Las Vegas, Nevada 0 comments

I was a steady customer of this Laundromat for more than 10 years. But recently they ruined/lost more than $265 worth of my laundry and refused to fully reimburse me for it.

In late February 2010, I brought in a large load of laundry to be washed and folded. When I picked it up I found that many items had been ruined by bleach. Among these: 5 pairs of pants; 4 shirts; 4 washcloths. In addition, a brand-new set of full-size sheets and set ot matching pillow cases were never returned.

On top of that, they charged me $40 for the wash without having the decency to reduce the price or even tell me of the ruined/lost items. I didn't find this out until I opened my laundry bags.

When I confronted the manager of the Laundry, she admitted that she had put the ruined items into a washer that contained bleach. She promised that if I brought in receipts for the purchase of equivalent items, she would fully reimburse me. So I brought in photocopies of the receipts of newly-purchased items.

Although it cost me more than $200 to replace these lost/ruined items, the Laundry offered me only $60, saying that it was their policy to not reimburse for more than that.

I wrote to the owner, Irena Cortez, threatening to file a lawsuit against her in small claims court. She called and said that if I showed her the ruined laundry at the Laumdromat she would reimburse me.

I brought in the laundry and she immediately started using weasel-words like, "IF we ruined your laundry...." when the bleach-stained shirts/pants/etc. were right there in front of her. She made it clear she would not reimburse me for the full costs. At that point I gathered up my ruined laundry and left.

I sent her a second letter, giving her a deadline by which to fully reimburse me or face off with me in small claims court. She called me, but only to lecture me on how I should not be angry with her. I told her to make me an offer, not give me a lecture, and she hung up.

On April 14, I filed a lawsuit against her in small claims court.

On June 2, I met her in small claims court--and found myself improperly served with a counter-claim. She claimed that I owed her $2,500 because (1) I had made an "invalid" claim; (2) she had tried to settle it out of court three times; and (3) she felt I owed her for "time lost for work and transportation costs."

(She didn't explain why, if I had filed an "invalid" claim against her, she had tried to settle it out of court three times.) Since I had not been properly served, I asked for a postponment and a second date was set for June 21.

UPDATE - June 21: I faced off again with Irena Cortez in small claims court. To her dismay, she had to withdraw her false counter-claim against me because it had been improperly served. Otherwise I would have asked for a second postponement--and she would have had to travel a third time from her home in Montara to San Francisco.

She did her best to evade any responsibility for having to reimburse me. First she denied they even use bleach--when the word "bleach" was clearly written on several receipts. Next she refused to accept that the laundry had been ruined in her Laundromat. Finally she admitted to the judge that at least SOME of the laundry HAD been ruined by bleach.

The judge listened to her evasions and arrogance--and then ruled against her. She left court in a huff.

AVOID THIS LAUNDROMAT AT ALL COSTS. They refuse to accept responsibility for the behavior of their employees or reimburse their customers for anyting they ruin or lose.

No matter the worth of the items lost/ruined, they offer only a bare minimum as compensation. The owner is arrogant and believes she has a right to treat customers like serfs and NOT have them get mad in return.

If you do your own laundry there, be prepared to pay 25 cents for only five minutes' drying time.

If you leave your laundry to be washed by them, be prepared to haul them into small claims court if you have a problem, because they won't behave responsibly otherwise.


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