demanding answers as to why I went to Jim with this problem.

This is the type of "work" that Heartland praises. The few who were tired of this (Jim included) are long since gone from that company. So anyone who would like to contest what I'm saying, feel free - because at the same time you know the truth of my words. If this is "recommending what the manufacturer suggests", then I'd recommend everyone find a reputable dealer and bring their cars there, instead. I have compared the owners manual recommendations for many vehicles against what Heartland uses as a "manufacturer's recommendation." I welcome customers to use that instead - you might see a little bit of a difference, if you look. Work hard, steal customers' money, and lie - Heartland has a slogan in their lobbies that say "We won't sell you anything you don't need. Guaranteed." Another false sense of security for their victims.

Let me also further mention that soon after this incident, Brian was demoted. He seemed not to know what I was talking about when I asked him about it the first time - his attitude toward it? "Oh well." If that is what you call opportunity, then good! Enjoy! The district manager that he is working for is the ONLY district manager I have any respect for in that company. Had I worked under him when I was with the company, he probably would have done a better job motivating me instead of harassing me, like the DMs that I did have. It's good to see that there is one good person in such a corrupt business.

[171] Phillip in Round Lake, IL
Also see [126] for insider story of Chicago area problems

On a Friday in late October of 2005, I took my wife’s 2001 Durango to the Jiffy Lube in Round Lake IL on Rollins Rd for servicing.  I was leaving the next morning to drive a few hours away to Rockford IL for a motocross race.  While a the Jiffy Lube, I got the typical pushy sales of:

“Your air filter needs to be replaced”
“You’re mileage shows that you need to have your injectors cleaned”
“You have a 4WD, so your front differential needs to be services:
“It’s going on winter so we should replace your wipers”

During the upsell, they brought in a dipstick-like tool that contained some of my radiator’s coolant.  They told me that I needed a radiator flush because the color of the coolant was not green.  I told them that it is OK because the last time it was topped off, I added an environmental and animal safe coolant that is reddish-colored.  The red and green mixed to make a brown color.  They then walked away and finished servicing my vehicle.

The next morning I left bright and early.  About an hour into the trip, I finally got onto the Tollway and was cruising along.  All of the sudden, my “Check Gauges” light came on and I realized that my engine’s temperature needle was buried.  My engine was HOT!  I pulled over and my engine died on me from the excessive heat.  I lifted the hood and instantly noticed that they steam was pouring out of my radiator cap which was not secured.  Jiffy Lube hadn’t put on my radiator cap so I lost all of my coolant.  It was all over the engine, the underbody, and sprayed all over my trailer, motorbike, and equipment.  I was also stranded on a Tollway on a weekend.

I was p#ssed…REALLY p#ssed.  I used Sunday to cool off and I went to the Jiffy Lube to complain on Monday.  They apologized and offered to give me a free radiator flush and servicing.  I told them that I don’t want this and I was just letting them know so that they can pay more attention to their quality assurance.

About six weeks go by and my wife tells me that her heat keeps fading in and out.  I remembered that this happened when the Durango overheated so I checked her coolant level and she was low of radiator fluid.  I filled it up but was curious where it had gone if I saw no deposits in our driveway.  I checked the levels somewhat regularly and saw them getting lower as the days go by.  So, I replace the radiator cap in case the cooling system was losing pressure.  Still, this did not help.

I took my Durango to Gurnee Dodge in Gurnee IL about one week ago.  They told me that both of the engine heads are warped.  They were warped enough where they both need to be replaced.  Also, they were warped enough that they were allowing my coolant to get into the engine and mix in with the oil.  This is where the coolant was going.  They said that only excessive heat can cause the heads to warp.  The engine was subjected to excessive when it overheated.  It overheated when I lost my coolant.  I lost my coolant when my radiator cap was not put on tightly.  The last people to touch the radiator cap was Jiffy Lube the day before.

I called Jiffy Lube and was pushed off all week.  I was promised calls each day but never got a call-back…I always had to call them.  I finally got word today (yes, after calling them) that their claims group will not honor/pay for the damages.  They stated that if the engine heads were truly damaged then I would not be able to drive the vehicle.  They also told me that their records show that they checked the fluid levels and did an oil change only (I have no clue why this helps their argument).  Lastly, they told me that I saw them in late October and it is now early January.  Because of this, my engine must have been damaged after that.

The total bill is a few dollar shy of $3,000.  I learned that I will spend a few dollars more to have my vehicles services at dealerships that keep certified mechanics on staff.  It is not worth this hassle for me to save a few dollars to have a minimum wage person with no automotive repair skills working on my vehicles. 

It’s a shame that people on this site are probably here after-the-fact.  I’m so upset today that if I won the lottery, I’d buy national airtime to tell this story during prime time.  Jiffy Lube obviously had some smart mathematicians do some work for them.  “If one customer out of 1,000 has car problems…and if 1 of out 1,000 people with car problems will be able to prove that Jiffy Lube is liable….then, what the heck, let’s just pay our employees minimum wage to do a horrible job.  It’s a risk we’re willing to take!”  God bless America…the land of opportunity.

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