Remember this post? Price Discrimination at Dry Cleaners
So I hand the girl my two shirts and she says "are these man shirts or lady?" I look at her blankly and she says, "oh, these are ladies blouse, so dryclean." I say no, that I don't want them drycleaned, just laundered, no starch. She says they only do that for men's shirts, and that women's shirts have to be drycleaned, at a cost of $2.50 vs. $1.50 each. I argue that that is ridiculous, as all collared cotton shirts are the same and they should charge based on the service rendered, not what gender wears the shirts. She doesn't budge, so I told her I would be taking all my laundry and drycleaning business elsewhere.Well, I'm not the only one. Check out this article from today's New York Times.
And yes, that is where I totally choked. $8.75 vs. $7? For one shirt? My current price for drycleaning a shirt may be a bit higher than the $2.50 price I paid in April 2007, but I think it's still $3 or less. Janet Floyd pays extra to have both her and her husband's shirts hand-ironed, which make the price discrepancy even more outrageous-- the standard justification for charging more for women's shirts is that they do not fit on the pressing machines used for larger men's shirts. Anyway, I feel Ms. Floyd's pain but I can't imagine paying $7 and up to have a shirt cleaned by any method!
For women across New York City and beyond, it basically amounts to being taken to the cleaners. Women’s shirts often cost much more to launder than men’s, even if they are smaller and made of the same cloth.
Many women grudgingly accept the higher prices, much as they accept the perennial lack of pockets in their pants and the lengthier lines outside their restrooms. But not Janet Floyd, a 44-year-old mother, community volunteer and newly minted missionary for gender equality in the wash place.
Ms. Floyd’s crusade began in November, when, she said, she and her husband brought their nearly identical blue Brooks Brothers oxfords to be laundered at Best Cleaners in Chelsea. The shirts came back clean, but Ms. Floyd discovered that hers cost $8.75, his $7.
Is this a problem particular to New York? How much do places in other areas charge to launder shirts?