Monday, June 30, 2014

Washio laundry pickup service: nice idea, poor execution

I'm not a big fan of doing laundry: it takes a while and then folding it takes even longer. So when I heard about Washio, the service that picks up your clothes, washes them and drops them off already folded or on hangers, I was interested. However, in my experience, it wasn't very reliable and kind of pricey.

The service has two rates: wash and fold (think t-shirts, shorts, socks, underwear, etc.) and laundered shirts like dress shirts, slacks, blouses and so on and dry clean items. It's $1.60 per pound for wash and fold and $2.75 for laundered shirts. They bring the bags, you fill them up and that's that -- they take them, clean them, and bring them back. I decided to give them a big order to test it out, with about a dozen laundered shirts and about 25 t-shirts and polos.

The "ninjas" as the delivery folks are called pick up the clothes at a location you specify with a half-hour interval you chose, and then same with delivery. However, I had a lot of problems with both the pickup and delivery drivers  -- the pickup was 1-1.5 hours late, and the dropoff didn't happen at all on the day I specified. They did give a discount, but it was a frustrating experience.

I chose 8-8:30 pm on a Thursday for pickup and dropoff from 8-8:30 on Monday. About 7 pm on Thursday I got a text saying the ninja was on the way, then about an hour later (right about when the pickup window started) I got one saying he was running late due to traffic. They immediately offered 15% off for that inconvenience, which I appreciate. However, by 9:30 the driver still wasn't there, being an hour or 1.5 hours late. I texted back and they said he'd be here soon. When he did arrive, he said it was a crazy day, and he didn't have any bags so I got some trash bags to fill up. Kind of frustrating, but ok, stuff happens. (I had also been one number off on my address when I entered my info, but it was just across the street, so that couldn't have added any time.)

On Monday, I called ahead to ask if I could move the dropoff an hour earlier. They said no problem, and sure enough, I got a text an hour before the updated time that they'd be there in an hour -- so far, so good. I had to go to something at 8, so 7-7:30 would be perfect. However, 7:30 rolled around, then 7:45 and nobody. My roommates said they could grab it (the payment happens via credit card, so they didn't need to pay) and I left. Later on I texted my roommates and they said nobody had showed up. I texted then called the customer service number (to their credit, they are responsive via text and phone.)

The person I spoke to didn't have my dropoff order in her system, so it didn't happen. She thought something about a time change might have been to blame -- they're based in LA, so maybe the person I spoke to changed the time to Pacific rather then Eastern. No other ninjas were available that night, so I had to wait. She apologized profusely and offered to give me a further discount, which was nice, but not as nice as getting my clothes. They were available to come by next morning, earlier than I wanted but still doable, so I scheduled somebody between 7:30 and 8am. The driver came by at 8:15am, but by that time I was just happy to be done with the process.

It's possible I was just unlucky, but two late appointments and one totally missed appointments was enough for me to question the service in general. To their credit, they were very apologetic and also offered a discount on future orders, but I'm not sure I want to try again. The final tally was about $38, but that was after a $20 discount due to the problems I had -- without the discounts, that was $24 for the wash and fold and $36 for the laundered shirts -- $60 for 25 t-shirts and polos and a dozen laundered shirts.

If you want to try the service for yourself, you can use my code, wisemam146h022, to get $10 off. I hope your experience is better than mine.


  1. Bummer to hear of your less than stellar experience. I was thinking a pick up laundry service would be so handy - esp. when my washing machine broke down recently and there was a week wait for the next service call.

    I'm wary to try this service out. I'd settle for a laundromat who also does by-the-pound wash and fold services - like you find all over NYC.

  2. Do they have those here? That sounds pretty great too.

    I may have just been unlucky, so who knows.

  3. Hey Andrew - I am the DC City Ops Manger for Washio - I'm truly sorry to hear of your less-than-stellar experience. I can assure you our standards are infinitely higher than what you experienced. I'd love for you to give us another shot to win back your favor. You can reach out to me at if you have any further feedback you'd like to share or if you'd like to set up a call. I truly appreciate your honesty and take your feedback very seriously, so thank you.
    Cheers! Lori

  4. I'm a driver for this awesome service called Washio which is the uber for dry cleaning and laundry. Try Washio - - using my code DAVR10 and get $10 off your first order. Washio is open in SF, LA, DC and Chicago with more cities opening soon.

  5. Over the last year or so, I’ve definitely become one of those people who outsource everything. I use Uber, Lyftline (for when I need to go somewhere further away) and Washio for dry cleaning and laundry. Washio is AMAZING if you haven’t used it. It’s like Uber in that you request a ninja to come to your house, they arrive within whatever half hour time window you select, give you a cookie and reusable bags and then return your clothes ready to put away the next day. SUCH a time saver and actually really affordable. If anyone wants to try it, use the code DAPPER10 for $10 off your first order.


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