Wal-Mart Complaint - Oil Change Gone Bad part II November 2005
MILPITAS, CALIFORNIA -- I mentioned part II is because someone posted something about his/her experience with the oil change. In all honesty, this is the first time that WalMart employees have ticked me off on a simple oil change. I went to WalMart for a routine oil change since they were among the lowest to charge for an oil change and this was the second time to have a vehicle serviced by them. The first time was my mom's car and went without a hitch. So I was confident that my SUV would have a quick and efficient oil change.
In the usual manner I queued in my SUV in line with other vehicles and I was then approached or rather I approached the so-called "greeter" who offered the usual sales hype of pay the extra $4 and you get the full service. Not unusual since I also work in the retail business and I just said a simple oil change will do please. I am very particular about my SUV even if it was a 1995 model and so I visibly viewed from a distance how they worked on my vehicle. My gut feel told me something was already wrong when a big young heavyweight was pushing and pulling something under the hood. Obviously the oil filter was "tight". Then again I calmed myself down knowing it may have been difficult to unscrew the filter.
After 20 minutes or so, the guy who started my SUV shouted at me asking if it was my SUV and I said "yes". He shouted back "is your oil pressure gauge working?" Uh-oh! I said yes, it was working when I left the car on queue. He shouted back "wait I will take out your vehicle and show you" and he drove it out of the bay and parked it in their lot. I approached my SUV and he showed me my oil pressure gauge was indeed not working. This really ticked me off since I knew for a fact it was working. He opened the hood for me and there I saw that the pressure gauge sensor was "cracked" and started cursing since the big young heavyweight working on my SUV might have accidentally hit it in the process of removing the oil filter. I asked for the manager who after a short wait approached us. I showed him the crack and he started by saying "what model is this SUV?" oh a '95 he started saying "well you know at the age of this vehicle and the proximity of the sensor to the engine/heat would have taken its toll (since the sensor is made up of steel and plastic). The young heavyweight joined in as he was called by the manager since he did work on the vehicle and confirmed that when he drove it to the bay he said "it was working".
Looking at the face of the manager, he was expecting the young heavyweight to say "no it was not working". Well dumb luck mister! The mechanic was honest to tell the truth. He then starts by saying that we will pay for the part and the labor as soon as I can present him with a receipt. I asked him to put that down in writing and he declined and that I just had to take his "word" that he would indeed reimburse me as soon as I could present a receipt. Now people tend to develop temporary amnesia for such incidents after 24 hours and am not one to make it pass. It was now 4PM and the repair shops close at 5PM. So off I went to Kragen and with "lady luck on my side" I was able to get the part and was able to find a shop at the very last minute with a kindly mechanic who did not charge me a cent for a 5-minute work which would have cost me $90 per hour (minimum charge) God bless his good heart (or perhaps he was too tired to write up a receipt.
In short I drove like mad without breaking any traffic rules and got to WalMart and I was paid for the part after waiting for 20 minutes (in cash) and had to sign a waiver. What really ticked me off was if the mechanic had did his job right, this would have not happened and I had not wasted 1 hour (mind you it was RUSH HOUR) running around just to get my SUV fixed. I wonder though if these so-called mechanics are "certified" knowing how cheap WalMart charges of oil change. Someone has got to look into whether or not WalMart is hiring non-certified mechanics. I just look at it as a "blessing for me" because if the sensor was indeed about to break down, well WalMart paid for my new sensor minus of course the hassle of buying the part and getting it fixed and at no cost for the labor to install the sensor.