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To use the 'Polish' car wash?

(55 Posts)
LennyCrabsticks Sun 04-Jan-15 17:50:24

I went there today and paid £15 for half a dozen Eastern European people to clean my car inside and out including all the upholstery and nitty gritty bits, the whole thing took less than twenty minutes.

It just seems a bit, I don't know, exploitative? They are there seven days a week in all weathers, dozens of them, all migrant workers.

Is there something dodgy about the set up? I'll avoid it if it's shady (I'm thinking of forced labour etc). Or is it an enterprise worth supporting with my custom?

Does anyone know?

(I do hope I'm overthinking this as my car is lovely and clean and it was v cheap...)

simbacatlivesagain Sun 04-Jan-15 17:53:02

Not likely to be Polish- Polish migrant workers are usually highly skilled as their education system is very good. Possibly Romanian or Hungarian?

notagainffffffffs Sun 04-Jan-15 17:53:19

Polish isnt the same as eastern European ;) if they do a good job but yourw worried about their pay either ask their boss or tip well

simbacatlivesagain Sun 04-Jan-15 17:54:10

or Czech?

Primrose123 Sun 04-Jan-15 17:55:10

I had this done the other day and it was fantastic. They are friendly and do a great job.

I have been told by someone I know who works with the police that they are usually money laundering setups. I don't know if this is true or not, but the source was reliable I would say. Has anyone else heard this?

ArchangelGallic Sun 04-Jan-15 17:55:12

They're Romanian or Albanian around here.
Could be totally above board or they could be illegals using the car wash as a front for money laundering.

Jewels234 Sun 04-Jan-15 17:55:24

I use similar, and know what you mean. I read something somewhere (can't remember for the life of me what or where or even anywhere reputable) an interview with someone that worked in a place like that that got paid much less than minimum wage. Though, having said that where I live it is such a big business, with a constant stream of cars going in that I can't imagine they could avoid the scrutiny of the police/whoever regulates these things.

Primrose123 Sun 04-Jan-15 17:55:50

Yes, I think they are more likely to be Romanian rather than Polish.

FamiliesShareGerms Sun 04-Jan-15 17:56:32

I don't like using them either but not a lot of choice round here and they do a brilliant job...

LennyCrabsticks Sun 04-Jan-15 18:00:04

Sorry if I caused any offence with the Polish thing, it's just that's what everyone refers to it as.

I have no idea where they're from.

But I don't know whether I'll go back.

DeadCert Sun 04-Jan-15 18:02:21

I've often thought the same OP. Watching with interest.

BlueThursday Sun 04-Jan-15 18:03:13

Any business where cash is the prime exchange could be a front for money laundering so car washes, taxis, tanning salons, Zumba classes, the list goes on.

I think it's difficult for a regular person to work out who's genuine and who's not. I guess that's where the relevant authorities have to come in and look at places.

Carrierpenguin Sun 04-Jan-15 18:03:35

I read somewhere and have been told that most of the workers are paid a pittance and the money all goes to mafia type bosses. I won't use them for this reason. Someone I knew tried to set one up and they were stopped pretty quickly due to threats of violence from these bosses, read up on Albanian mafia.

southeastastra Sun 04-Jan-15 18:05:41

well they must have kosher insurance and wouldn't be insured if they were dodgy. i use one at a local shopping centre, expect the council have checked them out.

they do a good job and don't really look like they are doing it under duress.

Doingakatereddy Sun 04-Jan-15 18:06:09

I think they are great and have used several 'set up's' in our area.

Car is always immaculate, they're very polite and it takes no more than 20 mins. Bargain.

It seems to me (and I strangely have a lot of business research on this) that there is a HUGE demand for this & they are filling this demand

CheeseBuster Sun 04-Jan-15 18:13:07

I wouldn't use them as someone in the know told me much the same as many on the thread have said; that the workers are paid peanuts and it is a front for dodgy dealings.

Trinpy Sun 04-Jan-15 18:15:33

Yes I thought they would more likely be Eastern European than Polish (or Hungarian - who have a perfectly fine education system!).

They are very popular where I live and always seem to have cars queuing up, so I wonder how much they actually make.

Carrierpenguin Sun 04-Jan-15 18:15:52

I don't think the staff will ever tell you anything incriminating. Nor will it all be above board - as pp said, it is a front for money laundering funds from drugs, prostitution and people trafficking. Read up on the Albanian mafia (just Google it) and you'll see why it's not properly challenged by councils and the police. Mafia (from various countries) are a worldwide problem. I will not give any money to any operations such as this.

LingDiLong Sun 04-Jan-15 18:22:47

Hm interesting. I use our local one but the men working there told me they were Greek. They seem properly and permanently set up but I guess you never know. Seems a shame to only give money to big chain versions though

ShumbTucker Sun 04-Jan-15 18:31:19

I use our local Eastern European ran car wash as its called "The ultimate hand job". Puerile,yes yes I know.

Carrierpenguin Sun 04-Jan-15 18:33:04

Ling it will seem proper because the bosses will want to keep this ideal business for money laundering. Drugs and prostitution money is added to inflate each days receipts. As there is very little stock (eg with a bar if you sell a lot you also order a lot of stock) then unless the authorities are brave enough and savvy enough (and not paid off by bosses) then there is precious little to prove that they only washed 100 cars and not the 200 cars they put through the books.

The way to prove it would be to watch the car wash all day and count cars and which service they had. As prostitution and drugs are nothing new then unless there's a reason to pursue this then the authorities won't bother.

bananananacoconuts Sun 04-Jan-15 18:33:35

I know someone who worked in one. He was an asylum seeker who was waiting to hear whether he could remain in the country or not and shouldn't really have been working. He had a girlfriend who was pregnant so worked there for £30 a day.

ilovechristmas1 Sun 04-Jan-15 19:19:18

we have the same here,but a few months ago a car wash was raided and the boss charged with some sought of imprisoment of some of the guys

basically employing illegal imigrants and paying them tiny amounts,living in a damp caravan etc etc

waiting for a court date

info was from my local paper

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Sun 04-Jan-15 19:25:22

Is this the same idea as the groups who work in the supermarket carparks?

I see men regularly at Sainsburys. They are all friendly, polite and pleasant. Once or twice they have helped me unload shopping and have refused a tip.

I haven't asked them to clean my car (it's a job DH enjoys) but they seem to do a good job. Am I naive in thinking that if they on Sainsbury's premises it's all above board? I have wondered but they seem happy, not under duress.

ElfontheShelfIsWATCHINGYOUTOO Sun 04-Jan-15 19:25:52

wow interesting.

We have some car washes round here using EU Ie Romanian, Lithuanian and they live in lodgings, 2 or more to a room....not very nice houses....

By our standards however they are young, bunking up and living somewhere cheap, and making a living.

It seems to be the " go too job" when they arrive, and then they get established and move on.

The ones I know are def not slaves or anything of the sort.

However this thread has thrown up some v interesting things that never occurred to me.

Anyway op, we use ours occasionally, I find them to be excellent, and tip them well....but as I said I know the people who do ours and they are not slaves.

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