Volume 90, Issue 93

Thursday, March 20, 1997



Suds at the dry-cleaner

Re: Dry-cleaning

To the Editor:

The Western community is fortunate to have a number of reputable businesses in the surrounding area to serve its students. Whether it be at the University Community Centre, Masonville Place or at the Richmond gates, entrepreneurs on the whole seem more than willing to give students efficient service and good prices.

One notable exception is the Sketchley Cleaners at the Richmond gates. Since September, I've been taking my dry-cleaning to them since they offer a student discount and fast service. In November, Sketchley's misplaced a tie of mine. Understanding that such things happen, I arranged to have them reimburse me for my loss. Except they didn't quite see it that way. To them, my loss would be reimbursed according to a complex formula they had devised to compensate for depreciation. Now, I don't pretend to be a law student, but I do know that an individual, in the case of any loss, is supposed to put the victim in the place they were before the loss.

In my case, this would mean a tie around my neck. Depreciate my cost and I get enough to buy a $0.69 hamburger, a far cry from the cost of replacement. Now I understand the principle of wear and tear, but shouldn't a piece of clothing be measured not by the number of years it has hung in a closet but by how many times it's been worn? To me, either situation is ludicrous. Nonetheless, I've been waiting since then for whatever paltry reimbursement Sketchley's is willing to offer me. In this four month affair, I have filled out three claim stubs, spoken to two managers and finally have had an agreement reached with a representative of Sketchley's only to have that individual mysteriously disappear from company ranks taking my tie (like a bad episode of Seinfeld) and all the pertinent information with her.

But see, it doesn't end there. A number of my housemates walk to Sketchley's with their dirty clothing. They are all under 20, carry textbooks like students, and have been in there repeatedly. And many times, Sketchley's student discount is refused to them unless they are carrying valid I.D. I understand the principle behind proof of student status. At the same time, I'm amazed that the clerk at this particular Sketchley's still demands I.D. from my roommate even though the clerk has seen us there together many times and knows that I am a student. Even more ironic is the fact that his address on their file is Medway Hall, a student residence last time I checked.

As a student and a customer, I think it's essential that we be treated with the utmost respect of those businesses that seek our patronage. That doesn't mean be at my doorstep, it means being fair and understanding, basic business concepts. Lose one customer to bad service and chances are a few more will fall by the road. I urge all of you who frequent Sketchley's at Richmond and University Drive to think about the people to whom you entrust your clothing.

Ranjan Agarwal
Social Science I

To Contact The Letters Department: gazoped@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997