SOS: No video is finally no problem; Mister Car Wash pays for car damage | Just Ask Us

The issue for Steve Maerz was simple enough: It would be in Mister Car Wash’s interest to prove that the damage to Maerz’s vehicle occurred prior to its entering the company’s South Side Madison car wash.

That such damage had not been previously in existence was maybe why the Tucson, Arizona-based company was refusing to show him the video it claimed to have of the car’s visit that day — video it subsequently claimed was later deleted.

Maerz, 58, of Madison, said his 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee came out of the Mister Car Wash on Park Street with dents and scratches on the driver’s side quarter panel near the wheel well, looking as if “something circular and about 5 inches in diameter struck the car at high velocity while spinning.”

“I don’t want to use my vehicle insurance for this damage because the repair quote is under $2,000 and I don’t believe my insurance company will fight for what is right,” Maerz told SOS in an April 26 email. “I can’t get any explanation as to why Mr. Car Wash won’t release the video they claim to have reviewed. There is no privacy issue, they just don’t want to allow me to see it.”

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SOS emailed Mister Car Wash’s corporate office on April 26. Eight days later, neither Maerz nor SOS had received a response, so SOS again emailed the company and left phone messages there and at the company’s South Park Street location.

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Megan Everett, Mister Car Wash senior director of communications, responded that day to say Maerz’s case was “being investigated,” and two days later she said a customer is able to request to see car wash footage with a store’s general manager and pointed to instructions for doing so on the company’s website.

Those instructions, as Maerz pointed out, include this disclaimer: “If you are a customer, customer attorney or insurance company, be advised that we do not provide video directly or indirectly to customers absent a statutory or other legal requirement.”

Maerz had been hoping to avoid involving the law, and SOS pointed out to Everett that the company’s restriction made it kind of hard for Maerz to see the video. Meanwhile, Maerz let SOS know on May 9 that he’d gotten a call that day from a Mister Car Wash regional manager who was vowing to let him see the video and get the dispute squared away by the end of that week.

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The meeting to review the video, however, never happened, Maerz said in a May 11 email to SOS, because the regional manager called “to say that the manager I originally spoke to failed to save the footage and that it had been deleted the night before I was supposed to view it.”

Which turned out to be fine, because Maerz said that “after a couple of phone calls, they agreed to pay for the repair and they have authorized the repair.”

The work was done the week of June 13, he said, and the Jeep looks “good as new.”

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