The Fine Print
We kind of made a big deal about the fine print thing. Why? Because we’ve had coupons before. They’ve expired, or had some ridiculous exclusions in tiny letters that we couldn’t read back when we DID have good eyesight.
So, here’s the fine print, in extra large.
First, the group that is offering you a coupon for $5 oil changes is receiving 100% of the proceeds. Not profits. What they ask you to pay for the coupon (and any additional you want to help them with) goes directly to them for their fundraising efforts. We collect $5 per oil change because uncle Sam isn’t as charitable as we are, and because we have disposal costs for responsibly disposing of your oil and filter.
What we get? We get a chance to meet you, and you get a chance to meet us! We want you to know who we are, because even modern vehicles aren’t maintenance free, and we want to be your first thought when you have a vehicle maintenance or repair need.
Here’s the rest of the details about the promotion:
1.) PLEASE call or drop by to make an appointment. We do EVERYTHING by appointment, so that we can give every person the very best of our service. We tried to do drop ins, wait appointments, and “next in line” oil changes, and we found that it frustrated our customers and strained our staff.
Starting in 2019, we moved to a model of dramatically limiting the number of wait appointments that we made each day. Why? Because when we were just focused on “oil changes as fast as possible,” we found we were not providing a lot of value to our customers. The truth is, we are NOT a quick lube, and for too long, we had been trying to mimic one. Most folks come to us for our thorough inspections and value the opinions of our professional technicians. In many cases we would be doing a “quick” oil change for someone and notice something that needed addressed. When asked, “Can you take care of that now?” our answer was too often, “I’m sorry, we don’t have the capacity to do that today.”
Having vehicles dropped off with us for a portion of the day helps us make sure EVERYONE gets the same thorough service, and has an opportunity to address these unforeseen items without you having to come back for simple items that could have been addressed same day. It also allows us to prioritize and “triage” vehicles based on their individual needs.
Now, we schedule you a slot, and do our best to get you in and out same day, according to our mutually agreed upon plan. If you have a special need, or a schedule we need to work around, let’s talk about it! We’ve got a shuttle morning and afternoon, we use Lyft regularly, and we have loaner vehicles. We even keep a VERY SMALL number of wait appointments with very limited availability — generally plan on about a two hour window in those cases.
2.) Pretty much every vehicle is different in oil type, filter type, and oil quantity. It’s REALLY hard to just make a blanket statement or price, “An oil change” at $XX.00. European cars using special synthetic oils, Diesels using anywhere from 5 to 18 quarts of oil, some cars with special filters costing two or three times as much as a “normal” filter. As such, we’ve baselined the cost of our oil change at $60. That covers most cars that use a fairly normal oil and filter, up to about 5 quarts. If you have a vehicle that the “normal” cost for an oil change is $80-$200, you more than likely already know it, and in your case, we’ll credit you the $60 toward the total cost of your oil change. If you’re still rocking the 2005 Civic or 2010 Hyundai, you’ll more than likely be completely covered with your coupon and $5.
3.) There are some European vehicles (and a few domestics) that we can’t service in a timely manner. The cars whose designers have decided no longer need a dipstick to check oil level, or that refuse to publish oil capacity specifications for their vehicles…they might frustrate you and us, and we don’t want you frustrated with us. In general, if you’re driving a Porsche or extreme late model Mercedes or BMW, we would love to provide service for you, but give us a call so we can discuss what we can and can not do for your vehicle.
4.) Did we mention the appointment? That’s important. The car we are working on right now had one, and the car coming in next does too. We love our customers, and want them to love us. Being respectful of your time includes being the bad guy occasionally and reminding you that we just need a little notice so we can give you the same excellent treatment we gave the person scheduled before you.
5.) Understand that we are automotive professionals, and that means we’re going to do a thorough inspection of your vehicle EVERY time we see it. Some people think that is just an attempt to sell you something. It’s not. While we’d love it if you performed every service or maintenance item that we recommend, we’d much rather know that we gave you our best, and that means having a clear conscience that we gave you ALL the information that was available to us as the time of your inspection. That generally includes a prioritized and time-estimated needs list for your vehicle. If we didn’t do that, we couldn’t call ourselves professionals, we wouldn’t have the reputation that we’ve built over the last 45 or so years in Lafayette.
6.) Your coupon doesn’t expire, ever. We HATE coupons that expire. However, the value doesn’t increase either, so plan and remit accordingly. It’ll be awesome if you bring one in 20 years from now for service on your flying Jetson 3000, but it’s still only gonna be worth about sixty bucks.