Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Walmart Express Tire & Lube

I know I'm a missionary, and flexibility and patience are supposed to be my key character qualities. But Walmart really pushed me to the limit this afternoon. I went in for an oil change, figuring that an icy day like today would cut down on the crowd. I walked into Walmart and, as commonly occurs, nobody was at the desk. After waiting about five minutes, a surly associate sauntered back and asked what I wanted. I told him I needed an oil change, and he told me it might take an hour and a half. I agreed to that. I had decided to try synthetic oil this time. I thought I was going to get by for about $35, but it turns out that was a synthetic blend. For pure synthetic, you have to pay about $50; but I decided I was willing to try it.

I had a little shopping to do, so I went and finished it. Then, I sat and watched the entire movie of the Transformers. Grrr, what a waste of celluloid! After 2 1/2 hours, my car still hadn't been touched. I went and played video games; I came back and watched a 45-minute TV show on our iPod. Still, nothing. Finally, the one guy who was working in the garage pulled my car in. He manfully struggled with the oil filter for quite a while, then gave up and went in to get the desk guy. At last, they freed it, and a mere 4 hours after I arrived, my car was ready. A little earlier in the process I had asked one of the Walmart associates if she had called my name and I had missed it. She said, "No, you're next."

Me: Why did the guy tell me it was going to be 1 1/2 hours, when it's been almost double that and you haven't started yet?
Her: The guys had lunch breaks.
Me: Did he not know that they were going to take lunch breaks?
Her: That's why we have these signs (pointing to signs that say they will give their best estimate but cannot guarantee service time)
Me: Yes, I understand that you can only give an estimate, but the estimate he gave me doesn't seem very accurate.
Her: One of the guys had to leave.
Me: (fuming)

Apparently, my car took an extra half-quart of oil too, so they charged me another $6. So...final total...about $60, 4 hours. I'm never going back to Walmart for an oil change again.

Back to writing Christmas cards...

5 comments:

aaronash said...

I noticed you did not say you will never go back to Wal-mart again. Eventually, you will have some things you need to pick up and it will be time for another oil change and there won't be a line so you'll go back. Unless, you know, you move to Mongolia or something.

Incidentally, this reminds me of when Wal-Mart refused to change the front tires on our front-wheel drive van. They would put the new ones on the back and put the old ones on the front, but "no new tires on the front, company policy, unless you buy four tires."

Chris said...

Yes, that was another one of the signs on the wall. Believe me, I had plenty of time to read them.

Loganx80 said...

Yeah, I used to go to Wal-mart to save money on my oil changes, but no more. For $25, 2 guys in a truck will drive to my work (or probably my house) and change the oil in the parking lot. But then again, I do miss out on watching Transformers when I do that.

Ken said...

So you didn't like Transformers?

Jim said...

Transformers was hokey, but fun.

That story was like something Douglas Adams would have written as an exaggerated fictional account. But it really happened. Wow.