Consistent Brand Message


ou know, getting an oil change shouldn’t be a BIG deal…. When it is, especially when it involves “a bait and switch,” it can damage your brand for a long time, if not forever. I’m reminded of that every time I see a Precision Tune sign, whether in Greensboro near where I work out, or, when we are on the road.

So, what could Precision Tune have done that so upset me that, even 18 months after the fact, I am still angry?

Well, it all started with a coupon on a cold, December, afternoon. I needed an oil change and I wasn’t sure I wanted to get under the car when it was so damn cold. Quite by accident, I found a coupon for an oil change at Precision Tune that promised – that is the important word here – an oil change for under $20. Well, as resourceful as I am, I can’t find oil and a filter for $20. Not any more, any way. So, I thought about it for the better part of two hours, and decided I would do it.

Now, there’s a gotcha here. Back when I was 18 and bought my first car, I got burned. Badly. After a $300 repair to the engine in the 1959 Thunderbird I inherited, the mechanic left a wrench on the block, and, about two miles later, the wrench went trough the radiator and he, the mechanic, apologized, but wouldn’t repair the damage. Around the same time, my father sent me with his VW fastback to the mechanic to get the disc brakes repaired. $75 and 20 minutes later, I was determined not to let a mechanic – or any other service person – take advantage of me ever again. The next time my father needed disc pads for his brakes, I did it.

So, you can imagine it took quite some time for me to get past the distrust I have carried with me most of my life so that I could use the Precision Tune coupon.

Mistake One: I was the first person there – 20 minutes before they even opened, and yet, 30 minutes after they had opened, I was still waiting. For whatever reason, it seemed like everyone else was somehow ahead of me. I should note that no explanation was given. I was just left on my own to sit there.

Mistake Two: Even before my car was done, I was called to the counter. “You know,” said the guy, “your car uses a canister filter.”

“Yes,” I replied, “and?”

“Well, it won’t be $19.95. It will be $24.95.”

“No, your coupon said $19.95.”

“Sorry,” he said as he pushed some paperwork my way, “Cars with canister filters quality for the Platinum Oil Change. But, the good news is that you will get a tire rotation for free.”

Now, I’ve been down that road a few times, and when someone tells me they are giving me something for free, the first thing I do is make sure my hand is on my wallet. “Look,” I said, “I don’t have time for this. Let’s be honest. A tire rotation gives you carte blanche to look for something else yo can sell me – like brakes or shocks.” Meanwhile, over his shoulder I could see the rear time coming off my car. “Put my car down NOW. NO tire rotation, and I am NOT paying $24.95 for an oil change. I can do it myself for $22.” And I could.

But it was too late. It seems that the tire was coming off as the oil was draining out of my car. I was livid.

Mistake Three: When I got home, I immediately went to the Precision Tune website and filled in the contact form. I was promised I’d head from someone in 48 hours. I never did.

Mistake Four: So, last month, out of the blue, I got an email from them – you know one of those “special offer” emails that they send to thousands at a time. I immediately unsubscribed, then I went to the website and again filled in the contact form.
Again, no response.

The good news is that I never have to go there again. And won’t. And believe me, I tell everyone about that experience…. So, for $5.00, Precision Tune hasn’t just lost me. They have lost countless potential clients. Think about that and how you manage your brand.

Post by Falcon