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TOP THIS damage claim?

8 replies created about 1 year ago
posted by PanamaJim about 1 year ago

We've all had mystery scratches that customers say were never there before. Today our local state attorney, long time customer and friend, thought our wash did all these gouges in his ps F150 mirror. My staff immediately sent me a pic and I got on the phone with him. It was the typical conversation ending with a cordial impasse. I added I had NEVER seen anything like this in 50 yrs of washing and I had NO idea of the cause. 5 min later he calls me back with news, he discovered the culprit. A horse had apparently mistaken his red mirror for an apple and did his best to make a meal of it. A story for the record books. Can you top this one?



reply by Earl Weiss about 1 year ago

There was a guy whose passenger side was scraped with paint leavings of another color. After I explained there were no painted surfaces to leave those marks he called his wife who said she'd been meaning to tell him about the accident. (Passenger side issues are often theones they don't see till after the wash.)

reply by PanamaJim about 1 year ago

Yep. Always look for leftover paint evidence. It's usually red, yellow or white because that's the colors most posts and poles are painted. If another vehicle or tire has scraped them it might be black from the rubber. I liked to keep some Meguires #2 polish around. So in these situations, I'll hand polish this paint (or other residues) off for the customer to prove my point. #2 will take off pine sap, fine scratches, paint and almost any surface contaminant. It has no grit or compound being a chemical cleaner.

reply by tomchung about 1 year ago

Wow, Jim. Glad the customer found the culprit. I'd hate to think of the accusations he may have had against you if he hadn't found it. "It wasn't like that before" is very difficult logic to overcome.

Oh.. I did just have some crazy one myself. A lady got furious and left very angry accusing us of braking her radio volume knob from her center console of her SUV. It was on top right corner above navigation screen. It clearly looked like something broke off and we only saw a little round metal stuff hanging around. It wasn't like that before so she demanded we fix it. We refused. She stormed off with many unpleasant words and actions.

Thankfully, she called not too long after and apologized. It was actually an Aux port. Her daughter had broken off the Aux cable. So she just plucked it out and all is well. She was so embarrassed but thought it was right thing to call back and apologize. We laughed it off.

Boy.. some of the things we get accused of doing... we could collaborate and come up with a cool book! I'll title it... "And you're saying your day was bad?" All profit goes to defending false claim law suits... lol

reply by PanamaJim about 1 year ago

Tomchung...good story.
I've gotten so many full serve stories over the years, I could write a book as well. Once a lady called to complain that our staff had thrown away her dead paraket. I apologised and asked where was it. She said it was wrapped in a kleenx in her ashtray and that we should open every kleenx before we throw them away. I replied, "Mam, I can't ask my ppl to do that. Can you imagine what they would find."

reply by CarWashATL about 1 year ago

Glad your situation worked out for you Jim.

I agree with Tomch Ung that the "it wasn't like that before" accusations are difficult and unpleasant to deal with. We recently had a guy with a fancy corvette with extra wide tires go through our conveyor and claimed we scratched his rims and paint on passenger side.

Surface scratches are so difficult to see on CCTV even HD quality due to the lighting and shadows. Thankfully we were able to spot it briefly before he went through tunnel and brought that to his attention and he dropped his case.

Having good cctv is a life saver at times but also there are many situations that even a good camera system won't see (loose bumper, surface scratch, rock chip, swirls) just to name a few.

reply by washentireauto about 1 year ago

Some good ones here! Wish there was a section devoted to a picture and explanation of the damage and how its not related to a car wash!
We had a early 80 Jaguar with a large dent in the hood right after the seam where the hood and front grill cowel meet. The guy insisted something in our wash went donw in between there, then pushed up and back causing the damage, so think about it - this Jaguar is one of those where the hood tilts forward so you open the hood at the windshield. He just bought the car for his Kid who was waiting for his drivers license. The judge tossed it out when we had our local Car Wash machione installer testify as an expert that there is no device capable of doing this in a car wash tunnel, but we think his kid tried to open the hood and used a screwdriver when it would not open from the front.

reply by PanamaJim about 1 year ago


reply by dianasparks about 1 year ago

What are some procedures you guys have for handling damage claims?

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