"The 4 Mistakes People Make When Choosing a Drycleaner"
Hi! My name is Brett Donaldson. I’m grateful for the opportunity to provide you with this educational information about your drycleaning needs.
I’m the owner of Donaldson’s Cleaners, a business founded in 1972 by my father, Harvey. I’m also the three-term President of the Wisconsin Fabricare Institute. During my 23 years in the drycleaning business, I’ve found that people are always on the search for a “good drycleaner”. That search prompted me to offer this consumer education guide.
This guide is designed to help pick the best drycleaner for you. It is a starting point for you to make an informed, intelligent decision. Education is truly the first step to making any good decision. You do it before you buy a house, a car, or a TV. Why not before you choose a drycleaner?
Here, you’ll discover that all drycleaners are not the same, why a drycleaner’s guarantee is so important, and why you should NEVER pick a drycleaner on price alone.
Let’s discuss the “4 Mistakes People Make When Choosing a Drycleaner.”
Mistake #1 You pick a drycleaner based only on price
The old adage is really true: “You get what you pay for.” This is especially true in the drycleaning business. If you want quality cleaning, you should decide to deal with a drycleaner because of the overall value you receive, NOT because they offer the lowest price. It is impossible for any company in any industry to offer the cheapest price, have the highest quality, and provide the best service all at the same time.
You can get high quality and super service, but you can’t get both and still get the lowest price. Just like in your business, you hire the best people and buy the highest quality products—consequently, you have to charge more for your services. Total value is a combination of quality product, customer service, convenience and price.
There are three common problems you will have when you choose a drycleaner who only offers the lowest price:
Cheap drycleaners usually don’t stand behind their work when there is a mistake- And believe me, all drycleaners make mistakes. Sure, other drycleaners might do your cleaning for a little less money, but how will they treat you when something goes wrong, even if it’s not their fault? To give the cheapest price, they usually have low-wage, inexperienced employees that have not been adequately trained. They also cut corners by using inferior detergents and other cleaning agents. The little bit of money you saved ends up costing you more in the long run.
The second problem with a drycleaner who offers the lowest price is that they tend to also offer the lowest quality. Your clothing is an extension of you. Your appearance is a direct reflection of your professionalism and the standards of quality you are willing to accept. You’ve worked too hard and spent too much money to build your personal and professional image. Why throw it away for the few pennies you save on drycleaning?
The third problem of cheap drycleaners is that you might get charged extra for services other cleaners normally include in their price. You may be charged extra for such things as small repairs, replacing broken or missing buttons, or maybe their pick up and delivery service isn’t free. Cheap drycleaners can nickel and dime you to death. What seemed like a good price actually ends up costing you more in the end. Not quite a “Bait and Switch” technique, but pretty close to it.
Remember this: Quality drycleaners would much rather explain high price than apologize for low quality or service.
Mistake #2 You Think All Drycleaners Are the Same
No two drycleaning companies are really the same. Each company has different employees, has a unique culture, and offers different services. Some drycleaners go through extensive training to earn certifications, others don’t.
Ask your drycleaner if they are certified by the Drycleaning and Laundry Institute (DLI) or the National Cleaners Association (NCA). Is your drycleaner a member the Wisconsin Fabricare Institute (WFI)? The best cleaners are active members of these organizations. Drycleaners who are certified by these organizations have, in effect, earned a degree in drycleaning.
Does your drycleaner offer a training program for its employees? It takes a lot of training and experience to properly deliver a high-quality garment. Make sure your drycleaning company continually trains its staff.
Mistake #3 You Choose a Drycleaner Who Doesn’t Guarantee His Work
Like all businesses and professions, the drycleaning industry has its share of bad apples. I take no pleasure in telling you this, but some are unethical – and, sadly, a few are just plain dishonest. With their false promises, they cast a dark shadow over our entire industry.
Then you’ll find other drycleaners – professionals like me who work hard to earn your trust and respect. As a way of improving the drycleaning industry, I’ve dedicated my business to educating the public. The only way you can make an intelligent, informed decision is to have all the facts you need.
Reputable drycleaners guarantee their work automatically. This means that when they make a mistake on your clothing, they will at the very least make one more attempt to get your order right.
In the case of a lost or ruined garment, an ethical drycleaner will be happy to reimburse you for their mistake. This may be in the form of a cash refund or a credit to your account.
Unfortunately, there are unethical drycleaners who don’t take responsibility for their mistakes. Some of these drycleaners will even hold your clothes hostage until they receive payment for a poor job. The best thing for you is to find a drycleaner who unconditionally guarantees his work. You’ll be much happier if things go wrong.
Mistake #4 You Don’t Ask for References
This is probably the easiest way you can avoid any problems with a drycleaner. ALL reputable drycleaners will eagerly give you references.
Ask your drycleaner to give you three names of people who they have done business with. And also ask them how long they have worked with these clients. Good drycleaners know that building relationships is paramount in providing great service.
I hope you find this consumer guide helpful. If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to ask.