Are you getting what you paid for? Don't be so sure. An investigation of several Jiffy Lube locations revealed that customers were being charged for work that was, in fact, never done to their cars. This investigation was carried out by Joel Grover and Matt Goldberg, reporters for NBC4 in Los Angeles, California. They used surveillance, marked car parts, and hidden cameras to determine that after dropping cars off for routine repair work (such as oil changes, or fuel filter replacements), the work was never done.

In addition to charging for services never performed, Jiffy Lube employees lied directly to the investigators when questioned, as detailed in the following exchange, which took place between Joel Grover and one Steven Ayoub:

"Are you Steve Ayoub?" Grover asked.
"No I am not," he replied.
"Are you the district manager?" Grover asked.
"No I am not. I have a vehicle here," he replied.
He denied his identity and told NBC4 that he was a customer.
"Which one is your car?" Grover asked.
"That one," Ayoub replied.
"The red one?" Grover asked.
"Correct," Ayoub replied.
But the red car belonged to another customer.
"That's your red Camaro back there?" Grover asked another customer.
"Yeah. What's going on with it?" the customer replied.
The district manager lied to NBC4.
"I think you're the district manager", Grover said to Ayoub.
"I'd like for you to turn the camera off and I'd appreciate it," Ayoub replied.

After the investigation, Jiffy Lube promised to impliment "sweeping changes" - retraining or terminating employees, installing video cameras, etc. Joel Glover, however, was skeptical saying, "This is now the third time in three years that Jiffy Lube told us it was "cleaning up its act". Two years earlier, Jiffy Lube had been caught pushing unnecessary maintenance on customers.

Readers - beware! This is the kind of fraud that is not only costing you money "now", but could also end up costing you a lot more "later" when your car breaks down because the routine maintenance you thought you had taken it in for was never actually done. Get taken by one of these scams and you could be out thousands of dollars when it's all said and done.

Tips from MSN Money on how to avoid auto-repair scams:

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