I never put much thought into my Dry Cleaning. Whenever I’ve moved into a new city I would find a dry cleaner and use them. Over the years as my shirts have gotten more expensive, taking good care of them has meant more. This past November I was packing for the Sleeter Group’s Solutions14 conference and I noticed that the shirts I was taking out of my closet had buttons that looked like they were chewed up. For a minute I thought, maybe my dogs, but my dogs have no access to these shirts. My shirts are hung up as they are brought into my house.
My dry cleaning is out of reach for my little terrier mixes:
A close look revealed that the buttons were brittle. This suggested too much heat had been applied. Now they would always ask me if I wanted things laundered or dry cleaned when I brought my clothes in and I would always say, err on the side of Dry Cleaning if you’re not sure. The weird thing is that it was almost exclusively the sleeve buttons and about four or five of my shirts had buttons that now had to be replaced.
We brought the shirts in. The Dry Cleaners we’ve been using for years are now under new ownership (mind you this was not happening before). The owner was the one who helped us. He made it clear that they do not “guarantee” the buttons, but that he would replace the missing buttons on each of the shirts. My wife tried to insist that she wanted all of the buttons replaced so they would match. It was clear he was not willing to do this. All in all we were ok, with a little skepticism that would have to hold until we saw what he did with the buttons. Meanwhile once we were satisfied I brought in the rest of my dry cleaning. This time he said we should dry clean everything – that the problem with the buttons was likely from the laundering – he agreed it was the heat. I still wonder why only on the sleeves – my opinion is that someone pressed the sleeves and wasn’t careful not to apply direct heat onto the sleeve buttons, but I wasn’t going to argue with him. The dry cleaning bill was $95.00. He had raised the prices over what the previous owner was charging. If that’s what I have to pay to make sure my clothes stay in good condition so be it.
When I returned to pick up my dry cleaning I was informed that there was a balance due (I always pre-pay). I was of course surprised and she explained that there was a shirt or two or something that he had missed and not counted. To be honest I was so annoyed at this point that I didn’t even hear what she said. I just knew that I felt that given everything, they could have let go of the $5 and change I apparently owed. The prices were too high and I just wasn’t feeling like they were there to help me. If anything he made it seem like he was doing us a favor.
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