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gotitmaidtx 11-28-2011 04:05 PM

difficult customers in difficult times..
I have a weekly customer, "Jo" who is rather new. I had her on calendar for first time clean and she moved it up a week. I moved her up and cleaned her home, and then have not been there since. It will be three weeks between "weekly" cleans when I go again this Thursday.

My question is this, do you guys charge more when customers move their cleanings out in this fashion? The home is rather large and full of "decorative accents" :laughing:. My first clean took five hours and I am scared stiff that it will take that much time or more since it has been nearly a month since the last clean.

It is frustrating, and she is a nice lady and I want to help her but am beginning to believe she does not really have the income for my help.

Any hints, tips, or advice much appreciated.


jeepgirl 11-30-2011 11:30 AM

I am having the same thing happen right now. I was os busy that I was turning away work, now I have clients doing the old putting it off trick, so that it turns in to a month,
Well, you have two choices, tell them its a higher rate for monthly, or depending on how busy or slow you are, just do it at the old rate, but explain it will be the same amount of time spent, (in other words it will cost more to get to every detail) unfortunately I sometimes end up just doing the job at the lower rate. I think to avoid this you have to be very clear in the beginning about the frequency. I plan or rewriting my service agreement,

gotitmaidtx 11-30-2011 12:09 PM

Well, she's done. Last week while on Thanksgiving holiday in my home state of Louisiana my car used for the cleaning service broke down. I had to leave it at a dealership for repairs. Our family was down to one car and I emailed her so that I could clean her home a day early.

She never replied. I sent her an email this morning explaining that she has been moved to inactive status with my service. If a cleaning is needed I will be happy to try to fit her into my schedule but it will be at a higher hourly rate based on time it took to clean her home the first time.

I do not expect to hear from her. I knew it would be challenging when I restarted my service two months ago. Despite this, it's no reason for us to be used by people for a cheap clean now and again. There are plenty of trunk slammers on Craigslist for that.

My instant validation that I am worth more ( and we all are) was a call I got this morning. An old client from years ago called begging me to come back. Her new cleaner is having surgery, and she is not certain she will return. Moral: There are always those who appreciate and remember the good things we do.


jeepgirl 11-30-2011 05:16 PM

I like that term "inactive status"

I mostly do rentals and WE homes, some of the rentals use me every week or every other week regardless of whether they rent the place out or not, and then there were some rentals I went to every week for at least 10 weeks straight, and now I haven't heard anything from them. One lady called and I went and cleaned it because I had no work that day, but in the future she's going to be told she's inactive and its going to be a higher rate.

gotitmaidtx 12-01-2011 08:02 AM

Glad I could help. I did this for years and had a large client base here in Dallas Fort Worth. After years of running the biz successfully, I got tired of fighting the trunk slammers and illegal underbidders, and closed down.

I am doing things differently this time. I am worth the fee my clients pay. They want cleaning for less, it's available.. but it will not be me.


Dmreed4311 12-10-2011 03:40 PM

you are running a business and even thoough she may be nice if you are not making any money move on!

fanman 12-16-2011 07:46 PM

Well everything happens for a reason, and apparently she was a bit of a hassle for you. Hopefully new and cooperative customers will come in her place :)

jeepgirl 12-17-2011 08:31 AM

I had it when they don't reply back too, that makes them a pia.
There's always better clients.

Douglas Hicks 12-17-2011 10:19 PM

The better exhaust system cleaners bill the initial cleaning as a "conversion cleaning" at a higher rate, then they drop to a lower more competitive rate. We have started doing that, I just do not call it a conversion cleaning. An example, 2 recent new clients got billed at $350.00, with the next service @ $250.00. Teh first servcie always takes longer. Subsequent cleanings are faster.

Marie Dupont 01-18-2012 03:35 AM

"conversion cleaning" this is something new for me, i haven't heard of it, but want to have it professionally done at home if possible. Thanks for the idea.

Bay Clean 01-25-2012 03:07 PM

Generally we don't charge extra if it is a regular who just happens to go out of town for a week. If they want to permanently switch we definitely charge more.

If they want service any less frequently than once a month we charge hourly.

katty 10-26-2012 07:32 AM

Nice and professional aspects cannot be covered at the same time. Mostly the first service takes more time than the next as you need to get familiar with the things that need to be handled with care and others aspects. Next is your payment problem, if you think that the payment is not sufficient for your efforts so being nice is not a part of this or any profession as frustration because of this will make you suffer at your other sites of work.

Maids_on_a_Broom 10-26-2012 10:59 AM


Originally Posted by Douglas Hicks (Post 28052)
The better exhaust system cleaners bill the initial cleaning as a "conversion cleaning" at a higher rate, then they drop to a lower more competitive rate. We have started doing that, I just do not call it a conversion cleaning. An example, 2 recent new clients got billed at $350.00, with the next service @ $250.00. Teh first servcie always takes longer. Subsequent cleanings are faster.

Wow, was this a 12 bedroom mansion? I don't think we could ever charge this in our area, no matter how big the house is. Last week we cleaned a 4,500 sqf multi million dollar house, was a first time cleaning and it was REALLY dirty. Our two person team needed 7 hours and we couldn't charge the guy more than $188 (!) because he wouldn't pay more. We will get the job done much quicker when we come biweekly but despite of that: We never make much profit with rich people. And it's the same with almost all the rich people around here. They live in multi million dollar homes but they don't wanna pay an adequate price for cleaning.

thesteammaster 10-27-2012 09:34 AM

That's why the rich remain rich because they are cheap......just kidding well some are anyway. Before I even clean any home whether it be carpet cleaning or hardwood floors I make sure they know before what the price will be. That way im not being haggled in the end.

sarescleaningservice 03-21-2013 11:07 PM

I have always been upfront when I bid a job about cancelation policies. less than 48 hours notice and I charge 50 percent. If they want to move to a different schedule weekly to bi weekly I adjust their rate because it does take more time! Some people think this is my hobby and not a business and that is frustrating!

Maid to Shine 03-22-2013 10:30 AM

The best idea is to make sure that you give your clients 4 prices. Weekly price, Bi-Weekly price, Monthly Price, and over monthly price. For example (not real prices) $10 weekly, $20 bi-weekly, $30 monthly, and 30% of monthly price after 6 weeks. Then you explain to your new clients that if they are bi-weekly and choose to skip a cleaning, then your price next time will be the monthly price (one time). This will fix 99% of your problems. We also have a 24 business hour cancellation policy, your 48 hour policy is good.

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