I bought my deal find voucher from Shine Time Auto Detailing almost 2 years back. Since the voucher never expires, I never really needed it until a few weeks back. I called up to book an appointment and Chris answered the phone. He told me to be in at 3pm and I showed up 15 minutes early. Without seeing my voucher, he tells me, paraphrased "You own me an additional 38 for taxes". I said um, ok, can you please provide me the breakdown of your 38 dollar extra charge. He tells me that I should call up the owner, ZEN and he will provide me with the details of the breakdown.
Meanwhile, in my own mind, i'm telling myself the following (1) The promotional value on my coupon is $128 and even if he is applying HST at 13%, in no way does it come to 38 dollars for taxes. (2) I read my voucher three times to ensure the fine print has no mention of gratuity because I've bought vouchers before and the gratuity can be pretty high sometimes(another cash crab that dealfind vendors have found, so I stay away from vouchers that say "gratuity extra". (3) I'm making my observations about this place (a) it is a small bay operating a unit of a drive in car wash (b) these guys have a sign displaying 25 dollar detailing (c) this guy Chris who appears to be a high school kid, not rude, but not professional either.
I now call up Zen whom i've been told is the owner. I asked him if he could provide me with the breakdown of the taxes. He said the voucher excludes taxes and gratuity and I said my voucher only mentions taxes and nothing about gratuity. Zen tells me, not paraphrashing "I should open my eyes and read the voucher's fine prints where it says taxes and gratuity is applicable" and I tell him again it only mentions taxes. He said ok, wait and I'll be at the bay(car wash) in 15 minutes. This high school kid comes into the car wash and goes and talks to Chris (at this point, I still don't know if he is Zen) so I stand there for a good 10 minutes more and i'm like ok where is this guy Zen. I call him up and I hear his phone ring and so I walk up to his high school kid who I now know is Zen and I say " could you please show me where this voucher says taxes and gratuity" Note: I had to approach him and figure out he is Zen(I'm making all these oberservations and I can only see the negative outcome of this i.e a SCAM business). Zen looks at the invoice and says "CHris, this promotional value is not 200 and something, it is only 100 and something". In my mind, i'm saying ok, I think Zen initiall thought that i'm holding their most recent promotional voucher which says taxes and gratuity and now that he knows my voucher is two years old and at that time they only charged taxes, he might only charge me 13% HST. BUT, that was not the case.
Zen asks me where did I get my voucher from because he never seen a voucher that said excludes only taxes. I told him I got it from dealfind. He scratches his head and says, I think this voucher looks fishy(something in that regard) and I say look, i can log into my deal find account and show you the voucher. He had the audacity to say " I don't trust your account". That is when I started to feel my patience going low. So, I told him, I'll ask you one last time "are you going to accept this voucher and charge me only taxes" or Tell me what exactly are my options. He says I just don't trust the voucher. I said ok, is that your final decision. He says, I can't honor the voucher and that I should get a refund from Dealfind. I told him dealfind won't refund my money because it is 7 days past their refund policy. I told him to refund my money and I will walk away. He said no and so I asked him again. Tell me what is your final decision. He said I can't accept the voucher. I said ok, I will call Peel police, the non-emergency number and ask them my options in this regard. I already dialed the number and I asked him for my voucher back. When he saw me call the Police, he didn't give me my voucher and he started to call deal find to verify the voucher. While i'm on the phone with an operator, I ask Zen to give me my voucher back and i'm leaving his dealership. He says, no I'm calling dealfind to verify. I said no, "YOU"VE HAD YOUR CHANCE". I told him i was patient all along and now i'm going to take my rightful legal action. Zen still refused to give me back my voucher while he was on the phone with dealfind. Meanwhile, I told the operator, I'm requesting a police officer to come on-site as Zen has taken my "tangible personal property" i.e my "voucher". The operator told me without any further delay, leave his property and she will dispatch a officer to the scene. (Note: Peel police will not intervene something like that, they only dispatched an officer because I told them Zen took my tangible personal property and is not giving it back.) I hung up the phone and Zen comes to me and says " Ok, i've verified your voucher with dealfind and you can now come in for a car wash". I said no, it's too late, i'll wait for the police to come and striaghten this out. He starts recording with his cell phone and tells me once again " i'm giving you one last chance to come into the car wash and I will honor your coupon" and I said no, I'm afraid to take my car into your bay. He said ok, your voucher is now void and your appoointment is cancelled and he turns off the video recording and he goes back to his shop.
Peel police officer shows up 45 minutes later (during that wait time, Zen keeps harrassing me by passing by car saying " i see guys like you all the time and they go and call the cops but the cops never show up" After waiting for 30 minutes for the police, in my mind i'm like, I hope the cops show up because this guy appears to be running a scam business and I don't want him to get away with it. I'm also telling myself that it is not the 40 dollars refund I now want back but instead I want the cops to come and just hear my story so they are aware of what is happening at this car wash. So the officer showed up and Zen walks straight to his cruiser. The officer takes my voucher from Zen and listens to his side of the story and then walks over to me. Zen walks with the officer towards me. THIS IS WHERE IT GETS INTERESTING.
The officer comes up to me and ask for myside of the story. I tell the officer "Officer, permission to speak with you in private". Zen interrupts and the officer tells him " HOld on, i've heard your side of the story and your story looks very strong which scares me". The officer then told Zen " This is not the first time i'm come to your car wash for a complaint". Zen tells the officer, " the last time you came was because those immigrants didn't know how to speak english". The officer raised his tone up a bit and told Zen, " choose your next words very carefully because i'm(the officer) an immigrant" At that point, in my mind i'm like "I've WON!!". THe officer told Zen to go this bay and don't come out till until instructed. I then explain the story to the officer about the 38 dollar extra charge and Zen claiming the voucher to be fake and the issue about Zen claiming he is rightful to charge me taxes and gratuity. So the officer first thing, hands me back my voucher which he took from Zen and says that my recource could be to file a complaint with Dealfind or take dealfind to small claims court and or complain to the Better Business Bureau about these guys. The officer told me something else which I will not disclose because that was his personal suggestion.
So, I walked away with my voucher and left the carwash.
People who are reading this, I can give you the following advise.
1. IF you did buy a voucher, be willing to pay 38 dollars(most likely you guys would have bought the promotional value of 200 something, so taxes and gratuity likely applied). Also, CHris will not clean your seats etc which they promise in the voucher because he is upselling to pocked the extra cash and is only making it sound like a good deal to you. So, you pay 38 or 60 dollars extra and in addition to your voucher price.
2. If you are anyone like me, play hardball with these high school kids and don't let them take you for a ride. You will still have to pay 38 dollars because if your voucher says taxes and gratuity, then that is the loop hole these guys have discovered to screw people over and you cannot fight that. But what you can do, is make sure your car seats are cleaned at no additional costs.
3. IF you enter into any conversation with these kids. MAKE SURE YOU ARE VIDEO RECORDING EVERYTHING because I assure you, Zen's rudeness will grind your teeth.
4. Take out all your valuebles from the car and stay with your car till everything is done. These guys have strutured their vouchers mainly to get a cash grab of toal 80 dollars or more but it making it sound like it is only worth 40 dollars for something that is worth 200 or more dollars. People, use common sense when you get to their car wash. No way the services and the products they are using is worth 200 or more dollars. Deal find to begin with is the one to be blamed because they are selling the voucher so please do your research before you buy anything on dealfind. I myself have complained to dealind about my situation and they tell him " oh, we are sorry to hear you are dis-satisified with your purchase" I'm like no, i'm not dis-satisfied, It is just that Shine time auto deatailing is not living up to their end of the bargin. But dealfind is doing nothing about it so i'm going to file a formal complain in small claims court against dealfind and complaint to the Better Business Bureau.
Appologies for my bed time story but if you had a similar experience, please don't let it slide easily. A lot of people out there are probably being taken for a ride which is why these scam artist are actually doing this because it really works for them.
Cheers and all the best with your future purchases.
" I will not want to turn back time and wish not to buy this voucher because I've learned soo much from this experience with regards to buying vouchers online. Surely, I've had a 40 dollar loss and a half day off from work, but my loss could be bigger if I bought a higher dollar value coupon" This is my first time posting up a complaint because I was actually able to see someone point blank being a crook.