Suck my fat smoking exhaust, Car Wash Dolt.

C’mon kids, gather 'round. Uncle Coldfire is going to relate to you a little story that happened to him today at the car wash.

As I’m leaving for a weeks ski holiday next saturday (trolls take note :rolleyes: ), I thought it would be a good idea to give the car a little check-up today. You know, oil level, cooling liquid, wiper fluid, that sort of thing. All parameters checked out fine, and I decided to drive to the car wash to give it a good clean-up. I don’t clean my car that often, and it has been snowy winter weather lately here. All in all: reason enough to make it shine again.

Behind the wheel, fire up the engine, vroom-vroom, off to the car wash. Now, sometimes, I just run it through one of those fully automated “streets” where you just sit and wait. But every now and then, I like to put it in one of these special wash boxes with loads of different spray and brush equipment, where you can dance around your car, shooting foam and wax at it like some sort of Car Wash John Wayne. This is also better than washing your car in front of your own house, because these places collect the water/foam/wax products in containers that will be processed professionally rather than just be dumped in the sewer straight away. Save the environment, and all that.

I opted for the latter option today. What can I say, I felt like it.

So, I pull into my usual car wash, and park my car in one of the boxes. I walk up to the counter, and buy seven Car Wash Tokens for the amound of Ten Dutch Guilders (about USD 4). This will give me 14 minutes of John Wayne time.

I walk to the box, insert the seven coins into the machine, and select the foam spray unit to put some “Active Miracle Foam”[sup]TM[/sup] on the li’l Peugeot. See, she likes that sort of thing.
I press down the hand lever, and notice that surprisingly little foam comes out of the end. Looking up at where the rubber tube connects to the iron swinging arm annex fluid tube, I see it has a leak. Foam is pooring out of the place where the rubber and iron are supposed to connect, resulting in a very piss-poor amount of foam coming out of the Foam Pistol. I put the pistol in its wall-mounted holster, and walk up to the counter.

The following conversation ensued between me (CF) and Car Wash Dolt 1 (CWD1):

CF: Hiya. My wash box appears to be broken - it’s leaking foam from the tube, and there’s nothing coming out at the end. I’d like my tokens back so I can use another wash box.
CWD1: Um. Well, I can only give you one token back.
CF: No, I want them all back. I can’t wash my car in that box, because it appears to be broken.
CWD1: Yeah, well, that may be, but then you shouldn’t have inserted all seven tokens at once.
CF: What the fuck? I can at least assume that your equipment is in working order! Look around: do you see everyone washing their cars untill the machine stops working, then walk back to the token box to insert another one? NO! People buy tokens, insert them all, and start washing their car. That’s how it works.
CWD1: I can only give you one back. That’s all I’m allowed to do.
CF: Then get me someone who’s allowed to do more.
CDW1: Hang on.

CWD1 gets on the phone and informs his superior, I assume. After SIX minutes, the man henceforth known as Car Wash Dolt 2 (CWD2) arrives.

CWD2: What’s the problem?

I explain what has happened. Since CWD2 seems a little slow as well, I take him to the wash box to demonstrate the failing equipment.

CWD2: It only has 5 minutes left on the clock. You said you inserted seven coins. That should have been 14 minutes of time.
CF: It was. I put the foam gun down after 20 seconds of use, and walked to the counter. After talking to your colleague for 2 minutes, I waited for YOU for six minutes. And now we’re here.
CWD2: Why didn’t you insert the tokens one by one?
CF: What difference does that make? Your machine is broken! You just need to replace my seven tokens, I drive my car to another box, and wash it there. Plain and simple.
CWD2: Can’t do that. See, now the machine is running, so we’re losing these seven tokens anyway.
CF: You’re losing a fucking customer if you don’t start taking me seriously right now. What is it you don’t understand?
CWD2: I’ll make it up to you. I can give you three tokens back.
CF: Am I speaking some sort of weird East-Siberian Dialect?
CWD2: That’s all I can do for you. My boss won’t allow me more than that.
CF: Your BOSS? Where is he? I’d like to talk to him.
CWD2: He’s not here right now.
CF: Look, if your boss isn’t willing to delegate more authority to you, he should be here HIMSELF on a busy saturday afternoon.
CWD2: You could call him, or write him a letter.
CF: Write him a letter, over ten fucking Guilders? You probably have a lot of time on your hands, kid. Fuck this. Give me back my ten guilders, I’m out of here.
CWD2: I can’t do that. See, the machine has run out of time already. We’ve lost those seven tokens either way.
CF: NO. I lost them because your equipment isn’t working. You earned yourself ten guilders, smartass.
CWD2: There’s really nothing I can do for you sir.
CF: Yes there is. Get the fuck away from my car, unless you like a nice Pirelli profile across your face. You just lost a customer.
CWD2: I’m really sorry sir.
CF: Fuck off.

So, I drove to the OTHER car wash, a mere 300 meters down the road - with a car covered in Active Foam ™. I bought ten guilders worth of tokens, and washed my car.

I’m telling you, there will come a day when I won’t warn idiots like that before reversing over their heads with 40 km/h. What’s wrong with these assholes who try to make THEIR problems look like it’s all the CUSTOMERS fault??

There’s a LOT wrong with them! They’re no different here in the US, and it all comes down to what I call Retail Teenager Syndrome. (Even if your ever-so-helpful employees were not teens, the thought still applies.) Look at the McDonald’s, or any video store. Who’s behind the counter? A rational, reasonably intelligent oxygen-sniffer? Heck no! It’s a teen who:

a) Doesn’t wanna be there, despite they’re making actual money

b) Doesn’t like you. Or the owner. Or anyone in the world, for that matter.

No, I’m not surprised this happened to you, but you know, most idiots would have been smart enough to give you the damn money back so you’d go away peacefully. I mean who’s stupid enough to ASK FOR MORE PROBLEMS?

Yikes!! It’s your rant, Coldfire, yet here I am getting all pissed off vicariously! Carry on!

Good point. Maybe all those exhaust fumes killed his brain. At least, that’s what I hope is wrong with these fuckers. Cause if this is what they REALLY are like, it’s Pirelli-face the next time 'round. Grrrrrrrr.

You know if that guy ( dolt number 2) could do something more mentally challenging that payed better wages he would probably be doing it.

Unfortunately if he lost you as a customer I am sure he doesn’t give a rats ass. No skin off his nose. But I wouldn’t let him get away with that shit. I would sit down and pick up the phone and don’t stop until you have the owner on the line. Tell him that not only do you want your money back, but that you don’t want to have to look at the ignorant asshole that fucked you out of it to begin with.

And if he doesn’t fire him or make him offer up an apology and give you your money back or a free car wash you will see him in small claims court.

Those last three words are like magic around here.

Deep breaths Coldie. Now sit down and write a letter to the owner. If you do not get satisfaction, tell everyone that you know about these jerks and their bad attitude.

It’s an old business axiom that;

A satisfied customer tells six other people.

A dissatisfied one tells a dozen.

Well, aha, this isn’t the US of course. The guy won’t be fired, and I can’t sue the company over this. Customers are protected well by means of (e.g.) an Ombudsman, but trivial law suits are non-existant here.

The way I figure it, it’s 10 guilders. The worst I can do to them is not give them any business anymore. And if all people think that way, they’ll feel it in due time. Also, it’s too little an amount to even MAKE a phone call for. I vent, get it out of my system, and move on (OK, I’m still kinda mad now, but in a week from now, it’s forgotten). If I see what I cost -professionaly- per hour, there’s no use in making a fuss over 10 guilders.

You could turn this around nicely.

I would have wiped away the foam in strategic locations to say something to the effect of:

“Dumbasses Car Wash SUCKS”

And driven around for a couple hours.

That’s my attitude. You fuck me over, I’m never giving you my business again. [Cartman]Screw you guys, I’m going home.[/Cartman] It’s not worth the trouble of following up. Tell everyone who cares to listen not to patronize the shithole, and never go back.

Or you could write a letter to the editor… "I just wish to bitch at the f’in car wash dude who… " Nah, maybe not. You’d just come off as petty…

Eh, let it go. They have already been punished, after all.

They are denied the pleasure and honor of being graced by the stellar presence of the Mighty Coldfire!!


Wait a minute…their equipment was faulty, and they stiffed you because you trusted their &*%$@! equipment and fed your money in all at once?

(Takes a deep breath. Oh, hell, takes another.)

In car washes I always feed the money in at the same time. Saves me from having to waste time, waste motion and stop to dig coins out my pockets every time the warning beeper goes off. Know the size of the car, know how fast I work, know the cost–plunk the coins in and go. Keep a few quarters in case I mis-timed scrubbing the bumpers and rocker panel or get fussy on the final rinse.

Pitifully obvious but the proper response was 1. apology 2 refund 3. coupon for free wash for your inconvenience. Sounds like the humanoids running the place either didn’t have the judgment or freedom to make reasonable restitution.

BTW, 1-2&3 above aren’t blowin’ smoke. When the coin-ops in my place fritz out the person gets an apology, a full refund and a free pass to make up for the hassle. Machines are a hassle, but a fact of business life. Come time to purchase or re-bid maintenance, those chits come in real handy. Functional equipment is part of doing business; when tools don’t work you keep records of costs, and pass along the pressure–vice grips work well–to the people who supply/maintain the equipment. (Ignore dramatics; they aren’t in real pain until their voices climb at least one octave.)

I don’t whether it’s comforting or depressing that idiocy is world-wide.


You should move here to Texas, Coldie. We got this wonderful consumer protection statute. Triple damages. I could get you twenty-one car wash tokens. 'Course, I get to keep seven of 'em for myself. :slight_smile:

And since when does Holland have self-serve car washes? I got my driver’s license while living in Germany, and damn if I didn’t have to wash my car in the driveway with a bucket of soap.

(Awed, utterly evil grin spreads, picturing a Texan Coldfire)

Cattle punching=longhorns w/ a wooden clogs impaled halfway down the horns.

Hey, what does Holland got that we don’t got? (Proper grammar aside.) We got Heineken on tap at every bar in town, even though it tastes like used car wash water. We got … uh … well, what the hell does Holland have, anyway? I mean, that you can’t get across the border for way cheaper than Amsterdam?

But we definitely got self-serve car washes that work.

Texan Coldfire? Fuck, I can crack a whip with the best of them!

Plus, remember one thing: we’ve got more cows than people in this country: 20 million over 16 million. Also, 25 million pigs and 80 million chickens. Roughly. I think Holland itself is the European version of Texas. :slight_smile:

We’ve had these car wash boxes for about 10 years now - they first popped up in France (speaking European now). They usually work.
Sometimes I wish entrepreneurs would fear the customer here as well. Not entirely American, but a little forced courtesy would make life a little easier at times. Fuckers.

And Heineken tastes like car wash water on either side of the pond. Does the name Grolsch ring a bell?