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To think this us a bit dodgy (related to my cleaner)

(38 Posts)
twofalls Tue 04-Nov-14 22:03:56

My cleaner has been coming to me for about 3-4 years. Sometimes she brings a friend and they do an hour each rather than one person doing 2 hours. Makes no odds to me. Invariably the friend does not speak much English (they are Polish) and so I just pay my original cleaner £20 and presume they sort it out amongst themselves. She has probably brought 4 different friends over the last 3 years and always texts me first to ask if it is ok. She used to live near me but I found out they were recently evicted from their house for being over populated. I don't know where she lives now and for the last 3 weeks she has just sent her friend to clean and has text me to ask what I need doing. Each week I try to pay her friend but she refuses to take the money. My original cleaner keeps saying she will pick up the money but hasn't.

I now have £120 for her as my FIL has dropped his money off here for my cleaner to collect as well (he is in the same situation).

I am questioning why the friend won't take the money and wondering how the friend is being paid if I have all the cash here?

AIBU to think this is a very odd and to be a bit worried about the friend.

Momagain1 Tue 04-Nov-14 22:09:34

Yes, to being worried, but not sure what you can do. Hold onto the money, of course, as when she does turn up she likely wont gave time to wait if you have inadvertently spent it on petrol because it was in your purse (i would do that, maybe you wouldn't).

If she is having housing problems, you would think she really needs the funds.

skylark2 Tue 04-Nov-14 22:12:54

I would also be a bit worried about her.

Does the friend speak enough English for you to ask if she is ill?

I can't imagine a scam which involves not taking offered money...

Unexpected Tue 04-Nov-14 22:21:11

I don't know what's going on but something funny is obviously happening. I would text her and say that you are no longer happy about her friend cleaning, as a one-off with her present it's fine, but not as an ongoing situation. Tell her how much money you have waiting for her and ask her to arrange a time to come and collect it. Hopefully you can have a conversation with her then.

twofalls Tue 04-Nov-14 22:32:30

I tried calling and sent a text earlier saying that I had the money here (in an envelope, I won't put it in my purse!!) and that I was worried about how she was paying her friend. I haven't heard anything back so will see if anyone turns up tomorrow. Apparently they left no forwarding address. DH thinks her friend could be being unfairly treated but she seems cheerful enough. English is limited to hello, how are you.

But as you say, not heard of a scam where people work for nothing for you!

twofalls Tue 04-Nov-14 22:37:44

I do wonder if my original cleaner is embarrassed. Apparently there were 10-12 adults living in a house designed for 5 and they left it in a bit of a state. I think her boyfriend invited lots of his friends to stay and they were loud and pretty obnoxious but this is only what their neighbours have told me. She probably doesn't want me to ask why they have moved out.

Unexpected Tue 04-Nov-14 22:41:55

How do you know so much about your cleaner, her eviction, overcrowding, mess of house? I don't even know where mine lives! Are you friends with her neighbours? Does she even know that you would be aware of why/how she has moved? It just seems unlikely that that is the reason she has not contacted you. I guess if she texts you tomorrow asking what cleaning you would like her friend to do that will have to be your opportunity to tell her not to send her anymore.

VanitasVanitatum Tue 04-Nov-14 22:47:07

I would not be letting the friend work for free, you do not know if or when she will get paid. As she is the only one turning up she is the only one entitled to any of the money - you have no evidence of an agency arrangement or similar. Insist on paying her or terminate the arrangement immediately.

twofalls Tue 04-Nov-14 22:57:25

Yes unexpected, I know their neighbours quite well.

I did try and give the friend the money but she refused to take it. But I agree, it's not right. I am going to tell my cleaner I am not comfortable with this arrangement and why.

deste Tue 04-Nov-14 23:03:53

Could she be running a cleaning business and will have money coming in. It's quite possible she is paying her from the other jobs, assuming she is running a business.

cozietoesie Tue 04-Nov-14 23:09:07

I'd be guessing that this money was being 'saved up' to keep it safe from someone - and that would put you in a heck of a position for all sorts of reasons. I think you're right to discontinue the arrangement.

maddening Tue 04-Nov-14 23:13:37

Get Google translate up on your tablet and type your message to her and translate in to polish - have another window open with translate set to translate polish to English so she can reply (and makes it easier than faring with the from and to bit) explain you have the money to give to her employer and ask how her employer wants the money paying.

GallbladderFairy Tue 04-Nov-14 23:15:19

It does sound quite strange. Hopefully she will respond soon and all is ok. Good luck.

twofalls Tue 04-Nov-14 23:15:54

Good idea maddening.

waithorse Wed 05-Nov-14 06:15:32

This sounds so strange. Let us know if you get to the bottom of it.

londonrach Wed 05-Nov-14 06:22:04

Good idea maddening. Not sure id allow the friend back in. Very strange behaviour. Wheres the orginal cleaner?

youbethemummylion Wed 05-Nov-14 06:22:48

You do need to be able to communicate with the lady who is coming, its the only way you will get to the bottom of this

twofalls Wed 05-Nov-14 06:33:16

I am not sure London. I have offered to take the money round but she ignored that offer and I have no idea where she now lives. The first week couple of weeks I didn't think much of it (i think the friend lives with original cleaner) but last week I felt uncomfortable and thought I would talk to original cleaner when she came to pick up the money, but she never came.

I have sent a text explaining I am not happy with her friend coming in the future unless I can pay her and that she needs to come and pick up the money ASAP. My FIL has called her and said he no longer requires her services as he is not comfortable either. He just left a message so none the wiser there.

Will keep you posted!

MillionToOneChances Wed 05-Nov-14 06:34:55

I'd suspect that, as she's been bringing a different friend every time, she's been training them up and testing them out to set up an agency. Like any other cleaning agency, she'll pay her friend a lower hourly rate than you pay to her. She takes the rest for sourcing clients for her non-english speaking cleaners and communicating with clients. I don't think the friend would come for 2 hours twice a week for 3 weeks if she wasn't being paid.

I doubt the house thing has anything to do with it.

unicycle Wed 05-Nov-14 06:49:55

Such vivid imaginations! The most likely explanation is that she has more work than she can cope with and/or she would like to help some of her fellow countrymen so she has moved into running a business, though it's probably quite informal and they may not think of it like that. She has agreed to pay them a certain amount per job or per week and she has money coming from other jobs to make the payments. She's not going to pay over the whole amount received from the clients because she needs a wage as well. What the OP is holding onto may well be part of her wage.

YeGodsAndLittleFishes Wed 05-Nov-14 06:58:35

Agree with Million. The person doing rhe cleaning is not picking up the money because that would involve getting it to her employer, and it sounds as it she is not all that local any more, so it would be inconvenient. If she is living in a shared house she might not have somewhere safe to keep that much money.
Your original cleaner might be ill, might have moved away, might be setting up a cleaning agency and be no longer available to clean all the places she does buisiness with. (Or she could have some personal reason such as becoming pregnant, having a sick relative to look after or needing better transport.)

Whatever the reason, she should let you know, as to keep you in the dark is erroding your trust in her. Not a good way to treat someone when you work in their home!

leeloo1 Wed 05-Nov-14 07:09:07

I need a cleaner - one who doesn't require paying would be even better, so please send them my way. grin
[ignoring odd conspiracy theory point of thread]

Although I once had a Polish painter. He painted the front of the house & we paid him. He was halfway through painting the back & never came back (leaving all his stuff in the kids' playhouse) . Calls to his mobile went unanswered. We eventually heard (through neighbours further down the street that he'd worked for) that he'd been deported. sad

twofalls Thu 06-Nov-14 13:04:07

YeGods - they live together in the same house so could easily take it with her.

Anyway, no text and no cleaner and £140 still here. Two of my friends have had exactly the same experience with the same cleaner and are also perplexed. I will just have to wait until she comes for her money and ask her what is going on then.

Carrie5608 Thu 06-Nov-14 15:08:33

It would really concern me that there is a possible gang master / people smuggling element to this and that these girls could be at serious risk.

How sure are you that they are Polish?

Phone the police non emergency number for advice. This is exactly the kind of thing they ask you to report.

YeGodsAndLittleFishes Thu 06-Nov-14 17:32:21

Same house? Hm that is a bit fishy. They have a right to work here as members of the EU if they are Polish. I'd be concerned about whether they were being paid at least the minimum wage, and what they were being charged for rent, etc. And whether they were free to spend their earnings how they liked, or had to get everything for your original cleaner. A lot of younger Polish people working here do so temporarily to send money back home to relatives. I'd want to check whether they could do that themselves or whwther they have a boss doing that too (or just saying they are). The police could check it out.

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