The Dollar Defender will find the following for you:

Esso’s Buy 3 Car Washes, Get 1 Free Promotion Is a SCAM – Beware!

Esso Logo with the Dollar Defender BEWARE Stamp


For those that don’t know, Esso is running a new promotion.  If you buy 3 luxury car washes you get 1 FREE.  This may seem like a great deal, especially with winter around the corner.  However, upon further investigation, it’s pretty clear that Esso is scamming its customers.  Please allow me to explain:


Buy 3 Car Washes and get 1 Free - SCAM


In order for you to get your “Free Car Wash”, you need to buy 3 Car Washes in one transaction.  This will cost you $12.99 x 3 = $38.97.  If you include the “Free Car Wash”, it has cost you a total of $38.97 for 4 car washes.


Now, let’s see what happens if we purchase 4 car washes without this promotion.  If you purchase 25 liters of gas or more, then you receive $2.00 off the price of a car wash.  Since most people fill at least 25 liters each transaction, it would cost you $10.99 x 4 = $43.96 to purchase the 4 car washes separately.  When we compare the two prices you can clearly see that you are not in fact getting the full $12.99 value of the “free car wash”, as promoted.  Instead, you are merely saving $4.99!


It really angers me when companies try to confuse us with promotions like this.  Bad move, Esso (Imperial Oil Limited).  The next time you run a promotion, please don’t falsely advertise it, and please make it worth your customers’ while.


6 Responses to “Esso’s Buy 3 Car Washes, Get 1 Free Promotion Is a SCAM – Beware!”

  1. Mike says:

    I have purchased the “free” car wash promotion at this site before……..I am pretty annoyed that I could have saved $6 per transaction.

    Is there any way that I can get some credit at ESSO for this miscommunication?

    • Rajeev Rugi says:

      Hi Mr Mike,
      I am Rajeev the retailer at Kingston Rd and Saunders Esso.I apologize for the miscommunication. Kindly come to site with your receipts and I will be more than happy to resolve this issue. I am availabe at my site from Monday to Friday 8 am to 4 pm, weekends I will be available mostly in the morning.If these timings ar not in your favour then you call my site at 416 267 6039 or my cell phone at 647 296 5305, we can make arrangements to resolve this issue.
      Thank you,

  2. Tim Taylor, Car Wash Manager for Imperial Oil says:

    The instructions to the sites were to sell the four washes at the “with fuel” price. So in the example that you gave, you should have paid $32.97 for the four washes, instead of $43.96 (a savings of $10.99)

    If the person who posted this comment bought the three washes and was charged $38.97, please post the name of the site so that we can make sure that the staff at the site understand the correct process.

    • Hi Tim,

      I did not purchase the car wash, as I realized it was a scam when the sales clerk told me that I had to purchase the three car washes at full price. Otherwise, I would have included a receipt. This was at:
      3800 KINGSTON RD

      I also called the Esso Customer Service Line at 1-800-567-ESSO, and was told that it was up to each station as to whether or not they would offer the $2.00 discount per car wash in this deal.

      Thank you for your follow up. I would advise sending another communication to all stations to ensure they understand how to properly run this promotion.

      • Tim Taylor, Car Wash Manager for Imperial Oil says:

        Thanks for your note. I will communicate the correct procedures to this site as well as the customer contact centre and on our internal website for all sites to see.

      • Rajeev Rugi says:

        I am Rajeev Rugi the retailer at Kingston Rd & Saunders Esso. I apologize for the confusion about this transaction I have instructed the cashiers on the proper processing of this promotion.If the customer who posted this comment would like to contact the site I would like to apologize in person, my site phone number 416 267 6039 and my cell phone 647 296 5306.Thank you.

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