I whipped my wife’s car into the Jiffy Lube lot and was met immediately by an attendant who took my keys and drove the car into the bay.  I walked into the office to fill out the paper work with the service manager who, at the time, was finishing a phone call.

When he got off the phone, he started the usual questions then informed me the manufacturer required synthetic oil which costs about 4 times more.  I told him not to change it and I would take it to the dealer.

It was too late; his guys had emptied the oil out of my car.  Now I was forced to pay a hundred bucks instead of thirty and, in the meantime, had learned that the oil change was still free at the dealer. (My wife insists she told me that but I denied ever hearing it).

Jiffy Lube’s response:

  1. Admit they didn’t follow protocol
  2. Give me the oil change for free

My other experience was flying with Delta. I was forced to share ½ of my seat with “Mr. Supersize All My Meals Man.”  He could barely get the seat belt extender around him. And while cleanliness might be next to godliness, it was not next to him. Between armpit sweat and soiled underwear, I spent the entire flight leaning in the aisle fighting a gag reflex. I thought about grabbing those yellow oxygen masks.

I registered my grievance with Delta. Buying an airline seat is basically a temporary real estate transaction at 32,000 feet. If, on the earth, I buy a small lot on which to build a 3-bedroom house and the fellow next to me buys the same sized lot, but wants to build a 10 bedroom, 8 garage house, then he needs to either by a bigger lot, reduce the size of his house, or move.  Therefore, if the passenger beside me requires ½ my seat to accommodate his girth, those options apply to him, too.

Delta’s response:

1.  Admit one of their agents should have made the person either buy an extra ticket or wait for a flight that had an empty seat.

2. Send me a $50 voucher to be used towards my next purchase.

While that seems like a nice gesture on their part, it’s cleverly manipulative because they are requiring me to spend more money with them.  Jiffy Lube gave me a $100 oil change free with no future strings attached.  Delta requires me to spend at least $250 dollars with them so I can benefit from their “customer service.”

Seriously. Do I look that stupid? Please don’t answer that question.

Customers are a much more savvy lot. We know when were being duped or when were being given true value. Here’s the difference:

Jiffy Lube’s Customer Service benefits the customer.

  • They admitted they didn’t follow protocol
  • They offered to make it right at no cost to me

Delta’s Customer Service only benefits Delta.

  • They admitted they didn’t follow protocol
  • They offered to make amends, but I would have to purchase a $250.00 ticket from them

Have you had similar experiences? Do you thoughts on customer service? Would love to hear from you.