Getting repairs done on your car is never fun. Inevitably the mechanic finds something that you never thought was a problem, and suddenly your perception of your car shifts from cherished chauffer to dangerous weapon. I personally know nothing about cars, so while I’m always skeptical of a mechanic’s suggestions, I don’t have a valid reason not to trust them. One woman, however, knows for a fact that a mechanic tried to swindle her, so she made sure he didn’t get away with it.
Earlier this month, the woman reached out to the Petty Revenge subreddit to share an encounter she recently had with a shady mechanic. r/PettyRevenge, which has 1.4 million members, is for “stories of small victories over those who’ve wronged you” and made the perfect platform for this anecdote. Below, you can read the full story yourself, and decide if you think she handled the situation appropriately. Then if you’re looking for more petty revenge stories, check out this Bored Panda piece next.
After taking her car in for a simple oil change, this woman was told by a mechanic that she would need to get $1,500 worth of repairs done
Image credits: Tekton
She decided to play along at first and pretended to believe everything the mechanic was telling her
Luckily the woman knew a thing or two about cars herself, so she was able to call out the mechanic on his attempted scam and publicly humiliate him
Image credits: Azhar Munir Din
Image credits: Reddit
While the average person doesn’t know very much about cars, it can be easy for a mechanic to take advantage of their customers. Apparently, it’s a common issue too. A quick Google search yields dozens of pages and articles warning customers to be wary of common mechanic scams. The McCarthy Auto Group has a list of “The 20 Most Common Mechanic Scams”, and the first one sounds awfully familiar after reading this story: routine maintenance uncovers mysterious problems. “For instance, if you bring your vehicle in for an oil change, a bad mechanic might find broken ball joints that need to be replaced, pushing your repair bill up by hundreds of dollars.” While it’s not impossible for there to be underlying issues with your vehicle, if you’re concerned that the mechanic is trying to rip you off, hear them out then seek out a second opinion elsewhere.
MotorBiscuit even has an article detailing “all the ways Jiffy Lube ripped people off over the years”. The consensus among car experts is that independent mechanics seem to be more trustworthy than big chains, and Jiffy Lube might be one of the worst offenders. In 2016, the California Bureau of Auto Repair launched a sting operation investigating Jiffy Lube and visiting various locations with their cars “in tip-top shape with all fluids full”. After visiting 38 shops, the investigators concluded that 37 of them were committing infractions. The locations received a $220,000 fine from the bureau and three years of probation. Telling customers they need a new air filter is apparently a common scam as well. In 2013, NBC4 News caught several Jiffy Lube employees on hidden cameras charging customers for new air filters then never actually installing them.
Most people aren’t able to service their cars on their own and will always need to rely on mechanics. We can, however, visit auto shops a little bit more informed. Don’t be scared to ask questions about anything that sounds suspicious. And remember to check your fluids and filters before bringing in your car, so you know if refills or replacements are actually needed. Let us know in the comments what you thought of this story and if a mechanic has ever tried to swindle you!
Many readers responded in support of how the woman handled the situation
Some even chimed in to share similar experiences