Have you ever wondered why there are warnings on certain products or why there is often so much small print on rental agreements? I know when I have read things on my hair dryer like “do not use in the bathtub” or the obvious “content may be hot” on my Starbucks it seems self-explanatory. I think everyone has that internal voice that says “duh”. Sadly these things have been written because people have actually done them. Common sense may not be that common after all.
One policy we had to implement was regarding damages and replacement costs. To be honest, we don’t want to charge people for damages. It is more hassle for us to replace one lost table cloth and a couple of napkins. We would much rather it was returned. It may seem that replacement costs are quite high (our policy is the replacement is seven times the non-discounted rental rate). What it comes down to is that most manufacturers have minimum purchase quantities. We can’t just replace 1 napkin, you have to buy at least a dozen. Then there is the shipping and exchange rate and so on. Another thing we have found, especially with unique colors and specialty stuff is that dye lots may change from batch to batch so when you replace it it doesn’t match.
The thing with rental products is that they are the property of the people who own then not the people renting them. The rentor is being trusted to take stuff that doesn’t belong to them. We know that with linens they are going to get food stains and wine stains but there are things we don’t expect such as personal hand written messages in Sharpie to the bride and groom. As heart-felt as the statements are the next couple probably won’t appreciate your drunken scrawls nearly as much.
We have some crazy chemical formulas that can take out food stains, wine, mould, you name it. The one thing that does not come out is Sharpie so along with your love note, that picture of male anatomy makes it impossible for me to re-rent your table cloth and your buddy just bought you a nice table cloth for your house!
Some times when things get rented we don’t know how they are going to be used, the sky’s the limit for creativity. We just ask that if you alter a linen (fold it or pin it), that the changes are not permanent. If you call up our office and ask if you can just trim the linen because you feel it is hanging a bit too long, the answer is going to be NO. More like a Hell, NO! Cutting linen is not an option.
I’m sure you are thinking who really does this stuff, but the fact that if it is in our terms and conditions means it has happened on more than one occasion.
You are also probably thinking “Man, these rental people are mean with all their rules”, which brings up the topic of late fees. Similar to replacement costs, I would love to not charge late fees, it’s a truly a pain to hunt people down when they don’t bring stuff back. A couple of tips, if you are going to be late returning just give a quick call and let someone know. We are human and do understand but if you wait four days before contacting us that you are going to be late, then tell me it will be back that evening, and then don’t show up and keep it for an extra weekend. We will have to charge you for a rental. Yes it is one thing if the linen is going out and we have to get it ready for another bride that wants that exact product. Beyond that it is the damage that can happen when stains sit in fabric. It is pretty darn stinky when you leave huge chunks of cake, and late night buffet wrapped up in linen and then leave everything sitting in the trunk of your car while you head out on your honeymoon. It makes you gag when you open up the laundry for that return.
So a quick word of advice, read the fine print and don’t feel the need to do something that will have me re-writing the terms and conditions of our rental contracts yet again. A little common sense can go along way, don’t let the sparkles and toule of any event make you forget yours.