When I signed up with our linen provider, the cost per item was lower than the other companies I got quotes from. Now that I’ve started, my weekly bill is so much higher! What happened?
Bait and Switched
Dear “Bait and Switched,”
I have good news and bad news for you.
The bad news is that it sounds like someone at your organization chose the wrong provider (a national chain).
How we do anything is how we do everything. In case you have not already done this, be sure to inspect ALL areas where you depend on this provider, for similar ethical corner cutting. Incomplete deliveries, inflated inventories, additional charges, unauthorized products or services, and undisclosed contract fine print are a few examples of what you should be looking for.
There are two pieces of good news.
- You are not alone. The bait and switch pricing model is the #1 reason why any family owned business would accidentally choose the Evil Empire over another family business as their provider. You are not crazy, stupid, or incompetent. They have just been doing this for a very long time and are very good at it. I realize this is still kind of bad news, but I’m trying to make you feel better!
- There are some steps you can take to correct this now that you know you made a mistake. Find out which service provider has a good reputation in your town (we can help with this, even if we don’t go there), and begin making the switch.
Now, let’s discuss why your bill went up and what to do about it.
You have incurred one or multiple price increases with many more to come. The language in the fine print of the agreement you signed with “the Empire” means that you do not have too many options.
So, what to do about it?
Your best option is simple. Paper trail.
Email your contact at “the Empire” immediately to express that they are in breach of contract, and if they cannot honor your agreement, you are switching providers. This is your quickest path to someone from the Death Star correcting your bill, both short term and long term.
If you do not get an adequate and swift response, continue to document and follow the official exit process as stated in the fine print, while you line up your new provider.
–Best case scenario, they continue to ignore you and you are able to make the switch to joy and happiness. Better service. Consistent Billing. Customer Service (Yup, it’s possible).
–Middle case scenario (is that a thing?), they fix your bill, and maybe give you some credit, at least for now.
-Worst case scenario, you are held to the fine print until the clock runs out, which leaves you no worse off than your current situation. So, still worth a try.
Do not delay, because even one month from now could put you into some kind of fine print doom loop for another 5 years. Plus, even if you are under contract with the Evil Empire for a while, a Dirty Laundry Expert like Balfurd can help you with ammo to get your bill back in line. Just be honest about your situation. We’ll help you out, now, AND later one, when you’re a customer!
I’m Jay Rasmussen, and This is My Dirty Laundry.
*Jay is the Vice President of Sales at Balfurd Linen & Uniform Service and is the “Dirty Laundry Expert.” Contact him at Jay@balfurd.com.