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  • FIRST POST
    • Ian Skinflint
    • By Ian Skinflint 12th Jun 17, 11:58 AM
    • 14Posts
    • 1Thanks
    Ian Skinflint
    Laundrette's tumble dryer burned my washing
    • #1
    • 12th Jun 17, 11:58 AM
    Laundrette's tumble dryer burned my washing 12th Jun 17 at 11:58 AM
    I used my local laundrette the other day to dry a load of sheets. This is something I do regularly - wash at home, and if the weather isn't playing ball, go to the laundrette to do the drying.

    I put the same sized load in as I usually do, and the same number of coins for the machine. However, when the cycle finished and I opened the door, there was a faint smell of burning and the sheets were too hot to touch by hand. When I'd managed to pull them from the machine, it was clear that they had singed to the point that they had discoloured.

    I called who I thought was the owner of the laundrette, and they visited to look at the affected machine and my damaged sheets, but told me that they weren't actually the owner, and were only authorised to give compensation of £30 towards the damage.

    I told the owner's proxy that this wouldn't be acceptable because to replace the sheets as new (they are very nearly new as it is) would cost close to £150, and his response was that the owner would say that I shouldn't have put more than one coin in the machine at a time, and that he would look at the CCTV to see how long the sheets had been in for.

    My response was that a) the need to not put more than one coin it at a time should be listed on signs if it's important, b) the length of the cycle shouldn't affect the temperature of the machine, and on with cottons in on a cotton setting, even a prolonged cycle shouldn't cause burning, and c) the fact that 5 out of 10 machines in the place always seem to have "out of order" signs on them show that the owner needs to replace his machines or maintain them better.

    On that last point I was told that, when the guy I was talking to had last mentioned this to the owner, he'd told him that "new machines are expensive". This set alarm bells ringing that this person might not be a model business owner, so I'm fully expecting to have to fight to get my damages covered.

    Assuming that I do have to fight, what are my rights and how should I approach things? I know that if it comes to it I can take the small claims court approach, but is this worthwhile for such a small amount? From what I can tell I'd need to pay £25 + 5% upfront, and perhaps more if a court hearing is needed. I'd really rather it didn't have to go this far, so do I have options short of that fairly drastic step?
Page 1
    • RoonilWazlib
    • By RoonilWazlib 12th Jun 17, 12:36 PM
    • 148 Posts
    • 101 Thanks
    RoonilWazlib
    • #2
    • 12th Jun 17, 12:36 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Jun 17, 12:36 PM
    Why does more than one coin affect it? I didn't understand that bit - was it a longer cycle than it needed to be?


    If you cant resolve it with the trader ask them if they are willing to enter mediation - this could be an alternative to court


    Textile Services Association or Dry-cleaning Arbitration Service might be able to mediate.
    • peachyprice
    • By peachyprice 12th Jun 17, 12:43 PM
    • 18,795 Posts
    • 43,283 Thanks
    peachyprice
    • #3
    • 12th Jun 17, 12:43 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Jun 17, 12:43 PM
    Why does more than one coin affect it? I didn't understand that bit - was it a longer cycle than it needed to be?

    Originally posted by RoonilWazlib
    One coin buys X amount of minutes, no doubt the owners will say OP should have checked how dry the laundry was before adding more coins.
    Accept your past without regret, handle your present with confidence and face your future without fear
    • McKneff
    • By McKneff 12th Jun 17, 12:45 PM
    • 35,710 Posts
    • 45,981 Thanks
    McKneff
    • #4
    • 12th Jun 17, 12:45 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Jun 17, 12:45 PM
    How many is a 'load' of sheets
    make the most of it, we are only here for the weekend.
    and we will never, ever return.
    • meer53
    • By meer53 12th Jun 17, 12:58 PM
    • 8,983 Posts
    • 13,046 Thanks
    meer53
    • #5
    • 12th Jun 17, 12:58 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Jun 17, 12:58 PM
    I think it was your job to ensure the sheets were taken out before they burned, didn't you check them whilst they were drying ?
    • pinkshoes
    • By pinkshoes 12th Jun 17, 1:00 PM
    • 15,386 Posts
    • 21,004 Thanks
    pinkshoes
    • #6
    • 12th Jun 17, 1:00 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Jun 17, 1:00 PM
    The size of the load is irrelevant.

    What were the sheets made of? (Cotton or polycotton?)

    How damp were they when you put them in?

    Did the machine have temperature settings?

    This is going to be a difficult one to prove, as it would have been advised to check on the dryness after one token ran out.
    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
    • Oakdene
    • By Oakdene 12th Jun 17, 1:03 PM
    • 1,391 Posts
    • 4,163 Thanks
    Oakdene
    • #7
    • 12th Jun 17, 1:03 PM
    • #7
    • 12th Jun 17, 1:03 PM
    How many is a 'load' of sheets
    Originally posted by McKneff
    For £150 there must have been at least 5!!
    • Ian Skinflint
    • By Ian Skinflint 12th Jun 17, 1:15 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Ian Skinflint
    • #8
    • 12th Jun 17, 1:15 PM
    • #8
    • 12th Jun 17, 1:15 PM
    Why does more than one coin affect it? I didn't understand that bit - was it a longer cycle than it needed to be?


    If you cant resolve it with the trader ask them if they are willing to enter mediation - this could be an alternative to court


    Textile Services Association or Dry-cleaning Arbitration Service might be able to mediate.
    Originally posted by RoonilWazlib
    It was more than one coin because each coin gives roughly five minutes of drying time, so for two sets of sheets I put in enough for a 20 minute cycle.

    Do they need to be registered with either of those services to enter arbitration, or is it open to anyone?
    • Ian Skinflint
    • By Ian Skinflint 12th Jun 17, 1:22 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Ian Skinflint
    • #9
    • 12th Jun 17, 1:22 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Jun 17, 1:22 PM
    How many is a 'load' of sheets
    Originally posted by McKneff
    2 complete sets from king size beds, so 2 fitted sheets, 2 flat sheets, 2 duvet covers, 8 pillowcases. A sizable load, more than can fit in my washing machine in one go.

    I think it was your job to ensure the sheets were taken out before they burned, didn't you check them whilst they were drying ?
    Originally posted by meer53
    What were the sheets made of? (Cotton or polycotton?)

    How damp were they when you put them in?

    Did the machine have temperature settings?

    This is going to be a difficult one to prove, as it would have been advised to check on the dryness after one token ran out.
    Originally posted by pinkshoes
    The sheets were 100% cotton, and half an hour or so out of the washing machine before putting them in the dryer, so very damp.

    The machine had temperature settings, and I used the high/cotton setting. I didn't check the clothes before the cycle was finished, because I've used those machines regularly and know how long a cycle is needed to dry things properly. To my mind, the cotton setting shouldn't be able to damage cotton even once the moisture is gone, so that plus the general state of repair in that place makes me suspect the machine is on the blink, and probably hasn't been serviced for some time.
    • photome
    • By photome 12th Jun 17, 5:28 PM
    • 12,823 Posts
    • 8,298 Thanks
    photome
    I am not an expert on dryers but if anything is left in a dryer too long , ie they are dry and still tumbling on the same constant heat setting they are at risk of burning IMO and should be constantly checked

    again that is only my opinion
    • angryparcel
    • By angryparcel 12th Jun 17, 6:04 PM
    • 910 Posts
    • 520 Thanks
    angryparcel
    To my mind, the cotton setting shouldn't be able to damage cotton even once the moisture is gone
    Originally posted by Ian Skinflint
    It will as once the cotton is dry then it will just heat up and heat up until eventually it would ignite.
    • naedanger
    • By naedanger 12th Jun 17, 6:33 PM
    • 2,191 Posts
    • 1,772 Thanks
    naedanger
    It will as once the cotton is dry then it will just heat up and heat up until eventually it would ignite.
    Originally posted by angryparcel
    Don't tumble driers have a thermostat?
    Last edited by naedanger; 12-06-2017 at 6:36 PM.
    • Ian Skinflint
    • By Ian Skinflint 12th Jun 17, 6:40 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Ian Skinflint
    It shouldn't be hot enough to ignite things with only the moisture content saving things from fire.

    Anyway, that side of things is something of a tangent, as this was the same load in the same machine for the same length of time that I've done many times in the past. Perhaps there's an argument that I should have checked on progress regardless, but I strongly suspect a fault with the machine, and that fault may have been avoided had the owner taken it upon himself to keep the machines properly maintained.
    • angryparcel
    • By angryparcel 12th Jun 17, 6:49 PM
    • 910 Posts
    • 520 Thanks
    angryparcel
    Don't tumble driers have a thermostat?
    Originally posted by naedanger
    cloths can still singe and ignite with the heat in the drum, but in launderettes where the machines are working about 8 hrs a day for at least 5 days, things can fail, so regular maintenance is a must.

    The OP states

    c) the fact that 5 out of 10 machines in the place always seem to have "out of order" signs on them show that the owner needs to replace his machines or maintain them better.
    That in itself would stop me from using such establishment as it shows lack of care
    • naedanger
    • By naedanger 12th Jun 17, 7:02 PM
    • 2,191 Posts
    • 1,772 Thanks
    naedanger
    ... but in launderettes where the machines are working about 8 hrs a day for at least 5 days, things can fail, so regular maintenance is a must.
    Originally posted by angryparcel
    I think that was the op's point.

    I cannot see how clothes can singe or burn if the correct temperature is set unless there is a failure with the machine.
    • Ian Skinflint
    • By Ian Skinflint 12th Jun 17, 7:10 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Ian Skinflint
    Since my last post, I've received a call from the owner who was much more understanding and less defensive than I was prepared for. He said that his insurance will only pay out to a certain amount for "informal" claims without proof of purchase, so I'm going to see if I can find old online invoices and the like to get what he needs. Before investigating that possibility he was all but suggesting I raise a small claims court case as being the best way to get his insurance to pay out, so that's still there as an option if absolutely necessary.

    Thanks for all the advice so far, though.
    • angryparcel
    • By angryparcel 12th Jun 17, 7:17 PM
    • 910 Posts
    • 520 Thanks
    angryparcel
    a good launderette should have machines insured for failure as no machines, no business.
    just did a quick search and you are talking £900 to £1,400 for a commercial tumble dryer, so yes replacing 5 or more is expensive, but they could buy a new once every other month, but by the sounds of it they are not making enough money to look after the machines they have
    • angryparcel
    • By angryparcel 12th Jun 17, 7:24 PM
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    • 520 Thanks
    angryparcel
    he was all but suggesting I raise a small claims court case as being the best way to get his insurance to pay out,
    Originally posted by Ian Skinflint
    Dont forget a small claims case will cost you money and is against the owner or the business (whichever you name in the claim). The insurance company could wash their hands of it as you have made it a legal case.
    • Ian Skinflint
    • By Ian Skinflint 12th Jun 17, 7:40 PM
    • 14 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    Ian Skinflint
    I know the claim will cost me money, but even with those costs it's better than the amount he seems prepared to offer without insurance backing.

    Could you elaborate on the insurance company being able to wash their hands of it if a small claims court claim was made? My interpretation was that he has business insurance against exactly that sort of thing...
    • angryparcel
    • By angryparcel 12th Jun 17, 7:58 PM
    • 910 Posts
    • 520 Thanks
    angryparcel
    I know the claim will cost me money, but even with those costs it's better than the amount he seems prepared to offer without insurance backing.

    Could you elaborate on the insurance company being able to wash their hands of it if a small claims court claim was made? My interpretation was that he has business insurance against exactly that sort of thing...
    Originally posted by Ian Skinflint
    yes insurance if you claim direct to the owner or business, then he will have to show proof to his insurance company, but with small claims as it is a legal process it would depend if his business insurance provide legal assistance, if it does not then he would have to fight the claim himself as a business owner
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