Circuit and laundry and adult-ing

Hello hello hello!

So I promised an update on my laundry efforts this term and here it is. As you know, the washing machines on campus are all managed by a group called Circuit - website here: https://www.circuit.co.uk/

 

First some truths:

  • As you can see from their website, Circuit pretty much has a monopoly on universities in the UK, there aren’t that many other providers we could use, or any that would provide a cheaper alternative.

  • As you can also see, they have a contract with York for quite a while yet, and any challenge we put in place would have to be carefully managed because of that.

 

So I had a meeting with Circuit and Uni Commercial Services and here were the results

 

Costs:

  • Complaint:

    • The cost of laundry is too high

    • There’s always money left on my card.

  • Outcomes:

    • The contract states that the prices will increase by £0.10 every year, on both washes and drys.

    • Our costs are higher than other universities, but with the added value of bigger drums (therefore more washing capacity) and more modern machines.

    • If you have over £5.00 left on your card at the end of the year, you can claim it back via Circuit. There is a £3.00 admin charge for the service, but that might be worth looking into.

    • Circuit have made it possible for you to upload any amount of money in £1 steps after £5.

    • We are exploring the opportunity of adding some pre-paid laundry cards as an add on when you get your accommodation.

 

Quality of washing

  • Complaint:

    • My clothes come out dirty

    • The machine takes my money without starting a wash

  • Outcomes:

    •  University working to ensure that machines are cleaned more thoroughly and regularly. Despite this, please check the seal around the machine drum before you put your clothes in, as this gathers the stuff that stains your clothes!

    • If the machine takes your money and doesn’t start, call the number on the telephone available in the laundry room. Explain the situation and they should give you a code to top up your card for that amount of money.

 

Other comments

  • Complaint:

    • It’s ridiculous that I have to buy a card, to then put washes on.

    • The machine breaks/the door won’t open etc

  • Outcomes:

    • Download the app for free and use it for free rather than spending money on a card (we’re working on extending this to Eden’s Court)!

    • If the machine has any faults please, please report it straight away. That way, they will send someone to fix it and then we ensure that they are receiving new information, rather than relying on the SU to pass it up when you tell us about problems.

 

Actions:

  • We will see if it’s possible to include a pre-loaded card as an add-on when you agree to the accommodation contract

  • We will include ‘how-to-use’ information in laundry rooms and in the 2017/18 residents’ handbook

  • We will ensure the contact numbers for cleaning the machines and fixing the machines are included in every laundry room.  

  • Circuit have made it possible for you to upload any amount of money in £1 steps after £5.

 

I appreciate that this isn’t an ideal resolution. I get that laundry is a chore that none of us particularly like doing, and having a bad experience doesn’t make it any more enjoyable. So please, if anything goes wrong at all, make sure you call Circuit. If we continuously feed back and pass on the complaints and comments then they should be able to help!

I know that some other unis have insisted that they’re including laundry in the cost of rent - actually, all this has achieved is increasing rent costs. I felt that it was important to be as transparent as possible about costs, so argued that this would not be an appropriate way of managing the issue.