We are having the same issues at my company, trying to raise rates after sooo many years! I definitely like Crista's idea about raising rates a little at a time to avoid the shock. We want to start doing something like that, but there were quite a few houses that were basically costing us money to clean. We sent out a form letter to all our clients (so they didn't feel like they were being individually targeted), along with a personalized work order (really just a list of all the rooms/special notes for their house). I don't think a lot of people were aware of how much work we were doing in their houses. The majority agreed to the rate increase, the ones who didn't either quit our service or negotiated a slightly lower rate by having us skip rooms or time-consuming details (vacuuming the couch cushions, changing the sheets, etc). I hope you can work something out with her! Its hard when clients are friends and gang up on you.