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Old 04-19-2014, 09:49 AM   #1
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Angry Are All Mobile Detailers this Bad? (long)

Even though my coach is older, I take great pride in it and keep it looking as nice as possible. I keep it covered when it’s not going to be used for a while and I polish it 2-3 times a year with a wonderful but expensive polymer polish that I have been using for many years.

With Spring here, my rig is due for it’s first polishing of the year. I have never used a mobile detailer before, I have always done this myself. It’s a big job, so I spread the work out over two days. I wash it one day and polish it the next. It’s getting harder and harder to do with my bad back. I am currently undergoing treatment for skin cancer on my face and I am supposed to stay out of the sun for prolonged periods during the treatment.

I saw a Dodge pickup a few weeks back that had advertised RV detailing. The truck was very nice looking, spotless and shiny. The truck also advertised “50% off to first time customers”. I wrote down the guys phone number and called him. He said it would normally be $200 to wash/wax a 40' motorhome, but as a first time customer, he would only charge me $100. There was nothing on the internet about this guy’s service, good or bad, so I hired him.

The guy showed up with a young assistant. Before he started, I handed him a bottle of my polish and said I would like him to use it. He instantly developed an attitude and said he only liked using his own products. I said I understood, but this was all I have ever used and I know what to expect from it’s results. He frowned and grumbled but agreed to use it....or so I thought. The detailer and his assistant began washing the motorhome. They started with the roof, after he asked if I wanted it done. Again, he frowned when I said yes. I wasn’t crazy about someone using a pressure washer on my rig, but this wasn’t a usual occurrence. I noticed that the detailer was using a small step ladder to reach the RV. He was doing everything by hand. I personally use a large soft brush attached to a pole, but I wasn’t going to tell him how to do his job. I was worried however about him being able to reach everything, as he wasn’t a tall man. I offered him a ladder, but he said “no, I know what I’m doing.”

Since my intention was to stay out of the sun, I went back inside the house. Two hours later, the detailer knocked on my door and announced he was done. I was shocked. My motorhome would take me two hours to wash and six hours to polish. I asked him if he used an orbital polisher like I do. He said “no, I do everything by hand.” This worried me, as I knew from experience that orbital polishers do a much better job of polishing. Regardless, I wrote the guy a check for $100. I didn’t tip him, as I wasn’t impressed with the job he did or his attitude.

As the sun started to go down, I went back outside to inspect the guy’s work. The windows all had water spots and/or haze on them. The surface of the paint felt rough, like it hadn’t seen polish in months. I shook my bottle of polish and it was almost full...not a good sign, as I use 3/4 of a bottle when I do it myself. I applied some polish to a small area by hand. The polish pulled off grime, and the area around it was dull compared the area I had just hit. This lead me to two conclusions: the guy never polished my motorhome and dumped out a little polish to try and cover his tracks, or; he used little to no polish and just did a lousy job. I was angry to say the least.

Despite my skin treatment, I went out the next morning and polished the RV myself. Luckily for me it was overcast most of the day. The RV now looks great. I will NEVER use a detailer again.

Craig
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Old 04-19-2014, 09:55 AM   #2
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Too bad you did his job.

Could have stopped payment and made him finish but he knows whete yiu live and best to just let that go.

But you can call the bbb and post on line.

You shoukd have made it clear what the expectations were...you stated them but he did not confirm receipt.

That should have stopped the conversation and he sent on his way.
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Old 04-19-2014, 12:47 PM   #3
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Expensive lessons stay with us the longest. I'd be putting a 'review' of this guy's lack of professionalism on every forum.
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Old 04-19-2014, 05:38 PM   #4
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I have a health situation similar to yours. Just a few weeks ago I hired a mobile outfit to wash/hand wax my MH (always did it myself before). I asked for references to call first. Depending on your age and health, it can be a large job better left to others.

I will NEVER use a detailer again.
This is painting a lot of folks with a very wide brush. In the future do your homework, trust your gut, inspect there finished work, then pay cash to them. Do what you have to do to limit your UV exposure. That is much more important than a perfect shine on your MH.
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:32 PM   #5
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I use a mobil detailer when I have my MH polished. The job is simply too big for me. Prior to hiring the company I and currently using, I got references from them and called some of the clients he had serviced. When I got good reviews I hired him. He has been doing mu coach for three years, charges $10/ft. and It looks like new when he is done.

I'm sorry you have had a bad experience with your detailer. I hope it hasn't soured you toward having it done this way again.
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:42 PM   #6
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I have had good luck the majority of the time with mobile detailers. I have learned to not pay until the job is done to my satisfaction.
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Old 04-19-2014, 06:51 PM   #7
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A hundred bucks is way too cheap for that job. Assuming you have a pusher, probably at least 36 feet long. Detailers around here advertise 9-10 bucks a foot for wash and wax. Nothing fancy. Had DWs car detailed as a gift and the detailer offered to do my pusher (37.5 feet) for $250. I jumped on the deal. I figure my time is still worth a little. He and a helper spent about four hours on the rig. Not the best wax job but as good as anything I would have done.
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Old 04-19-2014, 09:33 PM   #8
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In agreement with the price was very low. I have gotten quotes in the Memphis area and they all want 9-10 dollars a foot.


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Old 04-20-2014, 06:32 AM   #9
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I was camping and saw a (professional detailer) doing a MH I watched him mix Murphy's oil,bug and tar cleaner and some other cleaner in a spray bottle and wipe down the whole rig with it no water just chemicals. It did make it shiney I thought about telling the owner but if he didnt have that much smarts who am I to tell him.
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Old 04-20-2014, 12:00 PM   #10
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Are All Mobile Detailers this Bad? (long)

Yep, you guys are absolutely right, I should've asked for references. I must admit, I was enticed by his offer of 50% off to first-time customers. As I said I found no reviews for him on the Internet, good or bad. Fortunately, this was a one time thing for me as I always do this myself. I was just hoping to get some help during my treatment.

For what it's worth, I did stop payment on the guy's $100 check. I then called him and told him that since he only did half the job, I was only going to pay him half the money. I then promptly mailed him a $50 check. He wasn't happy and blamed the poor results on my polish, which I know is total baloney. I've been using that same polish for 15 years and it's a remarkable product.

Thanks for letting me vent.

Happy Easter!

Craig
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Old 04-20-2014, 12:11 PM   #11
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I wish I could find a mobile detailer, (or even a detailer I could drive to).
In my area, (central Wisconsin), detailers are in short supply.
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Old 04-20-2014, 02:07 PM   #12
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Wonder if all his customers are first time customers at half price, without any repeat customers. Probably gets lots of folks just like yourself with that 50% off deal for first time customers. You know that you won't be a repeat customer.
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Old 04-20-2014, 08:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhs4771 View Post
...Probably gets lots of folks just like yourself with that 50% off deal for first time customers. You know that you won't be a repeat customer.


Amen to that!

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Old 04-23-2014, 12:16 PM   #14
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The only mobile detailers I have ever used are the "Keep it Clean" folks down in Myrtle Beach. Excellent work!
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