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AIBU or cleaners?

(190 Posts)
Moominmummyzzz Sat 06-Aug-16 23:18:54

Background: We have been using a cleaning company to clean our house for the last three years. We had seven different people and all of them (bar one) left the company. The last five months, the owners (age 72, 73) have started doing the job. We employ them to come to the house two hours twice a week (4 hours a week in total). They have also done a deep clean of the house (8 hrs) in April. We pay £12.50 per hour so around £200-225 a month.

DH and I have a toddler and we both work full time. I mainly work night duties. DH and I are really knackered as we have no family nearby to help us. We have someone to help us clean our house for our mental well being.

Since the owners have taken the role, I have noticed the following
- cancelling the job at the last minute (like texting at 12:00 to say they cant come in for 12:00 noon job)
- charging us for days they did not turn to work (this happened twice but did not question it for goodwill as we have used them for three years)
- last week owner/cleaner was to do a two hour clean but she left after an hour but still charged us for the full two hours.

The owner/cleaners were suppose to come yesterday but they didn't turn up. We got this email from her today:

Dear Moominmummyzzz,

I have given the cleaning of your home considerable thought, and no matter how I try I can no longer contend with the state we find your home in each time we come.

I really do not want to offend you but when we spoke last you asked me to be honest, are efforts are in vane, the constant wiping of the sofa which is covered in dried on food, picking up stuff from the floors, clearing food and cereal bowls, clearing food and various other things.

Putting washing in the baskets picking up toys and various other things from the bath.

My staff and I are not servants having to clear up behind people.

You are a young couple and there is no reason why you cannot pick things up so we are able to clean, you have the capabilities of making your home a well kept and pleasant place to bring your little toddler up in.

Please take all this on board as being constructive. You are really nice people and I have enjoyed knowing you.

I put your key back through the door yesterday I hope you have found it . If I can be of any help please let me know.

I'm just confused at this. It sounds like we're disgusting pigs but we are just a real tired couple with a small child. AIBU?

OreosAreTasty Sat 06-Aug-16 23:23:38

Afraid to say you may be being a bit U. Some cleaners are happy to go the extra mile (clear food from bowls etc) but this shouldn't generally be expected, in my experience, unless you're paying for a full deep clean.

Geordiegirl79 Sat 06-Aug-16 23:24:52

It does sound a bit like they're in the wrong job!!!

MsVestibule Sat 06-Aug-16 23:25:19

That email is incredibly rude!! If you really are sure it's just a 'normal' amount of clutter, then they should be able to deal with that as part of their job. Presumably you're paying by the hour, rather than the job?

I don't fully understand the implication of the last two paragraphs - are they sacking you as clients?

Moominmummyzzz Sat 06-Aug-16 23:27:15

Yes, they gave notice of not coming back anymore.
Clutter- from toddler which I try to clear up all the time.

I do try to hoover and clear up before they come in but it's not a pristine job.

LewisAndClark Sat 06-Aug-16 23:27:22

Sorry but I think YABU. They're there to clean, not tidy.

Leaving a bath full of toys and bowls with food in for them is just rude, really.

You need a housekeeper if you want a full service.

(Her email is hilariously rude to you though so YANBU about that).

Geordiegirl79 Sat 06-Aug-16 23:28:16

Having said that, I do always go round before the cleaner arrives and do a little pre-cleaner clean, but just wiping round toilets etc.

Cel982 Sat 06-Aug-16 23:30:25

To be honest, if they're elderly business owners whose entire staff has just quit, they're probably looking to wind down the business. They may have felt that this was a face-saving way to do it which is nuts.

That doesn't mean there isn't some truth to what they've said - no one here can say that for sure. But it reads very much smacks like a convenient pretext to me. They certainly have no right to lecture you.

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Sat 06-Aug-16 23:31:30

Nah you just need to find a cleaner who doesn't mind the tidying aspect. Ours doesn't mind, I never tidy beforehand. She loads the dishwasher, changes all the beds, does all the bins, irons.

Cel982 Sat 06-Aug-16 23:31:30

Sorry, not sure what 'smacks' is doing in that second-to-last sentence!

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Sat 06-Aug-16 23:31:58

I dunno. A cleaner's job is to clean. There shouldn't be any food or dirty dishes left out and surfaces should be clear for cleaning.

What is the point about laundry? Do you leave it strewn about?

They have clearly ended the relationship so if you want a new cleaner get one but be clear about expectations.

I think the fact they don't seem to be very good means it's a mutual thing but you should have raised issues at the time and as you didn't I'm not sure how this is relevant?

Being honest, do you leave mess to be tidied so it's not just cleaning?

Fwiw I bung all our crap in a heap/in the cupboard before our cleaner comes. I never leave dirty dishes out for her to deal with.

catsofa Sat 06-Aug-16 23:32:57

This is why i don't get the concept of having a cleaner. If they don't do this stuff then what do they do? It wouldn't save me any time or energy if i had to clean for the cleaner!

Beeziekn33ze Sat 06-Aug-16 23:33:27

Find a new cleaner, preferably by personal recommendation.

MsVestibule Sat 06-Aug-16 23:34:00

If I can be of any help please let me know.

What help does she possibly think you could need from her?!! Perhaps you could invite her to critique your wardrobe grin?

I do try to Hoover.... Perhaps you'd be better just spending that the tidying instead? I'm a PT cleaner, and the level of clutter you've described wouldn't bother me in the slightest, but perhaps I'm in the minority?

Queenbean Sat 06-Aug-16 23:34:10

You don't employ these people, they provide a service to you - in the same way you don't employ a hairdresser

Sounds rank though, I would never expect my cleaner to wipe old food of the sofa. You are paying them a lot though and that email is very rude!

I wouldn't trust them with keys to my house now anyway

JigglypuffsCaptor Sat 06-Aug-16 23:35:03

I think both of you are being a bit unreasonable. Cleaners ran not tidy, but she should have approached it better. Perhaps e-mailed.over a review of their T+C's and politely outlined what tasks they undertake.

coolaschmoola Sat 06-Aug-16 23:35:37


We're also a couple with a young child and a cleaner and very demanding jobs and, tbh, if that is a true representation of your home then YABU. Dried on food on the sofa shock - that is grim! I'm not the greatest housekeeper in the world (too knackered and not really arsed either) but spilt food should be wiped up immediately, shouldn't it?!

As for cereal bowls, stuff out etc - again, YABU. You employ cleaners, not tidiers - there is a vast difference. Most people tidy up before their cleaners come so that they can CLEAN as contracted.

If your house is getting into the state described in that letter, with twice weekly cleaners, then sorry, but you don't sound just knackered, you sound a bit minging. It does sound as though you are expecting servants, not cleaners.

You have been binned by your cleaners because your house is too untidy to clean. I'd be too embarrassed to post on here. The dried on good on the sofa is really grim tbh.

ALLthedinosaurs Sat 06-Aug-16 23:36:40

I don't get it. No-ones being unreasonable. Everyone has a right to resign if they don't like the job, and you have a right to leave cereal bowls and toys lying around in your own house if you want to.

All you need is to find a new housekeeper/cleaner who is more specific in the terms of what they will agree to do, so that you both know what to expect.

That email was hilariously patronising though, sorry grin

Primaryteach87 Sat 06-Aug-16 23:37:03

YANBU! That's a horrific way to speak to a client regardless of the 'state of your house'. Given that they are in for 4 hours a week they should be able to cope. I sometimes wonder why people bother with cleaners if they can't cope with normal family clutter. Surely if your life has no mess, you don't need a cleaner!!

Find a new cleaner and be very clear that they need to be able to do the odd bit of tidying as otherwise it's a bit pointless you having them.

mysteryfairy Sat 06-Aug-16 23:38:11

Putting clothes in baskets...dirty ones that you left on floor? And there was dirty crockery left around for them to deal with when they came to clean?

If what she says is true I'm astounded they've lasted as long as they have.

MovingOnUpMovingOnOut Sat 06-Aug-16 23:38:28

Yeah that email is so rude!

Was this is Britain op? I find people would rather lie than tell people something like that!

Itscurtainsforyou Sat 06-Aug-16 23:38:28

What a bizarre, rude message! I would be upset if I'd received it.

Fwiw we are not the tidiest people and have a cleaner once a fortnight. The night before they're due, I make sure toys are away, clutter is organised into a big pile, dirty dishes are in the dishwasher, cleaners have easy access to all the rooms (no huge amounts of crap on the floor) - never pre-cleaning, but my argument is that I'd rather pay them for cleaning (which I hate) than tidying (which I can tolerate).

Thisisnotausername Sat 06-Aug-16 23:39:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

angelikacpickles Sat 06-Aug-16 23:42:01

The email is rude. But I always tidy the night before my cleaner comes - I want her to clean, no tidy. All toys would be put away, surfaces clear, floors clear. Sometimes this involves piling loads of stuff onto my bed so that the floor is clear to be hoovered, as I would never expect her to move stuff. All dishes would be washed or in the dishwasher, bar the kids breakfast bowls which would be rinsed and in the sink.

Moominmummyzzz Sat 06-Aug-16 23:42:12

Thanks a lot for letting me see the other sides of the issue as well. flowers

We had no problem for the last 2 1/2 years and I think it's just having a messy toddler that makes things harder for us.

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