Summer is here and everyone wants to have their ride looking at it's very best under the hot sun. Sad City recently visited the Mr. Sparkle Car Wash on Kane St. and had a very unsatisfactory consumer experience. On this particular hot day we had no cash so we grabbed a fistful of quarters from our change stash and headed out to get our car gleaming. Disappointment first registered upon arriving and finding that quarters could not be used. The coin-op machines only operated on the wildly popular Sacagawea dollar, which can be acquired through feeding dollar bills into separate automated machines. Having no dollar bills and no Sacagawea dollars it looked like all hope was lost for the Sad City mobile. But then we realized; it's 2010! We can use our debit cards anywhere, including the local car wash. Upon inspecting the instructions we saw that there was a $2.00 minimum charge. That seemed fine and we swiped the card, which instantly adds $2 to the card and started the machine with the minimum $2 wash. After completing the wash, we realized that there had been added an additional $2.75 charged to the card. Instead of stopping and asking if the consumer wants to add to the car wash the machine simply adds on the charges. Any remaining balance that is paid and unused is stored on the card as some type of "credit" at the car wash. The worst part of this system became apparent on our second visit. Upon arriving we decided to swipe our card and see what the remaining "credit" was at Mr. Sparkle. To our amazement, the swipe instantly adds $2 of value to your card whether you have a balance or not and whether you want to or not. Essentially the consumer is charged $2 every time they swipe their card at Mr. Sparkle and is virtually guaranteed of paying additional costs and carrying a "credit" balance that will have at least $2 added to it every time they attempt to use the balance remaining on the card. Sad City is disappointed by this type of deceptive business practices and must give Mr. Sparkle and it's card system two thumbs down.