Aug 14, 2023

Quality Car Wash addresses community complaints about vehicle damage

HOLLAND — On any given day, Quality Car Wash on Chicago Drive has the capacity to wash more than 3,000 cars.

It’s a process that, when in action, is meant to operate like a well-oiled machine. The business has license plate scanning technology to move cars through more quickly and nearly 40 cameras to monitor the experience.

But while Quality Car Wash — which has several Holland locations — is meant to operate with maximum efficiency, posts on community social media pages have shown that, sometimes, vehicles are damaged. And, as the complaints allege, some of those repairs aren't covered by the company.

Mandi Brower, chief operating officer at Quality Car Wash, estimates that less than half a percent of vehicles are damaged in the wash process. She and customer service specialist Mark Baker believe it's a few bad experiences garnering the majority of bad publicity.

"Generally, the negative ones are the ones that go to the top," Baker said. "We might have two or three positive comments, but those don't get any traction."

They both agree positive experiences are much more common.

“Unfortunately, we’ve had instances where people back out of their garage and damage their mirror and super glue it, and then come here to try to get us to cover it,” Brower said. “As much as I want to say to cover everything, it would be a disaster, because a lot of it, we don’t cause.”

When damage does occur, Brower and her team, including site leader Benji Garza, first conduct an investigation, inspecting the vehicle and accessing the cameras monitoring the wash.

“Nothing is left to one person when it comes to claims,” Brower said. “It goes through multiple team members through an all-digital process. If a guest feels something is incorrect and that it's our fault, they fill it out on an iPad. That goes to the manager and then it goes to Mark (Baker). It's very important to determine a cause, because if it did happen here, we need to know what caused it and how we can prevent it next time.”

The company’s first line of defense comes in the form of a sign posted at the wash entrance.

It states the wash will not cover parts of the vehicle that were loose, rusty, corroded, cracked or previously damaged; parts that were modified; non-standard items and non-factory rims; aftermarket or non-standard roof racks; and other items.

According to Brower, when officials determine the company was, in fact, at fault, they do their best to hold themselves accountable.

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"I think we are very generous with the ones we do cover," Brower said. "No matter what, we always try to do the right thing."

— Contact reporter Austin Metz at [email protected].