I went into the carwash yesterday never having paid for a full-service detail in my life. Most of my vehicles tend to go unwashed for years at a time - basically because I just don't care about a clean vehicle.
I had to get a car cleaned up for sale, so I asked the front desk for some options. They showed me a menu of services, and also explained some packages they had which were not on the menu.
As the front desk explained, one package was $99 and included four of the services in the menu. Another was $55 and included three of those same services. The difference was an interior shampoo, which ordinarily cost $20.
I didn't understand how I could get all four services for $75 by purchasing the shampoo separately, but they charged $99 for the same work in a package. The front desk couldn't adequately explain this, so I was referred to a salesperson who I found outside smoking.
He appeared nervous. Partly because he had a twitch that he probably couldn't control, but he also talked very fast - almost too fast to keep up with. I didn't get much farther understanding the difference between the two packages, so I gave up and got the $55 one.
So I paid $60 (after tax) for a wash, wax, and shine, a wheel cleaning, a polish of the interior panels, and a general cleaning of the interior. I returned to the store to find a teenage kid waiting to show me back to my car.
The exterior looked great (aside from some scratches which were less noticeable before the shine). I sat down in the driver seat and marveled at the heavy but cute polish on the dashboard. Then I opened the back door and the car looked like it hadn't been touched. There was debris and lint all over.
I asked for it to be re-done, and the kid with me said he'd "go over it again with a shop-vac". I said OK, and walked over to the bank to get some cash for a tip. Walking across the lot, I overheard another kid lamenting about the hour and a half he spent on a vehicle, and the tip he failed to receive.
I got back and there was still some lint remaining on the seat, but not enough to give the kid any more grief. He offered me some choices of complimentary air freshener. His recommended choice was "Pina Colada". I went with "New Car". Then he came back and told me all they had were strawberry and orange, which weren't among the ones he listed the first time. The kid who complained about the tip earlier came over and applied some "New Car". I tipped my guy $5 and went on my way.
I give this place three stars because basically I got what I came for, which was a car that looked ready to sell. $65 may have been a decent price for that, but for that price I also expected to receive the "professional treatment", which I definitely didn't.
On the other hand, they would have needed to make quite a first impression in order to receive the full five stars anyway, since I really have nothing to compare it to in terms of service. Realistically they probably couldn't have earned more than four unless something about the place was just incredible.
The opposite is true as well - I wouldn't dare go too low because the finished product could have been alot worse