Thursday, July 17, 2008


What is it with me and cars this week?

The other day I took my car to the Mobil on the corner of 81st and 3rd for a tuneup. I've taken the car there before and I like Paul the manager. I end up getting a tuneup, a squeaky belt replaced, and a few other things. Total: $371.00. A bit high I think but they do good work.


This time however, not so much.

I pick the car up and while I'm driving home I flick the switch to wash the windshield. No windshield wiper fluid. I look at my receipt and it says "top off all fluids." Hmmm, I think. Maybe they just forgot. So I decide to stop by the next day.

The next day I pull in to the garage but Paul isn't there. I tell another guy who's working there that I came in the day before for a tuneup but they forgot to top off the windshield wiper fluid. The first thing the Mobil employee says to me is that the garage is closed. I found it very odd that the garage would be closed at 1:30pm, so I tell him again that I had a tuneup the day before and they forgot the windshield wiper fluid. I also mention to him that I spent $371.00 and wanted them to finish the job.

So the employee opens the hood and tops off the wiper fluid. He looks at the coolant and says they didn't put in any coolant either. So now I'm thinking, "I paid $371. 00 and they didn't check any of the fluids!?" My faith in Paul was plummeting.

So the employee tops off the coolant. He checks the oil. Everything was fine. At least they did the oil. The guy hands me the container of coolant and tells me it's mine. Bring it back the next time. I thought this was odd but took it and got back into my car.

Here's where the fun begins...

The employee says, "That'll be $20.00."

I reminded him yet again that I had brought the car in the day before and asked him if he needed me to go get the receipt.

Oh no, he didn't need the receipt. He needed the $20.00. I told him I wasn't going to pay it. He smirked and said in broken English that I had to pay.

I then went from 0 to 10 in .02 seconds. I told him there was no way I was going to pay him $20.00 to do a job they were supposed to do the night before.

He tried to explain something to me that still baffles me:

There are two businesses at that Mobil. The garage and the gas. He's the gas guy. Paul rents the garage. Since I got fluids from the gas guy, I needed to pay $20.00.

That didn't sit too well with me. Never in my life have I heard of a gas station having two businesses. I asked him how anyone was suppose to know there were two businesses there? He couldn't come up with an answer.

So, the yelling went back and forth a little longer until I told him to have Paul pay him the $20.00. His face dropped and looked as if I had solved the secret riddle. He went inside, made a call, came back out and said everything was fine.

So now, although I still like Paul, I will never take my car back to that garage. Paul's mechanics didn't do some of the basics of a tuneup, so I'll never be able to trust that they've actually done the work. And I refuse to go to a place where they try and swindle you by saying "oh, I"m the gas guy, not the garage guy, even though we're all wearing Mobil shirts."


Anonymous said...

Another great post. Keep it up.

That place is shady... The only honest guy there is Neil, who works for Paul.

Anonymous said...

go to vinnie at shurway - 90th between 4th and 5th.