Car Wash Owner Says He's No Scam Artist

Cardinals Car Wash victim of scam; TV report worsens matters

March 02, 2012
Rich Haas of Cardinals Car Wash in Rock Hill wants people to know that he's no scam artist.

His problems began six months ago when a company called STL Mobile Detailing, found on Facebook with a location in St. Louis City, advertised auto detailing for just $95 on several "deal-of-the-day" websites.

People signed up, but when they called the number listed to schedule an appointment, some never got through, while others were given fictitious addresses. One of those fake addresses was Cardinals Car Wash at 9849 Manchester Road.

"They used my address numerous times. People were showing up at the car wash -- 12 or 15 of them in all -- expecting to receive their discounted auto detailing. I had to tell them I was sorry, but that I never sold anything. I had nothing to do with this," Haas said.

Things got worse for Haas last week when a local TV station ran a story on unhappy customers who had dealings with STL Mobile Detailing. Two days-worth of "teasers" leading up to the Feb. 22 broadcast -- 18 to 25 spots, according to Haas -- showed employees at Cardinals Car Wash with the voice over, "Local St. Louis auto detailer scamming people out of money."

"It gave the impression that we were the ones scamming people," Haas said. "They showed pictures of my guys washing cars, and my signs outside. I've been stopped by people while dropping my kids off at school. People have stopped me at church. They want to know what's going on."

Haas said he had no luck in trying to persuade the TV station to run a retraction. He wants to clear his good name, and said that he, too, has become a victim in all of this.

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