Refuse 2 Clean (hoarder/filty) - Cleaning Talk - Professional Cleaning and Restoration Forum
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post #1 of Old 07-14-2014, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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Refuse 2 Clean (hoarder/filty)

I am curious if anyone has refused to clean a residence? Have you ever quoted an on-the-phone rate then walk into a home that resembles a hoarder (filthy/nasty/roaches) which cleaning would take a team of two 5+ hours or a home not worth trying to clean? Or one that would require you to come back to finish? Do you have contracts that state you have an option to refuse service?
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post #2 of Old 07-21-2014, 03:13 AM
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Well, you have stated things in a way that I can't answer your question direct but these are my answers.

No one ever gave an over-the-phone quote at my business. Not only because of the reason you stated above but it reflected in my bank account every day how much more we could charge by going on a bid than giving a phone price. Not only could I charge a much higher first time in price but normally the regular price was higher and it would lead in to.... I'm thinking about getting my house cleaned every month..... well, we don't do monthly cleans but we do every 4 weeks but most people have their house cleaned every 2 weeks. Then I would WRITE the priceS.... yes, priceS... down on my bid sheet.... every 4 weeks and every 2 weeks. Most every time they chose every 2 weeks.... with a little coaxing. And it would sometimes lead in to bidding their friends house or a neighbor.... and often times I would go straight from the first house to the friends house.

But to your actual question... I have told employees to just leave before. It happened more than once but the last time I can think of was a house where 3 people had already been in it 4 hours and they weren't even half done yet. So I started helping and once I saw we were getting no where.... it was time to leave. So, the home owner got 1/2 a house cleaning for free. Any time I've told an employee to leave we didn't accept payment. It was usually someone I felt sorry for and was just trying to help but sometimes ya just gotta draw the line.

As for bidding a hoarders house...... price it by the hour and have a minimum bid. We only did a few the whole time I was in business but my minimum was $700. I think when I started the minimum was like $525 but I'm telling ya.... you can feel sorry for people like that but you as a business owner can't save the world! We did a bank forecloser once on a hoarder that was $12,000.

Last edited by sprintcar93; 07-21-2014 at 03:15 AM.
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post #3 of Old 07-23-2014, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for you reply SprintCar! I was just wondering if anyone made reservations to go clean a home & walk into a total mess & if they were still obligated to clean... I think I will also visit the home & not quote anything over the phone... Thanks again.
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post #4 of Old 07-23-2014, 01:17 PM
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A short explanation of what and how you clean would usually do it and help you avoid such situations.
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post #5 of Old 12-01-2014, 03:40 AM
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Great advice. I never considered that I might get a job that was just too impossible to finish. I'm starting new on my own and this never crossed my mind.

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post #6 of Old 12-01-2014, 05:51 PM
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Advertise that you are NEW and you will get a LOT of jobs too dirty to finish.
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post #7 of Old 12-03-2014, 03:23 AM
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I refused two homes.One was in a really disgusting dangerous part of town and the house was run down with a for sale sign out front. I didnt feel safe to even get out of my car so I drove off and so I texted the lady and told her that. It could have been a set up or something wierd. i always trust my gut when something doesnt look or feel right. But the other home was way too much for me to clean. I work by myself and the house had 6 bedrooms 4 full bathrooms knicknacks galore and dog hair everywhere! I told the owner that he would be better off hiring 2 people to come in and do the job. I never give a price over the phone without looking at the home first. I also don't let the customer try to haggle me down on my price. I stick firm now after agreeing to a lower price and now feel like I am basically working for free.
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post #8 of Old 12-09-2014, 11:43 AM
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I refused one home. I don't do over-the-phone quoting so I personally go and check it out especially for big jobs. I went to check the house out and boy it was filthy. You could literally smell the stench from across the road. There was a clinically depressed woman that used to live there and the new owners bought it from craiglist or some online transaction. The previous owner was a hoarder and rarely leaves the house and all the trash/feces etc was just there everywhere. I was just starting too so I refused. The new owner and I went to a nearby pub, drank a beer maybe two and laughed our asses out for what we just saw and went our separate ways.
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post #9 of Old 12-11-2014, 04:44 AM
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Yes, a clean can be refused if quoted over the phone. Sometimes customers say one thing and when the cleaners go the situation is much different. If when onsite the cleaners consider the job cannot be done on time or it is health hazardous they can refuse cleaning. Pictures of the property are quite useful in such cases.
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post #10 of Old 12-28-2014, 10:32 AM
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Always look at the job before accepting.
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post #11 of Old 01-14-2015, 10:37 AM
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Refusing to clean

Yes, I've made some bad decisions where I gave an estimate over the phone to wash walls and ceilings, but when I arrived at the house I discovered the rooms were filled clutter which made it very difficult to do my job. I could have charged more but didn't.

Unless you know the clients and are familiar with their house, don't do over-the-phone estimates. Check out the house first. Charge more if there is more work involved to complete the original job.

My blog:

Last edited by mattjanacone; 01-14-2015 at 10:42 AM.
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decline , filthy , hoarder , not worth , refuse

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