MEINEKE Franchise Complaints

July 13, 2012

The Meineke franchise has a very high SBA loan default rate of 31%.

With nearly 900 locations, the Meineke Car Care Centers franchise is owned by Driven Brands, Inc. and is sometimes co-branded with fellow Driven Brands Inc. affiliate Econo Lube.

Are you familiar with the Meineke franchise opportunity? Please share a comment below.

The initial Meineke concept of providing quality exhaust service at discount prices has expanded to include complete brake service, oil and lube service, front-end alignment, shock and strut service and Catalytic converters.

According to the US Small Business Administration, Meineke franchisees have received 280 SBA-guaranteed loans since 2001; nearly a third of those loans have been defaulted on by Meineke franchise owners.

The Meineke Franchise has a failure rate of 31% for SBA-backed franchise loans

It’s likely that Meineke franchise owners who received SBA loans may have collateralized their franchise loan with their houses or other personal assets, and nearly one-third were unable to repay those franchise loans… despite serious incentive to do so.

Another area of concern for prospective Meineke franchise owners should be the large number of Meineke consumer complaints posted on the Internet.

MEINEKE Franchise Owners Share Their Complaints

On our post Is MEINEKE a Great Franchise Opportunity?, commenter John Marshall wrote:

I was a Meineke franchisee in Atlanta for 10 years. The Meineke franchise is overpriced and a broken business model. The fees are some of the highest in the franchise world. They have one of the highest SBA failure rates of any franchise.

There are a few shops that are the exception and perform very well. The bulk of the shops are run by owners that work 60-70 hours a week and make less than what they send Meineke each month. The rest of the shops fail with the owners losing their savings and sometimes their homes. Google search “Meineke shops for sale” and you will be amazed how many shops are for sale. Why would a good operator want to sell a very profitable cash flowing business?

Google search “Meineke Car Care Center litigation/lawsuits” and see how many lawsuits Meineke brings against franchisees…

Anonymous from San Diego wrote:

The failure rate of this this franchise is staggering! I am a current Meineke franchise owner for many years now and in that time the failure rate of this business model is about 40% this is approximately 700% higher than the national failure rate for franchises. About 40% of the owners of these businesses are out of business in 3-4 years and replaced with the next franchisor.

In my opinion Meineke intentionally sets franchisees up for failure with overpriced leases, 7% royalties and a whopping 8% of gross revenues HAVE to be spent on marketing. 15% off the top and they generally stick the franchisor with a $3,000 to $6,000 padding they add to the real estate lease cost. If the lease is $6k Meineke pays the building owner $6k and bills the franchisor $9.5k-$10.5k to cover the triple net lease. Next Meineke will create phony overinflated revenues and under report the expenses factors so that the opportunity looks good but, not too good to potential investors.

WHY? Because it is more profitable to turn over franchisors that pay $50,000 franchise buy in fee and put that franchisor out of business and get the next franchisor in the door with another $50,000 in franchise fees. Average Meineke dealer does about $700,000 year, if they can put that franchisor out of business in 3 years they get 4 year’s worth of revenue from that store in 3 years.

Lastly, the owners of the franchises are honest hardworking people of all persuasions trying to build the American dream for their families but instead are intentionally set up for failure by Meineke with lies and deceit.

I am still in business and want any potential franchise investors to be warned to stay away from Meineke or EconoLube business at all costs.

Meineke Franchise:  Add Your Opinion Below

Are you familiar with the Meineke franchise opportunity?

What do you think accounts for the SBA loan failure rate of Meineke franchise owners?

What steps should Meineke and Driven Brands be taking to stop further franchise failures?

Has Meineke taken serious action to address the problems that led to the 31% loan failures?

Does Meineke & Driven Brands intentionally churn franchise locations?

Are Meineke consumer complaints a result of the economic pressure Meineke franchise owners are under?

Please share a comment, opinion or insight below.



Tags:  Meineke, Meineke franchise, Meineke complaints, car care franchise, muffler franchise, automotive franchise, franchise opportunity, quick lube franchise, franchise failure rate, worst franchise, sba failure rates, SBA franchise loans, franchise information, Driven Brands, franchise churning


10 Responses to “MEINEKE Franchise Complaints”

  1. […] our MEINEKE Franchise Complaints post, we reported that many Meineke franchise owners are struggling to keep their centers […]

  2. syed abbas says:

    totaly un professional team of meineke winchester va.very rude n seem like bunch of hi way robbers working there .

  3. DPfranchisee says:

    Thanks to this website, we are getting a picture of what has been taking place behind the curtain of Franchised world. These franchise schemes are fraudulent and protected by law. It should not continue. My friend had a Midas in West Palm Beach and could not sustain- lost his life savings. He was doing ok as an independent mechanic shop before but was lured by huge earning potentials and lies by the franchise system.

    Note that a failed franchise is perhaps more profitable to the franchiser because they can churn the location and make more money than a continuing franchisee. This has been pointed out above. Without these discussions, we could not have figured out how these are operating and destroying one family at a time rather than helping to build a good economy for the country.

    For some reason the franchisee discussions are hidden on “Discovery Point” and a similar franchise Primrose school. There is no button to post new comments. You may like to warn users about another child care franchise named ‘Legacy Academy”. They are as questionable as the “Discovery Point”. Both of these are mom and pop type of business entities and sell the childcare buildings for huge profits in different names. These business deals are not reported in FDD. The failures are also not reported in FDD and new franchisees are given false waiting lists and false demands and false earnings! We know it, yet they get new innocent franchisees, rob them, and then let them go bankrupt for good so that they cannot sue or consult an attorney.

  4. ADMIN says:


    Thanks for your comment.

    If you don’t see the discussion on a post, try clicking on the post headline then scroll to the bottom. Sometimes it doesn’t show the whole articles when you use the search directory. See the two you mentioned here:

    Thanks again.

  5. Rocio Amador says:

    where/who and how can i complain about a Meineke Shop? I had the same problem three times already. Keep having to take back my car for a transmission and every time I do it takes about two to three weeks to get my car back. I have called corporation and a Jasmine, said,”because the shop in Corona, CA is a franchise there’s nothing they can do” I am ready to call the city, radio and news, let them know of whats going on. Let the people know about there bad service. This will hurt the rest of the Meineke shop!


  6. CSmith says:

    Awful service. Meineke, Smyrna, GA. Replaced a serpentine belt and the mechanic said we ‘may need to replace the pulley’. After 7 days, the belt failed to operate and we had to take to the nearest shop that repaired the pulley, tension and serpentine belt, again. When I called for refund, I was told that we should have brought the car back…really….wasn’t even sure if it would make it down the street in downtown Atlanta versus driving to Smyrna. When I asked why didn’t they just replace the pulley and he said that after a ‘visual’ inspection it looked fine. However, a diagnostic test at the other shop revealed that it indeed needed to be replaced Something so simple as the ‘details’ make a difference in customer satisfaction. If they had not been so lazy, they actually would’ve gotten more $$ from me. Unbelievable. I’m sure they believe that their ‘trained eye’ is enough to diagnose a problem, however, unless it’s bionic, I don’t think so. When I asked why didn’t they test drive the car to hear the noise. Their excuse, we didn’t hear a noise. Well, they were told that the car made a noise when you accelerate not while parked. Again, listening to the customer and checking to verify are key to properly repairing a problem.

  7. Amy Gist says:

    Horrible service. Rude employees. After “repairs” on my car it has not been the same. I have taken my car back 7 times under warranties for repair. Have been trying to find someone to complain to. Playing phone tag with someone on the franchise side. So unhappy and regretful for ever taking my car to Meineke. Just wish after being suckered out of $2,200.00 my car at least ran.

  8. Pauline says:

    My Meineke experience at 41 Woodlawn Road, Guelph Ontario: EMBARRASSING. Absolutely embarrassing that they consider themselves mechanics. Rude and unprofessional service from the owner, Nancy Finch.

    Not being from the area, I had to stay with a friend in Waterloo while my car was looked at. I received a call from Meikene that the mechanics needed the key fob (which I had with me) in order to bypass the security alarm on the car because it could not start, and therefore were unable to work on it. Over the phone I gave some suggestions of how to bypass the system and in the meantime, I had my friend drive me out from Waterloo to drop off the key fob. About 2 hours after I dropped off the key fob, I called the Meineke to see if there were any updates, as I needed to return home. They told me that they were still unable to solve the issue and could not start the car. No one had bothered to contact me that they were still having problems.

    Once again, I was driven out to the Meineke, and on my first try with the keys was able to start the car by just simply turning the keys slowly. The mechanic looked dumbfounded. I did exactly what I had originally suggested them to do all along, or anyone with any set of problem solving skills would have done. This was extremely concerning as a customer to see how inexperienced and incapable the mechanic was. I have never had an issue with a mechanic not being able to start the car. I was no longer comfortable with having my vehicle serviced at the Meineke and chose to have it towed, again, to another location.

    However, before having it towed again, I was surprised to learn that the Meineke actually expected me to pay for labour done to my vehicle. Ms. Finch insisted that the charge was for the diagnostic of my vehicle, but there could be no diagnostic performed as the mechanics couldn’t start the car. There was absolutely nothing done to the car since I had it originally towed, it was still parked outside in the parking lot where it had been left. When I tried to talk to the owner, she was rude and unhelpful. As I was speaking with her, she was having another conversation on the phone and was not at all interested in dealing with my situation. She tried to explain that the mechanics “tried everything” on the car and that it was my fault that the car had trouble starting, which it does not. They themselves had managed to engage the security system and had no clue how to disable it, and did not bother to listen to any suggestions I gave over the phone. As far as I’m concerned, a shop full of mechanics spent 4 hours trying to figure out how to turn on a car, and hadn’t even gotten to the issue I had originally come to them for. After arguing and threatening me with “theft” for not paying an hour’s labour ($97+tax), I paid for the “work.”

  9. L. Rogers says:

    I had an appointment for an oil change, I showed up on time and was told I could wait or come back later because they had other cars ahead of me that were going to take a while. They didn’t even bother to call me to cancel my appointment. There’s too many other car care places to even bother with these guys again. :( I’m currently waiting on hold on telephone for Meineke complaint department to answer, the recording keeps saying my time is valuable to them, but I’m not feeling that, neither at location or waiting for them to answer. I waited on hold on phone for 12 minutes and finally gave up. :( This is the Lincolnton NC. Location