What to do when someone scratches my car in a car park?
We have all been there right? We have carefully parked our car in our favorite shopping centre and gone about our business to come back to find a scratch on our beloved car. Sometimes we return to see an empty shopping trolley embedded in the side of our car caused by some irresponsible person who cared more about getting into their car and driving off than returning the cart to the designated return area. This can be infuriating - especially if you have just purchased a new car, or your car is worth a lot of money. At first it seems hopeless, the offender has not left a note and there is no one around who can dob in the offender. So, what can you do about it? Well, there are a few things you can do.
The first thing you should do is stay calm. Ranting and raving is not going to solve this issue. Understand that car parks are busy places and the person who caused this issue might not even be aware that they have scratched your car. The next thing you want to do is place your shopping goods in your car, and return your shopping cart to the designated return space - the last thing you want to do here is be ranting and raving and then damage someone else’s car by your trolley running away into someone's car.
Then you want to start gathering evidence. First take some pictures of your car where the scratch or dent has occurred. This might be self evident if there is a shopping trolley still lodged in the side of your car.
Where not to leave your trolley!
The next thing you want to do is go and have a chat to centre management. Most shopping centres will have a well rehearsed policy for this sort of thing and they do have an entrenched interest in making sure incidents such as this are minimised and that customers are happy. You may even get lucky and the centre will have some CCTV footage of the car park. If you get really lucky, this might even include the offender either leaving their trolley in a stupid place where it could roll away, or maybe they scratched your car as they walked past it. Either way, be nice to centre management, they have busy jobs, and this is not the kind of thing they want to be dealing with - as the saying goes, you catch more bees with honey than you do vinegar. If you do strike gold, and the offender is caught on CCTV, follow centre management policy in this regard. They may share it with the police and then it is over to them.
Now for the shameless self promotion part. As nearly all shopping trolleys do not have a brake on them, they can roll away easily - even if there is only a small gradient. At Trolley Stopper we have a solution to this problem. We have developed a product that is proven to not only reduce trolley scratch and dent incidents leading to reduced insurance and greater safety, but Trolley Stopper will improve your shopping experience by making it easier to load your goods into your car. Maybe you could share this article and site with centre management.
Ok, self promotion aside. The next thing you will want to do is to inform your insurance company. Depending on the damage caused to your car, and if you can’t track down the perpetrator, you may be left with paying an insurance premium. Depending on the cost, you may be better off just paying for the damage out of your own pocket to ensure your insurance premium does not go up. Not ideal I know, but that is life.
This whole ordeal can be very frustrating and everyone will experience it at some point, but if you think the problem out logically and talk to the right people you may be able to come away with a good solution. And maybe, just maybe, the irresponsible person will end up paying for their own laziness, or stupidity. We can only hope!