Andrew Schiestel tried to get an oil change at Costco and was unhappy with the service:
I stepped up and asked the employee how long an oil change would take. He replied, “two hours”.
I said, “I don’t have enough time right now to wait. Can I get your # here and I’ll call in advance next time and check the waiting time?”
He replied, “No, I won’t be able to tell you.”
I asked, “Why not?”
He replied, “Because it’s first come first serve. The waiting time always changes.”
I said, “But if I’m just around the corner, is it not possible to call you and just ask the current waiting time, knowing that the time you give may possibly change by the time I get in your store?”
He said, “Yes, I suppose.”
I said, “Great can I get your business card with a phone number.”
He said, “We don’t have business cards.”
Are you as frustrated reading this conversation yet as I was in having to go through it?
I asked, “Well can you just write it down on a piece of paper?”
Finally, I produced a result! Our case study employee took a piece of paper, ripped off a corner of it and scribbled down their phone number.
I asked him for his name and thanked him for his time and left.
Aside from the obvious lack of customer care, support and service, what could Costco have done in this situation to avoid losing me as a customer?
He was much happier at JiffyLube:
A happy looking young mechanic greeted me as I walked in. I asked if I could get an oil change, he responded “You bet”. I said are you available to do it now? He said, “of course” and point behind me at the bay door that had already been lifted up by another employee while him and I greeted and conversed. This was a sign that this garage was aware of everything that was going on and really wanted my experience to be easy, and effortless. I pulled my vehicle in to a guy waving me on. I got out and he made small talk with me and we had a few good chuckles. I asked how long the oil change would be – another mechanic said, “no more than 15 minutes.” Wow!
I don’t know if it’s fair to compare Costco’s automotive services department with a Jiffy Lube that does nothing other than oil changes, but I guess Jiffy Lube is a competitor. I guess the lesson is that if you’re going to offer a service, you should do it all the way instead of “half-a**ing” it as my dad would say.
Do you ever use Costco’s car services? If so, what are your experiences?