I came across this video on Youtube talking about oil change scams. I found it to be very interesting that the President of the company (EconomyLube) is self-made man full of deception. Basically, the employees lie about “broken” things inside your car and charges the customers without even performing the service.
I soon found out that this scam incident is very similar to a intercalary chapter in Grapes of Wrath. Specifically, in chapter 7 of the book, it talks about a cars salesman selling cars. However, he is not just selling cars, but ripping people off. He “fixes” an old noisy Chevy by “squirting in a couple quarts of sawdust.” The salesman is very similar to the employees at the EconomyLube because they advantage of ignorant customers in need. In Grapes of Wrath the farmers need a car to migrant to California. They have no other choice, but to buy whatever is available, at whatever price, at whatever condition. Since the customers were former farmers, they lack experience with cars, so they don’t know what they are buying into. In contrast, the employees at the EconomyLube get commission for whatever services they sell. The owner of the company also benefits from the increased profits as well, so it’s a win-win situation. Since the customers are coming for an oil change at the EconomyLube, they are not knowledgeable or don’t have time to do a DIY job. The employees easily take advantage of the this ignorance and the need for an oil change, and start naming off random fluids that require flushing, but don’t really need to. The store racks massive profits like the cars salesman in the book.
I find it very intriguing that deceptive business practices like these can exist today yet they are nothing different back in the day.
Photo by Bob M ~(CC BY 2.0)
Youtube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-avpx8UTakI