BATA Filling Station
Bondgate Garage, Helmsley, North Yorkshire.
Do you use this establishment?

I did . . . I used their jet-wash

and it cost me £1,097.45 to repair the damage
This is not the most interesting of web sites but it is a commentary on the attitude of Bata and its representatives, (Barry Foster the Manager of the petrol station and Steven Clarke the Chief Executive) to their responsibilties.

I am a Blue Badge Driver-Guide and licensed private hire operator. I earn my living mainly by doing sightseeing tours in my car.

The story so far
On 22 April 2004 I was on a tour, staying overnight in Helmsley. I washed my car with the jet wash at the BATA filling station. It was clearly poorly maintained because the bristles on the brush were completely flat.

As the car dried in the warm sun and before I had the chance to leather it off, I noticed deep scratches on the near-side rear door. And then more on the front door, the guttering, all across the bonnet and some on the roof, etc. Clearly consistent with the movement of the brush. The car was a mess.

The cashier, Christine, had a look at the car and verified the existence of the damage. She said that she would tell people not to use the wash. She then telephoned the manager, Barry Foster, but he declined to come. The brush was replaced the following morning.

Fortunately my clients agreed to continue with the tour. But after I returned home on 29 April I was unable to use my car for my business. The paintwork was put right at the earliest opportunity and I got the car back on 13 May. The repairs cost me £1,097.95 and I suffered 14 days loss of business.

Mr. Foster passed the matter on to the Chief Executive Steven Clarke whom I spoke to on the phone - he said he thought he was being "shafted". Mr. Clarke sent me a fax saying that he did not accept that the scratches were caused by his car wash "with the correct use of the faclitiy". He went on to say "BATA has a long standing and valued business reputation".

The story continues . . .

Peter Jamieson