Jiffy Lube Check-in Special

I had a Jiffy Lube Coupon, but instead got “Stiffied.” 4

(The following is an email I just sent to the contact address on http://jiffylubeutah.com/)

SUBJECT: Feedback for Jiffy Lube #2892

To Whom it May Concern:

The purpose of this email is to inform you of my experience at one of your Utah Jiffy Lube locations on May 16, 2011.

After picking my daughter up from school, we drove to your Springville, Utah location (Jiffy Lube #2892) for an oil change on my 2007 GMC Yukon Denali. The Invoice Number on my receipt is 2892 837444 BAY3 and the Transaction Number is 11051600837444.

The good news first: upon our arrival, we were greeted warmly by an employee named Joe and escorted to the waiting area, where we were offered popcorn, magazines, and TV. My teenage daughter settled right in. Joe explained the available services and costs, and did an excellent job at presenting the “upsells” in a straightforward way that was direct without being pushy. I chose the Signature Service Oil Change with an antifreeze top-off, then sat comfortably in the waiting room for my service to be complete. As an avid user of social media tools, the first thing I did upon sitting in the waiting room was the first thing I always do at any business location: I searched for the business name using the FourSquare app on my iPhone.

I was delighted to see the orange tab appear on my screen, informing me that a “Check-In Special” was available at the Springville Jiffy Lube. In fact, the special for this location is still available on the FourSquare website: https://foursquare.com/venue/2922441

I “checked-in” to unlock this special, which appeared on my screen like this:

Jiffy Lube Check-in Special

I immediately stepped back outside into the service bay and showed the screen to Joe, who said “OK” and took note of the SOCIAL10 code. However, a few moments later, he came back into the waiting room to explain to me that his manager had informed him that they weren’t allowed to use digital coupons, and that in order to use the coupon I would have to print it out. Joe was very apologetic, and because he had been so nice so far, I decided not to push the issue at that time. I did, however, make a mental note that I needed to email the Jiffy Lube Utah management upon returning home this afternoon. It’s the afternoon, and I’m home. 🙂

When my service was complete, I stepped back into the service area to settle the bill. Joe apologized once again for not being able to accept my FourSquare coupon. I told him not to worry about it, but he gave me a $5.00 discount anyway (code DMV2), and a booklet of printed coupons redeemable on future visits. I thanked him and paid the bill, and then he escorted my daughter and me outside to our car, opened the doors for us, thanked us, and sent us on our way. As an aside, may I suggest that the next time an assistant manager position is available, that Joe might be considered?

Regarding the FourSquare coupon, let me say first that I am extremely happy to see Jiffy Lube Utah using social media promotional tools such as FourSquare Check-in Specials. In fact, I notice that all the Jiffy Lube Utah locations currently offer this same special on FourSquare. Whoever is organizing and managing your social marketing at the corporate level is doing an excellent job. As an online marketing professional myself, I believe these types of tools are excellent ways to build brand recognition and customer loyalty among a rapidly growing market segment, while demonstrating that you are dedicated to forward-looking marketing methods. I do, however, believe that some additional education of your location’s managers regarding your social media coupons may be necessary to avoid frustrating additional customers. Clearly, FourSquare Check-in Specials are not designed to be printed. And because the customer must physically be at the location in order to “check-in” and unlock the coupon, it’s impossible for them to print such coupons at home before coming to the business location.

The benefit of offering a social media coupon to your customers is obvious: I get $10.50 off your most popular service and am therefore more likely to frequent your business in the future rather than visiting a competitor. The benefit to your company is also clear: in return for the $10.50 discount, you get the best type of “friend-to-friend” marketing when my FourSquare app automatically broadcasts to all 793 of my Facebook friends that I’m currently visiting Jiffy Lube, including a map and link to the precise location of your store. Unfortunately, in this case, my broadcast also included a complaint that I was unable to use the coupon I had just “unlocked.” And to keep the social media going, I am posting a copy of the present letter on my blog, which automatically posts to my Facebook Wall and Twitter Feed. To be fair, I will gladly update my blog post after receiving your reply.

Again, for the most part, my visit to Jiffy Lube today was a positive one. However, before visiting one of your locations again in the future, I would appreciate an assurance that legitimate coupons, including unprinted social media coupons, will be honored by your managers.

Best regards,

Steve Jenkins

UPDATE 5/17/2011: I received a very nice reply from Laura less than 24 hours after sending the above email. As I often say, customer service isn’t whether or not a company makes mistakes – because we all make mistakes. Good customer service is how a company reacts to mistakes. I think this reaction was perfect:

Hi Steve,

Thank you for your feedback. We appreciate any and all feedback from our customers to help us improve our customer service. We are glad to hear your overall experience was a positive one, but sincerely apologize for the Springville location not accepting the digital coupon. This shouldn’t have happened and we’ve taken steps to remedy this situation so that this doesn’t happen again.

We would like to send you a free oil change certificate and hope you will continue to patronize Jiffy Lube.  From your service records, we have your address as:

Steve Jenkins
(address removed)

If you would like the certificate sent elsewhere, or if your address is different than what we have listed above, please let me know.



Thanks, Laura. I’ll gladly accept the certificate and use it in the near future. Keep up the great work with the social marketing.