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Conversation with Stephanie Prevatte

Prevatte, Stephanie
Male voice
Hebard, Melissa
Date of Interview: 
Overcoming Obstacles; Relationships with People and Places; Tolerance and Respect
Stephanie Prevatte talks about a bad experience she had at a quick-change oil center.
Charlotte Narrative and Conversation Collection
Collection Description: 
Melissa Hebard interviews Charlotteans to collect stories for a class project at UNC Charlotte.
Interview Audio: 
MH (Melissa Hebard): This is Stephanie Prevatte [laugh] with interview three.
SP (Stephanie Prevatte): Oh my God! OK I had the worst day ever. OK I go up to this oil change place, right? And, um, I say, "OK the reason," OK I'm going to start from the very beginning.
SP: I drove by this place going to work. It's down on Harris by Albemarle, right? There's a big sign out front, huge sign, "Free tire rotation with oil change." So I call when I get home to get their prices to compare to the University Lube where I normally get it done and it's 26 dollars for an oil change with free tire rotation, which was much cheaper than the University. So I'm like, "All right I'm going to go there, get my shit done, I needed a uh a tire rotation." So I go in there, only person there. I pull in, I say, "I need my inspection done," my inspection went out in November, "and an oil change with the free tire rotation," that's what I said. He goes, "OK we'll take care of you," and so I go sit in the waiting room and read my little book.
MH: This is the place you were talking bout?
SP: Yes it's down by, uh, it's called Pennzoil. Don't ever go there [laugh]. And, uh, so--.
MH: You seemed so excited about it. [Laugh]
SP: Oh yeah, oh yeah! So I pull in and he gets, he starts, "We're going to do the inspection first." So here he comes. He said, "Uh, ma'am? Uh, your wiper blades are getting kind of dull." [Sigh] He said, "You might need to replace them soon." And I said, "Well, you know, I'll let my dad handle them." He said, "Well," you know what he said? "I might not even pass your inspection. You might need to just need to go ahead and get them today." I said, "Fine how much are they?" He goes, "Six dollars a blade." I said, "OK put me some new wiper blades on there." 12 dollars whoopty crap. [Laugh] So five minutes later he comes back in there. "Ma'am," he's got this sheet of paper. "Right here. I need to show you your fan belt's cracking." [Laugh] I said, "All right." [Laugh] Uh he said, I said, "Can I see it? You know, for my own eyes?" He said, "Sure come on out here." I did not see one crack. He said, apparently, it's supposed to look like this. There was not one crack in this belt. I said, "I'm not paying," I said, "How much is it?" He said, "49.99, plus installation." I said, "I'm not paying that. That's my dad's kind of stuff," I said. He said, "It could strand you one day." He said, "I, it's not real bad right now but if it gets worse it could. If it goes your car is going to just stop running." So I was like well, I'll let my dad handle that over Christmas, I'll be home 'fore I know it, you know. Then I go, "All right, go back in," different guy, they're doing the oil change now, comes in, he goes, "Uh you wanted a tire rotation right?" I said, "Yeah." He said, "You want the balance with it too?" I said, "Well, what comes free?" You know? "Do you get both of them free or just the, uh, tire rotation?" He goes, "Free?" I said, "Yeah. The big sign out front, and I called and got the price on the, the oil change and tire change." He says, "Oh, oh, oh we don't do that on Saturdays we're so busy." I'm the only car in the damn garage [laugh]. I say, "Well I want you to know that I just drove 15 minutes to get here and didn't go to my normal place, where I know the people because of this huge great deal y'all have going on," you know? And he goes, "Oh no, no, no, no, no. Oh not on Saturdays, not on Saturdays. Only, oh only on the weekdays, only on the weekdays." I said, "All right." I said, "Fine." He said, "Do you still want the tire rotation? We've already started it." I said, "Yeah, finish it, don't balance it." That's another like damn 15 dollars.
MV (Male Voice): 15 to balance the tires.
MH: Yeah. So you get it during the week but you don't get on the other days. Twenty-seven dollars I wouldn't pay for it but I'd be like change the damn tires.
SP: So I go, yeah, I said, I said, "Well, at least put in little print on there 'Except Saturdays'." It does not even say that, you know? I said, "I saw the sign, I was excited, I got, had a Saturday off, I come in, you know?" OK, so anyways, so, comes back in he's all mad as hell and I was like, "What now?" Oh and before this, this dude comes up and he's getting his oil changed, or whatever, and I was like, "How you doing?" You know, I'm talking to him and I'm like, "You getting an oil change?" And he goes, "Yeah." And I said, "You expecting to get your tires rotated for free?" And he said, "Yeah!" "That's why I came to this one I was all excited I saw the sign, you know?" I said, "Well I hate to tell you. Not on Saturdays you ain't going to get your tires rotated." "What?" he said, "That's why I came here," and dadadadada. He said, "I normally go to this other place." And I said, "Well they're not going to do it." He said, "Well screw it. I'm not," he said, he said, "How much is it?" I said, "15 dollars." He's like, "Well I'm not going to leave. They've already got my car up on the thing. I'll just pay it." He's like, "That's," you know, "I'm going to say something to them." He's like, "That's just screwed up." And, um, so anyways, were talking about it and I was telling him how he kept coming in about the blades and the fan belt and he said, "Yeah, they're out, they're going to do that tell them not to worry about anything." So there comes the little man. He says, "I need to talk to you out here." He takes me out of the waiting room he goes, "I am very upset," and he has this in his hands and he goes--.
MH: Oh God.
SP: Yeah, he goes, "I am very upset I have been trying and trying to get this lug out of your tire and it will not come out and I am very upset. It's almost to break, and my manager said, 'do not do it, do not do it, do not do it,' so I put your tires back on [laugh] and I am not going to rotate your tires. I am very frustrated with this lug." And I said, "OK," you know, "calm down." Like, "That's fine," you know, "What's the problem?" Why, he said, "I don't know. Who did your tires last?" And I said, "I don't know, I don't write down who does my tires." And so he goes--.
MH: He's got the lug. [Laugh]
SP: Yeah so he goes, "I'm going to break it, if I try to put back in I'm going to break it." And I said, "OK." He said, "I'm going to try. I'm just telling you, you tell your father that I did not break this it was already broken." So he goes, so he goes, "I'm putting your tires back. I will not rotate your tires." He said, "My manager said that was OK." And I said, "Fine, fine, fine." So I go back in the waiting room and I'm like, "All right dude. Now they can't rotate my tires," you know? "Something about some lug nut." Now I didn't have this right then. He still had it in his hand. Ten minutes later, I mean I was there for like an hour or so. He said, oh I said, "How long is it going to take, because I wanted to get my book out of the car if I need to take to read." "Oh no, not long at all. No one here, no wait," you know? So he comes back in, he has this in his hand, he says, "Here put this in your pocketbook. You take this to the dealership and you have then put it back on there. I will not do it anymore. I, I tried and I tried and it will not go back in." And I'm like--.
MH: It's broke.
SP: Yeah, no kidding. So I'm like, "OK." So I put it in my pocketbook. I'm like, so I'm just going to drive without a lug in my tire. He's like, "You have five other ones, you'll be fine. [Laugh] Just take it to the dealership." I'm like, "All right, fine. Just put my tires back on, finish my oil change, and let me, you know, get the hell out of here." So the guy that came in like 15 minutes after me is gone. They didn't rotate, oh, oh, oh, no, no, no, no, no, no. So the guy comes back in, and I'm like, "If he's coming for me I'm about to be really upset with these people. I'm about to call my dad." And say, "I just can't handle this." So the guy comes in, he takes the other guy out, and says, "I need to talk to you." [Laugh] He takes him out there, he says, he asked, I could hear, I mean it's right outside the door. He goes, "How do the people that normally rotate your tires do it? How do they get the lugs off?" He says, "Sir, that's not my job. I don't watch them take the lugs out. I don't know how they do it. That's why I bring it to people like you who are professionals with your big machines and things." "Well I cannot do it. I cannot get them off. I cannot rotate your tires." So the guy was like, "Fine, leave them on." He didn't want him to take them off and then not be able to get them back on. So he goes, "Fine leave my tires on don't take them off." So then he's getting his oil changed and he leaves. And then this other lady comes in and I warn her. I'm like, "You might just want to back out now because, you know, this is major problems at this place." And so she's watching them and they come about two or three times. "You're low on transmission fluid and something squeaking here and"--.
MH: That's supposed to be part of an oil change, Stephanie.
SP: Yeah, no kidding. [Laugh] So she was like watching them like a hawk. Anyways, he comes in and I'm like, "Oh God here he comes again," you know? He's like, "You're done." I'm like, "Thank God," you know. So I go over there and he's like, "Your total is 68 something or other." I went, because normally, inspection's what, like 10 dollars?
MH: 20.
SP: See my dad, well, where, I guess it's because it's our hometown, but we normally pay 10 dollars.
MH: I usually pay 20.
SP: And it was 20. I go, "How'd on," I said, "What did I just get charged for 60 some dollars?" He goes, "The inspection was 20, then you got to pay for the sticker three dollars, your wiper blades 17." Did he not say six dollars a wiper blade? Hmmm. Seventeen for the wiper blades, which he's already put on, I can't do anything about it. Twenty-seven for the oil change. When I called, I had it written down in my damn little thing. I pull this out I said, "So when I called the other day," I said, "they told me 25.99, if you want the free tire rotation, 18.99, if you don't, you just get the oil change." I said, "First of all," I said, "I wasn't going to get a free oil, free tire rotation to begin with, so I shouldn't have been charged, and not even 25.99, 27.99." I said, "I shouldn't have even been charged that to begin with." I said, "Then, he didn't get my lug nut back on," I said, "so I didn't get the tire rotation and I have a broken lug nut." I said, "And then, you're still going to charge me 26.99?" I said, "No way." I said, "What is going on here, I don't you know. I'm not happy with what's going on." You know, I'm getting mad. He's like, "Fine, we will change it to the other price." He's like, "I guess they put it in wrong." So he gives me the receipt and it's still not 18.99, it's 19.99. It's a dollar but it's still just annoying that they're dollaring me here, dollaring me there. So my total was 58 dollars total.
MH: Oh my God.
SP: And then I pull off, and they didn't change my damn sticker for my next, how many miles are you suppose to do?
MH: Every three.
SP: Three thousand? I was worried about that. I thought they put two less. So I pull, I thought it was four thousand so I pull off and I see that they didn't do it. I was like, "Goddamn." I get in the car and I say, "Can I get a sticker for my next oil change, please?" And he goes, "Yeah, sorry. They should have done that." I said, "Well, they didn't." So he puts it back on there and he goes, oh, he said, um, "Come, come back and talk to your dad and visit us and we'll do your fan belt." I said, "Uh-huh, that's OK, thank you." Pulled off, oh, I called my dad. I was like, "You will not believe \\what I just." \\
MH: \\What did your dad say? \\
SP: \\He was livid. \\
MH: Is he going to call?
SP: He was like, I mean he ain't going to call but he was like, first off he was mad about the inspection being 20 dollars. He was like, he said, "You shouldn't have, yeah, you shouldn't have done it." But they didn't tell me prices, and he was like that's why, that's why he'd rather do it, they take advantage of little girls like us coming in these places.
MH: They do.
SP: Uh, I was mad and then they don't even vacuum your car. Don't most oil places oil change places vacuum your car out? Anyways, I'm tired of talking about this it's just the worst experience of my life and I'm not very happy.