Have you ever heard of a Coinless Laundromat?
Neither had we until yesterday and we will never use another one again.
We are currently working security at a Community Park that has no amenities so we had to search for the nearest Laundromat. Incidentally, self-serve laundry facilities are very rare in certain areas we have noticed and we just so happen to be an area that the nearest one was quite a few miles away. We packed it all up and headed for the closest one and found it quite easily so we thought it was going to be a great time.
We were soon disillusioned as we opened the door and things did not seem right, there were strange amount charges, such as $1.19 for a wash and $.39 to dry and there were no coin slots on them, only a place to slide a card, like a credit card but not. As I began to sort through the clothes, Jerry proceeded to the area where there was information about these cards. After a short time I noticed the very puzzled look on his face so I went over to assist and soon I had the same look on my face. Finally I inserted $5 to load a card and the card value was only $4.50, we were confused and looked around for some assistance. I noticed this one girl on her cell phone and I asked if she worked there and she nodded yes, then when I asked if she could help she nodded no and motioned that she was on the phone. As I patiently waited I soon began to lose my patience and when she got off the phone I asked if she could help and that is when I found out she hardly spoke any English. At that time another patron tried to assist and she too did not speak very much English and they both kept insisting that I put more money onto the card.
We were so confused since we were only doing three loads and it should not be costing us so much and that we were not going to be able to get refunded for the balance on our card. After a bit more conversing with them and getting nowhere I asked out loud if there was anyone that could help us out. Finally a woman approached us and gave us some tips and explained how it worked and after a bit more conversation we found out that they were fellow full-time RVers. We gave them our business card so they could email us their address and we can keep in touch with one another. There is always some good that comes out of bad or weird encounters and even though we may not know exactly what that may be at this moment we are sure to find out someday.
One thing we know for sure, we will not be using a “Coinless Laundromat” again since in the end it cost us more then it would have at a normal laundry facility due to the funds left on the card and also the machines continued to deduct more off the card then what was listed on the machines and it was impossible to convey this to the help.