Published on April 13th, 2021 | by Jason Bagley0
Midas Oil Change Coupon Stalls at Checkout
“Synthetic,” I said with the confidence of a seven-year-old ordering for himself the first time.
It wasn’t until the oil change was completed and I handed the Midas employee a coupon I had received in the mail for what I thought was a $29.99 synthetic oil change that I learned there is such a thing as synthetic blend oil, which is a mixture or blend of synthetic and conventional oils.
Turns out, that was what the coupon was for, a synthetic blend oil change. Upon closer inspection, those were the words on the coupon. But the possibility that a synthetic blend oil change might differ from a synthetic oil change (or a full synthetic oil change, as I later learned to be the more accurate term) didn’t cross my mind.
I put up a mild protest but relented after the Midas employee offered me a $10 discount, which I accepted even as it meant paying around $25 more than what I expected to pay with the coupon ($56.31 versus $29.99 plus tax).
As I drove away I replayed the episode in my head, thinking of the things I could’ve said, but didn’t. Such as: Why wasn’t synthetic blend oil given as an option when I requested an oil change? Not only is Midas mailing out coupons for the service, it has also run a Google ad for a “$24.99 Syn. Blend Oil Special” under search results for “Midas oil change coupon.”
I sent an inquiry to Midas through a form on the company’s website, identifying myself as the staff writer at truthinadvertising.org and requesting comment. I expected an answer from someone in the marketing department, but the franchisee of the Midas location where I had the oil change responded instead.
“Unfortunately, it was a matter of miscommunication, not understanding the coupon,” he said in a phone interview.
I agreed with the franchisee that, in hindsight, I probably should have presented the coupon before the work was done. That way, it could have been explained to me exactly what it was for.
But I had to ask: How many people actually request a synthetic blend oil change?
“Very few,” he said, adding that 95 percent of customers either get full synthetic or conventional.
So the question for the marketing team at Midas – which is responsible for the coupon and Google ad, which no longer specifies the type of oil change eligible for the “limited time offer” – is this: Why advertise a discount on an oil change that few consumers are interested in and many consumers may confuse for another type of service?
Perhaps it is Midas’ hope that consumers will be happy paying more than the price in the coupon or ad if they still get some kind of savings, such as the $10 discount I received.