Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a service guarantee?

Yes! We offer the strongest guarantee in our market – it’s money back! We put our money where our mouth is. It’s our personal family commitment to you and your employees. If we fail to fulfill our promises to you, and you fire us, Model will pay your first month’s rent with your new supplier.

Is there a service contract?

Yes!  It clearly spells out the products, services and pricing that we guarantee you, and we guarantee a limitation on any price increase for the full term of the agreement. We’re proud of our customer-friendly service agreement!  It clearly states that you can quit anytime if we don’t fulfill our promises – we just ask for a fair chance to correct any problems, considering our substantial up-front investment in inventory. The BBB reviewed our agreement and awarded Model with the Integrity Award (2011-WMi). If any company tells you they don’t have a contract, ask them if you can start your rental service without signing any paperwork! Then call Model!

Our agreement is typically for five years to help cover costs to depreciate our upfront investment, and continued, ongoing investments for new wearers, size changes, and upgrades. But we’re local and independent, so we have flexibility to customize pricing and terms for you.  For example, we offer service with no long-term commitment from you…we just charge a little more for it.

Is there an automatic renewal?

Yes, because we continue to reinvest in uniforms (for new wearers, size changes, upgrading worn-out uniforms), we ask for a reasonable notice if you choose not to renew with us.  We also use our contracts to help plan routing and staffing and to plan inventory requirements in advance.

Should I rent, lease, or purchase uniforms?

Rental Program

Rental service provides the most complete program and includes: high-quality, comfortable Identiforms ®, proper sizing, clean clothes dependably delivered weekly, repairs, and replacements due to use or size changes.

Why Rental Works

    • Model’s Service is Guaranteed
    • Flexible to Meet Your Changing Needs
    • No Large, Upfront Investment
    • Variety of Protection Plans to Fit Your Company’s Changing Needs
    • Large Selection of Highest-Quality Identiforms ®
    • Employees Appreciate Uniform Service – Surveys Prove It
    • Weekly Service is Dependable, Convenient, Reliable
    • No Inventory, Storage, or Ordering Costs
    • No Maintenance Costs
    • No Interruptions, No Excuses

Leasing Program

A lease program provides many of the benefits of rental, except that your employees are responsible to wash their own uniforms.

Purchase Program

A purchase program gives you the option of any garment from any of Model’s suppliers. Purchase programs give you quality Identiforms ® , image-promoting logo emblems, and value pricing, with your employees being responsible for cleaning.

Are you local? How long have you been in business?

Since 1923 (that’s 91 years!), we’ve been known as a local family business. We were recognized by the United States Small Business Association as the Small Family Business of the Year for Michigan, and by the BBB as the Integrity Award winner (WMi-2011). We provide significant charitable funds in our community, and we fund scholarships at local universities.

We’re small…do you have a minimum delivery charge? We’re big…can you service us?

Almost no company is too small or too large for Model to service. Because we offer so many products you already use (assuming you use soap and toilet paper in your bathroom!) and because of our service and pricing flexibility, we can service most all small businesses. And with our size, technology, systems, and experience, we can service the largest businesses in our market.

How do you make sure repairs get done right away? Do you charge for repairs?

We use a unique, patented washable repair tag system. The tag never gets separated from the garment, unlike the old-fashioned and unreliable string-tag system, so your repairs will get done right, the first time, on time. In addition, we incentivize our production personnel to find holes and tears and buttons that need fixing with daily cash bonuses.

How do you make sure we get our own uniforms?

Model’s Acc-u-trak and Acc-u-sort systems use a patented system using proven bar code technology to automatically sort and keep track of your uniforms, so you get them all back, week after week.  Believe it or not, Model was the first laundry in the Midwest to have a complete automated system that virtually eliminates manual sorting of garments, way back in 1997. No one has been using automated sorting as long as Model. We practically invented bar codes….and the internet!

What is your service area?

Model services most of the lower peninsula of Michigan, approximately south of M-55 and west of US-23. Plus, we service Indiana north of US-30 and west of I-15. We can arrange service for your locations in other locations through our membership in a national association of independent industrial launderers.

Do you have an environmental/energy charge?

Yes. This charge helps offset the fluctuating costs related to current or projected environmental regulation, water, sewer, energy, delivery, and more. Model works hard to stay in compliance with city, state and federal guidelines. You are welcome to visit our plant and see our filtering and heat reclamation programs. We do not have other charges that some of our competitors have: service charges, delivery charges, statement charges, utility charges and more.

Do we ever own the uniforms?

In a typical rental program, we, the supplier, always own the uniforms. We provide them to you without any upfront investment on your part, and then you return them to us when an employee’s employment with you ends.

Do you depreciate charges for damaged, lost or buyout garments?

We can, although typically we charge one flat rate – it’s much easier for our customers, and for us, to administer. Everyone knows what the cost is going to be, so there’s no guessing or waiting for the computer to figure it out. But let us know what you’d prefer! We’re flexible and willing to fit your individual circumstances.

Do you charge more for big sizes?

Yes. Since our suppliers charge us 20%+ more for larger-sized garments, we charge more, too. Size premiums start at 2XL for shirts and 44 waist pants.

Do we have to pay if we don’t turn in any uniforms one week, for example, if an employee is on vacation?

Yes, since our rental pricing already takes into consideration that uniform wearers have a few vacation weeks per year, and are off for other reasons from time to time, like holidays, sick leave, etc.

It’s the same for towels, mats, mops, aprons, and other products. Even if you don’t turn in very many, or any, one week, the rental charges do apply, since we don’t have that inventory for our other customers to use and pay for.  And you might turn in ‘extra’ the following week. It’s a little like your home – if you go away for a week to visit family in Florida, you still pay your rent or your mortgage.

What’s the difference between lease and rental? Do we have to purchase the uniforms upfront to get started?

No, you don’t have to purchase inventory upfront. Model does that for you. That’s part of the great convenience and benefit of using a uniform rental company.

Rental: Model provides the uniforms and emblems, delivery, pick-up, wash-dry-finish, repairs, upgrades. We take back uniforms when someone quits, and promptly fill orders for new wearers.

Lease: Leasing uniforms offers many of the same advantages of our managed rental program except that your employees clean their own garments. We still provide them up-front, take them back if someone leaves, and upgrade as they wear out. Leasing is often appropriate for wearers that work out of town and aren’t regularly able to turn in their uniforms for washing, like OTR driers.

What kind of detergents do you use? Can you get our uniforms clean?

Our wash formulas are professionally developed, monitored, and maintained by chemical experts from Ecolab, one of the largest and most environmentally-friendly companies in the world. Our Ecolab rep visits Model regularly to make sure the formulas and equipment are working properly to keep our products consistently clean, bright, and sanitary. Odds are, we can get your clothes clean!

What is the average tenure of your employees?

10 years for our route and service personnel

15 years for our production personnel

12 years for our office

6 years for Model First Aid, Safety & Training

More acronyms and jargon: What does it all mean?

AIM: Automatic Inventory Maintenance (to upgrade towel and apron inventory

RAN: Replace As Needed (how we upgrade worn-out uniforms)

BARCODE: The unique number identifying each individual garment that we give to a wearer (it’s how we make sure we get the right garments back to the right wearer every time, and track the data for our usage, and for yours).

65/35: Uniforms made of fabric that is 65% polyester and 35% cotton – they are soft and comfortable, yet durable and long-lasting.

EOW: Mat or towel service that is delivered and billed Every Other Week (every two weeks) instead of every single week.  E4W:  Every Four Week service.

DPP/LPP/SPP: These are our optional Protection Plans to prevent Damage Charges (DPP), Lost Garment Charges (LPP) and Stockroom Charges (SPP) such as for emblems and processing new orders.

What is “AIM” and why do we have to have it? We’re a small company - we don’t lose towels and aprons.

“AIM” is Automatic Inventory Maintenance. It is a way to pay a little bit every week, instead of a lot all at once, to replace towels and aprons that get lost and ruined during use, so we can keep our inventory upgraded and looking nice. It’s how we maintain a high-quality inventory. Now, we know some customers lose/damage more towels than others, but because our customers don’t really want to pay us for the labor to count and examine thousands of towels every day, we simply use an age-old industry-average calculation to determine lost and ruined towels or aprons, and apply that formula to all accounts.

Do you do embroidery?

Yes! We sell and rent a lot of shirts, coats and jackets, sweaters, hats, and other items with embroidery. We also make/purchase silk-screen and embroidered patches. Our embroidery is done in Grand Rapids, not overseas.

Can we just buy uniforms instead of renting?

Yes! We offer rental, lease and also direct purchase programs. We can even set up a custom web-site for your company showing just the items you want to make available to your employees. It usually pays to have a good conversation about which program is the right fit for your company. Often, different programs are best for different departments within a company. For example, maintenance personnel might be in a rental program, while sales personnel are in an embroidered polo shirt direct purchase program.

How long does it take to fill our first order? When can I get my clothes?

Most initial orders are delivered in two weeks. Then, new wearers almost always take just one week, except for very large sizes. We’re really good at this. Test us!

Can we get uniforms in special styles and colors? How is that handled?

Yes! We offer a very large variety of “stock” styles and colors as standard rental items, although not every single color and style in our manufacturers’ catalogs. But we can get just about anything for you! When a customer wants something special, for example, striped shirts with epaulets and pocket flaps, because we can’t use those shirts for any other customer those pieces require special pricing and terms. We usually call that a “buyout”. We offer unique and custom options for this, so we can be flexible with our terms to fit your particular circumstances. No one else in our market offers all these options.

It’s kind of like leasing a car for 5 years. You can lease a standard vehicle with standard pricing and terms. But if you want special features and a custom color, your lease pricing and terms are going to be different.

What are your protection plans so we don’t have to pay for lost or damaged uniforms or for emblems, names and processing charges?

Model offers a unique array of optional protection plans that allow you to pay a little more every week so you avoid paying Loss Charges (LPP), Damage Charges (DPP), Emblem/Name and Processing Charges (SPP). These plans can save you money, although they are primarily designed to save you time and hassles in administering your uniform program with your employees.

What’s your policy if we damage or lose uniforms?

Rental pricing is based on most uniforms lasting approximately 2 ½ years (depending on the style of garment and the work environment). So, if a garment is damaged and needs to be replaced before that time, there is an additional charge. Also, one reason our service is so economical is because we get back uniforms from customers when a wearer quits and reuse those pieces on a new wearer. So, we have to charge if the uniforms are damaged or lost and therefore can’t be reused.

How often do we get new uniforms?

Typically, we replace/upgrade uniforms when they wear out. That’s really different for each wearer. But, on average, 65% polyester/35% cotton professional uniforms last 50 washes. That’s about 2 ½ years per piece, given that there are usually 11 sets per person. If you need a different schedule for replacements, let us know. We’re flexible.

Will I have 24/7 online access to my account?

Yes. You can view invoices and statements, payment history, garment/bar code status, plus place orders for new wearers or size changes using dropdown boxes, or just to send us an email.

Can we order online?

Yes, you can order online, although for direct purchases from our catalogs typically we call you to confirm the email and get credit card information for payment. Rental customers can order garments for new wearers, or request size changes 24/7 by logging into the customer site.

What are the payment options?

Just fill out a credit application and pay us monthly, by the 20th of the month following delivery. Or pay by credit card. We can but prefer not to carry cash. You can pay us electronically, too. We leave an invoice on each delivery, and can email statements and invoices monthly if you want. You can check your invoices and statement online 24/7.

Can I see samples of emblems and names?

Please visit the Model Mates Page.