Does anyone deal with this? - Cleaning Talk - Professional Cleaning and Restoration Forum
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post #1 of Old 03-02-2015, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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Does anyone deal with this?

I got a new client who wants a once/month cleaning, but said just a general cleaning like dusting, vacuuming, clean the bathrooms, kitchen, mop the floors....so not a deep clean because I asked her. I went to her house a couple weeks ago to see what it would entail and she said "her last cleaning lady" didn't dust or clean anything, which was apparent when I was there. She said she had to clean the house herself, but would love me to come in a couple weeks. Well, let me tell you, I'm not sure what she cleaned because the place was disgusting!! Layers of crumbs, dust on the floor had me sweeping, vacuuming, then mopping. Oh man it was not pretty. Five hours later.....she best appreciate the job!!
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post #2 of Old 03-02-2015, 03:46 PM
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While I'm kind of confused by your question.... you ARE a house cleaner... right? You go in and clean dirty houses.... right? I'm not sure what the problem is...?

I'm guessing you didn't charge a first time in charge of atleast $250 to cover the work?

Quite honestly, 5 hours is a minimum time for us to do a first time in clean and that is $250 (although we do give a break sometimes to get the account). If it was as dirty as you say it would have taken us 10-20 man hours to clean and would have cost much more. We did one back in December that took 2 people 8.25 hours = 16.5 man hours. For any first time in clean to only take 5 man hours it must have been fairly clean.
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post #3 of Old 03-02-2015, 07:07 PM Thread Starter
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hmmm.... I apologize.....I wasn't complaining about the time it took or the money; I was commenting on the first time I went to look at their house compared to today when I cleaned it...the fact that they must not have lifted a finger to clean anything in the 2 weeks. I must have pretty clean clients then because it takes me 3-4 hours typically, so I'll enjoy that
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post #4 of Old 03-02-2015, 07:23 PM
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Oooooohhhhh sorry, my fault for misunderstanding.

This actually happened today. I had 2 people go to a house that was bid 2 weeks ago. At that time it didn't have dog urine all over.... today it did. One person actually threw up because it was so bad. Now if they had called me I would have told them to leave and they didn't have to clean it. But, being as dedicated as they are, they sucked it up and finished the job. This lady was going to be every 4 weeks but she will be notified that if it is like that next time we will not clean it. And either way, her price will be going ^UP^!
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post #5 of Old 03-02-2015, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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lol that almost had me throwing up!!

I should have been clear with what I was trying to say
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post #6 of Old 03-15-2015, 10:37 AM
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I have a new client that is every two weeks and her first clean took me 6hrs and 45 minutes. She has 3 bedrooms, 2 half baths, 1 full bath. Problem is she has a dog that sheds terrible...hair everywhere! And a 16 yr old son who refuses to clean his room or pick up his junk. His room was disgusting. So she had me pick up and put his stuff on his bed in order to clean. Heavy things I left on the floor...dont want to hurt my back. Lots of hardwood floors and tile to clean. She said she had a cleaner but moved and her last clean was 3 weeks ago...well she must have been a terrible cleaner because the top of fridge had never been touched or pictures on the wall. The baseboards were disgusting but I didnt wash them because I would have been there for 2 days Ha! and she didn't ask me too. I ran the vacuum over them at least. Anyway, I don't see this job taking less time in the future. I have once a month clients that have bigger homes and take me less time. I need to start charging more for clients with animals that shed...my vacuum cleaner got a major workout! I need to cover my costs in using my own supplies. Live and learn.
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post #7 of Old 03-15-2015, 03:06 PM
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Didn't you see all this when you did the walk through on your bid? As for doing things and not doing things (you said you didn't clean the baseboards because she didn't ask)... don't you have certain things you do and don't do and then give them a copy on your initial walk through? Or atleast explain while you are at her house on the bid day?

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Originally Posted by DLT55 View Post
I have a new client that is every two weeks and her first clean took me 6hrs and 45 minutes. She has 3 bedrooms, 2 half baths, 1 full bath. Problem is she has a dog that sheds terrible...hair everywhere! And a 16 yr old son who refuses to clean his room or pick up his junk. His room was disgusting. So she had me pick up and put his stuff on his bed in order to clean. Heavy things I left on the floor...dont want to hurt my back. Lots of hardwood floors and tile to clean. She said she had a cleaner but moved and her last clean was 3 weeks ago...well she must have been a terrible cleaner because the top of fridge had never been touched or pictures on the wall. The baseboards were disgusting but I didnt wash them because I would have been there for 2 days Ha! and she didn't ask me too. I ran the vacuum over them at least. Anyway, I don't see this job taking less time in the future. I have once a month clients that have bigger homes and take me less time. I need to start charging more for clients with animals that shed...my vacuum cleaner got a major workout! I need to cover my costs in using my own supplies. Live and learn.
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post #8 of Old 03-15-2015, 11:14 PM
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The client was clear on what she wanted me to do. I don't wipe down the baseboards unless its asked for. I saw most of the dirt and dog hair but I didnt look under beds( lots of hair under there) or look on top of the fridge. I told her based on the walk thru that I had no idea how long it would take to clean her home...I figured a minimum of at least 5 hrs and told her I would need to charge her by the hour. She was happy with my cleaning and happily paid me I refused one client as his home was way too big for me(6 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms) to clean in a day by myself and at my age I don't care to. And they had dog hair everywhere too....ugh!
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post #9 of Old 03-16-2015, 01:02 AM
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Gotcha. I've always told them what we do.... even back when it was just me... here is what we/I do and here is the price. Take it or leave it. Now that might sound harsh but I never had to remember... do I clean this or that or..... damn I don't remember. But that's just the way I run it. Everyone is different.

We had a lady on Friday trying to tell us she wasn't going to pay for a first time in clean because the 2 cleaning people before us already cleaned. Then I said, "Now wait a minute. Didn't you just tell me they sucked?" She said, "Yes, they did". So I said, "That means your house isn't clean so we need a first time in clean on your house". Needless to say it didn't work out.
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post #10 of Old 03-16-2015, 05:46 AM
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First clean is always tough, especially if the customer does not clean regularly or did not have a cleaner in the past few weeks. Unfortunately if customer needs the service only once a month, successive cleaning sessions might not get easier...
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post #11 of Old 03-16-2015, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
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Just an update: she was very happy with my job and wants me back. I was going to decline, but since I really cleaned it, I'm hoping it won't be as bad this time. I might suggest to her that a bi-weekly cleaning be better, and the time would come out to be the same.
Thanks for everyone's input!!

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Originally Posted by DLT55 View Post
The client was clear on what she wanted me to do. I don't wipe down the baseboards unless its asked for. I saw most of the dirt and dog hair but I didnt look under beds( lots of hair under there) or look on top of the fridge. I told her based on the walk thru that I had no idea how long it would take to clean her home...I figured a minimum of at least 5 hrs and told her I would need to charge her by the hour. She was happy with my cleaning and happily paid me I refused one client as his home was way too big for me(6 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms) to clean in a day by myself and at my age I don't care to. And they had dog hair everywhere too....ugh!
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post #12 of Old 03-23-2015, 03:07 AM
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you question is not clear. what you want to know?
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post #13 of Old 03-23-2015, 05:48 PM
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This does happen to everyone in the cleaning business, but I am unsure of what you are asking exactly.
Hopefully you charged a bit more for that initial cleaning, if not, forget it and keep on supplying amazing services to that client.
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post #14 of Old 08-31-2016, 10:28 AM
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Hope she appreciated the work you did. Hopefully will be easier to maintain going forward now.
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post #15 of Old 09-10-2016, 04:50 PM
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Hopefully this went alright.. and she understands your work...
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post #16 of Old 10-27-2016, 01:32 AM
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I had a similar situation. We had appointed a maid to clean our home when my mother fell sick. She used to work the whole day, but there was no improvement in our home in the basis of cleanliness. Later, after some days my mother had some serious health issues. So we had to call a Elderly home care service Toronto to look after my mother. So since we cannot afford for both maid and care giver, we told our maid not to come for few days. But surprisingly our care giver also took the responsibility of cleaning our home and our home looked clean and new.
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post #17 of Old 10-31-2016, 10:35 AM
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The "first time to clean" fee sounds like a pretty good idea. Is this a standard fee pro's typically charge?
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post #18 of Old 01-05-2017, 01:52 AM
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Re: Does anyone deal with this?

That is indeed disgusting! I would never recommend someone like that.
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post #19 of Old 01-06-2017, 06:11 PM
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If I am understanding your issue, I have run into something similar several times. Usually, the homeowner is elderly and infirm, and has not been able to really clean for a while. They just do not really SEE how grubby their home is. and they often have unusually high expectations of what you can accomplish on their limited budget. I find this rather difficult. The home if often so dusty and grubby I feel overwhelmed, despite being a very efficient worker. I almost always get it done, although may be not to MY standards. At least it is sanitary and livable when I leave!

The person who said you should quote $250 - good grief, what state do you live in???? Wish I lived there! I live in Florida, where the pay is low, benefits poor, and lots of retied people live here. The going rate for hourly cleaning here is between 15 and 25$$. Thats IT. If I charged more, I would sit at home twiddling my thumbs! And even poorer than my customers.
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post #20 of Old 02-02-2017, 08:11 PM
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Cleaning house

This happens all the time. Welcome to the cleaning industry.
Hopefully, now that you are going to clean it regularly it won't take too long next time and the job will actually become profitable.

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