I got an oil change at one of those quick lube kind of places recently. Normally, I'd go to a regular mechanic, but I was in a rush and decided to just get it done rather than wait for someone who wouldn't treat my car like a Saigon whore.
These places are fast, but do you notice how they pile on the guilt?
Mechanic: So you want an oil change?
Me: Yep, that'll do it.
Mechanic: You want the... regular.... oil? Just regular? We've got this premium blend that makes your car spit out double rainbows ...
Me: .... Nope. Just the regular oil.
Mechanic: Well, we noticed your transmission fluid looks like sludge. That'll run you about $120 to change. You do want it changed, don't you?
Me: Sludge? Like in Ghostbusters? I'm cool with that.
Mechanic (panic sets in): But you know if you don't change it within 4,000 miles, you'll have too many miles on your car for us to do that service anymore. It's sludge!
Me: Your marketing strategy is astounding. Please tell me about a Shamwow next.
Mechanic: OK, well you really should get your tires rotated. The manufacturer recommends it.
Me: Thanks, but the manufacturer has a different safety recall every month so I don't think I'll be taking their advice.
So after the guilt trip, then you see all the sneaky fees. I expected the oil change to cost about $30-$35, already above what I'd usually pay.
Then there was $8 to have the license plate bulb replaced, a bulb whose sole purpose is to help cops run your plates. A bulb that if you don't replace, cops will pull you over ... and run your plates. It's the man trying to keep me down.
They also tacked on $5 for an "upcharge." Upcharge? What's the upcharge for? Did you charge me extra for asking to get my oil changed? Isn't that the purpose of me paying you to get my oil changed? Can I ask for a "downcharge" for you being Jerky Jerkstons?
All told, it was about $65 by the time I walked out. $65 in 10 minutes. If I'm going to pay that much, I'd at least like it to end with me pulling my pants up off the ground while wearing an aura of shame.
And that's not considering them making me feel like my car would burst into flames if I didn't get a $120 transmission fluid change.
I'm sure there's an upcharge for the flames.
Do you have any tales of shameless upselling and sneaky fees?
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