Soon To Be Classics

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Shell - Our Customers Are Almost #1

I went to wash my car over a month ago at my local Shell station. It's the kind of wash where you drive in, stop, the mechanism moves forward and back doing a passable job cleaning your car, then you drive out. Normally, in one piece. On this trip however, the brushes wrapped around my driver's side mirror, RIPPED IT OFF THE SIDE OF MY CAR, and since it was still attached through the connecting wire, proceeded to slam it around my door in a circular pattern digging a nice set of grooves into my perfect black paint.

Have a nice fucking day. Please come again.

I go into the Shell station and attempt to file an incident report. The worker behind the counter doesn't speak a word of English that I need him to like "incident" or "damage" or "report" or even "manager". I leave in less than a good mood.

So now I begin the LONG process of trying to file a report through corporate. This takes over a month, in which time, they request two estimates (which I get), my receipt (which I have) a description of the incident and pictures (which I provide) all within the time they require. At which point, they close the ticket saying I didn't provide necessary documentation. I finally get someone with half a brain who reopens the ticket and we go through the process again. So it turns out that the station is a franchise so corporate can do little for me. The owner of the franchise had a convienently timed family crisis and couldn't be reached for comment. FINALLY, after over a month of back and forth, I get my answer.

Someone from Shell called and told me the following:
- They did extensive research including:
- Calling auto body shops
- Checking the security tapes
- Checking their service logs
and have decided the following. There was obviously previous damage to my mirror and that I'm a liar. They also told me it was IMPOSSIBLE (their word) for their car wash to damage an automobile. After all of this they then said "but the disclaimer on the wash says you enter at your own risk". They then told me to have a nice day, enjoy the sunshine and enjoy my Labor Day.

So, a $7 car wash ends up costing me over $700 to get my mirror and paint fixed. Apparently, Shell Oil can't find it anywhere in their $30 billion profit for 2006 to take responsibility for their own equipment.

I'm very seriously considering purchasing a magnetic sign for the side of my car that says "Paint damage courtesy of the Shell Car Wash" and just drive around town.


  • That is one aggressive car wash. Hopefully it at least left you car sparkling clean.
    This actually happened to my cousin's car once as well. I dont know how much luck she had getting reimbursed.

    By Blogger Tell It Like It Is, at 7:53 PM  

  • Sounds like a plan Mark, but you don't really want to be one of 'those' guys do you?

    Where is this Shell station with respect to your work? My dad had a similar incident at a Chevron carwash that was just blocks away from his work. He got the runaround just like you did. Then he sent a 'final' letter to somebody at Chevron (I don't remember exactly who) basically stating that he would be sure to pass around the poor customer service he received from Chevron and that nobody at Washington Water Power would ever use Chevron again.

    It was a bluff, because at best he would be able to convince the people he works with that they are bad, but never WWP as a company. A few weeks later he received the money for his lowest estimate with an apology for having taken so long to get that fixed.

    You might try weilding the hammer of a populus of retribution, that might get some attention.

    Bubba Joe

    By Blogger BubbaJoe, at 8:16 AM  

  • Man that sux. I would do the sticker thing. Make others aware of bad service. I have refused to use shell for years. Or sue them in small claims court.

    By Blogger DEATH_BY_MONKEYS, at 2:23 PM  

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