Serra Chevrolet $14.95 Oil Change – Scam, Sham, or Poor Advertising
On June 20, 2015 I was referred by another service provider in Hendersonville TN to Serra Chevrolet to get an 14.95 oil change. I thought it would be a good deal and I was driving to Atlanta the next day.
I arrived around 5pm and they advised me they closed at 6pm and could not fit me in. Fair is fair. I was disappointed.
On September 8 at 3:30pm I checked the sign out front of the dealership and it said ‘express lane, oil change $14.95. I pulled up and the girl came up with a sheet and asked what I needed. I advised her I needed an oil change and she said she didn’t think they could do anymore. She went and checked. When she came back she said she could not do anymore. I asked to speak to a manager.
The manager came and I asked why the sign says ‘express’ when there are no oil changes available. I said if they were not giving the oil changes, the sign should come down. He said that if McDonalds sold hamburgers for 10 cents all day they’d run out but they wouldn’t take the sign down. I advised him I had the local McDonald’s owner’s phone # on file and the sign would come down.
He suddenly changed his story and tried to pin it on me, stating that he could do the oil change but it would be a 2 1/2 hour wait so it was TRUE advertising. I advised him he could not CHANGE what the previous girl said and he would have to admit that. He did admit that. I advised him he needed to take the sign down if the oil changes were not available. He stated they were suddenly available but they were ‘backed up’ and it might be 2 1/2 hours and I was welcome to ‘wait’.
So we went from ‘ service not available ‘ to ‘suddenly available’ with a 2 1/2 hour wait when I called him on the sign out front. The sign, is at best, deceptive. I advised him that it was and he simply said ‘express lane’ is the brand of the service, not the actual service rendered and that it would actually not be express at all, 2 1/2 hours. Truth in advertising could be an issue here as McDonald couldn’t advertise a ‘McChicken’ as a ‘Hamburger’ when it’s actually a ‘chicken sandwich’. They couldn’t say it was a ‘Hamburger brand’ chicken sandwich.
I wondered what services they WERE offering when the girl came up to take my order with her clip board. When I said ‘oil change’ suddenly services weren’t available, then when I called them on the sign, services were available but they were suddenly ‘backed up’.
It’s a fancy way, I believe of not having to serve someone you don’t want to serve. It’s like when a black man pulls up to a full serve station and the station says it’s ‘suddenly out of gas’, he says he will wait and he’s welcome to wait until the gas truck shows up.. tomorrow… yet others are pulling up for products.
Others were pulling up for service at Serra Chevorlet. The girl came with the clipboard, there were clearly services to offer, just not…the $14.95 oil change for me in my 2001 Chevy Camaro.
They had services available, just not for me. I felt like a black man at a white’s only gas station before the civil rights movement. There was gas advertised, gas available, other orders being taken, but services were denied to me, then when I called them on it, it was ‘2 1/2 hours’ as the manager smiled and tried to get me to admit the sign wasn’t false.
I also mentioned it would be understandable if it were just the first time – but it was the second time and the lanes were near empty.
Changing stories, vanishing service, I made sure to emphasize several times the girl stated that the service was not available today anymore and the manager then said ‘express lane service is available, with a 2 1/2 hr wait. I advised him that the word ‘express’ in advertising, implies speed and he wouldn’t take the sign down even though the service isn’t ‘express’.
I think it’s odd that they were taking orders, just not for this advertised service. Truth in advertising? Scam? Discrimination? I can’t really tell which. But something’s not right at Serra Chevrolet.
The snicker on the service manager’s face said it all, as he kept taunting ‘have a nice day’. I kept advising him I wouldn’t and he kept saying ‘you can wait for 2 1/2 hours’ and kept explaining express is only a brand, it’s not the actual service. Like I said, I felt like a black man before the civil rights movement being taunted in a white town. It really was…disgusting and demeaning.
Other service issues have been cited:
Yelp – “I tried to turn my car in here when the lease was up… Talk to Chevy and Ally (the financing company). They told me that I could turn it in at any Chevy dealership. When I went there, the staff told me that I can only do it if I bought my car there or will buy another one from them. Called Chevy again and this is entirely false.
Sure as hell aren’t getting my business now.” – Dan W.
Google Reviews “The person who was supposed to be handling my car was on vacation and when I called to make the appointment I was told to drop the car off and fill out the envelope and put that there was an appointment. I wrote in the note section to please call before any work was started. No one ever called and when I called no one could tell me what was going on with my car. I was told it would be a three hour fix. I dropped it off Sunday night for a 10am appointment on Monday. Finally got a call from someone saying Brain was on vacation and they didn’t know my car was supposed to be there. Then no other contact until 5 pm which was too late for me to pick up. I felt ignored” – John Dantico