It seems like there’s an app for everything these days, including laundry. This OP’s apartment recently upgraded their machines such that they now have to use an app to get their laundry done. The only issue with the app is that it’s very slow but the clever OP found a loophole because of this.
Apparently, when they press start on the app, then click Start on the machine, and then get out of the app while it’s connecting, the machine will start but not charge you any money. They’ve been doing this successfully for months and getting away with it.