Client Accusation - Cleaning Talk - Professional Cleaning and Restoration Forum
 
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post #1 of Old 06-21-2008, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
 
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Client Accusation

Greetings Everyone,

I have a weekly client who is accusing my crew of taking his camera. I spoke with both employees about the camera...one doesn't recall the camera, the other remembers moving it to clean(said it was on the edge of the kitchen table) and then placing it right back. I rec'd an e-mail from him asking where it was and him also saying that it was probably somewhere in the home. Now, I get an e-mail this morning stating that he still hasn't found the camera and claiming that it "walked out" with my crew..and now asking what I should do about it!

I've never had this happen to me before? How should I approach this situation? Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
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post #2 of Old 06-21-2008, 02:11 PM
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Tell the customer to make a police report, once they do that if the police feel that the cleaners are remotely suspect turn the report over to your insurance company and have them do their own investigation. In the meanwhile I suggest that you not blame or punish your cleaners since they have not been proven guilty yet. Note - I normally as a rule of practice immediately change cleaning teams or suspend the clients cleanings until the investigations are over.

Many times during these processes the customer either - 1) finds their stuff themselves 2) realizes that someone else took/ moved their stuff 3) refuses to make a police report or talk to the insurance company (which suspiciously looks as if they were trying to scam you)

Hang in there, keep your cool, don't admit to anything, don't offer to pay for anything, let the professionals (police and insurance investigators) do what they are paid to do.
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post #3 of Old 06-21-2008, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much! That was VERY helpful!
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post #4 of Old 06-21-2008, 02:39 PM
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I would venture to say that only 10- 15% of all claims result in a finding that the cleaner actually did take the items. Most of those (90- 95%) are individuals hired that are not documented (license/ bond/ insurance) and who offer their work as under the table labor, with the remaining 5 -10% being new hires for companies who were not properly screened and background checked.
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post #5 of Old 06-22-2008, 04:44 PM Thread Starter
 
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Here is his response after I sent him an e-mail Mr. Peterson...I just basically told him the advice you gave to me..I told him to file a police report and that we will temporarily suspend services until the investigation is over.....

As a rule of practice you are no longer welcome in my home. The nonchalant manor with which you have dealt with this is bad business.
If you think I would make up such a thing, you are greatly mistaken. It is not and never has been about the money. The price of that camera is insignificant to me. I make a great deal of money. I just got through taking off 1.5 months. During that time I not only had your service but hired a lawn company and purchased a new computer.
One of your people did walk off with that camera. Keep an eye out for a Sony Camera with a 1GB memory stick duo. They don't make 1GB versions anymore so it will be a dead give away.
I would have continued your service, even after this incident, as I know that no one can control the actions of another, but have been so disappointed in your response. You sacrifice a permanent position.
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post #6 of Old 06-22-2008, 07:22 PM
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Nonchalant manner? If someone told me to file a police report and talked about insurance claims and criminal investigation, one word I would not use is nonchalant. What does Mr Pomp expect you to do? If it was never about the money as he says I guess he wanted you to tie the suspected employees to a tree in front of his house and beat them until they admit to it?

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post #7 of Old 06-22-2008, 08:51 PM
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post #8 of Old 06-23-2008, 09:11 PM
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Who the heck cares about his spending habits? Why would that even matter, I say...unless he's covering for some other deficit and is embarrassed that he was wrong and wants to redeem himself by huffing and puffing.

I would be courteous and reply with "Your resolution is very important to me, but until you file a police report I am unable to pursue this matter legally. Please know that we are fully prepared to cooperate and would appreciate your assistance in this matter."

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post #9 of Old 06-23-2008, 10:28 PM
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excellent example of a response
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post #10 of Old 06-24-2008, 10:41 PM Thread Starter
 
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Here's an update...he still doesn't get it I think. This is my second time telling him to file a report with the police..this is his response...

ME:

I in no way was being nonchalant or rude. You asked what we should do about this matter and I made the appropriate suggestion which was to file a report and hold off your weekly services until the issue was resolved. I affirm with you decision to discontinue service, but I do suggest filing a report if the camera is still missing.

HIM:

You never even bothered to call. I think that says it all. Yes it is still missing. It was taken.
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post #11 of Old 06-25-2008, 12:02 AM
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True story -

20 something years ago we cleaned for a lady who claimed that our cleaners took a ring from her daughters room. I asked her to file a report with the local sheriffs office. She balked at the idea and kept insisting that I just pay her for the ring, stating that by doing so I would avoid the hassle of having my people questioned and the potential of higher insurance rates. I knew that something was weird with this situation so I started to investigate further by asking the other local companies (there were only about 7 at the time in our area) if anyone else had ever dealt with her before. Low and behold at least 5 of them had and each of them said that they too had gotten a call from her about a lost item. Unfortunately for each of them they all settled with her by refunding her last cleaning fee and paying for the estimated value of the items in question.

Armed with this information I took my employees to the sheriffs office and we made a report Upon investigation and armed with the information that I had gleaned from the other companies the woman was found to have been pulling this type of prank on all sorts of businesses, including her own home owners insurance company
Well, let me tell you................ insurance companies do not look fondly upon being duped. Before you know it this woman was in jail herself for insurance fraud

Stick to your guns, ask that the proper channels be utilized and let the cards fall where they may.
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post #12 of Old 06-25-2008, 07:03 AM
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NC, yes you should be talking to the man via phone. Email is the reason he feels like he does and I don't blame him. Call him and explain that you used email to have the proper documentation as this is a sensitive matter but that you are indeed taking the situation seriously.

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post #13 of Old 06-25-2008, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Everyone! You all have been so helpful!

I called him and spoke with him. I first apologized for not calling and then suggested filing the police report..basicially the same things I've been e-mailing him. He affirmed with my suggestion to file the report...so we shall see what happens.
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post #14 of Old 07-13-2008, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
 
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Three weeks later and still no response from the client...
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post #15 of Old 07-13-2008, 06:48 PM
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I recommend that you put the following in writing. Make a copy of the letter for your records and send Certified Mail, return receipt requested (the green card proving he receives it). No more email and phone calls now...he has to either put up or shut up. You have to either move forward legally OR drop it, and you have to prove his intentions at this point. Anyway, here you go...

Dear Mr. Pomp-ass,

As promised, I am following up on the serious allegations made by you on xx/xx/xx implicating our company in a claim of missing property from your residence. Our obligation to help assist in resolving this matter relies on continued communication between us for any ongoing developments. This enables us to proceed with legal action, if necessary, and to help protect your interest in this matter.

On xx/xx/xx we spoke on the phone about the importance of filing a police report. I also made this request in writing on xx/xx/xx to ensure your full understanding that we would need a police report filed to initiate an investigation. It is our understanding that you were amenable to this request and indicated that you would follow through. It has been three weeks and we have not heard from you. We hope to close the gap in our communication so we can assist you as quickly as possible.

In order for me to proceed further in assisting you, I am requesting a copy of the police report. Please mail a copy to our office no later than 10 days from the receipt of this letter.

If you are unable to provide a copy, please let us know the contact information for the investigator who is pursuing this matter and which agency you filed your report. We will then be happy to request and retain a copy directly with them.

Our concern is to fulfill our obligation and cooperate in the necessary investigation as we have previously agreed. This is also required for us to maintain proper documentation for any future claims of recovery.

If you have not yet filed a report, we request that you provide this information in writing and inform us if you consider this matter closed.

Again, we hope to assist you in this matter and appreciate your cooperation.

Sincerely,

You
Your company
Your address

Torrey Shannon
Executive Director/Spokesperson
Cleaning for Heroes
The only 501c3 nonprofit in the cleaning industry that improves the lives of heroes, one household at a time!

Last edited by TailoredMaid; 07-13-2008 at 07:08 PM. Reason: clarified "mail" to say "email" in first paragraph
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post #16 of Old 07-13-2008, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
 
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This is great, Torrey! Thanks so much!
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post #17 of Old 07-13-2008, 08:24 PM
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Excellent idea and letter template! This covers your behind if something more arises from the incident
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post #18 of Old 07-13-2008, 08:32 PM
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Thanks ladies. If there is one thing I've learned in life is this: create a paper trail at all times. I've had years of practice! LOL

Torrey Shannon
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post #19 of Old 07-26-2008, 10:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncdiva View Post
Greetings Everyone,

I have a weekly client who is accusing my crew of taking his camera. I spoke with both employees about the camera...one doesn't recall the camera, the other remembers moving it to clean(said it was on the edge of the kitchen table) and then placing it right back. I rec'd an e-mail from him asking where it was and him also saying that it was probably somewhere in the home. Now, I get an e-mail this morning stating that he still hasn't found the camera and claiming that it "walked out" with my crew..and now asking what I should do about it!

I've never had this happen to me before? How should I approach this situation? Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

One person mad at you will bash you forever and ever. I would replace the product, try to keep him as a client, and if he says something else is missing, replace it also and then dump him as a client.

I would not fire anyone unless missing property becomes a problem. Then I would fire them.

Even if the client is out to rip you off, that is the price of doing business sometimes. It is better to purchase a new camera than have someone bash you name for the next 25 years.

Having you crew labeled as thiefs is bad bad business.
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post #20 of Old 07-30-2008, 05:11 AM
 
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He Is Full Of ****...the Fact That He Would Not File A Police Report Proves It...because He Knows That If They Investigate It And Find Out He Is Full Of It He Will Be In Trouble...and The Fact That He Just Took It To Wolfe Camera And They Said It Would Be 200 Bucks To Fix His 1g Camera Doesnt Help His Cause
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