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8 Mistakes to avoid when choosing a house cleaning service


MISTAKE #1:  Choosing a Cleaning Service purely based upon “lowest price.”

Low price could be a problem in three ways: (1) low price can be the bait that attracts your phone call, but once the cleaner gets into your home, they pressure you into a higher priced job; (2) extremely “low prices” tend to be offered by individual cleaners who commonly have no insurance, are not bonded, have not been screened for background checks, typically do not have the funds to replace an item they damaged in your home, and sadly, more often than not are working in this country illegally; (3) low price means that the equipment, chemicals and supplies being used are far cheaper and are not working as effectively in your home, especially the quality of vacuuming.


MISTAKE #2:  Choosing a Cleaning Service based upon a single telephone call. 

Instead, invite the person to your home and ask for a specific written quotation.  This way you will know exactly what you are paying for, and you won’t be the victim of high-pressure tactics when the cleaning team steps into your living room.  Even more importantly, the best Cleaning Services offer multiple packages of services, 6-month and 1-year service agreements, and offer additional home services through their certified affiliates such as plumbers, handyman services, air conditioning techs, painters, personal organizers, interior decorators, window washers and carpet cleaners.  The best Cleaning Services will perform a complete Home Health Audit™ to identify your various needs.


MISTAKE #3:  Choosing a Cleaning Service without getting comments or testimonials from other clients.        

Any Cleaning Service can say anything about their past jobs.  And sadly, some of what they say may not be true.  Make sure you ask for references or read comments from current customers so you can depend on the Cleaning Service and the quality of their work.


MISTAKE #4:  Choosing a Cleaning Service who is not a member of the Association of Residential Cleaning Services International (ARCSI).  The only national professional association for owners of residential cleaning services is ARCSI.  Membership in this organization demonstrates a commitment to the ethical standards of ARCSI and providing the most professional service possible for the purpose of improving the standards of quality work and service in the residential cleaning industry.  By choosing an ARCSI member you are selecting a company that is dedicated to being the best in the nation.


MISTAKE #5:  Choosing a Cleaning Service without asking for documented proof of background checks and drug screening of the cleaning technicians who will be working in your home. The costly investment of background checks and drug screening of employees is only made by Cleaning Service Companies who are serious about protecting their Clients and their other employees.  Cleaning Service Companies, who perform these forms of screening, are more likely to have higher caliber employees working in your home. 


MISTAKE #6:  Choosing a Cleaning Service without being crystal clear about your expectations and the specific cleaning duties that are included in the Company’s written quotation.


The best of the best Cleaning Services routinely offer their Clients service agreements which specifically outline the detailed tasks which are to be performed as part of your home cleaning service.  Some of the more common areas of potential confusion are stripping and making of beds, laundry, high dusting of ceiling fan blades, high reach window sills, handling of children’s toys, and the handling of the trash throughout the home.  Protect yourself and save yourself lots of grief by getting all of these cleaning specifications in writing up front.


MISTAKE #7:  Choosing a Cleaning Service without ensuring that competitors’ bids are “apple-to-apple” comparisons.  For instance, if you receive written quotations from three companies, be sure to see that the quotations are for the same services, especially:

  • Frequency of cleaning—weekly, bi-weekly, monthly
  • Inclusion of services such as bed making, refrigerator cleaning, dusting ceiling fan blades, wet mopping methods, sanitizing and disinfecting versus only surface cleaning
  • Equipment, supplies and cleaning chemicals—are they provided by all companies
  • Number of Cleaners per Team and number of hours of actual cleaning each time—2 people on a team for 3 hours=6 hours, 1 person for 6 hours=6 hours, 3 people for 2 hours=6 hours
  • Compare Guarantees
  • Compare availability of additional services and certified affiliate services
  • Confirm that each bid is only for the work you truly want done


MISTAKE #8:  Choosing a Cleaning Service who does not offer a money-back guarantee.

Or worse, choosing a Cleaning Services who states they have a guarantee but it is not a guarantee at all, such as, “We will clean your home to your satisfaction guaranteed-if you are not satisfied we will return to correct the problem for free, until you are satisfied.”  This is not a guarantee!  Anyone will return to fix a problem for free.  A true Money-Back Guarantee is something like, “Your Complete Satisfaction Guaranteed with our 200% Guarantee-if you are unsatisfied for any reason, we will return to address your concern, and if you are not satisfied we will immediately refund you 100% of the money you paid for our service, and we will write a check in your honor, of the same amount to a charity of your choice.”  Also be sure to check the fine print to ensure that the “Guarantee” is not limited in any way.  Be sure to get the Guarantee in writing with your written quotation too.





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