Not All Carwash Owners Are As Ethical As You Might Suspect – Case Study

A carwash in Los Angeles was getting a lot of competition from a neighboring carwash which had offered a “guarantee” that went something like this – If it rains within 72-hours, or your car gets dirty again, bring it back for a free wash. So the competitor refused to match this promotional marketing and strategy, and he lost about 33% of his business to the other wash.

So, he decided to go to the mall, find homeless people, and pay them to feed the birds a special concoction which made them crap more often with giant splotches. The mall was right across the street from the other carwash. Obviously, customers kept coming back in for “free-washes” due to giant bird droppings on their cars, so the Carwash detailer offering the 72-hour guarantee nixed the idea and modified the offer to read:

“We guarantee rain checks, if it rains in 72-hours, you can come back in for a free wash on the first sunny day following the rain.”

No mention of free-washes for dirtiness anymore.

This worked well for a while, until the less-than-ethical carwash hired American Indian “Rain Dancers” – no I am just kidding there, it worked well until the last El Nino year we had out in Los Angeles, which cost the carwash owner so much, it almost washed out his profits. Still, the comment I am trying to make here is that carwash owners need to be aware that it can be a cut-throat business and industry. And thus, you must take your competition seriously, even when the hit below the belt or cause birds to crap on your customer’s cars.

Yes, I know that sounds kind of funny, and you might pass this off as nothing more than an Internet Article for the mindless masses, nevertheless, this actual tactic was used in the carwash industry, and it is a reminder that “not all” carwash owners are not always as ethical as you might suspect. Of course, this probably goes for any industry, it’s just that I’ve seen this one up close and personal for nearly 27-years, and I am still amazed at what goes on.

I’ve often asked myself why this is, and all I can think of is that it is a “cash” business for the most part, although today most transactions are by credit and debit cards. I think this is why it may have attracted certain types of individuals early on in its history. This has left a historical stigma on the sector, but it has that reputation for good reason in my view. Indeed, I hope you will please consider this and think on it.

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