Customers allege Wesley Chapel car wash damaged their vehicles

Posted at 11:30 PM, Dec 30, 2016

There's just something about washing a car that gives most a refreshed feeling. Even a renewed sense at life.

"I actually think the car drives better when it's clean," said Linda Herrmann. "The cars happy, I'm happy."

However, Herrmann says she had the opposite feeling after leaving The Palms Car Wash in Wesley Chapel earlier this month.

"I was sitting in the car as it was going through the car wash, I heard a loud scratching noise and it felt like something bumped into the car," said Herrmann.

Herrmann says when she exited the wash, she spotted three small chips in her rear bumper and immediately brought it to the owners attention.

"We went inside and looked at a video tape that showed when I went into the car wash, the bumper was fine," said Herrmann. "The lady was even able to zoom in on my bumper so it was clear there was no damage before it went in."

She says even with the video evidence, the owner told her it wasn't his fault and asked her to leave.
An experience she may have been able to avoid if she had just spoke with her next door neighbor Rich Bond.

"I could hear some horns start to blow and I realized there was a problem but I really couldn't see because the soap was so thick," said Bond.

Bond says in November, his car become a pin ball when a car in front of him pressed the breaks while on the washes conveyor belt continued pushing everyone else forward.

"The car is in neutral," said Bond. "So I was ramming into the car in front of me and the car behind me was running into me and I probably hit the lady in front of me five or six times."

Tamara Gauttier's car was damaged in the incident as well.

"When the guy behind me hit me, I literally felt my car lifting up and down," said Gauttier.

Four cars suffered damage when workers failed to shut down the conveyor belt in time. But it wasn't the hundreds and in one case thousand of dollars worth of damage that has them so furious. It was what the car wash owner told them when they asked for his insurance information.

"He said I ain't giving you a (expletive) damn thing," said Bond. 

"He said I don't give a damn about what happened, take me to court and sue me," said Ami Torres who was also involved in the accident.

An accident report was filed at the scene by police. Then they turned to filing complaints with the Better Business Bureau. Again receiving no response from ownership. 

The Palms Car Wash now sits at a D plus rating on the BBB's site. 

So we decided they deserved some answers. Unfortunately the owners of the wash felt differently and refused to comment.

They did tell Action News they are making an effort to reach out to the customers to make it right. However, everyone we spoke with says that's not true. Instead, they plan to ask a judge to settle the matter in court.

"Because he chose to go the low road, we're going to hit him where it hurts," said Torres.