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Advice off cleaners/or people who have a cleaner duties

(41 Posts)
Smallbear86 Wed 10-Aug-16 18:40:09

I recently started up my own cleaning business about three months ago now.
I've got a few regulars and am getting one off cleans 4-5 times a month. I'm making enough just for a living for myself I sometimes take a friend when I have a lot on and pay them aswell.
Anyway I have a customer who I don't know how to deal with properly.
She pays me £20 for her clean basically I took her clean on when I first started and was happy for the work her house has four bedrooms, two bathrooms plus an en suite and a playroom.
It takes me two hours to clean her house and that's pushing it and I clean it to a good standard as she's very fussy.
She has even said how good my cleaning is but every week she complains about something and calls me every week to say I missed something bearing in mind her house is huge so is a lot to cover.
Last week she left me extra jobs which were clean interior Windows, dust all the lamp shades ceiling ones and clean her laminated floor with a brush as there were white marks in the grain? Empty all the upstairs bins , Clean inside the microwave. Also clean all the children's toys with a wet wipe this was on top of the regular clean with shower screens that I usually do.
It was literally impossible she has only left me £20 so I was not willing to do the whole house plus extra jobs for that price. The other week she left me all the beds to change which I don't do for any one else as it takes to much time really but I still did it.
I sent her a text afterwards I said I did half the jobs she asked on top of her clean but coildnt do the rest.
I really feel I've underpriced her house as it is I'm sweating at the end of her house and I charge £45 to clean apartments in the city and they are less work to be honest.
She replied saying she will give me £5 extra to do extra jobs but I feel her house is £25 minimum to clean anyway .
I don't know how to put her price up without losing her custom but I feel I go above and beyond for her and she still complains despite saying I'm the best cleaner she's ever had. No one else I visit moans at all like this and they are much easier.
What would you do in my situation?

Akire Wed 10-Aug-16 18:44:58

For £20 a week you will replace her easily. Sounds like you offer a very reasonable hourly rate why should one pushy complaining customer get more than your average person?

Tell her you are happy to either complete all jobs and let her know how much she owe you depending on time it takes, or she pays flat fee and you work 2h and do whatever you can on her list. if she really felt you weren't doing jobs good enough she would have got someone else!

Chippednailvarnishing Wed 10-Aug-16 18:51:01

Come up with a time tariff for each job and charge her accordingly. Otherwise unless you are really skint, I'd consider only doing the basic and leaving the rest as you haven't got time. She's taking the piss.

Hallamoo Wed 10-Aug-16 18:57:40

I have a 5 bed house with playroom, 3 bathrooms plus downstairs loo. It takes my cleaner 4 hours to do my whole house.

I sometimes ask her to do extra jobs, like ironing or cleaning windows, but she will do those only if she has time, and if not I would ask her to do extra hours if I wanted them done.

Your client is taking the mickey I think. You should tell her that it takes a min of 3 hours to clean her house properly and anything on top of that is extra.

ButteredToastAndStrawberryJam Wed 10-Aug-16 18:58:45

Yeah you'll just have to be firm with her, she's taking the P. You charge what you think is fair, you're worth your weight in gold and she knows it. If she doesn't like it, she can lump it. You sound good at your job, people will recommend you, you'll get more work, her house will be a dim and distant memory soon, well it should be if she doesn't cough up. Good luck with you business.

happyvalley4 Wed 10-Aug-16 19:07:11

Just tell her the £20 is for the basic clean and extra jobs are extra. You're probably best to have a chat with her to make it crystal clear what you can do in the time.

She sounds really fussy and will probably always be a difficult customer. So bear this in mind.

Afterthestorm Wed 10-Aug-16 19:08:02

I have been a cleaner until recently and know how hard work it is. She is absolutely taking the mick, it is worth much more than £20, she is taking you for a fool. And to have the nerve to ring up and complain about something? Makes my bloody boil 😡

Hufflepuffin Wed 10-Aug-16 19:15:11

Our house is tiny, the cleaner comes for two hours a fortnight and just does kitchen, living and bathroom.

Thingvellir Wed 10-Aug-16 19:16:44

£20 for a basic clean of a house that size is good value! She is taking the piss and you should not let her.

KarmaNoMore Wed 10-Aug-16 19:19:05

Not a cleaner here but when I had one, I would have expected to pay around £50 for just part of that work.

I had a wonderful cleaner, when I could only pay £20 I told her to do as much as she could in two hours at her normal speed, I was well aware that there wouldn't be time for special work, just a quick swipe, washing bathrooms, vacuum clean, dusting all surfaces, and moping the floors.

I think your client is taking the piss big time £5 extra and being super fuzzy? No, if she wants that level of service she needs to pay far more.

SmilingHappyBeaver Wed 10-Aug-16 19:22:24

My cleaner does my ironing as well, and some weeks there is loads of ironing. She bills me at the end of the month for the actual hours she has worked. We agree that broadly she will charge 3 hours per week, but if some weeks there is more to do, she charges for the extra time worked.

Your customer is taking the mickey!! Tell her what you can reasonably achieve in 2 hours, and advise that any extra jobs will be charged for accordingly. If she doesn't like it, she can walk. Good cleaners are like gold dust, so it will be her loss not yours, you will replace her quickly i'm sure.

KarmaNoMore Wed 10-Aug-16 19:24:41

Having said that, if your business is taking off, it may be better to dump her. Having someone texting you with complaints in your spare time is highly disrespectful and not worth to put with for £20 when you can work for other people instead.

biscuitkumquat Wed 10-Aug-16 19:38:28

OP, I've got a cleaning business too, we do domestic & commercial.

I give customers a price for their regular clean, so your £20, and I also give them a price list for everything that would fall outwith that. (ironing, changing beds, microwave, oven etc), and I ask that if they want anything extra done, that they give us 7 days notice (realistically it's the clean before they let us know), and we fit it into the next clean

Unfortunately I find that we have some customers (both domestic & commercial) who like to have a moan about something every week, usually very minor things, and occasionally we do recommend that clients hire someone else when it is becoming too time consuming to deal with very minor infractions.

I'm more than happy to send you a copy of our list tomorrow, if that would help?

ButteredToastAndStrawberryJam Wed 10-Aug-16 19:49:27

These people that are over fussy, I dunno why they don't clean there own bloody house, they're obviously the authority on it hmm

Smallbear86 Wed 10-Aug-16 20:16:49

She moans every week and every night before her clean she calls me at 8PM to go over things really pees me off.
She asked me to also de limescale all her taps and shower time with a brush every week too which takes me extra time.
I took someone with me a few weeks ago and she requested that I just go on my own in future which I thought was rude I still charge her the same even if I take someone with me.
Interior windows are hard work aswell and when I do sparkle cleans I charge extra for those.
Thanks guys I knew it wasn't just me thinking she was taking the mick

gamerchick Wed 10-Aug-16 20:21:18

Sack her, she's taken advantage of you being new to the game.

Kwirrell Wed 10-Aug-16 21:07:46

I would ditch her as a client. £20 is not worth that hassle. I have employed cleaners for 20 years. Good ones like yourself are precious beyond rubies. I give my current cleaner a bonus every month because she is amazing.

Please do not sell yourself short. I have a cleaner because of a disability and feel very lucky that I have had only one that was not satisfactory.

joeythenutter Thu 11-Aug-16 22:03:44

I am a cleaner and all those 'extra' things you mention are included in every clean I do. I do not charge any extra for cleaning windows, microwave, changing beds, emptying bins etc. But for a house that size I would be requesting more hours at a minimum of £10 hour.

Talk to the client and see what arrangement you can come to otherwise replace her with someone more suitable.

MaccaPaccaismyNemesis Thu 11-Aug-16 22:17:09

We've just employed a cleaner- she does an hour a week, and we are realistic about what she can achieve. Frankly, having someone come and mop, Hoover and clean the bathroom makes me happy. How much does she expect you to do in 2 hours is far too much! Also, cleaners shouldn't be expected to tidy up unless you've agreed it previously and included in the time allowed. We make sure the floors are clear and towels are in the wash so that it is an easier job overall.

She either has unrealistic expectations or is too miserly to pay you for the full job imo.

chloechloe Fri 12-Aug-16 11:51:01

You're the best cleaner she ever had as you're doing a hell of a lot of work in two hours and undercharging (if two of you sometimes clean you should be charging double the hourly rate!)

Our cleaner does 4 hours and does kitchen (incl. wiping all cabinets - white gloss), lounge, dining room, bathroom, WC, cloakroom, stairs and 2 bedrooms, plus a few extra jobs or rooms if she has time. She is super thorough though and cleans all skirting boards, behind furniture etc. I don't know how you manage to do all that in 4 hours.

I would be minded to sack her too - picky and unwilling to pay a fair rate is too much to deal with!

chloechloe Fri 12-Aug-16 11:52:39

That should have been: I don't know how you do all that in 2 hours!

Smallbear86 Fri 12-Aug-16 19:12:05

Well I can't do all of that in two hours which she doesn't seem to understand.
I do skirtings on sparkle cleans but I charge for four hours on those so I have time.
I don't have time to do skirting boards at this house.
I have contacted her this week and she didn't leave me extra jobs today apart from all the washing up which wasn't too bad compared to usual.
Because of how much she complains it makes me lose heart doing the job and I really felt half hearted doing it today because no matter what I do she still complains it's frustrating.

Smallbear86 Fri 12-Aug-16 19:13:33

Also for anyone else who cleans what about moving furniture the other week she asked me to move furniture which is fine if it's light but I'm very small and these were like huge oak drawers in the bedroom. Needless to say I tried to move them and couldn't .

Destinysdaughter Fri 12-Aug-16 19:18:06

LTB! 😀

LottieDoubtie Fri 12-Aug-16 19:26:32

You need to be much firmer and reassess the job. You tell her what you are and aren't prepared to do and how much it will cost. Then she can take it or leave it.

I bet she takes it if you really are good. If she doesn't reign it in sack her, there are plenty of other people who will be much less demanding and love to pay you £20 a week for a decent clean.

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