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Friday, 3 August 2012

'Heroes' are not heroes of mine!

On average I make two shopping trips to Sainsbury's in Lincoln each week. The aim of these trips is to complete the boring task of shopping for groceries. An essential but not highly exciting trip. On occasions I will purchase non-housekeeping items including petrol for the car. It is not my intention on these trips to wash my car or have it washed for me.

So why is it that on 9 out of 10 of my visits to the Sainsbury's car park I am pestered by 'Heroes' car washers in their “distinctive blue jumpsuits” asking if I want my car cleaned. On each of my last three shopping trips, Friday 27th July, Wednesday 1st August and today I've been approached. I don't object, having no right to object, to there being a car wash service available in the car park to those wishing to have their car cleaned. What I do find objectionable is being targeted by a cleaner as soon as I have parked my car. More often than not before I have got my Sainsbury's re- usable shopping bags out of the boot of the car and locked it up.

On the company's website it states “grab your nearest Hero and show him where your car is parked”. You don't need to take this advice because the 'Hero' is there by your car, asking if you want it cleaned, materialising from who knows where, like a hunting animal after its prey, attacking from any direction. Now when I enter Sainsbury's car park, not only do I have to look for an empty parking space but I also find myself looking to avoid any free spaces close to any 'Heros' “mobile cleaning stations”.It is similar to walking through a shopping centre or town high street choosing a route that avoids annoying leaflet distributors and survey canvassers.

At the moment my customer loyalty to Sainsbury's outweighs my annoyance towards an unwanted 'Hero' but for how long?

Perhaps Sainsbury's could have a special offer: Spend £70 and get two free 'I don't want a Hero' car window stickers, for the windscreen and rear window? Alternatively they could insist that the cleaners wait for those desperate for a clean car to “Grab a Hero”, or have a 'Hero' free zone section of the car park.


  1. AnonymousJuly 29, 2013

    Hi Elliot

    I completely understand your annoyance with these 'Heroes'. I too find myself trying to avoid them whenever I visit Sainsburys.

    When they first appeared at my local store I thought to myself as it is obviously a car wash raising money for heroes I would pay £5 for a wash.

    Since then I have found out that they have no connection with any hero charities and are merely a private company cashing in on a good cause. I have spoken to my friends and colleages about this and most people were under the same mishaprehension. They have all vowed never to use them again. I spoke to the manager of the Sainsburys store who informed me that he didnt believe there was any misunderstanding and people did not link this company with any help for hero charity.

    Around 4-5 months ago I emailed my local newspaper, the Manchester Evening News, and also the Sun newspaper given their obvious support of our national heroes. I have not even received a confirmation reply from either of them to say that they are looking into the matter.

    Am I the only one who finds this misrepresentation totally abhorrent?

    Mike Pluples

    1. Thank you Mike for your interesting comment. Looking at the date of the article I find it difficult to believe that another year has gone by.
      Earlier this year I purchased a new car (pre-owned) and chose one that is black.
      When I park in Sainsburys' car park this seems to act like a red rag to a bull (I mention this as I think several of the car washers are Spanish) to the 'heroes' as black cars seem to look dirty with the slightest fine layer of dust. They still get the same answer from me – NO.


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