Will Cash Back Keep You Loyal?


Shells Quaker State launched a cash-back bonus program that rewards its motor oil customers by paying Kelley Blue Book trade-in-value, up to $3,000, for their vehicle once it reaches 300,000 miles.

The reward is for use of its synthetic, synthetic blend or higher mileage engine oils when the vehicle reaches 300,000 miles, subject to numerous terms and conditions. Qualifying for the cash-back bonus will likely require at least 45 to 50 oil changes using one of the Quaker State specialty oils – as well as saving every receipt.

The new Quaker State Cash Back Bonus is designed to reward those motorists who view their vehicles mileage as a badge of honor, said Chris Hayek, Quaker State global brand manager.

Hayek noted that over the last five or six years, the average age of vehicles continued to get older. This is way before the recession really hit, so the mindset was already there, he told Lube Report. Clearly consumers are trying to keep their vehicles as long as possible. And every year for about the last couple of years there has been about a 4 percent increase in annual auto maintenance for vehicles.

Hayek said that the Kelley Blue Book value of most cars with 300,000 miles was in the $2,000 to $2,500 range.

When you hit 300,000 miles, well pay you the Kelly Blue Book good trade in value for the vehicle, but you actually get to keep the vehicle also, Hayek said. You get the cash and you get to keep the vehicle to do whatever you choose with it. Hopefully, whatever they do, theyll keep on using Quaker and appreciate what were trying to do. He noted Quaker State pays the Blue Book good value regardless of the cars condition, as long as it runs.

Hayek noted that when the company looked beyond enthusiasts to consumers less involved in maintaining their vehicles, no preference was becoming more common when it came to brands. Thats kind of the way it is with a lot of industries, he said.

In exploring the reasons for that, Shell found companies had stopped saying thank you to consumers for being loyal. He noted that warranties typically pay you if something goes wrong with a product. We put all those together and looked at warranties and how we can do things differently.

The cash-back bonus program is part of an updated Quaker State Lubrication Limited Warranty Program. A key change is that it now follows vehicle makers recommended oil drain intervals.

The limited warranty protects 15 engine parts from lubricant-related failure and provides motorists vehicles with coverage for up to 10 years or 300,000 miles, whichever comes first. To qualify, consumers vehicles must have been manufactured within the last 72 months and have been driven 75,000 miles or less at the time of enrollment. Qualifying consumers enroll at the companys web site, which enables customers to upload records.

Under a grandfather clause, existing customers registered for the warranty program as of June 1, 2011, are eligible for the cash back bonus program regardless of which type of Quaker State motor oil they used.

Because this is grandfathered, we probably expect to pay off a lot quicker than 10 to 15 years, Hayek said. There is probably somebody in that 290,000 mile range right now. Once we put this out there, I think well see some payoffs in this year and next year.

The warranty and cash-back program are also transferrable from owner to owner. As long as you have done all the maintenance records, if you sell this to somebody else, they can carry forward that cash-back opportunity, he said.

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