Cashing in oil-change coupons proves difficult for some

Cashing in oil-change coupons proves difficult for some »Play Video

PORTLAND, Ore. - A coupon book is making the rounds in the Portland Metro area that is offering a good deal but some customers are warning people about them.

Several customers contacted KATU News saying it's been difficult to use the coupons they paid for.

It starts with a salesman knocking on your door, offering a pamphlet of coupons for anywhere from $60 to $80. In return you're supposed to get eight oil changes. But two local women say cashing in the coupons was almost impossible.

Both Kathy Spainhower of Oregon City and Chrissy Moe of Vancouver, say they've tried using the coupons they bought in the pamphlet at their local auto service shops to no avail.

"When we tried to make appointments, he wasn't even answering his phone," Spainhower said. "And when you leave voicemails, he wouldn't call you back."

Moe said: "The person who said he was the owner said, 'Oh no, we don't take those."

In Moe's case, she said the AAMCO shop in Vancouver told her the coupons are fraudulent. In Spainhower's case, she said she couldn't get the shop to make an oil change appointment sooner than a month out.

In addition, contacting the coupon company proved frustrating, too.

"We called multiple times," said Spainhower, "And each time you call you get a different person, because the person you talked to is no longer there or no longer available."

Moe said she left a message "and they did not return my call."

KATU News stopped by the Oregon City Auto Specialists to check with the owner, Garrett Inness, about Spainhower's claims. Inness said he did sign up to have the coupon company promote his business at no cost to him up front. But he was overwhelmed by the onslaught of people, like Spainhower, who tried to cash in all those oil changes.

Inness agreed on the spot to try to make it up to Spainhower and telephoned her.

"I apologize for that," he told her. "We've got it down to a science now where we are not a week out – we're a day or two out. If you still want to come in and get your car serviced or anything like that, we'd be more than happy to take care of you."

AAMCO wound up making good with Moe as well, once KATU stopped in and paid the shop a visit.

The shop claimed the coupon company sold the pamphlets without its permission.

The coupon company, Community Car Service, told KATU via email late Friday afternoon, that it is happy to replace the coupons or give refunds where appropriate.

Customers can call 877-342-0977 24 hours a day seven days a week.