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Tom B.
Tom B., Barrister & Solicitor
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 2263
Experience:  25 years in practice
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Hi, I currently live in Toronto and moved here in October,

Customer Question

Hi, I currently live in Toronto and moved here in October, 2012. As of January 2013 after purchasing a car, my parents and I started attending this car wash near where we lived in Downtown Toronto atXXXXX The name of the car wash is One-A-Minute. After the first couple of times visiting the car wash and paying $20-30/wash, my father and I decided to speak to the "manager" about any deals that they might have for their "regular customers." The receptionist/cashier was an indian lady who referred us to the "manager/owner" at the time called Ed who appeared to be Eastern European. Ed suggested that they have coupons that may be used for the washes and he could start a "contract" for a whole year at a price to get "unlimited washes"! My dad paid $960 to get the "contract" for a year which consisted of a receipt for the money paid and a note in the receptionist's/cashier's cubical naming all the cars/customers' plate numbers who were on these "one-year contracts." For myself however, I wanted to get coupons that would last me for the year at a cheaper price without having to pay every time I went. Ed assured us that my dad's contract was valid and my coupons could be used at ANYTIME with NO EXPIRY. (The coupons have the One-A-Minute Company name and logo on them as well as NO EXPIRY DATE). I bought 40 coupons at $12/wash at the price of $480.

Initially, everything was fine and we were able to take our cars to the wash with my dad using his "contract" and myself using the coupons at anytime with no objections. Even though my father could have technically went 2-3 times PER DAY if he wanted and possibly daily, he only used it once a day for about 4-5 days a week.

Until May (last month) with almost 5 months into our deal with the car wash, my father went as he did usually and the same receptionist asked him to pay with cash. My dad was puzzled and said you know that we have a contract and I've been coming almost daily for the past 4-5 months! However, she insisted that he would pay and my dad asked to talk to Ed, the owner. However, a new "owner" came by and said the contract is "not valid and not recognized" under his new ownership/management and that Ed does not work there anymore. The name of the company remained the same, all the staff also remained the same. However, the new owner claimed that he was "not responsible for Ed's decisions/deals/actions with the customers in the past" and he also mentioned that a lot of the old customers were complaining about such deals/coupons that were not recognized anymore and suddenly out of the blue! The new owner then started screaming at my father and cursing at him telling him to "f**k off and not come back to this car wash again." and challenged my father to "Sue" him.

To not make this a long story, I also came in a week after that incident with similar results. Even though I had actual tangible coupons with the company's name on them and clearly stating the purpose of them, they decided that they are not accepted these coupons anymore. They even had a little sign at the receptionist's window claiming that "old coupons are not accepted anymore." Keep in mind that I had only used 3 coupons out of the 40 I purchased in the last 3 months!

I am not sure how to get my money back. My father is not sure how to get his money back either. Should we sue them? What should we do? Will it cost us anything? Will we make money? What is your advise in moving forward? Is it worth the hassle?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Debra replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

Before I begin I want to explain a bit about how the site works.

It may be that I will find that I need to gather further information from you. As well, it's quite possible that you may feel the need to ask me additional questions for further clarification.Please do not worry that you will be charged additionally if I ask you questions or if you need to ask me questions. That is not at all how the site works.

As well, please understand that as a careful lawyer I will always give you an honest answer even if the answer is sometimes not what you were hoping for.

Finally, as we go through the process please do not feel rushed if I ask you a question. You are always free to take your time to gather more information before you post back. As well, please understand that even after you rate me the post will not lock and you could always come back for further clarification if you think of something a bit later on down the road.

Do you believe that the former owner actually sold the business to the new owner or was the former owner an employee before and was fired?

Do you know if the business is incorporated?