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aibu to refuse to pay a customer a cancellation fee

(81 Posts)
Ldnmum2015 Mon 07-Nov-16 16:18:03

Hi I work self employed as a cleaner, I really love the cleaning side but am still finding it hard being assertive. Today I received an abuse call from a customer who I have recently taken on, apparently she didn't get my text informing her due to twisting my elbow I was unable to do her booking yesterday, I know I sent the text as it is in my phones records. The customer left missed calls at 3am this morning, but at 8.45am today I picked up only for her to be screaming down the phone I had let her down and she wants me to pay her a cancellation fee and to compensate her for letting her down, I have sinced received texts telling me that she had air bnb guests staying at her flat yesterday and they were disappointed by the state of the place and they are refusing to pay their cleaning fee, which incidentally three times more than I was charging. Aibu for refusing to pay her.

McBassyPants Mon 07-Nov-16 16:21:42

Not been U in my opinion. As you say, you HAD text her to tell her. It's a bit shitty if she didn't receive it but definitely doesn't necessitate any kind of monetary compensation. I'd guess you've probably lost her as a client though

Since when has a text message been an acceptable form of informing someone you won't be working that day?!

LurkingHusband Mon 07-Nov-16 16:27:53


people do know that SMS is not a reliable service, and can be delayed for up to 72 hours ?

Meadows76 Mon 07-Nov-16 16:28:18

I wouldn't be paying anything but at the same time you need to act much more professionally. Sending a text is not acceptable.

Trifleorbust Mon 07-Nov-16 16:29:29

What are your contractual terms for cancellation?

mintthins Mon 07-Nov-16 16:31:13

I don't think it would unreasonable to assume she didn't receive it unless it was an iMessage that said it was delivered, or a text she had replied to.

That said, her reaction is pretty horrible, and I would neither pay, nor work for her again.

NoFuckingRoomOnMyBroom Mon 07-Nov-16 16:33:40

Her reaction is poor but then so is your mode of customer communication, a text is not an appropriate way to cancel as you had no way of knowing if the customer had received it hmm
You should have spoke to her directly.

Skittlesss Mon 07-Nov-16 16:34:57

I think you should have phoned her rather than text messaged, then you would be sure she received it. Text message is not very professional or reliable. I would learn from this and move on. Hope your elbow is feeling better. That's not a good place to hurt as you can't rest it well.

ToShelAndBack Mon 07-Nov-16 16:35:19

I think texting is a pretty acceptable mode of communication these days, especially early in the morning. But it's not infallible so if you don't get confirmation that the person received it, you should absolutely follow up with a phone call.

EdmundCleverClogs Mon 07-Nov-16 16:36:37

I agree, unless you know for a fact she saw the message, you're being unreasonable. You call an employer to say you can't come in, so you can be absolutely certain they receive the message. It doesn't excuse her shouting and demanding though. Check your contract if there is one, but I'd probably not pay.

rookiemere Mon 07-Nov-16 16:36:54

Well my cleaner has texted if she is unable to make it and it's never been a problem for me. However in future if I were you I would phone if you don't get a response from your text.

No compensation for her unless you have a written agreement to that effect. I hate grabby people who make extra profit from cleaning and extras.

MLGs Mon 07-Nov-16 16:37:12

Can't believe she still tried to charge them the cleaning fee!Or that it was three times what you charge..

I agree that a text was not sufficient to tell her you weren't coming. you should have called.

however her reaction was ott. I wouldn't pay or clean for her again.

If she wanted cleaning for a commercial purpose, I.e. air bnb, I think she should have made this clear to you. If she wanted a cancellation fee involved she should have put the in the contract. however I would imagine a cleaning company would better suit her needs if she needs a guarantee of no cancellation. Except of course they are expensive....

GettingMuckyFingersCrossed Mon 07-Nov-16 16:38:43

Agree text then call if you had no response
I wouldn't be paying her

Pseudonym99 Mon 07-Nov-16 16:41:02

Do you have receipt delivery set up on your phone so you can actually see that your text has been received by the other phone?

Pickled0nions Mon 07-Nov-16 16:42:13

Is there a reason you couldn't call?
Did you not realise when you got no response from the text that maybe she hadn't received it?

I don't think throwing abuse at people is something anybody should do, but do think there should have been more than just a simple text.

JenLindleyShitMom Mon 07-Nov-16 16:44:05

If a cancellation fee is not in your contract then She can go whistle can't she?

expatinscotland Mon 07-Nov-16 16:45:42

If you don't have a written contract, I'd block her number entirely.

Trifleorbust Mon 07-Nov-16 16:48:53

I've never had a text message just randomly go missing. I think she is trying it on. It's perfectly reasonable to text someone, although in the future you may want to call just in case. If you have no written contract with her just ignore her.

Hissy Mon 07-Nov-16 16:49:06

If the property wasn't cleaned, and the supposed guests weren't paying for a non existent service, then why would there be any need for payment at all?

Client hasn't paid out for cleaning, the place wasn't clean. Kind of simple really...

Had client had to pay someone else to clean, there's a potential for a "loss" your absence incurred.

But she can't bill you for something that wasn't done.

The most you should do is offer her a free clean.

ThatGingerOne Mon 07-Nov-16 16:50:36

I think YABU - she probably didn't see the text. If she is so desperate for your work I would imagine she would have called you to ask why you couldn't come and are you sure etc.

She lost money because you couldn't pick up the phone and call her or contact her in a more professional manner. I'm afraid you should be compensating her. Perhaps a free oven clean or something else specialist like that? Don't know about cash though. Make sure whatever she accepts you have her sign a document to say that is full and final payment and that the issue it closed from then on just to cover yourself.

sleepyhead Mon 07-Nov-16 16:50:37

Block her and don't have any communication with her again.

However, in future you should realise that you can't assume a text message has been received and that you as the sender should take the risk on that. Pick up the phone if you possibly can.

icanteven Mon 07-Nov-16 16:51:20

I'm surprised she still tried to charge the cleaning fee. I'm also surprised that she told you how much it was, as she is profiting so much on it on it.

However, as an occasional Airbnb host, I wouldn't hire you again. She evidently did NOT receive your text message, and that was not a sufficient way to cancel the booking. You should have called her to make absolutely sure she got the cancellation.

Obv. ignore the completely ridiculous request for money from you - that's just demented. Chalk it up to experience, and confirm future cancellations by phone. Until the client has acknowledged the cancellation, assume that they are expecting you as contracted.

OohhThatsMe Mon 07-Nov-16 17:03:49

Did you know she used her property for Air B&B? If you did, you should have dealt with this in a completely different way.

Either way a text isn't appropriate, but her call to you at 3am isn't, either.

BerylStreep Mon 07-Nov-16 17:04:43

Well it's a learning curve that if you don't get a response to a text, then follow it up. I think text is an acceptable form of communication - my cleaner always uses text.

Paying the cancellation fee is ridiculous, and 3am irate phone calls are unacceptable. Block her number and never work for her again.

Funny, I wonder if I know the client - I know someone who behave just like this.

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