Do you know your uniform rental program’s replacement rates? A replacement rate is the cost per item you pay for anything you lose or ruin. Lost seven shop towels? That’s $.42 a piece. Tore your pants? That’s $28.50. Lost 3 coveralls? That’ll be $42.00 each. Are those listed in your agreement? You might think they are, but you should double check. Unfortunately, some providers do not list replacement rates in the agreement or original rate sheet. Some providers don’t even list them on the invoice UNTIL the charge occurs. Don’t let your provider charge you whatever they want when the charge occurs.

YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO TRANSPARENT PRICING

If you are in a position where there is no published replacement rate sheet, then ask your provider to provide one. Now. No excuses. For every single item that you are renting, including equipment – like lockers or soap dispensers. Any item that you rent – even the ones you’re getting “free” by only paying two cents a week (like a bag stand) – will have a replacement rate, and you need to know what it is. You especially need to know if you’re about to start negotiating a renewal or a quit. If you don’t have this information in hand, your provider will have additional leverage against you.

While this task may seem like a bit of a no-brainer, don’t be surprised if your provider drags their feet on this. If they don’t comply right away, be prepared to be pushy. If your provider does not comply, then this should be a major red flag. Why don’t they want to publish the rates for you? To what end does it serve to keep the pricing hidden until it becomes a billable item? What do you think?

DO THOSE REPLACEMENT RATES SEEM ODD?

To put a finer point on it, you need to be clear to request “the current replacement rate sheet,” not just replacement rates. Your provider could very well give you the rates from the beginning of the agreement – from two years ago – but that does you no good. Be sure that they include language on the rate sheet that indicates WHEN the prices are effective, and WHEN they can be revised. And while you’re at it, go ahead and ask for the original rate sheet – the one from when you first signed on. This may seem like a bit of footwork, but it could save you tons of profit if things start going sideways. At the end of the day, demand clear pricing communication from your provider. Why accept less when you don’t have to?