The following is a copy of the letter I’m sending to LubePro’s President & CEO Ray Keating regarding an unfortunate customer service experience. My personal information has been redacted. Even if you don’t live in an area with a LubePro’s location, it’s worth a read in my opinion. Read it and weep (for the state of our civilization):

Ray Keating

President & CEO

LubePro’s International

1740 S Bell School Road

Cherry Valley, IL 61016

Dear Mr. Keating:

I write you today to inform you of the most appalling example of customer service and professionalism at your company’s location in Rockford, Illinois at 1701 E Riverside Blvd. Before I do, allow me to provide some background on my vehicle and me.

I purchased my 1999 Chevrolet Malibu used, with 35,000 miles on the odometer. In the years I’ve owned it, my oil change and minor maintenance needs have been met by various LubePro’s facilities in and around the Rockford area. With very few exceptions, LubePro’s have been my only provider of oil and lube services. I’m certain a quick scan of your records under my license plate number (redacted) will confirm this. Today, my vehicle has over 184,000 miles. In the near-decade I’ve owned my car, I’ve spent thousands of dollars with your company.

On Saturday, 28 August 2010 I was prepared to spend more money with your company. The serpentine belt on the aforementioned Malibu had slipped. Remembering serpentine belts are one of the items LubePro’s services, I called the location nearest my home to verify they could do the work. I was told only some vehicles could be serviced. Desperate to have my car working before my 70-mile commute on Monday, I gave the make, model and year for my car and was reassured that my vehicle could be serviced by LubePro’s. I then contacted my auto club to arrange to have my car towed.

Upon arrival at the LubePro’s on Riverside, one of the technicians climbed on the tow truck’s bed to look under the Malibu’s hood. After an examination that lasted less than thirty seconds, he returned to tell me that LubePro’s would not be able to replace the belt after all. I was irritated. I questioned the technician, telling him that I had called a half hour earlier to see if the work could be done. He gave the pre-packaged line “we can only service some vehicles.” I confronted the technician, now rather upset, with the fact that I had provided the year, make and model of my car and was told it wouldn’t be a problem to work on. His response was flippant and uninterested. I had, by this time, decided that LubePro’s obviously didn’t care to retain me as a customer, and I told the tech the company would lose my business. His response was a dismissive wave and the word “Peace.” The only person in a white shirt (the manager-on-duty, I presume) was well within earshot of our exchange.

While your employee’s callous disregard for me as a customer was frustrating and disappointing, it was routine lack of professionalism. What happened next, however, went beyond poor customer service by degrees I can’t even measure.

I was fortunate a general mechanic with a shop in the same strip mall as your LubePro’s facility happened to be working that Saturday. As I arranged to have the work done on my car by this other mechanic, my wife waited in her car nearby. I finalized the arrangements and my wife and I prepared to leave. It was then she informed me the technician from before had cast menacing glares at us from within the LubePro’s building while he worked. My wife told me she didn’t feel comfortable with my car so close to your company’s facility and the hostile employees therein. I reassured her that everything would be fine.

We left the strip mall and were stopped at the intersection of Alpine Road and Riverside Boulevard, heading northbound, a short distance away from the LubePro’s location. My wife glanced over and saw the same technician outside the building, still in uniform, apparently on a cigarette break. He noticed us too, and clearly raised his middle finger at us.

I was, and still am, shocked and appalled. This employee’s callous disregard for my wife and me, not only as customers, but as human beings, is astounding. Words fail to express how offended, stupefied and angry I am over this incident. Furthermore, this technician’s conduct calls into question the quality and safety of LubePro’s previous work on my vehicle. The lack of intercession by the manager-on-duty is an indictment of the organization as a whole. I would have returned to confront the employee and manager in question, except I truly felt doing so would have put my safety in jeopardy. The hateful look and behavior of the technician lead me to believe he was a person not above resorting to violence when confronted.

Not once was I offered a satisfactory explanation as to why I was given incorrect information over the phone, if indeed I was. I suspect, based on the behavior of the LubePro’s employees, that they simply did not wish to perform the requested service on my vehicle. Not once was I offered an apology by management for the rude and discourteous treatment I received from the technician who “examined” my car. I wish I could provide you with the names of the employees in question, but I cannot. I can tell you the incident occurred around 2:30 PM.

Your website says, “We are well known for our professional, well-trained, friendly staff, and our efficient operation. Customers appreciate our professionalism, which is why they keep coming back for our renowned 10-minute oil change and our thorough 21-point inspection.” I do appreciate professionalism and that is one of the reasons I have been a repeat customer of your company over the years. However, this incident has made me question if LubePro’s truly believes in professional, courteous service.

If I am mistaken, you are free to contact me via postal or electronic mail; I’ve included my addresses below. Thank you for your time. Sincerely,

Darius McCaskey

redacted 

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