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to think my cleaners should get my house clean in 3 hours?

(31 Posts)
Bigbaubles Tue 04-Jan-11 15:10:47

I really might be BU but I don't have enough experience in this area to know if I am or not!
I have cleaners (agency) once a fortnight, 2 cleaners for 1.5 hours, ie 3 man hours. I have 5 bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms and one reception room. The 3 hours was how long the agency decided it would take. Having never actually cleaned my house from top to bottom I had no idea how long it would take grin
I have OCD am quite minimalist and tidy so the surfaces are always clear. There's no tidying for them to do, or ironing, though I do ask that they change my bed. It's mostly just a case of hoovering and dusting.
Lately I have come back to find obvious things not done.
I have raised this issue wih the agency before and asked if the problem is that they need more time. They say no, 3 hours is fine for a thorough clean. Manager of agency seemed to think anything being missed was unacceptable and last time offered me a partial refund or to get the cleaners to come back and do the bits they'd missed. I don't want to be a slave driver but I don't want to be taken for a ride either.
Other relevant info may be that I pay £13ph and I have on more than one occasion come back from work early to find they have gone without staying all the time they are paid to do.
I have guests this evening and am a bit cheesed off to find I will have to get the vacuum cleaner and duster out myself as the stuff that's missed is so glaringly obvious. I am tempted to call the agency and say stick it, I'm going elsewhere.

whoneedssleepanyway Tue 04-Jan-11 15:13:17

If they aren't doing the work they are being paid to do (i.e. leaving early) you should tell the agency.

To be honest though 3 hours once a fortnight to clean a 5 bedroom house doesn't sound like a great deal of time.

I probably spend that once a week cleaning my 2 bed house...

ASecretLemonadeDrinker Tue 04-Jan-11 15:13:52

1.5 hours for half a house isn't alot at all, it would take me 1/2 an hour just to clean a 'clean' bathroom, never mind anywhere else. Although if they could do it all at the start, I am unsure what could have changed, and also sometimes leaving early...? Doesn't add up.

LindyHemming Tue 04-Jan-11 15:15:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

nurseblade Tue 04-Jan-11 15:18:09

If you're going through an agency you are paying £13 per hour but the cleaners will only get half that amount. You might find you get a better job done if you employ someone without the agency.

fourthattempt Tue 04-Jan-11 15:19:58

Yabu, 3 hours is not enough for a 5 bed house.

curlymama Tue 04-Jan-11 15:22:58

I think that should be more than enough time if they are just hoovering, dusting and changing a bed. They are being paid to work at a reasonable speed, not the speed I would do it in my own house! grin

You should try and get some recommendations for an independant cleaning lady, they are ususally better because they bother to put a bit of effort in.

DilysPrice Tue 04-Jan-11 15:23:07

Should be comfortably enough for the basics, i.e. floors mopped/hoovered, baths and sinks cleaned, kitchen surfaces wiped, hob cleaned, mirrors, pictures and tellys windolened and general tidying and cushion plumping.
It won't be enough time to dust absolutely every surface.

If the individual cleaners are new then they'll take longer to do it the first couple of times, because they'll waste time thinking "how the hell does this bloody Dyson switch on? where's the sodding Jif?"

mutznutz Tue 04-Jan-11 15:25:39

Only you know how big your house is. Some 5 bed new builds are like rabbit hutches...some are massive. Might be an idea to get the manager round to judge it?

Bigbaubles Tue 04-Jan-11 15:31:21

Thank you for your posts, all interesting. My house is as small as a 5 bed can be and 3 of the bedrooms are not generally in use so just need a quick dust. I have asked the manager to come and see the house as it's an unusual setup but she has always said no, not necessary, her staff would give feedback.
Perhaps I need to find someone independent but I don't have the foggiest idea where to start on that!

Rocky12 Tue 04-Jan-11 15:35:06

Just curious - why one reception room and 5 bedrooms. It sounds a little unusual.....

FantasticDay Tue 04-Jan-11 15:36:54

Ask friends. Card in newsagents window (but take up references!). Do get insurance though for both your property and risks to cleaner. Check to see if your insurance covers accidental damage - and I think you'll find you also have a duty of care to cleaner. Our cleaner fell down our stairs and really hurt herself - if she had been more seriously injured, I wonder if we might have been liable.

notheroldie Tue 04-Jan-11 15:48:03

I have been an agency cleaner and had my own cleaning business. I would say it was a reasonable amount of time especially as you say there is no tidying up to do. If they are leaving early and things are being left undone, I would assume there is a lot of chat going on or you have one lazy cleaner! (or both)

I would suggest a list of priority jobs, a checklist and a polite note as to what was missed. Sometimes things do get overlooked, so its nice to have a 'reminder' now and then.

Do you know anyone else who uses this agency? Is there any chance to request a change of cleaner/combination of the 2? Some teams work better together.
In my opinion and from my experience some people chose to do cleaning as its a good way to earn money and do bugger all day in someones house. I loved cleaning and there were some of us who worked like mad, (because we loved it!!) and got the job done!

Hope you resolve it soon.

MsKLo Tue 04-Jan-11 15:54:01

You are not being at ALL unreasonable - the cleaners are taking the piss by being so obvious about stuff not bein cleaned and by leaving early

Be very clear with agency that the cleaners are doing this and ask that this does not happen again and that you definately want other cleaners and not the piss taking cleaners ever again and that they have one chance to put it right or you leave

You should not hav to pay for shit service - you pay a lot and they are taking the piss out of you

Don't be nice! Be ms kick-ass!

welshbyrd Tue 04-Jan-11 15:54:35

Agreed with Fantasticday - word of mouth, is better than any cleaning company

Bigbaubles Tue 04-Jan-11 16:04:54

Sounds bizarre doesn't it Rocky?! My DD uses a wheelchair so we converted the other reception rooms into a bedroom and bathroom for her downstairs. It's why I'm so minimalist too, she likes to bump into things!

christmaswishes Tue 04-Jan-11 16:09:33

It depends. What do you expect them to be doing. If its thorough clean eg skirting boards, windows,lisht fittings, doors, brasso etc basically everything then that would take a lot longer.
A general clean I mean do they do kitchen? Bathrooms?. Depends on the house but some showers, baths etc can take ages to clean. How many do they have to clean? By far what takes the longest is the bathrooms, loos and kitchen.

If all they are doing is dusting and hoovering 5 bedrooms and one lounge that should be okay for 1.5 hours. One would do dusting other one would do the hoovering. Then they can make the one bed together as that would be quicker/easier.
Other than the above do you ask them to do anything else?

HaveToWearHeels Tue 04-Jan-11 16:20:43

My cleaning lady comes once a fornight. We have have a strange set up in that we have two rooms in our roof but we don't ask her to clean these as they are DP's office and a junk room. So she cleans 4 beds, 3 bathrooms, lounge, kitchen, dining room, hall and cloakroom in three hours, cost is £30. She is an independant cleaner and DP works from home and knows what time she comes and goes. One bathroom is never used so that is simple as are two of the bedrooms and I always make sure the house is tidy before she comes, so it makes things easier.

She doesn't have a problem, occasionally she will run out of time, so doesn't do the rooms we don't really use but then they are priority the next time. And where we have been home over Christmas the house is like a bomb site so we have booked an extra hour this week.

I would find an independant if I was you

mumto2andnomore Tue 04-Jan-11 16:32:14

I agree about independant cleaners being much better, I started with Molly Maids years ago and they were dire.Now I have 2 local ladies who come every other week and clean my 5 bed house (no changing beds though ) for £40, dont pay by the clock but I think they are here about 2 and a half ours.

GingerbreadGiraffe Tue 04-Jan-11 16:38:34

Im about to sack my independent!.

The original lady now has 2 girls doing my house and they are frankly SHITE!

But my experience with agency is that they start good and go off the boil once the intial effort is over.

katiestar Tue 04-Jan-11 16:42:07

If you've only 1 reception room ,and 1.5 bathrooms it's probably more like cleaning a 3/4 bed house.YANBU but I bet yoiu would get more work done having 1 person for 3 hours than 2 people for 1.5 hours.they will be chatting and messing about.

Rocky12 Tue 04-Jan-11 16:50:44

Sorry to appear nosey, a man in the next road is the talk of the village. He was selling his house and after deciding that 5 bed houses would sell for more he turned a couple of rooms downstairs into 'bedrooms' so he had a tiny living room and he says 5 beds! Needlessly to say the estate agent valuing the house had to put him right.

Please be assured that I am not suggesting you are doing anything of the sort!

maxybrown Tue 04-Jan-11 17:05:40

ok I clean for 2 hours a fortnight - for this I do (in a 3 bedroom house- not huge and certainly not tiny)

small kitchen - clean cooker top &wash gas plates, all surfaces, cupboard doors, mop floor and windows

Living room/diner - vac floors, polish, clean windows, table etc

Small hall - polish, vac

Vac stairs

Clan bathroom -bath, shower screen, units, toilet

POlish and vac main bedroom and clean window

Depending on what is out (toys etc etc) then I also polish/vac their DS's room - but not always and I don't touch the office

But I do this in 2 hours, in my own, sometimes less - but I do more things if I am under my time, mostly!

geordieminx Tue 04-Jan-11 17:08:21

I thought about getting an independent, but tbh i couldn't get a recommendation, and I certainly didn't want someone that had placeed an ad in the local shop...just incase I cam home to find the house cleared as opposed to cleaned grin

Local agency, charges £9 per hour, I have 3 hours a week for a 3 bed 1 bathroom, the only thing is that in between cleans I do nothing other than dishes/wipe benches.

maxybrown Tue 04-Jan-11 17:12:20

geordie - I got my little job on MN!! But I gave references and I am also CRB checked. The husband works from home too though so slightly different, but I have been left alone when they have needed to go off - nice to be trusted too and i really enjoy going!

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