I guess according to the “Fool me once/twice” aphorism it should be “Shame on me.” I could say that my relationship with Meineke would be analogous to the slow painful discovery of a wife’s unfaithfulness.
Initially the local Meineke in Bourbonnais (under previous ownership) performed honest and very satisfactory service for a reasonable/competitive fee. Even after new ownership assumed the Bourbonnais Meineke service outlet, there appeared to be a demonstration of good faith toward who I thought we were—valued and loyal customers: On a few occasions they fixed a loose hanger and mudguard and even plugged a tire free of charge.
Recently (06/17/14), though, I brought in my Honda Civic for an AC problem which ended up, I learned subsequently, costing us many hundred$ more than what would have been charged by more than one operate-in-good-faith mechanic. And I had to take the car back twice more to have fixed, problems that were a direct result of their shoddy service. When I first brought the car in and because of a forthcoming planned long trip, I had stressed to them the importance of fixing the car right the first time. Apparently they didn’t assume the same importance for the repair because I was not able to use the car for the trip.
Sustained money loss and inconvenience notwithstanding, this Meineke has also and more importantly demonstrated an indefensible disregard for safety—the safety of my daughter, son-in-law, and two-year-old granddaughter. Even more recently (08/14/14) I took their car to be serviced for a brake problem. Not only did their slapstick “service” cost hundred$ more than what it should have, it resulted in a dangerously unstable car to drive—inordinately spongy brakes and a pulling of the car to one direction. We wound up taking the car to another Meineke—apparently the only Meineke you can trust in the whole Chicago-land area in the Sauganash neighborhood on North Cicero Avenue—to have repaired (and covered) what we paid the Bourbonnais Meineke to do.
As a side note, after the unfixed repair, the Bourbonnais Meineke manager told us that the vehicle also needed struts all around. I subsequently learned from several reliable service sources that not only was the price that they quoted $750-$800 above what was fair, but the car didn’t need struts at all! Trust Meineke? I don’t think so! With rare exceptions, like the one cited above, expect slapstick service and an unwelcome trip to the cleaners.
Subsequently, Meineke attempted to offer me a "lame peace offering." Here was my response to the Better Business Bureau when they queried me with regard to its acceptability:
I would decline to accept Meineke’s lame peace-offering response and request that the Better Business Bureau retain this as an open/unresolved complaint. A $25 gift certificate and a free oil change would be laughable if it were not for their flagrant disregard for human life/safety and their egregious price gouging. I do appreciate BBB’s efforts in trying to bring amicable closure to this matter and humbly request that my grievance with this particular Meineke “service” outlet be made available for others to be apprised/warned of their extortionate slapstick service; perhaps someone else might be spared a similar angst like that sustained by my family and me by this incident. This is only the second time I’ve used BBB in an effort to resolve an issue—the first time ended successfully. Thank you again for representing me.
Product or Service Mentioned: Meineke Oil Change.
Reason of review: Poor customer service.
Monetary Loss: $1000.
Preferred solution: I've already proceed through the Better Business Bureau with result being a unacceptably lame peace-offering response from Meineke. My purpose here is to apprise/warn others of Meineke's (of Bourbonnais, IL) unethical business practices.eth.