If you’ve ever been upset with the poor level of service and aggressive pricing tactics from Cintas, you’re not alone.
Customers all across the country enter contracts with Cintas for their uniform, apparel, and cleaning supply services only to find that Cintas constantly changes their rates and adds extra fees or overcharges that don’t make sense.
Unfortunately, canceling a Cintas contract and finding a different vendor is not only challenging, but it isn’t always a great option because all major uniform companies partake in these poor business practices. Other companies like Unifirst, Aramark, and Alsco engage in similar practices.
The best approach is to gain an understanding of how to renegotiate your contract terms and receive credits for any billing errors or overcharges, and more importantly, ensure you put yourself in a position to protect yourself going forward. In almost all cases, this will require you to work with a team of industry experts that know how to handle nuanced negotiations and service disputes with Cintas.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the major issues customers have with Cintas contracts and how they can go about negotiating better contract terms and getting the money back they deserve.
Operating in almost 500 facilities with more than 40,000 employees in North America, Cintas supplies uniform rentals and cleaning services to companies. They offer everything that’s needed to make the workspace a safe and clean environment.
They dominate the industry because they act as a sort of one-stop center for all a company’s cleaning requirements, whereas Cintas competitors usually only compete with them in certain functions.
For example, if we look at Cintas competitors, we see that while Cintas offers a whole range of products and services, companies similar to Cintas only offer some of them.
It’s so important to read the fine print in all contracts, and the one between your business and Cintas Corporation is no exception. Here’s what you need to know before adding your name to a Cintas contract:
The most common reasons for customers wanting to cancel Cintas contracts include:
When contracts are not properly negotiated or monitored, any vendor — including Cintas’ competitors — is going to take advantage, so switching is not the answer. Instead, there are solutions to more effectively managing your Cintas contract so that it works for you instead of against you.
Switching to a Cintas competitor will not solve your problems, because in this industry, the truth is that all vendors will take advantage if the contract wasn’t properly negotiated or monitored.
So lesson #1: always get professional assistance before signing a contract. That being said, if you’re already locked in a bad contract, we can assist as well.
In some cases, regardless if we can save money and reconcile the issues, the client may still want to get out of their Cintas contract as soon as possible. This isn’t always possible, as the contracts are binding, but here are some steps you can take.
As we’ve seen, Cintas contracts can be tricky to get out of and even harder to manage ongoing. In some cases it may not be possible to get out of your contract, so your best option is to negotiate your terms and rates with Cintas.
This level of work with Cintas requires in-depth expertise which is where P3 Cost Analysts can help. We help you reduce your Cintas spending with a proven process.
To begin, we’ll need your Cintas service agreement and the last 4 weeks of invoices. You’ll need to sign a service agreement and letter of authorization to enable us to obtain what we need from Cintas.
It takes us on average, 2 – 3 weeks to conduct a full audit of your invoices, and then we’ll report our initial findings to you. We’ll also check contract compliance and examine all pricing variables for errors and overcharges. Because of our industry expertise, most often we are able to find enough to reduce your bill by about 35%.
Once we’ve compiled our findings, we have a 20 – 30 minute call with you for a strategic discussion, then we approach Cintas for renegotiation. Typically, our clients remain with Cintas until their contract expires, but are happier once we are able to reduce costs.
Together with renegotiating better terms for you, 30 – 40% of the time we are also able to secure rebates or refunds for previous overcharges. However, this does depend on any special terms or conditions that may have initially been added.
A one-time audit is not likely to make any vendor pull up their socks and start behaving, so the situation will need to be reviewed on a continual basis.
We audit our clients’ uniform and linen invoices monthly or bi-monthly for contract compliance. With often dozens of line item charges on each invoice, the vendors are notorious for sneaking in price increases that are hard to notice. We monitor these to ensure contract compliance and work to recover those overcharges when we identify them.
The bottom line is that Cintas contracts are a problem for many companies. Difficult contract terms, poor service, and overcharges leave many companies quite frustrated.
If you are ready to take a step toward improving your situation with Cintas, contact us today for a risk-free consultation.