Oil change shops feedback needed

Hey all,

My car needs an oil change..keep seeing the ones that pay or reimburse 45 dollars..I dont remember the exact wording. These almost seem like a Pain in the you know what, but I wanted to confirm here before I decide to completely pass on them

Shopping Idaho and Oregon/Idaho border region.

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I have an older car and get the regular oil. The jobs I do usually pay around $5 + reimburse for the oil change at a mass market oil change location. They are easy and quick to write up. The only problem I've had was the last job where the entire shop was completed in about 10 min. The MSC was very sceptical.
I never pay for an oil change, The job is not difficult, but you must pay attention to what is going on around you. There are very few mystery shop jobs that pay (or reimburse) that much - so go for it!
Do it. Just remember that the reimbursement alone is worth not having to fork out money for an oil change. If you get a fee on top of that, hurrah!
Hold out until the end of the month and you'll get a bonus. The highest bonus I received was $25.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
It depends on where you live. In my area, they go fast and if you want the bonus, you have to take a long drive. Not worth it to me if I have to travel more than 20 miles.
These are great shops if you need an oil change. The reimbursement is higher than most fees you can get for shops that simple. The only catch is if you want synthetic or synthetic blend. Some shops will cover it, some shops will cover the cost of regular oil and allow you to pay the difference, while some shops won't allow it at all. Check first.
@wwin wrote:

The only problem I've had was the last job where the entire shop was completed in about 10 min. The MSC was very sceptical.

You presented receipts correctly? Should have been no problem. I've rarely had a oil chsnge last more that ten minutes I rarely get out the car.

A Dad shopping the Ark-LA-Tex and beyond.
Interesting. I have gotten oil changes at different chains and was never allowed to stay in the car. For the mystery shop oil changes I have done, I had to visit the restroom, comment on coffee, comment on waiting area cleanliness, comment on the cashier counter, etc.
Also, how do you manage to pay for your oil change without exiting your car?
@ShoppingDad wrote:

@wwin wrote:

The only problem I've had was the last job where the entire shop was completed in about 10 min. The MSC was very sceptical.

You presented receipts correctly? Should have been no problem. I've rarely had a oil chsnge last more that ten minutes I rarely get out the car.

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
Thrre are quick service oil change shops. I used to do them here, but that chain went out of business.
The DMV area has a chain of Jiffy Lubes that are all in the same franchise. They are very reliable, especially in MD, where the state is picky about bogus charges for any auto work. So, every 3000 miles, my vehicle gets an oil change, since 2005. When I traded in my 2008 Honda yesterday, proving regular oil changes (JL can print out a record of them all here because the computers are linked) boosted my trade-in value. Two MSCs shop JL in this area. For both, the report is very easy. And, using a coupon actually boosts the net fee. Recently, there have also been bonuses. And, some also include a tire rotation. All include fluid top-ups between visits.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
The quick oil change places have drive in service bays with a mechanic below in the pit who drains the oil. The service advisor guides you in and motions left or right, tells you when to stop. The service advisor shows you a menu and you pick which oil change you want. You stay in the car. They top off fluids, check lights, tire psi, no tire rotation, though. Takes 10-15 minutes. You pay through your car window, then drive away.

@myst4au wrote:

Interesting. I have gotten oil changes at different chains and was never allowed to stay in the car. For the mystery shop oil changes I have done, I had to visit the restroom, comment on coffee, comment on waiting area cleanliness, comment on the cashier counter, etc.
Also, how do you manage to pay for your oil change without exiting your car?
@ShoppingDad wrote:

@wwin wrote:

The only problem I've had was the last job where the entire shop was completed in about 10 min. The MSC was very sceptical.

You presented receipts correctly? Should have been no problem. I've rarely had a oil chsnge last more that ten minutes I rarely get out the car.
I have not paid fully for an oil change in 15 years. There are four different companies that I know that do them.

Two of them are the same line of fast-service drive up, no appointment shops. Of those, one involves a recorded phone call in advance, and one does not. I prefer the company that does not, which has initials in its name. Their report is also much shorter. They both reimburse $45 for an oil change. Sometimes, extra services are covered if they are offered, such as tire rotation. I have a full synthetic oil vehicle so $45 does not fully cover the cost. However, you are required to use a coupon, and you also can use gift cards to pay. I get gift cards for this specific chain from my warehouse club, $100 worth for $90. I can put a big dent in the cost that way and end up paying maybe $15-20 for a full synthetic job. If your car takes conventional oil and use use the coupon, it should fully cover the cost. My husband's truck takes extra oil and his is usually $54.99 and with an $8-10 coupon I get it down to about $0-3! The coupon link the MS sends you to is for $5 but if you go online and/or register online or in the store, they will start sending you postcards regularly for $10-12 off. I have always used a big coupon or if I didn't have one, asked about it in store and they gave it to me.

It is very true these shops get bonused a lot because you can only go with a specific vehicle every 3 months. That cuts down on how many shoppers are in rotation to do shops. I have taken my Moms car, a friends car etc just to get the bonus pay. You will have a ton of friends if you offer to do that!

The third type of shop is usually a dealer appointment type, which I don't do. The are not the best jobs for me but may be the best for others. I dont want to sit at a dealership a long time. I am also not the best in scheduling these things that far in advance.

The fourth type is much more complicated where you take your car for a service like an oil change. However, before and after, you have to take your vehicle to a secondary ASE certified mechanic. They check before and after some service or repair is done. These pay very high, and reimbursement is high. But I don't have time for all that drama. I also don't want someone monkeying around with my car, 3 times.

Try one, be observant, read the questions all in advance. Timing is important. If you do the recorded phone call, you can listen to it afterwards and pull any info you need out of it. This is a great shop that I have taught many friends to do, as there is no way I could ever do them all or miss out on them.
I've had two oil changes on shops recently. One at a dealership, and I was quite happy with it. I was very unhappy with my Jiffy Lube change. Their prices were as high as at the dealer (which surprised me). They tried to sell me services I didn't need and lied about one of my fluid levels (I checked when I got home) and about having washed the windows. But on both shops, the reimbursement covered the cost of the oil change completely, so I got my small fee as net profit. The shops aren't that hard, and both reports weren't very time-consuming.

I agree with JASFLALMT about the bonuses, though. These go like hotcakes here, so next time one of the cars needs an oil change, I'll grab a dealership one and not wait for a bonus. OTOH, I'll wait for a Jiffy Lube bonus.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
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