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Today I joined the ranks of 'Scammed Gringettes.'  An unpleasant experience that will never happen again.  But I'll pass along the experience to those of you who think it'd be nice to get the dust washed off your car while at Walmart. Do think about that twice...and if you succumb to those pleasant folk, be sure to ALWAYS get a price in advance.

Today, a super-rotund, English-speaking, very pleasant  guy came up to me and asked if I'd like my car washed while I shopped.  The car was pretty dusty, so I said OK.  He asked if I'd like the 'special wash.' I declined, saying it was going into the shop in the morning.

A conversational fellow (He sounded like he'd gone to the Wharton School of Business)...he asked why? So I pointed to a few scratches, and volunteered that the bottom dust plate also had a bolt loose that was going to be tightened. "Oh I can do all that for you!" he politely declared....and therein was my huge mistake...I did not ask "How Much?"  I just said Ok, thinking he was such a nice guy, I'd give him the opportunity to make a few extra pesos.

The price when I returned?  $5500 pesos...but my 'special discount' because I was such a nice person was only $3500.  By that time, I'd become surrounded by his cronies who were all nodding.  So of course you all know what I did...I turned scarlet...protested loudly...then paid the thief and marched back into Walmart and reported the incident.  The management wanted me to call the police and go to Chapala and file a police report....saying they had no control over the guys who wash cars. "BUT they wear your own Walmart bibs and are in your parking lot!"...sez me.   They just politely apologized and shook their heads...urging me to call the police.

Not likely....I know where that road leads,.....

The Bottom Line of this sad tale....well....you all know the bottom line.

And now I do too!

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Got talked into letting them buff the scratches off my headlights a while ago and like you didn't ask the price, who cares, right? When I returned they handed me a very nice itemized receipt and a price of $450 pesos. Realized I had been had, smiled, paid and complimented them on their profitable business. I think they were disappointed not to see the gringo scream.

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17 minutes ago, Carrol said:

Today I joined the ranks of 'Scammed Gringettes.'  An unpleasant experience that will never happen again.  But I'll pass along the experience to those of you who think it'd be nice to get the dust washed off your car while at Walmart. Do think about that twice...and if you succumb to those pleasant folk, be sure to ALWAYS get a price in advance.

Today, a super-rotund, English-speaking, very pleasant  guy came up to me and asked if I'd like my car washed while I shopped.  The car was pretty dusty, so I said OK.  He asked if I'd like the 'special wash.' I declined, saying it was going into the shop in the morning.

A conversational fellow (He sounded like he'd gone to the Wharton School of Business)...he asked why? So I pointed to a few scratches, and volunteered that the bottom dust plate also had a bolt loose that was going to be tightened. "Oh I can do all that for you!" he politely declared....and therein was my huge mistake...I did not ask "How Much?"  I just said Ok, thinking he was such a nice guy, I'd give him the opportunity to make a few extra pesos.

The price when I returned?  $5500 pesos...but my 'special discount' because I was such a nice person was only $3500.  By that time, I'd become surrounded by his cronies who were all nodding.  So of course you all know what I did...I turned scarlet...protested loudly...then paid the thief and marched back into Walmart and reported the incident.  The management wanted me to call the police and go to Chapala and file a police report....saying they had no control over the guys who wash cars. "BUT they wear your own Walmart bibs and are in your parking lot!"...sez me.   They just politely apologized and shook their heads...urging me to call the police.

Not likely....I know where that road leads,.....

The Bottom Line of this sad tale....well....you all know the bottom line.

And now I do too!

Call the Police when this happens

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32 minutes ago, lumieretoo said:

Call the Police when this happens

Don´t call the pólice. Reporting it to police could cause a person much more than they bargained for with the type of people involved. Here is not NOB. IMO

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I'll give Victor an earful next time I see him. I'll remind him the Lake Taco is 70pesos, inside and out, and there is a new modern carwash being built at Centro Laguna shopping. Both places you can enjoy a meal or beverage while waiting. And Alan is right, he is a deported cholo, all he knows is hustling the streets and plazas. His usual scam is asking for 200 pesos so he can buy diapers for his babies.

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Thanks for the heads up.

A couple of years back I think that same guy helped me at the service counter exchange a battery that did not fit my van. His his translations services were a great help and I gave 50pesos. Seems he has improved his business skills with flying colors.

I bet If you had reported the incident  to the police and were a regular shopper at Wallymart, the next time you would have found your car "keyed".

Like many people I feel frustrated that the Store owners , including Superlake, do not have some control over who works in their lots.

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There is another one, "El Gato" who works El Torito shopping area. Superlake is not that bad, the washers self police and keep out drifters, the old man "Abuelo" is in charge. The sour faced boy has been exiled to work down by iShop, and he is not making any money, both by reputation (very clumsy scammer), and lack of business. Most of the car washers are between jobs, usually construction, they are not very good at scamming skills.

The washers are also often trusted informants for the police, if the washers spot a suspicious drifter or illegal immigrant, trying to move into their "wash zone", they let the police know. One them spotted an American fugitive, and turned him in to the bounty hunters. I know this is same in Puerto Vallarta, but I don't know other areas of Mexico.

I like how many of them say "car watch" - I wonder if some people think they are asking for money to watch their cars?

I would have to check with Ms. Chillin, but I believe Sra Paz told her that they could could do nothing about the "bean boy beggar bullies", that D.I.F. was the correct place to report the problem, then get them picked up, or in the system, etc.

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In the future, always have your car washed at Lake Pass Car Wash. Total wash, vacuum and windows for $80p +tip. If you want to take the haze off the headlight plastic, go to Autozone and get some "fine polish" or "glass polish" and apply it with a clean cloth, rubbing it in really well and buff off with a clean cloth. Might have to do it a couple times. 

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whenever i go there, i park so far away from the door they never bother me. once, years ago, somebody did, and i swore with such sophisication in rough street spanish to get him off my car, he backed off real good. pays to have some street spanish with these $%&/()s. it has its shock value to some of them that some extranjera would be able to back them off like that when they get aggressive.

i agree tho, once you've been had, maybe not kick up a fuss if you care about your life.

i'm very avoidant with all these people and rarely park anywhere near these folks. i empathize with those who cannot walk so far. my solution is wide girth and avoidance. home girl don't play that game....

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6 hours ago, AlanMexicali said:

Don´t call the pólice. Reporting it to police could cause a person much more than they bargained for with the type of people involved. Here is not NOB. IMO

One of many survival skills one needs to learn in Mexico is that Mexicans do not just get "mad", they get "revenge". Bear that in mind in your dealings with them. Remember, less than 10% of those that commit a crime(and that includes murder) are ever charged and serve any jail time. This truly is NOT Kansas, Toto !

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Sorry to hear that Victor did this to you.  He has helped me with fixing little things on my car like clips for a fender piece that popped loose and using his pressure pump to pop out a dent I got in my rear hatch backing into a low hanging tree limb.  That procedure started out at $800 but I bargained it down to $400 pl;us a wash before he got working on it.  Our Chapala group cleaned the graffiti off his rental house in Chapala a couple of years ago and ended up literally repainting almost the whole front part with our donated materials.  So I've been ont he good side of him and his cronies since then.  I'm sure your being a woman made a big difference.  Does he think this type of thing won't get blabbed around the community?

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When we arrived here, we were a little intimidated when approached by the car washers at Walmart but quickly found that a polite but firm "no thanks, just a regular car wash" is all it takes.  They quickly learned that we're not worth the effort of trying to sell us services we don't want and we've always been very happy with the service they've provided us for the price they charge.  They have never been aggressive and if we choose not to wash the car they wish us good day and just wait for another customer.  This team probably depend on the cash this service brings in and I'd hate to see them all suffer because one of them took advantage of a newbie down here.

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15 hours ago, tomgates said:

In the future, always have your car washed at Lake Pass Car Wash. Total wash, vacuum and windows for $80p +tip. If you want to take the haze off the headlight plastic, go to Autozone and get some "fine polish" or "glass polish" and apply it with a clean cloth, rubbing it in really well and buff off with a clean cloth. Might have to do it a couple times. 

My headlights have repeatedly been scratched by chunky boy, and he knows I know it, so he avoids me personally now. I have found that toothpaste (in particular the whitening kind, but never the gel kind), works about as well as the stuff from AutoZone.

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I never use the Walmart guys. Just an instinct. I'm really sorry to hear of Carrol's incident. That guy had a lot of nerve. I agree that he probably wouldn't have pulled that stunt on a man.

I like two of the guys at SuperLake, the tall, elderly one and the one who seems to be in charge. They do a decent job of washing my car and accept what I give them with a thank you. What I really appreciate is that one or the other help guide me in backing out of my parking space, and do the same for others. Some of the people going to or from their cars seem clueless to the fact they're in a parking lot and not strolling on a beach.

What I find scary, especially at the Guadalajara Farmacia, are the little kids selling beans or just begging. I picture a terrible accident some day waiting to happen. Some are toddlers with young mothers just sitting against the storefront, watching the older kids "work." I fear for all their safety and, yes, I think they shouldn't be allowed there. (I know, I know. They need the money.)

Lexy

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20 hours ago, AlanMexicali said:

Don´t call the pólice. Reporting it to police could cause a person much more than they bargained for with the type of people involved. Here is not NOB. IMO

I live in Florida and we will be retiring to Ajijic in June. I am sorry but it just seems that many of you are using terms like "them" "type of people" "those people" and "these people", I find that quite unsettling.

These scams happen everyday NOB and not just in parking lots, which everyone should know (either SOB or NOB) that you do not do business with anyone in parking lots. You especially do not agree to have anyone do a job for you and not get the price up front.

Also, are things that bad there that people fear "car washers" and are there criminals ( including murders) running rampant because Jim Bowie says only 10% of criminals are ever charged and go to jail?

Help, me understand what kind of place we are moving to because after reading majority of these posts , sounds like it is too unsafe to live there.

 

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It's not unsafe; in fact, far from it. It's a lovely, mostly quiet area. People use terms that they understand; in this case, obviously referring to a certain stereotype. And stereotypes exist for a reason, all over the world. So don't think too harshly of them.

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53 minutes ago, Denise said:

I live in Florida and we will be retiring to Ajijic in June. I am sorry but it just seems that many of you are using terms like "them" "type of people" "those people" and "these people", I find that quite unsettling.

These scams happen everyday NOB and not just in parking lots, which everyone should know (either SOB or NOB) that you do not do business with anyone in parking lots. You especially do not agree to have anyone do a job for you and not get the price up front.

Also, are things that bad there that people fear "car washers" and are there criminals ( including murders) running rampant because Jim Bowie says only 10% of criminals are ever charged and go to jail?

Help, me understand what kind of place we are moving to because after reading majority of these posts , sounds like it is too unsafe to live there.

 

Relax,this webboard is merely rampant with people that talk like that. I have only met one person on this board to my knowledge and the vast majority of persons that I do hob knob with do not use the words as in your first sentence to describe our Mexican friends and neighbours. As you say there are nasties everywhere even [gasp!] NOB. Are those them,type of people,those people,these people? I lived in 3 Canadian inner cities and this area is nothing like that. A friends daughter lived in Stuart and told us some interesting stories about that place. Watch out for those wasps!

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Aside from the problem here noted, the regular car washes will just do a far better job of cleaning your car inside and out.  

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References to "These people" and "those people" are not always pejorative terms, but simply a reference to a group we're talking about. Like "those people who study music" or "These people are my good neighbors," etc.

The topic here is bad guys who rip off people at Wallmart and some of us knew right away who they were.  Those people are not good guys.

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I am in same camp as Phxfunguy . I am sorry about the incident and I know the" guy" you are talking about. He washed our car at the our price several times. In Mexico you have to haggle ...always...that is their culture. And it is done in a friendly manner. When they tell you the ridiculous price pretend that you have an heart attack. LOL. He knows that the price is ridiculous and expect you to counter offer. I would offer him 200 and because he is a "nice" guy I'd give him 500(.with a smile). It takes a long  time and its difficult to get used to if one is new. Engage in conversation (. ask about his family). and have your 500 in your hand.(after you decide that it is a fair price for what he has done for you) He might want few more pesos but nowhere of  his original asking. We are so used to pay what we are ask up North and negotiating is not in our make-up. But if you do not do that in Mexico it could  be very costly...... and also you do not want to offend...that could end up ugly. Haggle on everything and become a friend on the end. I do not  mind to give few pesos to bean kids either and then give it to a neighbour or to a maid..I do not feel bothered. It is a very different society and newbees are a target for sure. We are not going to change it no  matter how much we want to protest. One has to adopt and when we do, we love it here. We really do. It is just so much more adoptable and warm society then the one up North.

And yes...crime is not punished.. and corruption is rampant...we learned to deal with it  "the Mexican Way". Thanks goodness for our Mexican friends.

We live Lakeside only few months in winter so maybe it is easier for me to say. (By the way, we also love our lifestyle on Vancouver Island in summer)

 

 

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4 minutes ago, Mainecoons said:

Aside from the problem here noted, the regular car washes will just do a far better job of cleaning your car inside and out.  

Definitely they do. But I don't always get to my good car washer early enough that I don't have to wait and wait. So I use the car washer guys at SuperLake and get clean only on the outside.

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18 hours ago, tomgates said:

In the future, always have your car washed at Lake Pass Car Wash. Total wash, vacuum and windows for $80p +tip. If you want to take the haze off the headlight plastic, go to Autozone and get some "fine polish" or "glass polish" and apply it with a clean cloth, rubbing it in really well and buff off with a clean cloth. Might have to do it a couple times. 

Yeah I didn't really care about the headlights. I was impressed with the good sales job he did. The easiest person to sell to is another salesman if you know what you are doing. I like to support the people willing to work versus the beggars. I figured 50-100 Pesos would cover it. Silly me for not asking but it didn't put me in the poor house.

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My experience at Walmart started when I exited Walmart to go to my car.

One of the car washers was washing my car. I had not asked for anything, nor had

I been asked.

So I re-entered Walmart and asked for the Manager..........who came out and

resolved the problem. I dont know what happened to the guy who was either an opportunist or

got confused over which car he had permission to clean.

Bottom line for me is not to argue with these guys, get someone of authority to deal with them.

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WE make it a point to avail ourselves of the car wash fellows at Walmart or Superlake every couple of visits.  That way when I say no they leave me a lone because every once in a while I do say yes.  It keeps their attitude toward me respectful.  Same with the kids/women outside Farmacia Guadalajara.  They know not to approach me anymore once I explained in spanish that I would give them something every once in a while if they would leave me alone.  I do and they do.  It's a contract of sorts.

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