News

DormAid offers services to time-pressed students

DormAid, a company based in Montvale, N.J., is now on campus and offering its services, which address three common campus concerns: laundry and dry cleaning, grocery delivery and PC backup.

Michael Kopko, CEO of DormAid, said that several people contacted the company with a desire to bring its services to UM.

As DormAid prepared for arrival on campus, Kopko said that Robert Redick, director of residence halls, outlined the business procedures for companies operating on campus. Jon Baldessari, associate director of residence halls, confirmed this.

“Whether you’re Domino’s Pizza or some other service, there are specific practices,” Baldessari said. Citing one concern in particular, he added, “We are protective of students’ privacy.”

DormAid, created in 2004, first began by offering a room cleaning service to Harvard students, where its founders attended college. Since then, the company has expanded and now is available on 23 college campuses.

Students are able to schedule laundry pickup for times of their choosing and may then schedule deliveries.

Another task that DormAid offers to take care of is grocery shopping, which they deliver to customers every two weeks or in tandem with laundry deliveries.

Less conventional fare is also available in the form of the PC backup service. Users are able to back up an unlimited amount of data online using DormAid’s service.

The pricing for DormAid’s services varies. While the grocery and laundry services offer free incentives for signing up, the fees for these are weekly, monthly or based on credits, depending on the service. The laundry service starts at $14.95 per week, the backup service at $4.15 per month and the grocery service at $49.95 for $55 worth of grocery credits.

For students, the question is generally one of lost time versus lost money.

“I would probably use the laundry service,” Jesse Stol, a junior, said.

Doug Lebensfeld, a sophomore, also liked the premise of DormAid. Though he said that the laundry service was something he would consider using, when he learned of the costs he expressed doubt.

“Now that I know the price, I don’t know,” he said.

One contributing factor to students’ opinions is that laundry may be done on campus for free, after a measure passed by Student Government two years ago.

“The majority of our clients are using our laundry service,” said Sonny Palta, president of DormAid at UM.

The university also offers its own PC backup service. The myUMbackup service, which operates in a similar fashion, costs $80 per year for students to store two gigabytes of data. For more information, please contact DormAid at 1-888-4-DORMAID or at www.DormAid.com. For more information about UM’s backup service, please visit www.miami.edu/myUMbackup.

Adam Kreidman may be contacted at a.kreidman@umiami.edu.

September 29, 2006

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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