In Australia, it is also "hit and miss". You could take your film to a KMart in one part of your city and get a good result, take it to another and it could be c***.
It all depends on who's running the show, if they are working on the day, do other staff take as much care, were they trained well etc, etc.
Best bet - take a few test rolls to the labs, ask some questions (preferably talk with the person in charge - although that can be a painful experience as well!!), run it, check it if you like it - build a rapport with the lab. Better to talk with the guy behind the counter and explain what you want than let him/her ride off into the sunset by themselves.
I had customers specifically request me to print their images as I was able to give them the results they expected; one of my other staff was always requested by another. They were happy to wait a little longer if it was our day off, although holidays were a bit tougher for them.
John is right " So, it depends on who's in charge of the store, who runs the machines, etc."
Best advice - find one you like the results from and work from there.