So, I take my car to Mr. Lube for the requisite oil change. I have been there a few times and things have generally gone well. Well, not this time. First of all they advise me that they have stopped ordering Subaru oil filters because only 1 out of 100 cars are Subarus and they assure me that their oil filters are just as good and that they provide a warranty. Seeing as I was already over on kilometres I decided to go ahead.
I feel the tech tug at the bottom of my car and assume all is going fine. I began to get a little suspicious that something was up when they did not do the normal things like check the tire pressure, lube the hinges etc. I am starting to notice two of the techs scurrying around and looking at books. I know something is up but I just sit there and wait. After about 10 minutes of sitting there one of the techs comes over to the window and advises me that the ‘downstairs’ tech accidentally drained my automatic transmission fluid instead of my oil. Now, I am not a tech – but you would think that one would know the difference between the transmission and the oil pan. Apparently, I was wrong. I guess in Subarus the transmission is exposed and the oil pan is behind a plate.
Then the tech tells me that Subarus take a special kind of automatic transmission fluid and that his ‘Area Manager’ has been on the internet and apparently they can use their fluid with an additive and it will be just like the Subaru fluid. He further explains that I can bring the car back tomorrow and his ‘Area Manager’ will go to Subaru and get the correct filter and fluid. I don’t believe them that their concoction would be good for my transmission. I asked him what would happen if there was damage done as a result of this that did not show up for a while would they take responsibility. The bottom line was that I would have to prove it. No go on the Mr. Lube fluid for my transmission! I leave the car, which they assure me will stay in the bay it is in and opt to come back today to pick it up. I take a cab home – they state they will pay for it if I give them the receipt.
Now, all of this was a pain in the ass but I guess this kind of stuff can happen (not sure how but whatever). Next we get to move into the realm of insulting sexism where women are treated as stupid. They called at about 10:30 to tell me my car was ready to go. Deb and I go to pick it up at about 11:30. I get there and they tell me the invoice is in the car and that the oil change is free. I ask them if the invoice reflects what happened and I look at their copy. Nope, you guessed it, the invoice just shows a free oil change. I tell the manager that this is not acceptable and that the invoice must reflect what had happened. He says well go and get your copy out of the car and I will write it on there. I say, no that will not be acceptable as anyone can write anything on an invoice and it will not mean anything. I again insist that the invoice must reflect the accidental draining of my transmission. He says: “It is noted in the computer and I have already done the invoice.” I laugh and inform him that he will need to officially note it on the invoice. He gives in and goes and does it.
I do not normally rail about sexism. For the most partm I am an intelligent, well-educated woman who has lots of privilege in society. But there is something that happens with men, cars and women. Many men seem to think that women know nothing about cars and can be bamboozled with their crap. The same thing happens with computers. I have noticed a distinct difference in the way I am treated by a male sales person once he realizes that the woman standing in front of him likely knows more about computers that he does. I get a little tired of this but sometimes, I must confess, I do enjoy playing with them.
Back to Mr. Lube – He managed to correct the invoice so it now indicates that they accidentally drained my transmission. At least now if something goes wrong I have some hope of holding them accountable. Now, I won’t hold my breath for the cheque to reimburse me for the taxi fare.