Laundry piles up as machines break

By Lauren Stancle and Samuel Cullado

Staff Writers


Olivet’s laundry company, MacGray, was bought out by CSC Serviceworks over the summer, said Heather Hathaway, who  has acted as the “go between” between the school and laundry company. CSC Serviceworks also bought out several other laundry companies.

CSC Serviceworks went “too big too fast” and employees and the service rep quit, Hathaway said. The company was left short-staffed and the employees over-worked.

Reporting and fixing of machine problems were delayed due to the attempt to merge two different reporting systems, resulting in failure of the app “Laundry View” that sends out the reports. The school was unaware of this issue for some time.

Even with contacting MacGray, the laundry machine issues were not able to get fixed until Sept. 25. The techs on campus worked on the machines for 8 straight days.

Hathaway said it “wasn’t really their fault… and they’re trying everything they can to make us happy.”

Besides company issues, it turns out many of the machine problems were caused and could have been avoided by the students.

Hathaway said there were three main reoccurring problems that were found to break the machines:

  1. Too much soap in the soap dispensers. The machines are High Efficiency (HE) washers, so they require less detergent.
  2. Over-loading the machines can cause them to “‘Time out’ and lock clothes in for an extended period of time,” according to the MacGray laundry instructions.
  3. Students need to empty their pockets. The biggest problem with the machines was clogged pumps containing hair pins, coins, and the like.

Dryer problems were caused by the filters not being emptied. “[A technician] pulled out a 5-foot long rope of lint out of a drier vent” Hathaway said.

However the problems may come about they do arise with the machines, and Hathaway said students should go on Laundry View to report them.

Reporting is easier now that the machines now have new labels on them. Using the “Laundry View” app, students can scan the label on the machines when there is a problem, and the app notifies the company of the issue. They text you when the problem is fixed.

According to Hathaway, most of the machines, as well as “Laundry View,” are now up and running.

“Honestly this has never happened in the history of MacGray” Hathaway said. “What we experienced last month should not reoccur.”

For students seeking an off-campus laundry alternative, a new business, Smart Wash, offers proximity and competitive rates. Located on 573 William R Latham Senior Dr., near Brickstone, Smart Wash has created a competitive business model for their washers. “Right off the top, students get a 20% discount” said Smart Wash attendant Penny MacGruder, “[and] we do take Tiger Dollars.” Smart Wash also offers additional incentives. “Every month we have a different machine marked down in price;” said MacGruder, “this month it’s the 40 pounders: they were 4.99 and now they’re marked down to 3.99, plus you get the 40% discount.”

Smart Wash offers 24-hour access as well so students who usually do their laundry in the wee hours of the morning are in luck. MacGruder explained that once you get a card, you can come in after the attendant leaves at 9:00 PM. This will offer students a chance to do their laundry when on-campus washers are full at prices that are equivalent to campus pricing.

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