My Dry Cleaner Thinks My Last Name Is 'Asshole'

When Alex dropped his clothes off at his dry cleaner for washing, he received a ticket for when he returned to pick them up. He didn’t glance at the ticket until after he left the shop, and was surprised to learn that an unknown employee had dubbed him “Asshole, Alex.” Were they commenting on his behavior as a customer, or was it some kind of terrible phonetic mistake?

We got the story from his co-worker, Tim, because Alex doesn’t read Consumerist or doesn’t know how to use a computer or something. Tim wrote:

My friend Alex dropped off some items to be cleaned at a dry cleaner near where we work in [redacted], a few days ago. He’d been there a few times before for alterations or cleaning.

As every dry cleaning point-of-sale system works, he gave the cashier his phone number, and the POS system pulled up his account. But he didn’t notice until he had left that they had misspelled his name as “Asshole,” as the attached photo shows. His last name is not close to “asshole” at all.

There’s a tiny bit of history here. One time that he took a suit in for alterations, the tailor just plain didn’t do one of the alterations. He took the suit back and nicely asked for them to complete the alteration, which they did. I guess that’s enough to label him an asshole, because other than that, all of his dealings with the place have been good.

Alex still needed to go back to the dry cleaner to pick up his cleaning, so we waited patiently for an update from Tim until after that return visit. As it turns out? The owner of the shop claims that it was an honest phonetic error, and that she didn’t realize that the word was an insult. We won’t publish Alex’s actual last name, but it does have the same “s” and “o” sounds in the middle as the word “asshole.” Otherwise it doesn’t resemble it very much. Tim tagged along for the return trip to this shop:

Well, he got his dry cleaning back, and got it for free.

We went over during our lunch break. He spoke to the owner, who is not a native English speaker, so at first she honestly thought his name was misspelled. With the help of Alex and the other employees there, though, she eventually realized that “asshole” is not a mispronunciation of his last name. He told her he felt disrespected and insulted.

We also discovered that “asshole” had been deleted from the POS system, so he had no last name on there. But his finished dry cleaning still had “asshole” on the receipt stapled to it, which was weird.

The owner eventually apologized. She tried to find out who could be responsible, but since it was entered before he dropped the clothes off, it’ll be difficult.for her to figure it out. She pledged to get to the bottom of it.

Alex was not pleased with that, and suggested that comping the $18 bill, or at least giving some sort of discount, would solve the problem. He offered to leave his clothes there until she figured it out.

She eventually relented and comped the bill for him. It was nice of her, but I doubt either of us will be going back there.

We’re guessing that the Consumerist commentariat has some sort of opinion on this situation. Would you give this dry cleaner another chance?

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