Monday 22 November 2021

Laundered to distress by Laundryheap

Bewitched by convenience

Their unique selling proposition was more than just attractive but extremely convenient considering the circumstances, for the nearest dry cleaner to me was almost a kilometre away, somewhat expensive, sometimes delivering poor quality service and most of all, I had to take my laundry to them and had to given them at least three days for me to pick up my stuff.

Laundryheap was convenience wrapped up in an online portal with a 24-hour turnaround allowing for their couriers to do a door-laundry-door pick-up and delivery, as long as I had a credit card they could charge once the job was done. They had been my drycleaners since July 2016.

I was sold on the 24 hours spiel, it was irresistibly perfect for my situation.
Those bags were big and I filled two of them.

I probably used them 3 or 4 times a year with my laundry bill averaging £200 to £250 per service. Suits, jackets, shirts, ties, cravats, overcoats, trousers and then shorts were what I got them to do. However, the pandemic has meant I have not used formal wear that much, that I have only utilised the service the last two Decembers and this November.

That’s a light delivery

This last time was an ordeal that totally deviated from the kind of service I was accustomed to, it felt like they were deliberately trying to lose my custom, and whatever might have informed that performance, has not been properly explained to me.

On Wednesday, I put in a request for a collection and gathered my clothes in two piles of inventories according to the item and separated them into bags labelled ‘Dryclean’ and ‘Wash & Iron’, the courier arrived towards the later part of the pick-up window and all I had to do was wait until the next day.

The delivery window came just within the 24 hours of the collection, I received a bag and some hangers, the volume and lightness meant something was missing. I had seen from the billing that some things were drycleaned and some were washed & ironed, meaning they did process the two bags of clothes, the bigger shock was I had 20 items of clothing returned out of 58 items collected the previous day.

Good thing I did an itemisation of clothing to be collected, would have to take pictures of labels too?

Make pictures of words

Missing from the delivery was 3 jackets, 5 2-piece suits, all 9 cravats, the overcoat that did not belong to me, and all my shirts, 20 of them. So, I contacted the chat line which consisted of named but faceless bots hosted in Bangalore, when my clothes were dry cleaned on location in Longsight, just 3 kilometres away.

As they had no phone number to call, I was left to type out details of my complaint and missing items that they were to relay to another team and that might eventually reach the facilities or logistics team at Longsight. Each interaction towards finding my clothes was initiated by me, there was no initiative on their part to keep me updated on the progress of finding my clothes, I was fobbed off stock responses, ‘Rest assured, we are working hard to ensure you things are found by our team.’ And anything else to that effect.

Then I was even offered a £10.70 compensation voucher for my inconvenience as they asked for particular details about my missing items to help them locate where they might be. I found myself exercising powers of recall you never have to use when using a laundry service with the hope that one particular description might stand out enough to lead whoever was looking to a pile of clothes belonging to one person, inadvertently missed in the logistics processing.

Item Type:
Size (if relevant):
Any other distinguishing features:

Size and colour, I could generally remember, brands for my suits I could except for the bespoke ones, the jackets I mostly got from a catalogue apart from one, I never really checked to see what label it had apart from knowing one was 4 sizes smaller belonging to a friend, another 2 sizes smaller, belonging to Brian, the shirts? God help me.

Now, the hours were days

Soon, I got a message my clothes had been found, but the updated billing did not reflect the reality of what I was expecting, I had to question the inventory as they scheduled the delivery for Friday night between 19:00 and 22:00, only to inform me that due to some unforeseen circumstances, the delivery had been postponed to Saturday for the same window. By then, I had been billed fully.

My distress was just compounded by the fact that they were not proactive or prompt with telling of the changes in planned arrangements. It would have assuaged my angst if someone just called me, that never happened. A few minutes to the Saturday window of delivery, it was postponed to Monday. I had given up on chasing them and was looking at the legal options for corporate theft and compensation.

Thank you very much

This evening, I received a message that I was at the end of a 20 deep queue of delivery stops, then it changed to someone expecting to get to my door in 19 minutes. Just 121 hours after what was supposed to be a service touted as “Laundry & Dry Cleaning to your home in 24 hours” my clothes arrived. I simply counted them and put them away. If any are damaged through handling, I cannot care less or even more.

Whilst the likelihood of using Laundryheap again is remote to totally unlikely, if they have no competition, it might come into consideration. However, a £10.70 compensation for an order that I paid over £310 for and was not delivered on time, is an insult more than derisory. I could fully afford my laundry bill; I did not choose them for charitable or humanitarian reasons to my account. The service is what I paid for; the compensation is like throwing pennies at me.

We are done, for now

What is a 3% compensation for the angst and distress of possibly losing your clothes? Conceptually, Laundryheap might be a useful service, I have my doubts about the heart and soul of the owners being nearer the customer than their profits.

For that, I would be seeking out all sites that provide review services for Laundryheap to award 1-star for customer service and support, even if the other part of the equation can easily get a 4-star rating. They were let down by the service and when it comes to personal items like clothing, it is those little things that become the end of custom and the loss of recommendations. In Laundryheap, which did so well for a while, I am quite sorely unimpressed and totally disappointed.

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