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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After starting a cleaning business, we have made our own cleaning service agreement. We feel this is a great move to protect us and our clients. Some of the smaller jobs (just floors), for the older folk that are pretty chill, we haven't always made them sign the cleaning agreement and haven't had a problem. It's also a newer agreement and they already had their services before we decided on an agreement. For any job usually a certain dollar amount or more we try to encourage them to sign the agreement.

We figured it would be a good idea after our first problem client. We had a service agreement for her, but she complained about signing it and it was a bit abbreviated, we didn't add in our dust clause or contact us within 48 hours if we have missed anything or our methods of payment. We cleaned for her, she told us what she wanted and not to be moving furniture and stuff around. To clean around stuff. She tried to accuse me of stealing her mop bucket (we both have the same one conveniently) so I was going to put a "property of:" sticker on it next time so she couldn't try to accuse us of theft. She kept saying, "Oh, I've never done business with a company before..." but in this tone that made it sound like she was annoyed or, "I've never had to sign an agreement like this just so someone can clean my home." After I mopped the floors, one of her dogs ran in over the wet floors. They were all talking to the dog in a baby voice saying, "Oh, you can't run over the wet floors! No no no!" No real apology to me, though.

I showed up, cleaned for what was requested and got it done right as their guests showed up and they seemed happy about that, but fussed at me that we didn't take checks. She posted a nasty comment on our Facebook page a week and a half later to tell us it was dusty in "places" and it took us a while to get a detailed response and we figured it was the bedroom dressers that she meant. We addressed her directly. She also mentioned we didn't change out the bathroom towels for clean ones, which wasn't part of the original cleaning agreement. She tried to sneak in services like base boards and spots on walls and such. We live in the desert, dust collects rapidly and they have 3 dogs that go in and out of the house, which probably contributed to the problem. My husband and I agreed to both go and review with her the cleaning services we had marked for her and make sure it gets done thoroughly the next time. She mentioned that she just missed her old cleaning lady and we mentioned that we did not know her nor all the services she rendered (her cleaning lady got sick and in the hospital and can't clean anymore). We have inherited some of that cleaning lady's clients, which were jerks. I felt bad for the lady because they paid her hardly anything to boss her around pretty much.

We have a 48 hour cancellation policy. She had told us before she will cancel if she needs to get the carpet installers in. They had already been laying carpet and she didn't tell us - she only told us the day of - like an hour in advance. We were getting ready to head over there and then she cancels. We lost out on our money for the day because we had the slot reserved for her so we charged a $35 cancellation-rebooking fee if she wanted to schedule again. We figured she didn't want my husband coming with me and did a freak out cancellation because she asked earlier who would be coming to clean and I mentioned it depends who is available that sometimes it's me, him, or both of us. She made a joke about men not being able to clean and laughed, even though I gave him high praises and said he has a good eye for detail and that he has a lot of cleaning business experience (we mentioned we were both coming 2 weeks before). She decided to drop us (which I'm so glad for, she wasn't a nice lady) because, "You didn't clean my house good enough for us the last time," and, "You have too many rules and regulations." I think she was a narcissist that just wanted someone to boss around. I'm glad not to go over to her home anymore.

Does anyone else here have a cleaning service agreement that they make their clients sign? What do you do if the client doesn't sign it? Do you ever keep problem clients for the money or drop them immediately?
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