Utah lawmaker ripped off by car wash, proposes bill

- SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – A Utah lawmaker, over charged at a car wash, is writing a bill to prevent others from falling victim.

The car washes in question are the self service—the kind that take credit cards. Users are supposed to hit the ‘stop’ button when finished so the machine knows when to stop charging the card.

Cindy Karbek knows how easy it is to forget to press the stop button. “I've actually done it,” she said. “I think it had a time out period to where I was charged $8.

A Utah lawmaker made the same mistake only he was charged a lot more.

Rep. Eric Hutchings hasn't returned ABC 4’s calls for comment, but told the Salt Lake Tribune his card was charged $50.

ABC 4 found signs clearly telling credit card users to press ‘stop’ when finished at several car washes we visited. But to protect consumers more, Rep. Hutchings is writing a bill that would require car washes to have the credit card readers automatically turn off or have a lower maximum it could be charged.

At least one car wash owner thinks it's a good idea. “I think you have to put a stop on it $5, $10 and I think you have to spell it out on your signs what's going to happen if you don't push the button,” said Bob Gempeler, owner of Kenny’s Car Wash.

But others, even those who’ve made the same mistake, think lawmakers shouldn't waste their time with a bill. “If they have signs that say press ‘stop’ we as consumers need to take responsibility and read before we use their services,” said Karbek.

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