An Acworth car wash is facing an onslaught of harassment after its previous owner was arrested in connection with the riots on Capitol Hill last week.
Home Town Car Wash and Emissions, located on Cobb Parkway in Acworth, has been the subject of negative reviews and phone calls that keep coming in despite pleas from its management.
“We’ve been bombarded,” said Jason Mathison, who purchased the business in 2019. “The phone rings off the hook around here. And I was tempted to disconnect it, and not take the calls. But I do take the calls and talk to the people and just try to explain (it) to them.”
Mathison has found himself explaining that the car wash has no affiliation with one Cleveland Grover Meredith. Meredith owned the car wash (previously named “Car Nutz”) until two years ago and was indicted last week by federal authorities.
According to documents released by the Department of Justice, Meredith drove from Colorado to Washington on Jan. 6, bringing with him multiple firearms and “hundreds of rounds of ammunition.” He was also charged with threatening to kill House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., allegedly writing in a text message that he would be “putting a bullet in her noggin on Live TV.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has also reported that in 2018, Meredith purchased a billboard on Cobb Parkway that read “#QANON,” with the Car Nutz logo in the corner.
Those “crazy activities,” Mathison says, have led to some nasty phone calls and negative online reviews in the last week.
“When we took over the business, it was about three, around three stars, maybe a little less,” Mathison said, referring to the company’s Google reviews. In the last year, he’s steadily worked to bring that rating up.
“We strive for those five-star ratings. It’s what we want to give every customer,” he added. “This last three days, we’ve been bombarded with one-star ratings from people all over town. Not just all over town, all over the country — even a couple from Canada.”
One reviewer, Mathison says, even threatened to “get a caravan together and drive down and burn the place down.”
Fortunately for the car wash, they have an established relationship with local police, and an Acworth Police Department officer parked nearby on the first night of the harassment to keep an eye on the business.
Mathison also said he’s experienced a small, but noticeable drop in business, though he can’t be sure it’s related to the controversy.
“We did see a small spike of people canceling their monthly memberships,” he said, adding that there’s been a 5 to 10% drop in business the last week. “But was it related? I don’t know.”