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AIBU to be annoyed about this?

(31 Posts)
blatantplacemark Thu 10-Dec-15 16:09:11

I have my own cleaning business and have recently taken on a new client .. I go for four hour clean once a week and always on the same day of the week - a Thursday. Today would have been my fifth week

Most of my clients have given me a key and where they don't, they're always there to let me in. This client has always - to date - left me a key to her house under a plant pot when she goes out in the morning. She usually comes back at some point before midday.

Anyway I turn up today as normal and I'm there at 8.40am. I know that she leaves for school run/ other stuff at 8.15 or so. The key is not in the usual place. I try messaging her - I can't get it to send , she lives in a remote ish village with next to no network coverage. So I waited almost an hour until just gone 9.30 in case she did come back. She didn't.

I had to leave as couldn't sit outside her house all morning and I drove the seven miles back home. On getting back, my network coverage obviously returned and she'd sent me a message at 9am ( not received due to coverage issues) saying ' were you coming today? I've walked off with my keys! Anyway, have a look in the shed or the summer house, there may be a key in a shelf in one of those .. '

I replied that due to network issues in her village I'd not been able to receive her message and was now back home and unfortunately had no more flex in my day to return to her today. I've offered another day and she's not messaged me back. I sent this message to her about six hours ago now, so she's obviously annoyed with me.

Who's at fault here? I turned up at our agreed time and looked for the key in our agreed place.

WWYD? message her again? Wait for her to come back to me?

CrohnicallyAspie Thu 10-Dec-15 16:14:43

I think if you were due to do a 4 hour clean and it was only 7 miles away, I would have returned when I received the message and done the remaining time (ie finished at 12:40 since you were originally there at 8:40, regardless of what time you actually started)

blatantplacemark Thu 10-Dec-15 16:16:35

Possibly that could have been a solution. But why should I do an additional 14 mile round trip because she's forgotten I was coming? Plus I'd have only been able to complete half of the house

blatantplacemark Thu 10-Dec-15 16:17:34

And she was not at all sure where this spare key was. It 'might' have been on a shelf in one of two out buildings... So more time taken looking for a key that may or may not be there

turnaroundbrighteyes Thu 10-Dec-15 16:57:03

Sorry, but I think yabu and not seeing the bigger picture. Your time was hers for 4 hours yet you gave up at the first hurdle. Why not stop, check your signal and try and call her after 1/2 a mile? Why not offer to go back if she paid your extra mileage? Although maybe a little short sighted to risk an on going contract for 14 mile petrol as a one off.

Cloppysow Thu 10-Dec-15 16:59:27

Maybe she didn't get it because of network coverage?

Cloppysow Thu 10-Dec-15 17:01:27

And no, i don't think YABU or short sighted.
It was her mistake, if she's annoyed with anyone, she should be annoyed with herself.

CrohnicallyAspie Thu 10-Dec-15 17:09:03

Well, if I were the customer I'd be annoyed that I was paying for you to clean until 12:40, and by 10 ish you were at home saying you had 'no more flex' and couldn't come back.

What did you suggest about payment by the way? Did you expect her to pay for the 4 hours regardless? For the time you did spend hanging around? Or did you offer to do a clean at another time in lieu of the one you couldn't do today? (If it's the latter, did you make that clear or could the client assume you wanted paying twice this week, that could explain her annoyance)

Or maybe she's not annoyed at all, but she's busy and not had chance to reply?

arethereanyleftatall Thu 10-Dec-15 17:26:37

The initial mistake was hers. But I don't think sitting in the same place for an hour was a very sensible thing to do. You could have walked/driven to find signal after waiting for five minutes?

arethereanyleftatall Thu 10-Dec-15 17:28:16

Especially since she usually comes back at midday.

blatantplacemark Thu 10-Dec-15 17:28:52

I have no flex in my day as I have other jobs later in the day. I have four hours for her this morning and she has left me with no means of getting into her property. And I'm not sat at home expecting payment for a job I couldn't be bothered to do ... She has wasted my time today. Of course she won't pay me for my loss of hours and how long do I wait with no means of contacting her ? She knows there is no network coverage in her village as she mentioned it on day one as she went upstairs to try and send a text message

vanillavelvet Thu 10-Dec-15 17:35:31

Maybe she's not annoyed. I'm only just getting to reply to messages I received this morning because I've had a manic day at work today and just haven't had the chance.

I think it's her mistake for forgetting to leave you a key. If it was me, I would apologise for wasting your time and accept an alternative day for you to come back.

DoreenLethal Thu 10-Dec-15 18:01:14

I would have gone back and cleaned to the time you would usually clean, and charge the full normal price. 14 extra miles isn't all that in fuel is it?

blatantplacemark Thu 10-Dec-15 18:04:23

I couldn't go back as it turns out. She's messaged me to apologise a lot , advise that a spare key isn't in the place she thought it might be and also apologising for wasting my time so it's sorted now

I think the few responses on here show just how people think they can treat cleaners and that it's somehow not an issue to not stick to a pre arranged agreement. Very interesting indeed

CrohnicallyAspie Thu 10-Dec-15 18:09:54

I guessed that's what you meant by 'no more flex' but you were expecting to be there till 12:40, why couldn't you have gone back till then? That way you could legitimately ask her to pay you for the full 4 hours (since it wasn't your fault you couldn't get in) or compromised on 3 seeing as you did waste a lot of time hanging about (I agree that you could have left earlier if just to get phone signal and ring her). And then you wouldn't have wasted time, you would have been paid for the time spent hanging around/driving backwards and forwards.

By the way, I don't think anyone said that you couldn't be bothered to do the job today!

Cloppysow Fri 11-Dec-15 19:03:23

I agree with your last comment blatant

When you see some of the "i'm very important" behaviour on here i refuse to say entitled or special snowflake it's amazing how accomodating they expect you to be.

Glad you got the apology you deserve.

TheSecondViola Fri 11-Dec-15 19:08:33

I think you're right OP. If you were something less servant like you wouldn't be getting these responses.
You arrived as arranged to do a job. She was not there and did not provide access. She is in the wrong and she owes you for the time you wasted.

wafflerinchief Fri 11-Dec-15 19:13:22

I think you did the right thing, realistically no one is going to want to pay for a clean they didn't get, even if it's their fault so it was appropriate for you to go rather than waste more time, do half a clean and expect full payment. Glad it's sorted. I agree it was a bit scatty of her, I don't think it sounds as though it'll happen again.

Fugghetaboutit Fri 11-Dec-15 19:17:25

Surprised at the comments on here saying op should've gone back.

You did the right thing, she made a mistake, you went home and weren't expecting payment - I would've paid you for travel a least

IAmNotAMindReader Fri 11-Dec-15 19:33:09

Oh get real with all the comments saying the OP should have gone back. She runs a business, a client fucked up and there were other clients booked in that day. Why should the OP dick them around just because one had a flaky moment?
Dentists and some other professions would be then charging a cancellation fee on top. So if you're not there or have left no access then the job doesn't get done and no payment is due is more than fair.

However because the OP is a cleaner she should have bowed and scraped, turned the places where the client thought the key might have been and done a 4 hour job in less time and been grateful? (Yes I know no one has actually stated that but it's the way some responses are coming across) WOW! the below stairs attitude is alive and kicking.

BalloonSlayer Fri 11-Dec-15 19:41:41

I know it's sorted now but can't believe some of the responses. She should have driven seven miles back and gone rummaging through a shed for a key that "might" be there? Stuff that.

You're her cleaner, not her slave.

Dipankrispaneven Fri 11-Dec-15 19:50:07

I'm glad it's sorted, but I agree that ideally it would have been sensible to drive say half a mile to see if you could get a signal and check again from there.

DanglyEarOrnaments Fri 11-Dec-15 19:54:03

We have a cleaning company with currently around 70 clients on our books.

We are always short of staff because in this industry it is notoriously difficult to find the quality of staff that cleaning business need to go forward with growth. Given the demand we find ourselves to be in which far outstrips anything we could ever supply we are always running a completely full schedule.

In cases where we cannot access the home at the agreed time, we can charge a lock-out fee, this is written within our terms and conditions, we will not pay our staff to travel to and from a property and then have to cut their expected hours because the client could not organise themselves. We will also not allow the following client's clean to be cut short because we waited around in the hope the client would finally get to the phone.

No access no clean but we charge a lock out fee.

We currently have a waiting list for our services, I am going to try to recruit some more soon but it takes a lot to find, hire and train suitable staff, when i get ones who will represent our company correctly and uphold our reputation of quality I treat them like gold dust.

Customer service is of the upmost importance but at the same time, doing what we said we would do is great customer service, allowing lock outs and running late for other clients is not good customer service. If a client did this more than once I would take them off our schedule, they would not be a good match for our company.

whois Fri 11-Dec-15 20:06:27

I can't believe people think you should have driven an extra 14 miles and gone hunting for a key that may or may not have been in the shed!

The mistake was hers. I wouldn't have waited an hour tho, probably 20 mins then driven and called her when j first got signal.

CrohnicallyAspie Fri 11-Dec-15 20:07:26

I was only saying go back because of the length of the clean- the OP was booked until 12:40, it was not appropriate to tell the client she couldn't go back because of lack of time and other clients were booked in, that suggests she hadn't been planning on stopping the full 4 hours in the first place, or was grateful for being able to get to the next clients and knock off early.

Had it been a shorter clean booked, fair enough it wouldn't have been worthwhile going back.

Had she said she wouldn't go back unless the client was sure there was a spare key, or unless the client could meet the extra travelling costs, fine.

But 'lack of time' at 10:00 ish when she was originally booked till 12:40 sounds like an excuse to me. She wouldn't have had to dick around other clients, because she wasn't due to get till them till after lunch anyway!

And I never said she should do a 4 hour job in less time- I would have suggested asking the client which half of the jobs wanted doing. The half job would hopefully have meant the client remembered the keys next time (or really left a spare in the shed and let OP know!)

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