Cintas is Suing Me, Anyone Else Been Through This?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Az Gardener, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    I must have hit the big time I'm being sued :dizzy: I have made a few comments over the years about my displeasure with my uniform service Cintas. I finally had it earlier in the spring and to the letter of my contract I sent a certified letter explaining my reasons I canceled the contract for breach of contract. I didn't hear from them which surprised me I didn't think they would give up easily. Come to find out they don't even have our mailing address. I got a call from their lawyer last week wanting an address to send the paperwork to. Unbelievable.

    Anyone have experience with this kind of thing? I am tempted to go to court without a lawyer except for the old saying a man who acts as his own lawyer has a fool for a client. Anxious to hear what the brain-trust has to say.
  2. DavesLL

    DavesLL LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48

    I would, *at least*, talk with a lawyer about the situation. Bring all documents relating to the matter (i.e., whatever contract they and you had, your letter to them canceling, etc...). Based on what the lawyer says, be ready to bring one to court with you.

    It only takes a few minutes in court sans lawyer for you to be bent over the barrel and screwed. If that happens, you'll be mega pissed you didn't bring a lawyer.

    Besides, if your canceling is per contract terms, then you can probably countersue afterwards for legal and court costs. But talk to a lawyer. One should always come to a fight properly armed; knife to a knife fight, gun to a gun fight, and slime sucking lawyer to a slime fight.
  3. jsf343

    jsf343 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,786

    wow unbelievable.

    I agree 100%% with the above poster ^ I would definitely have your ducks in a row, you are dealing with a large company that probably pays their lawyer well and obviously takes their contract seriously, even if they don't fulfill their end of the deal.

    I would take this very seriously and lay out everything in a time-line the best you remember it ON PAPER, all documents, contract, what happened, when, etc. before you even go see the lawyer, this way your version is ready to go and he can get up to speed quickly and will be prepared to defend you, the rest of the pieces will fall into place as time goes on. I am not trying to worry or scare you just trying to tell you to be prepared for battle, the sooner you get going the better, this is not small fry you are dealing with.

    good luck I hope It turns out ok for you.
  4. PLS-Tx

    PLS-Tx LawnSite Silver Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 2,383

    We are 2 years in on a 3 year contract with a uniform company, not Cintas, my wife and I can't wait until we are finished with them.

    It has been nothing but a headache since we started with them.

    We have decided not to order uniforms for any other employees, we will just let the contract run out with what we have.

    We are planning to order screen printed shirts next week.

    Funny thing is, if we went with another service we were thinking about Cintas, well, maybe not. We are with Aramark now. :dizzy:
  5. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    Cintas has deep pockets,

    But in all seriousness you should not have this problem in the first place. Having a uniform service like cintas is silly. Delete the uniform service line item for next year and buy and or replace your uniforms with ones from Wearguard and put ineffect a clean uniform policy and place this responsibility onto the employees. Problem solved and money saved.

    What did cintas do or not do?????
  6. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889


    Aramark is the parent company of Wearguard they are a stand-up company what are they doing to you? I would like to know, one of my oldest friends is a big-shot their, what should I tell him please just the truth and I will call him on his cell....
  7. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    My first letter in March of 10 I detailed this list of complaints that got no response.
    • I asked for and paid for long tails so the guys shirts would stay tucked in better. This was a selling point of the sales person. I complained to my driver that the tails didn't seem any longer and he said thats because they are not. The have some additional letters on the tag if they do.
    • I was also charged to have my shirts embroidered and after a month they still were not embroidered. After my complaints to the driver they began pulling them to get them embroidered. After two years I still have shirts that are not embroidered.
    • When we moved from one building on a 2 acre estate to another building on the same estate. The driver could not find the building for 3 weeks and we got no service. Even though I put a note on the door with a map. No credits were issued.
    • I went with Cintas because they were pitched as the high end provider and it was reflected in their cost. I'm very buys and don't really have time to babysit my uniform company. They were at least 30% higher than the next bid and I don't even care about the money I just wanted the trouble free service I was sold.
    My biggest error in this whole thing is that I didn't stay on them but then again I paid extra to not have to. In April of this year I read the contract and found my out was a certified letter outlining my complaints and giving them an oppertunity to respond.
    • This time my complaints were that my shirts were wearing out from normal wear and tear and I was being charged forthem even though this was a focal point of my discussion with my sales person when I made the decision to go with Cintas. There again thats why I paid the premium price. I don't mind paying for things we damage but when you wear a shirt 12 hours a day for 80 plus weeks they will wear out.
    • When we moved from our old location to our new office same thing again even though I left a map and address the driver couldn't find the new office for a couple of weeks again no credit or apoligies.
    • The final straw was when I got a new driver and he never called to set up a meeting or time to drop off uniforms, after a month of no service he did manage to slide a bill under my door for 4 weeks of service.
    That's when I wrote a letter and sent it certified. Never did get a call except from the lawyer last week. There were a few more smaller things but those were the big problems.
  8. newz7151

    newz7151 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Tejas
    Messages: 2,419

    Were the dumbasses there not able to look at the return address on the certified letter in order to contact you?

    And yes, I agree, CINTAS Sucks for a smaller company. I am a principal of this business (dealer store) and yet i'm walking around in shirts with patches looking like a damned hobo. I continue to get shirts back that i have put their stupid orange tags on with a string still tied to them but no tag and no repair or replacement. Had i known then what i know now, there's no effin way i would have ever called them about uniforms for our little 3 person outfit.

    Oh, and did you see now, (current users) that there is a price increase being shoved down our throats "due to the price of cotton" ? What the hell does the price of cotton have to do with laundering EXISTING uniforms that are only 35% cotton to begin with, and made with cheap labor in Haiti (pants), (ComfortFlex shirts SAY Made in USA, but that may just be the label...)

    I'd like to look into the company that was on UndercoverBoss.. i think it was Uni1rst.
  9. MudslinginFX4

    MudslinginFX4 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,170

    We've had Cintas for a couple of years, like others, we aren't too happy with their service either. I don't think i'll be using them again after the contract.

    My employees pay for the uniforms and sometimes i'm embarrassed to charge them because they dont even have all their uniforms.
  10. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,972

    First thing, I would not worry that you will be facing Perry Mason and F. Lee Bailey as their attorneys. The problem won't be that they will have expensive lawyers, it will more likely be that they face this issue time and time again and will likely be well versed in applicable case law.

    I have been through a few things. In a situation like this you may not even face an attorney. It could well be the local Cintas manager who shows up to represent them and if that is the case if you have a good lawyer you may be able to destroy their case. Judges are often more sympatetic to the little guy and you are the little guy. Sometimes they won't even show up for cases like this. They gamble that the threat of the suit will just pull you back into line. Part of it may depend on the amount of business they were getting from you. If you have a few hundred employees, then they are more likley to try to enforce the contract. If you have a handful the money may not be worth it for them.

    Of the two lawsuits that were something of the nature of yours, in one case no one showed for them and in the other the local branch manager showed.

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