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July 6, 2020

Midas Hides a Lot of Stuff in the Fine Print

Filed under: Autos,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:20 am

MrConsumer had his oil changed recently at Midas using a prepaid Groupon making it quite a deal at $13.60 all-inclusive. As part of the check-in process there, the clerk provides a standard printout showing the price of the oil change but that my total would be zero because of the Groupon. I signed the form.

When arriving home, I looked at my copy of the receipt and was astonished to discover that those clever guys opted me into receiving promotional text messages. Or more accurately, I unwittingly opted into their advertising and service messages because of the following statement printed on that work order.


Midas consent

Under federal law, a business cannot send unsolicited text messages even to existing customers. They have to first obtain “express written consent.” Did this qualify? The words were not buried because they were at the top of the list in a type size the same as all the other information. But do most customers realize that Midas tucked this unexpected language on a car repair order rather than on a separate consent form. My guess is not.

But MrConsumer had the last laugh because he provided them with his landline phone number.

For customers who were not lucky enough to get the Groupon price, there was a simultaneous Fourth of July promotion for only $17.76.


Midas fine print

Goodness only knows how much these poor people wound up paying when you add on taxes, disposal fee, and a shop fee “not to exceed $35.”

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  1. Definitely one of the few good reasons to have a landline these days. We have a landline, but only because Comcast forces us to.

    I can’t say that Midas was trying to hide it because, like you said, it’s at the top and in the same sized font, but I have to feel this isn’t following the spirit of the law. I think the whole point (and was 99.99% of legitimate businesses do) is for a separate box to mark for marketing messages. This feels a lot more like opt out than opt in.

    Comment by Joel — July 6, 2020 @ 8:27 am
  2. Yeah, it’s annoying, but each text will give you a reply code to opt out.

    Comment by Randall Flagg — July 6, 2020 @ 10:09 am
  3. Some people have to pay for text messages. So that would be yet another cost that would be incurred..

    Comment by hmc — July 6, 2020 @ 10:50 am
  4. landline costs over $40/month; not worth it, mostly taxes and fees.
    oil change for 2010 Camry–synthetic only–$80 at local shop i trust and want to keep open, because I take them there whenever a tire gets a nail in it, etc. it’s only 1/2 mile from home.

    Comment by Smart Feller — July 6, 2020 @ 11:44 am
  5. As I’ve said many times before, STAY AWAY FROM THE CHAINS. They’re only goal is chain metrics. They cut corners, sell and use inferior parts and will cost you more in the long run. Decades full of Consumer Exposes on all these places should’ve taught you that

    Comment by Dave — July 6, 2020 @ 2:12 pm
  6. You have to keep the whole line of customers behind you waiting while you read every word! Then, for the second ad, you need to be a lawyer to be sure you don’t miss anything.

    Comment by mary — July 7, 2020 @ 11:04 am
  7. first off on the comment from smart fella.. you do not need a landline, just make one up. here in Hartford, ct i use 860-524-8123 that number is a legit working number..,albeit it is for the time ! but i have used it for many years when they want a phone number.
    as for $80 full synthetic oil can buy a 5 qt container of mobil one and an,oil,filter at walmart for under $30.
    thats full retail…your guy probably pay $20 so he is making a fortune off you ! fair tire does it free no need to pay $80 for oil change

    Comment by rich — July 10, 2020 @ 8:10 pm

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