Shannon and I maintain hours that are just inconvenient enough to totally conflict with our drycleaning needs, so about a month ago, we started hunting for a good company that did pickup and delivery. We were pretty excited (unreasonably so, I’ll admit) when we found Zoots, as they completely fit our bill — Brookline service, online scheduling of pickups, twice-weekly visits, automatic billing, and named as one of the Best of Boston. What we had no clue about is that, alas, Zoots completely sucks.

When they returned our very first order to us, it was hard to tell if they had suboptimally cleaned one of Shannon’s dresses or if they had completely ignored it. While scheduling the next pickup, we told them this, and the rep told us to just leave it hanging outside the laundry bag so that they would know to clean it again free-of-charge. This was a good thing. Alas, the scheduled day came and went without anything being picked up. This was a bad thing. When we called, the customer service rep couldn’t explain why this happened, promising us a call from the dispatch manager so that we could discuss whether or not we wanted to keep our account with them. That call never came, and when I called them two days later, the reps said that they (again) couldn’t explain but that they would guarantee that everything would be picked up the next day. I begrudgingly agreed with Shannon that we’d give them another chance.

Two days ago, I got home from work to find that they had picked up the laundry bag, but had not picked up the dress. The customer service rep (yet again) couldn’t explain a thing, but said that she’d schedule an “emergency pickup” for yesterday and leave a message for the manager to call me for an explanation. I gave her a choice — guarantee the pickup, or return the laundry bag, uncleaned, so that we could find a more competent drycleaner. She opted for the former, and you’d have to be as blind as I was to not see where this was headed.

Since I never received the promised call, I guess I shouldn’t have been shocked to see the dress hanging, untouched, outside our door when I got back from work yesterday. Likewise, I should have expressed no surprise when the customer service reps had no clue why this happened or how to fix it. As things stand, the surprise will come only if my clothes make it back to me on Monday without monkey excrement on them, since my mental image of Zoots is now a cage full of chimpanzees whose only skill is answering the phone to say “I don’t know.” And if my experience with them is any benchmark of future performance, I’d stay as far away from them as possible.