Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Cleaning Up and Taking Names

What does it take to get a shirt or suit cleaned correctly? I am really at a loss. Despite my most careful instructions, I am still getting suit pants with double creases on the legs, shirts with buttons cracked in half, rumpled collars, and not paying cheaply, I might add.

This morning, dressing the half-light of the pre-dawn, I put on a shirt fresh from the dry cleaners, only to discover when I got to work, there was an ugly collection of black, blotchy stains on the front pocket—probably from something I left in the pocket. Okay--my bad, but now I'm doomed to walk around all day looking like I just went hunting with Dick Cheney.

Don't these dry cleaners have any kind of quality control any more? Does no one look at the garment before it’s bagged and tagged and delivered to me? There are a half dozen dry cleaners within two miles of my house…I’ve tried them all.

I will name names.

I lost a entire suit once when a Pilgrim franchisee used too much heat, and destroyed the lining. Another of the "independant" dry cleaners in my neighborhood caught fire a few years guessed it—some of my clothes were in there—and they refused my claim for replacing the garments. I'd be happy to tell you that was, but they've changed their names so many times (wonder why??) the point is moot.

Their attorney told me I could sue, but they’d just file bankruptcy. He almost sneered when he said it. Needless to say, the revenue that dry cleaners lost from me the rest of that year was worth three times what I was asking them to pay to replace the ruined garments. I've never again darkened their door.

There is a family-operated dry cleaners within walking distance of my house. Wonderful people--some brand of Asian extraction, but they're just delightful to be around. Shirts kept coming back with rumpled collars and broken buttons. At some point, even walking distance is inconvenient when you have to keep going back for re-dos. I moved on.

The gauntlet has been thrown down—show me a reasonably priced dry cleaners that guarantees its work, where I don’t have to become a house-hold name to get the service I expect (sometimes, a certain level of anonymity is a plus, especially when all your good clothes are in your arms to be cleaned and pressed.)

I will try them, and report to you the results.

I just hope the label on the inside of that gauntlet doesn’t say “dry cleaning required.”

No comments: