A windscreen washer has broken a woman's wiper and left her 6-year-old son "petrified" after an encounter at a Rotorua supermarket.
Emma Wright said her son begged her not to get out of the car after the incident at the Fenton St store on Sunday.
Readers yesterday flooded the Rotorua Daily Post Facebook page with opinions on car window washers, some telling of intimidation and harassment.
One reader said it wasn't a good look for Rotorua, while another said they no longer stop at a certain shopping centre because of them. Others supported the washers for trying to make "an honest buck".
Miss Wright said on Sunday she had pulled into one of the pram parks and the man came straight over to squirt her windscreen.
"I said no and he kept on squirting, so I turned on the wipers.
"He grabbed at it and the blade came off. He asked for some change and I said I didn't have any.
'Not even a dollar' he said and I said no."
She got her three children, aged 6 months, 5 and 6, out of the car and did her shopping, only to see the man near her car as she left.
"My heart sank. My son was petrified. I said he was harmless and I'm sure they are but they don't take no for an answer. I know how it can be tight when you're not working but there are other ways to go about it.
"When you see them you don't want to park near them. My sister visited from Perth recently and she was disgusted by it. You don't know what they're using and it's never clean."
A1 Auto Valet owner Linley Newman said she didn't let windscreen washers touch her car as they tended to use dishwashing liquid not designed for cars.
Rotorua District Council regulatory services manager Neven Hill said anyone harassed by window washers could contact police as it was against council by-laws.
"It's included as it is a public safety issue, especially at intersections but also for the annoyance and harassment factor."
Countdown Rotorua store manager Steve Green said windscreen washers in the carpark were uncommon.
"Our carpark is for the use of our customers only and we don't allow any other activity on the site unless it's with our permission. We didn't have any issues to us reported over the weekend, however window washers on any of our premises around the country are extremely rare," he said.
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