You Can’t Iron Out The Bad Customers

, , , | Right | January 14, 2019

(My sister runs an ironing business that I help out at on occasion.)

Sister: “You didn’t take any of the ironing home with you the other day, did you?”

Me: “Of course not. Why would I do that?”

Sister: “One of my clients is missing a shirt from their ironing, I’ve searched everywhere and can’t find it. Do you remember doing a [shirt description] on [day]?”

Me: “I didn’t work on that day.”

(My sister spends two weeks looking for customer’s husband’s favourite shirt, asking all of her clients if they have been given a shirt that wasn’t theirs. She loses some clients who think that if she is negligent enough to lose someone else’s clothing, she will lose theirs, as well. The customer hounds her every day, demanding compensation and threatening to take her business elsewhere. One day she walks in with a box of chocolates after she’s made her delivery run.)

Sister: “Look at what [Client] gave me as an apology. She found her husband’s d*** shirt in the f****** drier. I lost customers because of her, and I can’t even tell her to shove her ironing because I can’t afford to.”

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She Cleaned You Out

, , , , | Right | December 11, 2018

I own a professional cleaning company, and I pride myself on my customer service and cleaning services.

An 84-year-old lady got in contact with me, wanting to start a domestic cleaning contract with us.

I went down to her home and provided her with a personalised quote based on her needs and the size of her home. At this point, I warned her that the first clean does take longer, and she agreed.  

We arrived early at the property, on a weekend, and before we started I once again reminded her that the first clean takes longer before settling down to the usual two hours a week. Again, she agreed.

So, we cracked on with the clean, and her home was immaculate when we were done. As predicted, the first clean took four hours to complete, and she had already left out two hours’ worth of payment. I left a note explaining that the clean took a total of four hours, as she had popped out.

I later had a phone call saying that the clean was excellent — much better than her previous cleaners — but she wasn’t going to pay because it was double what it should be. I reminded her on the phone that we had agreed several times that the first clean takes longer and that she had agreed. Her response was to complain that there were two of us there, which again is usual in my type of work, and we had informed her about it in advance.

Moral of the story: not all old ladies are sweet! Now I am out of pocket, as I have to pay wages and products for the four hours… Thanks, love.

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Slow Down And Speak Up

, , , | Right | August 31, 2018

Me: *answering the phone as I always do* “Hello, this is [My Name] with [Cleaning Company]. How can I help you?”

Older British Woman: “SLOW DOWN, YOUNG LADY! You are speaking at the speed of light!”

(I slow my speech down half as fast as I typically speak on the phone with clients, and I give her every single bit of information she could possibly need to book our cleaning service for her home, and then some. At the end of the call, she decides not to book, and then says:)

Older British Woman: “Missy, what was your name again? That’s really the first thing you should tell people on the phone, you know.”

Me: “Yes, ma’am.” *face-palm*

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Cheating You By The Hour

, , , , , , | Legal | August 25, 2018

We had a cleaning lady who came by every week. Things started off rocky when, after her first visit, she left a note asking if we could “tidy up” more before she came and maybe vacuum, as well. We were like, “Excuse us? That’s what you are for.”

So, we let it slide, and for a few months things went well. We would leave the money on the counter, she would come in while we were at work — we gave her a key when we hired her — and she would clean, take the money, and leave.

But after a few months, my husband lost his job. Because it was only temporary, we decided to keep on the cleaner rather than fire her and rehire once he had a new job. During that period, whenever the cleaner came over my husband would go out swimming or something until she had finished.

One day, however, circumstances were such that he came home after only two hours. Lo and behold, the cleaner had left, taking the full four hours’ worth of money with her!

The next week, my husband returned early again, planning to claim he “forgot something,” and after only an hour and a half she was gone already. We called her asking for an explanation. She claimed she had to “pick up her child from work” and that “she didn’t take any breaks so she finished early.”

Now, you can take as many breaks as you want, but if you are being paid for four hours of work, that doesn’t mean you get to skip off after two hours and leave stuff unfinished.

After a few more repeats of this, we decided to fire her. I told my husband to wait until the next time she came over, hand her the money for that day, request our key back, and tell her not to come back.

Sadly, he’s a bit spineless and prefers to avoid confrontation, so he fired her over social media and asked her to bring by the key.

Two weeks went by and there was no word from the cleaner and no key. We started to get somewhat worried, as we live in an apartment building, and that key opens the main entrance and the shared garage. As such, if one of the keys is unaccounted for, all the locks in the building have to be replaced, costing upwards of 10,000 euros.

Since we willingly gave the key away, our insurance wouldn’t cover it and we were liable. In a last-ditch attempt, we call our legal insurance — basically insurance that supplies a lawyer when you need one.

We explained the situation, and they told us that technically this didn’t fall under our coverage, but they were having a quiet day, so they’d give the cleaner a call.

That evening the cleaner called us, panicking because a lawyer claiming to represent us had left her a voicemail claiming to investigate a lost key. She then claimed that she mailed our house key, by post, and it must have gotten lost in the mail. She promised that she would call the mail company in the morning to ask them to investigate.

We were livid at this point, as truly nobody could be so stupid or careless as to mail a key to the house it unlocks. Two days later, she called and claimed that the post office had miraculously found our key and mailed it back to her. If there was the tiniest chance she was telling the truth, that spoiled it right there; no way in hell the post office is that fast or efficient.

She asked if she could come by that evening to drop it off and insisted we take a picture of her handing it over as proof.

And that is how our lawyer saved us 10,000 euros and helped us catch a crooked cleaner in the act.

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Six Hours In Hell

, , , , , | Right | June 16, 2018

(I clean houses for extra money. As I live on the coast, a lot of them are holiday lets, but this is a domestic clean. The “lady” of the house rings me and asks if I can clean her house twice a week.)

Lady: “I reckon it will take about six hours.”

Me: *thinking* “Does she live in Buckingham Palace? An average house takes about two hours to clean.” *saying* “Okay, I will pop round and see you!”

(I get the address and am greeted by two four-wheel drives on the driveway, which already gives me an impression of whom I am dealing with.)

Me: “Hi! I am the cleaner.”

Lady: “Yes. In here.”

(I walk into a kitchen that is an absolute mess and stank of dogs and cigarettes. I smoke, but this makes my eyes water.)

Me: “So, what is it you wanted?”

Lady: “Well, I want somebody here for six hours and I want them to do…” *she takes me round the house and it is obvious she just wants somebody to boss around* “…and I don’t want to be their friend, and I want to be able to sack them when I want.”

Me: “Okay, what days did you want?”

Lady: “Tuesdays and Thursdays.”

Me: “Oh, no! I am booked up on those days.”

(I got out quick. I still drive past that house and wonder if she ever did get a cleaner that would spend six hours in that smell and would be sacked at whim. And it still makes me chuckle.)

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