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Splash-n-Go Car Wash / Bad service

1 United States

On Tuesday, January 23, 2007, I paid for a $5 car wash for my 2007 Dodge
Caliber at Splash-n-Go Car Wash automatic wash on Leestown Road in
Lexington, KY. I entered the “touchless” wash bay, the wash cycle ran, and I
prepared to exit the bay…but the bay door did not open. I waited, inside my
car in the bay, for about 15 minutes before deciding to call the police (I
could not think of any other way to get out). I called the police on my cell
phone, and the 911 operator sent out an officer and the local fire
department, which was located next door to the car wash. Before the police
arrived, another customer arrived at the wash bay and paid for a wash, which
caused the rear door of the bay to open. I thought I might to be able to get
out that way, and attempted to back out the door, when the large door came
down on the back of my vehicle, scratching the paint in several places and
damaging the "Caliber" nameplate. Several firefighters and the other
customer observed the damage.

After approximately three days of trying to locate and speak with the owner
of the car wash, Mr. Davis, he finally returned my call. We arranged to meet
on Friday, January 26th, in order for him to view the damage to my car. He
assured me that he would "take care of it." Prior to meeting with Mr. Davis
on the 26th, I obtained two estimates for the repairs: one, from a local
Dodge dealership, for $668; and the other, from a body shop, for $653. Mr.
Davis looked at the damage to my car, and requested that I obtain another
estimate from a friend of his. I immediately went to the friend's shop; it
was in a state of disrepair and did not inspire a great deal of confidence.
The shop owner looked at my car and described how he would complete the
repairs, which was not how the dealership had advised that the repairs be
done. I was NOT provided with an estimate prior to leaving the shop.

On Tuesday, January 30th, I spoke with Mr. Davis, the car wash owner, to
arrange for the repairs to the vehicle. Mr. Davis informed me that his
friend had provided him with an estimate of $350. I told Mr. Davis I wished
to have my car repaired by the Dodge dealership, in order to protect my
warranty coverage. As I had only had the brand-new car for 7 months, I was
concerned that repairs done outside of the dealership may void the warranty.
Mr. Davis told me that I was being "unreasonable" and that "everyone knows
that dealerships inflate their estimates." He said that he would pay $350
ONLY for the repairs to my car. Mr. Davis stated that he was a small
businessman and paying $668 for the repairs to my car would be a hardship
for him.

I filed complaints with the local Better Business Bureau and the Kentucky
Attorney General the next day, January 31st. As of February 20th, Mr. Davis
has not responded to the attempts by the Better Business Bureau to contact
him; they will be forced to close the case in the next few days if he does
not respond. The Attorney General's office gave Mr. Davis 30 days to respond
to my complaint. I informed him that I would be filing these complaints, and
he told me to "do what you want, I'm not paying more than $350, " so I doubt
that he will respond to either of them.

It's important to note that this small businessman owns five corporations,
one of which just built a large shopping center in Lexington; he owns at
least two car washes; and he lives in a $460, 000 home. I find it difficult
to believe that my $668 car repair will put his family on the street, as he
implied in our last conversation. I do not feel that I am asking for more
than I deserve in this case. All I ask is that Mr. Davis pay the $668 to
have the damage to my car repaired at the Dodge dealership, in order to
prevent voiding the warranty. Mr. Davis operates several business in this
area, and I would like to warn other consumers in the Lexington area that he
cannot be counted upon to do the right thing if something goes wrong.


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