We had a well-known franchise come in twice a month for about a year and a half. We knew the owner and so had every confidence in the service. The cost was 250.00 (Cdn) for the month.
They did floors, bathroom, vacuuming, and dusting. Anything else was extra. They did have a key. Everything started out great and went downhill after a few months.
- We required them to come in the afternoons at 1:00 pm due to our weird schedules at the time. They continually showed up whenever they wanted. One girl even argued with me at the door after waking me up at 7:00 am one morning. She insisted that they could come whenever they wanted, that they made the schedules and we had to take what we could get. (!!!) I of course called the office, they said they had no idea what she was talking about and I believe she was fired.
-Huge turnover of employees. You never know who is in your home and it could be different people from week to week. Even though they all take the same training, they still do things differently.
-Indifferent results. Sometimes the tub was clean, other times, not. Sometimes the floor was washed, other times, not. One time, they just didn’t bother to vacuum. There was still dog fur all over the floor & carpets when I got home. I called the office, and they insisted they did it. I had to insist they come back and do it over again the next day, which they only did after I called the franchise owner.
- Theft. This was the last straw. They stole a video game, several rolls of two dollar coins worth about 200 bucks, various and sundry items that (we think) they figured wouldn’t be missed. The coins were in my husband’s underwear drawer. The video game was left on a table by the front door to be returned to the rental store. It was there when I left, gone when I came back. The kids were at school and there had been no-one else in the house except them. We of course had to pay the store the full cost of the game.
We talked to the owner about the thefts but he pointed out that all the employees were bonded and if I had no proof, there was nothing he could do. Which is true, really. I put a lot of the problems down to the turn-over thing. Perhaps some of the employees felt that if we could afford a cleaning service, we wouldn’t miss a couple hundred bucks and a few items here and there. This is a small house however, and we know where everything is.
I have friends who use a one-person service and have never had problems. I have friends who have used other franchises and had no problems. It’s a gamble no matter what, I guess.
We just clean our own house again now. We all pitch in twice a month for the big clean and rotate the weekly bathroom scrub. We make do with spot cleaning in between. (I personally do a more thorough job than they did, not that I can say the same for the husband and two boys, natch.)
For us it was not a positive experience and it’s less stressful for us to just do it ourselves. But, YMMV.