Hijacked Laundromats!

Letter: Commercial businesses taking over Laundromats after Sandy

Hoboken411 reader John noticed an interesting trend after our epic late October cyclone. That laundromats all over the effected area are being hijacked by commercial businesses (like area dry cleaners that offer wash & fold).

Is this just capitalism at work (i.e., the strongest, quickest survive) or do you think there is something unfair about it?

“Our home was flooded due to Hurricane Sandy which resulted in the loss of our appliances. We have been traveling to laundromats to wash clothes. However the laundromats are so full we are unable to get our clothes washed.

Why? Hoboken’s commercial cleaners and laundry services are going to retail laundromats with hundreds of bags of laundry for their clients and taking all the machines.

Is this fair? That a paying customer should be penalized for a person overwhelming resources for profit? Essentially they are trying to force storm victims to do business with them to get a basic life need.

Basically it is tantamount to a post Storm price fixing scam. If you want to have clean clothes you need to pay the higher price at the dry cleaners and they take it or else you’re stuck.

The owners of the laundry said “hey they come here and pay just like you, wether they are making profit or not. We can’t tell them not to come in.” I replied “I can not come back in as a customer” to which the reply was “that’s fine”. Because they know they have people captive from the storm.

Namely Shipyard cleaners and Bubbles 3 laundromat in JC Heights.”

John added that even though he saw one particular bag in the pile, he suspects it’s probably most cleaners in Hoboken.

Is this just an innocent laundry crisis that’s to be expected after a big storm? Should John be expected to pay extra because he’s blocked out? How would you handle it if you were in the same position? Or a laundromat owner? Is “first come first serve” sufficient?

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10 Comments on "Hijacked Laundromats!"


Member
Snip119
2 years 9 months ago

The laundry machines in our building were ruined during the storm. For the first time ever, I had to use a wash and fold service – and I was very pleasantly surprised. I used J&B Cleaners on 14th Street and the laundry was done better than what I usually do. In fact, since I’m on the second floor of a walkup, I’m seriously considering staying with J&B instead of running up and down the stairs each week. Yes, its a bit more money, but the convenience and the terrific job they did more than makes up for it. Instead of sitting around in a laundromat waiting for a free machine, try a service. Its only a temporary situation – once the various buildings get their new machines in and people go back to doing their laundry at home, the crowding at the laundromats will dissipate. If you got thru the storm and waiting at the laundromat is your biggest pet peeve at the moment, count your blessings – there are those among us who have lost everything.

Member
2 years 9 months ago

Hoboken already has Rent Control. Should there be Laundry Control, too?

Member
Chow
2 years 9 months ago

Maybe he should pay to have his clothes done…

Member
jabrph
2 years 9 months ago

I have seen this too & long time customers of the laundromat agree it is a little unfair. They basically arrive at opening with trucks and take the entire place for several hours. This started happening suddenly after the storm in Hoboken. Leaving no room for non commercial customers. Imagine if you were a regular customer at a business and suddenly had your wait times for service multiply by 4 because they are subcontracting to another firm? Profit is profit but in this case it seems like they may be trying to take advantage of a situation while alienating their own clients. I guess the person could have just replaced their appliances like some folks suggested but based on the level of damage in homes near me I guess you can’t install appliances in demolished dwellings with no electrical or water service so that’s not always a fix.

Member
2 years 9 months ago

Our washer and dryer were broken by the flood. We ordered new ones and had them delivered and installed a week later. If the laundromat is too much of a hassle, buy a new washing machine.