I used them for about 7 years. The supervisor came out first and we agreed on what would be cleaned and the price per week. They use all their own equipment and came when they said they would. I had been happy with the service by and large.
However, my son could not find his wallet two different times the day after they came to clean. Both times he thought he left it on his dresser, and both times he found it under the couch in another room. Also, in both instances all the money was missing from it (the second time it was over $100, money he had saved up over months).
After that I stopped using them. The manager was sorry to hear about the loss, and even paid back the amount stolen in the hopes I’d change my mind.
I have used them on and off for over 10 years in 2 different states. (The off was when I was home with the kids).
They broke a glass lampshade once, left a note. I replaced it and they paid for the replacement. Have never had anything stolen. They are working too hard and too fast to snoop around. They keep the house key in the franchise office with some strange coding system. I like that the franchise carries proper insurance and W/C coverage on the staff.
A team of 4 or 5 comes in my 5 BR/3.5 B house and they are gone in an hour. There is a specific checklist and they hit it all. They hand polish the kitchen floor, vacuum everything, and get all the baths really clean. The guest bath is rarely used, so I know they don’t scrub that every time.
I don’t mind scrubbing toilets, but doing floors is not my thing.
It always takes me more than an hour the night before to clear all the surfaces so they can work. If there is something random (say, kid socks on the glass table), you can tell they have polished around the socks rather than touching them. If it is a correctly placed decorative item, they pick it up, polish, and return it to position.
I actually used to work for them briefly, and I remember their prices being comparable to other cleaners, and cheaper than many.
There are some important things to consider when you’re looking at how much something will cost: how many rooms you want them to clean, how thorough you want them to be (do you want them to move appliances and such, or is it a lighter job?), and most importantly, how dirty the place is.
Merry Maids has a lot of rules about how the employees are supposed to act. Clothing left laying around is supposed to be picked up and neatly put somewhere (if you have a hamper, they should use that), usually folded. Money found anywhere, like under couch cushions, should be stacked. Any cleaner that steals money is just asking for trouble; one thing my team never forgot is that even couch change could have been left there deliberately by your customer as a test. They always polish floors by hand and never even bring in mops. There are even rules about how to vacuum a floor properly.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to know how your local maids will be. Ideally they’d all take the training seriously and be honest workers, but like any job you’ll find folks that just don’t care. Prices are going to vary by location, also.
In the area I worked, it was common for there to be 2-person teams, we brought and used our own supplies
We’ve used them for years, in two states: three apartments, and a house. We’ve never had a problem, no matter what sort of cash, expensive gadget, or tempting knickknack we leave out.
The price will be set up with you by a home visit before the first cleaning; you won’t have to have them clean “blind.” Depending on location, it’s been about $80-130 for an average size house, toward the low end of that if you have them come more than once a month.
I don’t actually meet them very often, but my wife claims it’s mostly the same people every time, and they do a good job – better than I’d do, anyway, which is all that counts. The “cleaning the floors on hands and knees” thing would drive me nuts even to witness, but I understand that’s how they do it.
All that having been said, you are effectively inviting very low-paid strangers into your home, repeatedly, for extended periods, and often unsupervised. I’d be careful what I left lying around the first few times, until you decide your comfort level.
The main effect is that my wife and I (who live alone) never bother making the bed in the morning–except when the MM’s are coming. If we don’t, they will, and I find that somehow weirdly disturbing.
I cleaned houses back in the late 70s and I found that most people cleaned their homes before we came. We made $35 per house for a team of two (pretty damn good money for back then). I am considering getting a maid for my small one-bedroom house. I’d be willing to pay $75/visit. I wonder if they could do it for that little.
I’ve used an independent, paid her $75 to clean a 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom 2500 sq ft house with two kids (I stopped using her maybe three years ago).
Disadvantages with an independant, when she is sick or on vacation, your house doesn’t get clean (mine usually found someone to pick up the slack). They often quit and then you find a new one.
Advantages - there is no franchise fee, no manager, no middleman. So everything you are paying out is going to the person cleaning the house. You have control over who cleans - Merry Maids just sends “someone.” A lot more flexibility - she’d clean my fridge if I asked (and charge me), or throw in laundry (I often had her run a load through while she was here).