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WWYD re cleaner's rate

(26 Posts)
mckenzie Sat 14-Jan-17 15:01:52

We had the same lovely lady for about 8 years but she's had to retire due to ill health.
We now have another lady (who was recommended to me by an acquaintance. this cleaner does not do work for the acquaintance but knows her from the school playground).

Foolishly I didn't clarify the rate before she started and on the first day, when I went to pay her, she quoted a rate much higher than i've ever paid before.
I paid it and have paid it for the last few weeks.
This new cleaner is good; she also speaks good english, has a sense of humour, thinks for herself and is pleasant to have around. Much like our original lady.

I can't help feeling though that I'm paying over the odds.

Would you risk losing her but saying that now you've thought about it you realise it's too high an hourly rate? (it's pretty much what I earn so I might as well do my own cleaning.
No wait!
I hate cleaning grin)

or would you think that her being all the things i've said she is makes it money well spent and anyway, it's too late now?

TIA

iwantavuvezela Sat 14-Jan-17 15:05:03

Can you reduce the hours that way still have a good cleaner but for less time weekly?
What is th rate you are paying per hour, if it is way over the odds then I would start to look for another cleaner or make an adjustment to hours.

DanglyEarOrnaments Sat 14-Jan-17 15:26:22

I don;t think you can tell a self-employed cleaner what her rate should be, she will be setting her own rate and charging you whatever that is.

I think as a business owner you set your rate according to what you need to make it work at whatever service level you have set out so she cannot change it for a new customer just because they have had a cheaper service before.

If her rate is beyond budget but you like her cleaning I would do as iwant suggests and reduce her hours or go fortnightly. It is very hard to find a decent cleaner so I wouldn't risk losing a good service over her rates. I would just do a bit more myself to make it affordable.

3boys3dogshelp Sat 14-Jan-17 15:28:33

How much is she charging you??

slipslidingaway88 Sat 14-Jan-17 15:31:02

You'd need to say what part of the country as it varies wildly. Honestly, good cleaners are like hens teeth. If the old lady never raised her rate in 8 years you were probably well under market rate.

gamerchick Sat 14-Jan-17 15:31:25

How much are we talking about?

Looneytune253 Sat 14-Jan-17 15:32:09

Check what the going rate is in your area, maybe the previous lady was undercharging. At £10ph here that is more than most people's hourly wage but it is still the going rate. People will still pay it because it's only a couple of hours out of their week if u see what I mean.

PurpleWithRed Sat 14-Jan-17 15:35:24

It's too late, you should have asked her rate before you took her on.

FWIW we pay our truly excellent cleaner £12.50/hour here in Surrey, she brings all her own kit. Going rate is about £10/hour for independent cleaners, much more for cleaning services.

DanglyEarOrnaments Sat 14-Jan-17 15:37:17

Around here (North West) cleaners are £10 an hour at the lowest end and up to £20 per hour or over at the higher end.

I've never heard of less than £10 per hour but I do understand it's out there with the more casual arrangements where the person is not declaring their income to the tax man and will not have any insurances in place or any equipment with them.

donajimena Sat 14-Jan-17 15:38:25

£10 per hour isn't that great when you factor in time lost for travelling. Time off for holidays.

DanglyEarOrnaments Sat 14-Jan-17 15:40:26

Please don't forget in most cases, where the person is legit, the cleaner is running a business with travel, equipment, chemicals and insurances to pay for plus other business expenses and time spent off-site doing the necessary admin to run a professional service for themselves.

Their wages are a percentage of the rate only and the rest goes to business costs. I think £10 per hour equals around the min wage in take home income all things considered.

DanglyEarOrnaments Sat 14-Jan-17 15:41:05

x-post dona grin

AppleMagic Sat 14-Jan-17 15:43:35

We just put up with it until she asked for a pay rise then we told her we no longer needed her services. I wish I lived in the UK though, our cleaner was asking for a pay rise of $40 (£30)ph to $45 (£35)ph.

Pinotwoman82 Sat 14-Jan-17 15:52:27

How much does she charge you? In the east area the average is about £10/£12, but I imagine London area it would be more? Xx

unfortunateevents Sat 14-Jan-17 16:00:18

How on earth did you end up with her working for you without asking her what she charges?! How much more expensive is she than your previous lady? Quite possibly, your cleaner who retired had not increased her prices in line with market rates so the new one may be charging competitively in today's world. Can you find out what cleaners generally in your area are charging?

donajimena Sat 14-Jan-17 16:13:36

I hate it when people quibble about what they pay their cleaner.
Can't say I'm talking about you OP because you haven't said what the rate is!

DanglyEarOrnaments Sat 14-Jan-17 16:14:54

unfortunate that's what i was puzzled about! The cleaner must have come round to do a quote first otherwise how was the actual clean booked at all?

I don't get that bit at all. confused

MoreThanUs Sat 14-Jan-17 16:19:47

I don't think cleaners are necessarily more expensive, as it tends to be about supply and demand. There are a lot of options in London, therefore bringing price down. I live in a village in North Wilts, and pay £14 an hour, which is pretty much the only option I had.

Trills Sat 14-Jan-17 16:26:38

If you have other options and you think they'd be just as good for less money you can say "thanks for your work last week but I've decided to go with someone else".

Trills Sat 14-Jan-17 16:27:44

My cleaner was a recommendation from a neighbour. I asked what they paid and then I chose to round up a bit (Is suspect they are paying an amount that is easy to make up out of notes for 3 hours, I'm paying an amount that is easy for 2 hours).

DanglyEarOrnaments Sat 14-Jan-17 16:31:50

That's true more than there are an awful lot of illegal services operating cheaply in central London which drives the market down unrealistically there.

The rest of the country tends to command a much higher rate. I would say £14 per hour is mid-priced for any area outside central London.

We are a higher end service so we charge a fair bit more than that especially now we must add VAT to the price but we are still not the most expensive out there.

You are right, it's because demand outstrips supply and better services are in a very short supply. Individual good solo cleaners who only need to fill their own schedule can pretty much name their price.

I always find when I go to quote we get the majority of the jobs we price up just because they want a better service and will pay the rates we need for this. Price is not much of an issue, if we are beyond budget a lot will just go for fortnightly frequency instead of weekly in order to have a good reliable service in place.

HecateAntaia Sat 14-Jan-17 16:37:27

She should have told you in advance but equally you should have asked.
You cant tell a self employed person what they must charge.
All you can do is decide whether the work is worth that money to you.
If it isnt - cancel her.

mckenzie Sun 15-Jan-17 17:19:10

Thanks for all the replies and apologies for delay in responding; our internet is quite problematic at the moment.

Our previous cleaner was with us for 8 years or so and had a few pay rises in that time, ending on £10ph, with us supplying all equipment.
We then had another lady, same rate, same set up but we didn't keep heras we found out she was lying about how long she cleaned for.
Next we had a company who charged £10 ph but supplied all equipment. They were a sweet couple but not good cleaners
("oh, I didn't know you wanted me to move the back door mat and mop underneath it. Other clients don't ask us to move the kitchen bin and sweep behind it either")

This new lady is £14ph and we supply her equipment.
I waited 3 months for her to get space to clean for us as she came highly recommended. I totally get that it is entirely my fault for not checking her rate first.
But my query is whether it is 'her rate' or is it her rate for us as she knew I really wanted her.
I also, as I now type this, realise it doesnt matter.
It is what it is and I must suck it up or make other arrangements.
Thank you for being my sounding board smile

DanglyEarOrnaments Sun 15-Jan-17 18:34:38

Aw Op, sounds a normal mid-priced rate to me (and I am heavily involved within the domestic cleaning industry - at least throughout the UK anyway)

I think a good solo cleaner will always have a waiting list, we have ten staff but cannot hire and train fast enough to meet demand and we are more like £18 per person per hour when you take VAT into consideration.

I think she is charging normally, it's just that your last two services were at the super-cheap end of pricing for domestic cleaning so she seems expensive in comparison.

mckenzie Sun 15-Jan-17 20:47:06

thanks Dangly.
I shall just have to work more myself to be able to afford her.
Or ask her to do fortnightly while I make do with my own housework in between. grin

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