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YUSU Circuit Laundry survey reinforces student frustrations

Figures reveal worrying concerns about Circuit Laundry cleanliness and reliability.

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Image Credit: Emily Hewat

A RECENT SURVEY on Circuit Laundry by YUSU has indicated that the long-standing problems between the University of York and the laundry system still remain.
The survey received 1,327 responses from students and it was found that 89.3% of people rated Circuit Laundry as five out of ten or less on ‘quality of service’ with 20.8% of students rating it the lowest possible grade.

These figures are unsurprising when looking at the personal accounts that the survey received. One student reported that “[their] clothing was ruined with black stains that they did pay for but it took a few weeks”.
Another stated that “my clothes always had a musty smell no matter what products I used. After moving into off-campus accommodation which had a washing machine, it stopped”
The issue appears to not only be with the washing machines themselves, as one student reported “One time I had to dry my clothes, the machine charged me and locked my wet clothes in for an hour without drying them. The phone helpline always puts people on hold for ages and hangs up on people. Its been over half a term and nobody has come to fix problems that were reported on the first day of freshers.”

Parents have also raised concerns with the laundry system, with one parent of a current third year stating that she was concerned with the cleanliness of the washing machines, yet other alternatives were too expensive. A wash at Circuit Laundry currently costs £3.20 for a wash and £1.70 for a dry.

Circuit Laundry has long been causing problems for students. In May 2019, the University of York’s Student Union Account reported that over 1,700 students had to rely on the 22 washing machines in James College. Five of the washing machines in James College were already broken at this time with James students sharing with Vanbrugh when Halifax students were asked to use James’ washing machines due to an ‘electrical fault.’
Nouse reported at the time that students were compensated a total of £16,760 in this period but this came from the University of York as opposed to Circuit Laundry.

However, despite 94.3% of people having experienced a problem with Circuit Laundry, only 29.7% of people actually reported the problem. Consequently, Steph, the Community and Wellbeing Officer’s main advice to students is to report every problem.
She suggests that “There is a phone in every laundrette that takes you straight to Circuit, you should report it every single time the machines malfunction or break. Only when Circuit Laundry’s own data begins to be affected will they start taking the problem seriously.”

The results of this survey are therefore conclusive. There is clearly a problem with Circuit Laundry. Steph Hayle aims to draw up a full report of the responses and take them to the University’s Director of Commercial Services to seek urgent changes to the service.
She also looks to provide a forum for students to seek compensation for any damages caused by machines not being appropriately cleaned by University staff.

The University defended the service, stating: “we have received very few complaints.” They went on to add “Circuit is also a very reasonably priced provider within the University environment.”

In a comment for Nouse, a representative from Circuit Laundry responded to the findings of the survey as follows: “We are disappointed to learn that some students have been unhappy with the laundry service that is provided. We have been working closely with the University to establish a good, reliable and regular cleaning regime which the University has implemented these last two months.
We would very much welcome discussions with Student & University representatives to further enhance & improve the user experience”.

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