It was august 14, 2014. Only two days more for my engagement. I wanted to clean my car interior and exterior to use it as grooms vehicle for the function. It was full of dirt following the recent heavy rains. So decided to take it to a newly opened car cleaning centre 'CAR ZONE' near NH bypass junction, Thondayad, Calicut who cleans car interior and exterior. They also have a cafe attached to the place for people to relax and wait until their cars are serviced. It's 400INR for a hatch back(I have a Renault Pulse hatch back) and more for a sedan. Cafe charges of course are extra as per the purchase made.
There was a huge queue when I reached there in the evening. Around 10 cars. The lady in reception told me that it won't be possible to clean my car that day. She also informed me that they were working on August 15 i.e Indian independence day. It didn't look good. But the requirement was mine. I again looked towards my car. It was dirty as a pig. I looked inside the service center towards the cleaning area. All were from the north and north-east. Majority Bengali speaking. No wonder they are working on independence day.
The next day I took my car there around 12 in the afternoon. The queue was bigger than what I saw on the previous day. More than 15 cars already. People took privilege of cleaning their cars on the national holiday. I approached the lady at the reception with the car keys. Initially she refused to accept it for cleaning. But when I told her that I had come the day before and was asked to come that day she agreed. It seems there were less worker attendance due to the National holiday. I was asked to come in the evening around 6PM. I agreed. Anyway I had some work to do including a grooming session to prepare for the following day. My brother had followed me in his car, so we set out to complete those works in his car.
It was dark by the time we reached back to take the car. Around 6:30PM. It took me by surprise that none of the cars I noticed earlier in the afternoon was there at the time I reached back. How fast do they clean them? They were still cleaning cars in the dark. The lady at the reception was already gone. I enquired about my car with the guy sitting there now. He seemed to be the owner/manager of the service station. He checked the list and told that my car cleaning was completed already and ready for delivery. I paid INR400 and he handed over the keys to a guy there who lead me to my car.
The car was parked in front of the cafe. I unlocked the doors and switched on the lights to check the interiors. Interiors seemed fresh and awesome. The dashboard and seats are well cleaned. The floor also seemed clean. I happily shook hands with the guy there and got ready to leave. It was then under the light from the cafe I noticed a muddy patch left uncleaned on my back right door. They might have missed it as it was dark. I called back the guy and brought it to his notice who inturn called a worker to clean it up. I thought to examine the whole car for any more such patches left so that those can also be cleaned. There were a couple more such mud patches left on the car which they missed. But it came to me as a shock when I examined the bonnet. It was full of scratches. Please see the picture below.
NEAR THE WHEEL
ON THE DOORS
Now I demanded the manager of the service station to give an explanation. I wanted to hear his perspective. Initially he tried to shrug off but I didn't leave. Gradually people in the cafe came out to check out what was happening. Some of them asked me what was the matter. The manager was yet not making any responsible statement. I started showing the scratches to them. They started talking between each other now. The manager went into an alarming state and wanted me out of the place.
It followed with heated argument between my cousin and the manager when the manager finally told the following statement - "It was not the responsibility of the service station to check whether any scratches are coming on the vehicle. The responsibility of the service station is just to clean the vehicle which is done". Then why the hell are we paying money? To get our car scratched? And that too 400 bucks. Isn't that amount enough for them to take good care of the car? And moreover the car was not completely cleaned too. It was left with mud patches. Okay. There is no point in arguing with the guy. We decided to leave. He finally told one more statement - "Please don't come back". Me, my brother and my cousin replied in a single voice - "Never again"