Airing Dirty Laundry

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Now that the crafty title got your attention you may be disappointed to learn that this post will not be a gossip-filled expos’e about your neighbors. I see you are still reading. Admit it — the old bait and switch tactic worked, didn’t it? So hang me out to dry; but before you do let me tell you about the coin vs. smart card operated laundry machines. They could be coming to a co-op near you.

Have you ever prepared to do laundry, first separating the colors and whites, then grabbing the bleach and laundry detergent only to discover that you have no coins? What do you do next? Run to a neighbor and ask, “Got quarters?”

If you have ever been there and done that, then consider this . . .

Most everything these days is going – if not already gone – high tech. Would you believe that many laundry rooms in New York co-ops and condos have gotten progressive and are using coinless – that’s what I said – coinless laundry machines? You read it right. Instead of inserting coins in washers and dryers, residents use credit or debit cards or a smart phone app to pay for their laundry services. This information was reported by Jonathan Barnes in the April issue of the co-op and condo monthly newspaper The Cooperator. In the same article Barnes quotes Andrew Fisher, owner of the New York based Hi-Rise Laundry Equipment Corporation as saying that “Within the next few years coin machines will be another thing of the past.”

Although reportedly expensive to maintain, the futuristic laundry machines could one day become commonplace in co-ops and condos, and a smart/debit card to operate them may become as familiar as an ATM Bank Debit card and Metro Smart Card. The Cooperator further reports that “laundry smart systems” will also allow laundry doers to check on their iPhones to see when their load of clothes is done washing or drying.

Unlike some co-ops that rent their laundry machines, FGC owns our washers and dryers and has designated members, who operate on a principal of trust, to empty the coin boxes and carry the quarters to the bank for depositing in the co-op account.  Progressive thinkers may like the idea of card operated machines, but considering that our buildings  are nearly 60 years old, it is highly unlikely that our coin activated washers and dryers will ever be replaced with smart card  machines; at least not in the existing buildings, if you know what I mean.

To learn more about the coin vs. smart card laundry machines read what iMonex has to say.

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