My Wal Mart Story

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by watcher2001, Aug 29, 2005.

  1. watcher2001 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 9, 2005
    38° 12'47.72" N 85° 31'54.63" W
    I apologize in advance for this being so long. But it is a good read nonetheless.

    My story begins on Thursday, August the 4th. It was a normal summer day.. Hotter than all HADES which explains in part why I was too darn lazy to change my own oil.. I go to my local Wal Mart and tell them I would like the 19.95 oil change. They tell me fine, write down my info and take my keys. I asked "About a 1/2 hour?" The girl behind the counter says "No, it will be about 2 hours, there are 3 cars in front of you" Typical Wal Mart... I took my key back and said thanks but no thanks. I then drove across town to the brand new Wal Mart Super Center. They take my keys. write down my info, and tell me it will be about 1/2 hour. All is well.

    Until the following Monday. That morning my wife calls me at 7:30 AM and tells me that I need to come pick her up. Me, being of the curious nature, ask why. She tells me that the engine started knocking, the oil light came on and the engine died. I get to the car and push it out of the road. When doing this I notice that there is a large puddle of oil under the car. I call a tow truck and have them tow it to my local Dodge Dealer (BTW the car is a 2004 Dodge Stratus with 38,000 miles) They look at it and tell me that I have lost all of the oil from around the oil filter and that it was either put on

    1: Too Loose.
    2: Too Tight.
    3: It was the wrong filter.

    They then proceed to tell me that they put oil back in the engine, started it, and have determined that the engine is damaged beyond repair. The kicker, repairs will total appx $5100.00. At this point I tell him to sit tight while I call Wal Mart. I am informed that the service manager is out but that they will take my info and have him call me first thing in the morning. This is Tuesday Night. I am totally terrified at this point as I know that WM is going to tell me that it is not their problem and I am going to be stuck with a $5100 repair bill.

    Wednesday Morning:
    I am at a training class and call the wife to see if Wal Mart has called.. They have not. I break for lunch and call my wife again.. They still have not called!! At this point I call Wal Mart, tell the girl who I am, and ask to speak to the service manager. She tells me that he, as well as the store manager, is at the Dodge dealer looking at my car and that they should be back within the hour..

    Good News, Wal Mart actually calls the wife back 15 minutes later and claims full responsibility (They put on the wrong filter) and tell her that they are going to pay for the repairs. They take all the information and turn it into their insurance. He told her that the insurance company will get back with us within 24-48 hours. I called him back and asked about a rental and he said that the decision would have to come from the insurance.

    Thursday: Neither I nor the shop hear anything? (At this point I take it upon myself to get a rental.) (Really sweet PT Cruiser BTW).

    Friday: More of the same (I am getting nervous now) ?

    Saturday and Sunday: You guessed it.. More of the same.

    Monday: I get a letter from the insurance company asking me to call them with details.. I call the guy and ask why he did not call me.. He stated that he tried but could not get past my privacy manager blocking his call. (I found out he did try once, but only once) He gets more details from me (Not really, just the same details that Wal Mart already had) and tells me he will get back with me. I did tell him that I already had a rental and what I was paying. He stated that that SHOULD be covered under their guidelines and that he would check. (BTW. The shop is still in a holding pattern until they get approval to order the engine).

    Tuesday: I hear Nothing, I am not overly concerned.

    Wednesday: I hear nothing ( I am getting a little concerned now), I try to call the guy at the insurance and get his VM, I try multiple times and never reach him and he never returns my call. (I am getting really concerned now). He finally calls me back at 5PM and states that he has sent it on to the adjustors and is waiting on them to get back with him.

    Thursday Morning: My shop calls me and tells me that they just received a fax from the adjustor stating that instead of paying $5100 for the new engine(Jasper remanufactured With a 3 year 36K mile warranty) they would pay $3800 for a salvaged engine that has no warranty. (Keep in mind that my original engine still had over 30K miles of warranty). I tell my buddy at the shop (At this point we have become really good friends) not to do anything yet. I then call and talk to Kevin at the insurance company and tell him that this is NOT acceptable. He agrees and resubmits it to the adjustor.

    Thursday late Afternoon: I finally get a call from the shop and they have finally gotten approval to order the engine.

    Friday: The engine gets ordered but at this time they will not be able to start until Monday. The shop tells that they should be able to have my car ready by Thursday at the latest, but possibly sooner. I call the insurance guy and he tells me to call the rental company and get a price on the car thru Thursday so he can go ahead and cut me a check. (They paid for the repair, two weeks worth of rental and towing fees.)

    Monday: I get the check.

    Wednesday: I get my car back.. As good as new.

    I can honestly say that overall I was treated OK and that my problem was resolved, but I still can't help but have a bad feeling towards WM for blowing up my car in the first place.
  2. clayj macrumors 604


    Jan 14, 2005
    visiting from downstream
    See my avatar, to the left?

    The "W-star-M" stands for "Wal-Mart".

    I leave it to you to guess what the "F" stands for. (I won't try to bypass the profanity filter.)

    Sorry to hear about your experience, but it looks like everything turned out OK, so that's good. To avoid future problems, however, I would strongly recommend that you never, ever go to Wal-Mart again. As the old AT&T slogan goes, "You get what you pay for."

    Is getting a cheap oil change and cheaply-made crap from China really worth giving up your soul?
  3. mac-er macrumors 65816

    Apr 9, 2003
    Man that really sucks.

    But, you should've had bad feelings for Wal-Mart in the first place...what a dump.
  4. EJBasile macrumors 65816


    Apr 20, 2004
    I have a question. Why would you ever fathom getting your car changed at a Wal-Mart!!!

    A few weeks ago I had the oil changed in my Land Rover by the dealership. I drove it home and parked it for the night. The next morning I walked outside and I see this stream of oil coming from under my car and going down my driveay. The stupid dealership didn't tighten the oil drain all the way. I immediatly called the dealership. I checked the dipstick and I had barely any oil left so I had them put it on a flat bed and it was brought back to the dealership to get a new oil change and make sure everything else was ok.

    The happy ending of the story is that I now have unlimited free oil changes from the dealership. I think that an oil change for that car is around $70.
  5. rmhop81 macrumors 68020


    Apr 4, 2005
    Dallas, TX

    haha i guess your powerbook was made elsewhere?
  6. clayj macrumors 604


    Jan 14, 2005
    visiting from downstream
    My PowerBook was not cheaply-made. I said "cheaply-made crap from China", not "anything from China". There's a big difference. ;)

    Wal-Mart (spit) specializes in cheaply-made crap. Just one reason not to ever give them ANY money.
  7. wkw macrumors 6502


    Mar 23, 2004
    Eugene, OR
    I take my car to Firestone and get my oil changed for about the same price as Wal Mart. I have taken it to them several times and have never had a problem.
  8. w_parietti22 macrumors 68020

    Apr 16, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    Dang... it really sucks that the Walmart family is the richest family in the US right now... (each of the 4 kids are worth 18 billion :eek: ) They practically own the world.
  9. faintember macrumors 65816


    Jun 6, 2005
    the ruins of the Cherokee nation
    As a car lover, i feel for you watcher2001.
    This is a horror story that i have heard all too many times. Having grown up in the south, yes, i was from the stereotypical family that loves cars (mainly muscle cars), i have always been brought up to change the oil myself, and it really is quite easy with a few tools and a ramp to drive the car up on. In the end you have the satisfaction of starting a job, finishing it, saving money, and doing it the right way. Plus you can put your choice of oil in (synthetic is the way to go for a daily driver) and the oil filter of your choice (pureone by purolator).

    Sounds like you ended up getting the Jasper engine, which is quite a nice replacement engine. They are expensive for what they are, but they are rock solid from my experience. Find a local shop, not juffy-lube, or wal-mart to get your oil changed at (unless you decide to try it yourself). The average joe will probably do a better job than a chain store, plus many will even let you watch them do the change if you want (if they arent too strict about insurance laws, lol). Always after an oil change, whether you do it or someone else does, check under the car for leaks as soon as you get home and before you dive it the next time.

    Ok, i am shutting up. Glad that everything turned out ok in the end. Too bad it was an PIA for you though. :(
  10. watcher2001 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Mar 9, 2005
    38° 12'47.72" N 85° 31'54.63" W
    Believe me, I have learned my lesson.. As stated it was hotter than all get out that day and I was just too lazy. I will know better next time. :)
  11. dornoforpyros macrumors 68040


    Oct 19, 2004
    Calgary, AB
    atleast you got your engine fixed! A co-worker of mine had his oil changed, the guy at the shop says casually "You've got a major leak in your engine, that'll be $20.85 blah blah" and honestly my buddy is like "well if he's letting me drive off it can't be that seriose"

    2 days later the engine seases up, takes it to a mechanic and their like "you've got no oil in your engine bro" and it's DEAD

    Yeah maby he should have taken the statment of "major leak" more seriosly but I was there and the way the guy said it he may has well have been saying "you've got a crack in your windshield and some bugs in the grill" type of thing.
  12. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    I wouldn't let Wal-Mart pump a free tank of gas into my car.

    Similar thing happened to a friend of mine. Wal-mart destroyed his engine, but since he knows a lot about cars, he ended up replacing the destroyed motor from his Hyundai Accent with the slightly more powerful motor from a Hyundai Tiburon.
  13. joepunk macrumors 68030


    Aug 5, 2004
    a profane existence
    Wow! what a story watcher2001 and sorry that you had to go through all that but at-least you got your car fixed in the end.

    Here's something that happened to my father a long time ago. My father took the old Toyota Camery to the Toyota dealership to get an oil leak repaired. They charged $1600 to fix the leak and a whole bunch of other stuff they supposedly found in need of repair. Well the leak was still there and again my father takes the care to the dealership and b*tch*s/complains to them after giving another $1000 estimate for the repairs. In his right mind set now, my father forgoes the dealership and takes the car to our local and very trustworthy Garage. Well, they find that all that needed to be fixed was just the oil leak. So, we got a free car wash and engine steam cleaning from the dealership as compensation.
  14. PaRaGoNViCtiM macrumors 6502a

    Mar 18, 2005
    I can also say that I took my car to WalMart a long time ago to get an oil change, and had a huge problem....the stupid a***oles at WalMart forgot to put oil in it!!!
  15. watcher2001 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Mar 9, 2005
    38° 12'47.72" N 85° 31'54.63" W
    Wow, did you catch it before it did any damage? Or did you have a nightmare such as mine?
  16. irishguy1976 macrumors newbie

    Jun 23, 2005

    dude that suck but it reminded of me of this show call the poeple court and um guy brought his car in for an old change and they F up his engine and he brought to a dealer and they he call the oil shop about what happen they say sorry but when they heard how much same " BS "

    you got lucky - or change it yourself
  17. doucy2 macrumors 65816


    Jul 7, 2005
    wow nice story
    glad you got your car back thats a bit of time
    i suguest to you to join the wal mart hate site
    i think it is something like (not sure on that)
    good way to vent any residual anger you have toward wal mart

    good luck in the future with your autos

  18. FrankBlack macrumors 6502


    Dec 28, 2005
    Looking for Lucy Butler
    People who know me know that I am no fan of Walmart. Unfortunately, Americans will continue to shop there for the low prices and because so many of the stores are open 24/7. With so many folks working off shifts today, Wally world is frequently their only option. I don't want to get into too much more over Walmart, since I'm new here and I know that forum discussions over Walmart can get ugly fast.

    Glad you finally got your car back. Truly a horrid experience. Alas, I have heard similar tales from people who have had their cars serviced at Jiffy Lube, and another one called Quickie lube, or something like that.

    In one case, Jiffy lube simply didn't tighten the drain plug, so all the guy's oil dribbled out within a few miles. In another case, a female co-worker was convinced by a Jiffy Lube "service advisor" that she must have her transmission fluid changed. It was never really determined what they did to it, but the transmission was ruined, and Ford (this was a ford explorer) would not cover it under warranty due to improperly performed work. This woman and her husband had to get a lawyer to get Jiffy Lube to pay for that one.
  19. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    That's just pitiful.

    As far as I'm concerned, they're all pretty dangerous, if you're not watching them.

    My uncle had an engine replaced because of Jiffy Lube.

    My parents almost needed an engine replaced because of Midas. They never changed the oil on multiple visits.

    I had mysterious part failures every time I took my Mazda RX-7 to a local multiple brand dealer. Well, it wasn't just me, lots of people had the same issues.
  20. Linam macrumors regular

    Dec 25, 2005
    Walmart is an economic phenomenon and it shows no signs of going anywhere so here it is. FOR GOOD.
  21. ibook30 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 4, 2005
    2,000 light years from home
    I disagree. Any company can run into the ground. The bigger they the harder they fall. I think it is unlikely Wal Mart will fall - which is unfortunate. Even more unfortunate is that their business model is and will be copied by others in hopes of reaching for the mighty dollar.

    Short anecdote, off topic ;) - This big company tells a supplier, we need your product for XXX $'s- Supplier says no - we'd loose money, big company says, not if you move production to China- so little supplier either looses their biggest customer and the company goes under, or moves to China and fires all their employees.
    I am not naive to the ways of business, some rough choices have to be made. But I believe there is a line, and big businesses are often the ones to cross it. Like Wal Mart...

    Anyone ever heard of Whirl Mart ?

    Watcher2001- thanks for the story, I am glad things worked out! :)
  22. aquajet macrumors 68020

    Feb 12, 2005
    I don't trust any store where you can buy your groceries, get a haircut and manicure, eat a hamburger, all while you wait to have your oil changed.

    Wal Mart is evil. I'll gladly pay higher prices than shop there ever again.
  23. clayj macrumors 604


    Jan 14, 2005
    visiting from downstream

    As I've said before, if I am bleeding to death from the massive head wound I just received, I'd rather die than be bandaged with a bandage bought from Wal-Mart. I can't remember the last time I even set foot in a Wal-Mart... it's been at least ten years.
  24. prostuff1 macrumors 65816


    Jul 29, 2005
    Don't step into the kawoosh...
    I am another one that will not trust walmart for oil changes. When i get new tires i usually go to i firestone and have then put them one and while i am there i get an oil change. I always sign up for the free lifetime balance and rotation, so when i take the car in for an oil change every 4,000 miles i get a free ballance and rotaion. Works really well. not to mention i get the oil form my dad who works at autozone so i dont really pay all that much for the oil. The labor usually cost about $12
  25. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    A lot of the tire places are now offering the cheap oil changes ... but expect to be sold a bunch of other work that your car likely does not need.

    Our car is always falling apart needing $1000 or more in work every oil change, but the trusted mechanic usually never finds more than $50 in work that needs to be done (aka, new belt or hose.)

    The tire place has only properly diagnosed 1 problem in 3 years, but that cost $180 in diagnostic fees -- and they couldn't be sure that was the problem. Personally I said not to let them touch the car to find change in the seats, but it wasn't my call.

    (aka $13 water heater core took out the suspension computer -- but the heater core requires dashboard removal, thus a $3 bypass used -- and a new computer installed)

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