Circuit Laundry is the worst thing about being a fresher
It would probably be cheaper to buy new clothes
The first year of university is about learning how to live independently, and a big part of this is cleaning up after yourself. Dishes can be left ‘to soak’ for a good week, but the same can’t be said about your dirty clothes, which will begin to pile up faster than you think. Enter Circuit Laundry.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned clothes washer or are used to having mummy and daddy do it for you, this beast is something which brings pain and confusion to freshers across the country. It will (sometimes) leave you with clean clothes, but overall is a pretty rubbish service.
Seriously, £2.80 for a single wash? Maybe it’s cheaper than on the high street, but the cost of Circuit will quickly burn a hole in your bank balance. Two washes a week for your coloured clothes and your bedding/whites (whichever smells the worst), plus one spin on the dryer makes a week’s worth of washing £7.40 a week.
This may not sound that bad, you have to wash your clothes after all. But over a 12 week term, your washing could cost a whopping £88.80 – and double that for a full year in halls. By the time end of term comes around and your student loan has run out, this cost will quickly become nothing short of an abomination.
You have to top up online
Want to use some spare change for a quick wash? You’re out of luck. With Circuit the only way you can top up your card balance is online, rendering your pennies useless. Apparently some of their other sites let you top up by coins, but not here.
And you can’t even check your card balance online
You’re forced to top up online, but conveniently for Circuit, you can’t check how much you already have on your card. We’re being taken for fools, and Circuit is laughing all the way to the bank.
Circuit commented that you can check the card balance at the machine, by calling the support team or you can check your balance on the mobile app if available for your laundry room.
You can’t take money off of your card
If by chance you still have some of your hard earned pounds on your card by the end of your first year at uni, Circuit won’t let you reclaim the money. On their site, they say that you can get a refund (only with balances over £5), but you have to send it to them and they’ll charge you a £3 fee.
This means that to get your money’s worth at the end of the year you’ll have to wash all of your clothes before you go home. Wash your spiritual wall-hanging from Laos, and your authentic harem gap yah pants from Cambodia. Wash everything you can to avoid them keeping your money.
If your machine doesn’t work, good luck getting a refund for your time and money. They say on their site that if a machine is faulty, you can get a refund.
However, first year Alex’s clothes were left in a pool of water when he tried to wash them. This was the message Circuit have on their webiste:
“No refund will be given on card balances of less than £5.00. Refunds will incur an administration charge of £3.00 that will be directly deducted from the refund value. Refunds will be made using the payment method used for purchase. Refunds will not be processed for an free credit.”
To avoid hanging your freshly cleaned clothes around your flat in halls and having them stink of cheep booze and takeaway, you’ll think it’s a good idea to use the dryers. Because, you know, surely £1.80 for your clothes to be dried is feasible, right?
Wrong. Half the time the dryers at Oak House don’t work, and you’re left with damp clothes. Stick to decorating your flat with your washing line, you’ll be better off for it.
We spend enough on rent already
The fact is that for many students, the maintenance loan doesn’t even cover the cost of rent in halls. Add to this extra course costs such as textbooks, bus pass (in Manchester this is over £200) and your food shop and living as a student is expensive enough as it is (not forgetting the nights out).
Is it too much to ask, when universities are increasingly becoming more about money and less about the student experience, that we can have a half-decent laundry provider that isn’t just there to make money from students?
Guess we’ll be wearing yesterday’s socks inside out again.
Circuit Laundry responded to this article saying: “Circuit laundry plays a small part in the students expenses and we do a great deal to improve our sites such as our recently launched survey which we’ll run 3 times every academic year to help identify sites quicker where students are less satisfied with our services and therefore need more attention from us.
As well as working on educating students about how to do their laundry and how they can achieve the best wash results. Circuit offer students a cheaper alternative to high street launderettes that are also more convenient and safe for them to use within their student accommodation. Circuit regularly compares themselves against high street launderettes all over the UK and their prices are set to be on average 30% cheaper.”
If a machine is faulty students can report the problem on the website, app or by calling the support team and will receive a refund if applicable. For example if the wash or drying cycle didn’t start or complete you could be eligible for a refund.
A refund is not subject to an administration fee or minimum balance and if eligible we will add this straight to your Laundry Card or Mobile App account.
Your opinion does matter to us and we are working on many ways to improve your experience.