Dry cleaning: General Terms and Conditions

Understanding the importance of General Terms and Conditions

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Dry cleaning general terms and conditions

Article co-written with Maître Mollard, Arcane Juris firm


The general terms and conditions of sale, as well as prices’ display and service quality offered, are among the dry cleaners’ common issues. Dry cleaners often consider these general terms and conditions as optional, or even as a pointless administrative constraint.
However, you shouldn’t underestimate this essential point as part of a responsible point of sale management. You have probably already displayed the general terms and conditions in your store, next to your counter for example. But did you fulfill all the constraints and obligations related to this display?

We wrote this article to help you answer this question!

Overall, the display obligation doesn’t apply only to your general terms and conditions, but also to:

  • The service quality you offer

  • The main prices (for a regulated selection of standard articles)

To clarify this topic, we will address three major points:

  1. Legal and regulatory aspect

  2. Why were these obligations implemented?

  3. How can my IT tool help me?


1. Legal and regulatory aspect

The French Code of Consumption establishes a series of obligations about display and information to customers.
The prices display, the service offer display and obviously the display of general terms and conditions of sale are among the most important obligations.
Legal documents are clear on the fact that they must be displayed in order to be visible and directly readable by customers.


Dry cleaning text

Concerning the prices display, the following articles selection must be displayed on the window and be visible from the outside, and must include the prices including taxes and the quality of services offered:

Laundry part

White bed sheet
Colour bed sheet
Fitted sheet
Man shirt
Laundry cleaning by weight
(no drying, 4kg minimum, price by weight)

Dry cleaning part

Trousers
Jacket
Skirt 
Dress
Coat or raincoat

Inside the shop, you must display the general price for 50 services maximum and indicate that other prices are available on demand.

 

You must also detail the service quality, according to the 3 following levels:


Economical service

The garment is cleaned with a solvent, wringed out, then the solvent evaporates. The garment is then ironed mechanically.

Meticulous service

In addition to the solvent cleaning, this service offers a stain-removing pretreatment and a meticulous mechanical ironing.

High quality service

This service includes a specialized stain-removing pretreatment before the solvent cleaning, then a manual ironing.

      And of course, you must display the general terms and conditions with your up to date reimbursement scale.

      You are also obliged to inform your customers about the risks related to the services you offer. Indeed, you do not have any obligation to produce a specific result, but only an obligation of means. Consequently, you may be held responsible for damages only when you make a mistake or don’t comply with the professional standards.

      Don’t forget the crucial role of the receipt handed over at drop-off. It may be very helpful in the event of a litigation, especially if it includes specific comments such as reservations.

      I remind you that the profession unions are able to help you.

      They put several tools at your disposal: displays of prices, services’ quality definition, standard general terms and conditions, and also applicable reimbursement scales.


      Useful links
      Institut national de la consommation (national consumer council)https://www.inc-conso.fr/content/les-teinturiers-et-pressings
      FFPB Fédération Française des Pressings et Blanchisseries (French federation for dry cleaners and laundries)https://www.ffpb.fr/
      CFET Île de Francehttps://cfet.fr/
      CET Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
      https://cet-aura.com/

      2. Why were these obligations implemented?

      Putting aside the legal obligation from the French consumer code which is mainly focused on the consumer protection, this information allows you to have a necessary legal framework for litigation management, which is pretty common in our profession. This legal framework determines the relations between you and your joint contractor.

      In fact, this information allows to clarify the extent and the boundaries of the work to be done, but also the compensation claimed by unsatisfied customers.


      Facing discontentment is not always easy, and general terms and conditions, even though they seem to be meant for protecting the consumers first, are useful to limit the excesses and sometimes face the bad faith from certain customers taking advantage of conflicts.

      We invite you to control your store’s displays and do what is necessary to be in compliance. Obviously in order to protect you in the event of an audit, but also and foremost to ensure your customer relationship’s quality, which is today the heart of all modern businesses.

      Problem solution picture

      3. How can my IT tool help me?

      Most of us give our customers a receipt from our IT system that will allow them to get their garments back.
      For example, it is possible to overwrite the printing with “free” messages at the bottom of the receipt (obviously not the entire terms and conditions because they would be too long, but some key notes). 
      You could also have thermal rolls manufactured with your terms and conditions on the back, but the cost is high and the solution has a limit (if you change your terms and conditions for example).
      Finally, you may print your general terms and conditions on flyers and staple the receipt to those. The printing cost can be an obstacle, and you should be careful with the size of the document you hand out to customers.


       


       

      At your service

      Inforum’s proposition with GestiClean...

      In order to address some of the key issues explained above, GestiClean offers today the following features:

      “Message” feature
      The users can overwrite the receipts with a chosen text. For instance, you could add your complete general terms and conditions. But be careful with the final size of the receipt. Here is an example we recommend:

      "Subcontracting services to your dry cleaner shall be understood as acceptance of the general terms and conditions displayed in the point of sale. They are visible and readable next to the counter. If the customer does not accept these conditions, the customer shall deny the services and recover his garments before they are treated. In case of complaint on a service, the general terms and conditions are applicable as they were defined when the garments were dropped off. In case of disagreement, a conciliatory report shall be made.”

      “Litigation” feature
      You can register a conciliatory report with the customer.
      If equipped with complementary software GestiClean Back Office, users are able to follow the case file progress.

      “Prices printing” feature
      You can print:
      - The whole price list to keep behind the counter, available for any customer request.
      - The window price list of an article selection (box to check on each item). This price list with big letters is meant to be displayed on the window.