Monday, December 01, 2008

The REALLY Unhappy Customer

Two Maids & A Mop has finally done it. We've made one person EXTREMELY upset. Take a look at this blog and you'll see how unhappy she is......

What Happened:
1. For a deep cleaning, we charge $75 per hour for a team of two maids. We typically provide a rough time estimation for the deep cleaning and that estimate is correct 90% of the time. We make every attempt to tell the prospective customer that we don't know for sure how long the cleaning will take - after all, we're just talking over the phone. But history usually serves as the best example - so we use historical examples of similar sized homes as our guide. We're correct about 90% of the time; which means that we're wrong 10% of the time. That's why we strongly suggest that the time estimation is just that - an estimation based on our best guess.

In this case, we needed two days. Yet, we stopped after just seven hours because the work day had ended. However, we were more than willing to arrive the next morning to continue our work. Unfortunately, we weren't called by the customer until 9 AM the next morning (the day before Thanksgiving). That left us in a bind because all of our employees time had been allocated for the day. In addition, the problem was compounded by the holiday because we were not open Thursday or Friday.

2. The fact is that our deep cleanings are SLOW. They should be slow and we will not ever change the pace of our deep cleanings. The very definition of a deep cleaning infers the pace of the cleaning.

3. This cleaning cost a lot of money to the customer. No doubt about it. In fact, it may be the most costly cleaning ever since our inception. When I heard about the cost, I was immediately concerned because I knew that someone had just paid a ton of money and their house was still not completely cleaned. The perfect recipe for disaster.

What Should Have Happened:
1. Once we saw the mountain that we had to climb, we should have informed the customer that we were going to require at least two days of cleaning. That was our fault and we accept responsibility.

2. We should have responded to this customer's complaints well before today. We can blame the holiday, but the real blame lies with me. I should have checked into our email system periodically over the break just to make sure that everything was ok. It wasn't.

3. We should have been open and honest with the customer about the cost implications and the time requirements. We can defend our time quote, but once inside - we should have alerted the customer to the possibility of an extremely expensive cleaning.

What We Have Learned:
1. We will no longer charge by the hour for a deep cleaning. Too many people think we're working to simply inflate our price. Too many people think our pace of cleaning is slow. And too many people just sit there calculating the final total. This isn't the first time and it won't be the last - so from this point forward - we're going to charge flat rates based on the number people living inside the home and the home's total square footage. This should alleviate this problem forever.

2. We need to check our email during holiday breaks.

What We Will Do To Make This Customer Happy:
1. We'll do whatever she wants us to do. It's a hard lesson, but we're willing to learn from our mistakes. We've never claimed to be perfect and we'll probably make another mistake just as serious as this one down the road. But for now, we've learned our lesson. And we'll pay for it.

This won't happen ever again. The formula for this type of disaster is now dead.

P.S. There's a reason our customers selected us for this award. And this one too.


  1. You could start by actually calling me and talking to me rather than typing. I really wish you had an e-mail somewhere so that I could contact "YOU". Please call me (the Pensacola office has my number)~ micki

  2. Arrgghh!! For the record...we called the customer, we emailed the customer and we posted a response to the customer on our blog. And yes, we finally spoke directly last night. After hours at that.

    We did exactly as our blog stated. Thank God this can NEVER happen again.

  3. argghh!! is right. I really wished I had been called :(

    "I" received my e-mail AFTER 5:00 on Monday the 1st of December. "If you receive this message after our business closes (4:30), please call me directly at (850) 255-xxxx That is my cell phone and I can be reached at any time. (from RON)

    I of course did not see it till after 4:30. I immediately called him as I was waiting for a phone number OR a phone call. My caller ID shows no phone call. SO... arghh!!! is right.

    Yes we spoke last night and Ron was very kind. I wrong that before we talked.

    "Thank God this can NEVER happen again" is a GREAT statement as this is a new learning curve for you EXCEPT for the fact that your blog states several times that this had happened before (why you need to change). That is sad.

    I did ask RON (you I am assuming who wrote that statement)if he would like me to take MY blogs down and he said no. I am still willing to do that for the sake of HIS business and his HAPPY customers but SAYING that you called me is a LIE and I will NOT sit here and watch another lie be said. Kind of tired about them. I have been happy with the outcome but I am not happy still being "passive aggressive about this".

    Frankly it is very annoying.



    ~ micki

  4. Let the record show that Micki is not our #1 fan. And please let the record books be closed after that.

  5. Anonymous5:54 PM

    Let me get this straight. Two maids worked for 7 hours and couldn't finish cleaning this lady's house? And she posted her dissatisfaction for all of the world to see? I believe I would keep that to myself. That must be one nasty house. Child and Family Services might want to look into that one.

  6. Anonymous10:11 PM

    I have worked in customer service before and if I didn't finish the job on Day 1 then I would tell my supervisor so they could make changes to the schedule and talk to the customer. I understand you want to do a good job as a business, but as a business person myself...I would call the customer instead of replying in this blog format. This is a crude and unprofessional commercial.
    I understand your situation and respect it, but I do not think you should call yourself a business and act this way.
    These actions are more suited for Romper Room or the playground with a piece of chalk trying to defend your sisters honor.
    I know the customer you are talking about...they are not a slob.
    When you say deep cleaning...that is what you expect...not hit and miss.
    If this is acceptable for $75 an hour, how much do you pay....I can do this good at house cleaning and my ex-wife says I am a damn slob.

  7. Annonymous at 5:54

    Feel free to call Child Services to come to my house.

    How dare you say something so HATEFUL!

    I posted (before you said that) pictures of my house as it is. I didn't go "picking" anything up. NOPE!

    I had a Realtor come in WHILE they were cleaning the house "still". I didn't seem to mind that she was in the house at all.

    My house had no issues with this matter. "Dust bunny's YES

    I find your remark TOTALLY unacceptable and probably made by someone who works for the business. In fact I really wish I could brush it off but honestly it hurts. :(

    I have some "PRIDE" in my house and yet don't JUDGE others when I go into their house and see a kitchen that is a total mess and clothes all over their floor and such.

    I did NOT have a house like that when they came. I have seen houses that need weeks to clean and have BEEN there helping out to clean them for friends when their husbands were deployed. DO NOT get me started (also) on those houses of people I know that REALLY did needed social services called in. IT IS NOT A JOKE!

    So I do not appreciate your comment.

    SO, go ahead have them come and have a cup of coffee on me and then have your stinking "FALSE ACCUSATIONS" get you a freaking misdemeanor while I go and file a slander charge against you.

    Remember people were in and out of my house many times that day while they were here. They saw the way the house looked before, during and after.

    Don't go there.

    ~ micki

  8. DBASIL said...

    Thank you SO MUCH!

    I too wish I could get out of this ROMPER ROOM tit for tat BLAH!

    I feel like I am going down a DANG DRAIN and can't get out.

    Thanks for defending my honor a bit.

    My poor stress level because all of this has done me in a bit.

    As you know I really am an actual pretty laid back person.


    maybe I should have hired you :) ~ he he

  9. Anonymous11:14 PM

    First off, the customer, Micki is, well, the customer, so this blog shouldnt even be existant. One customer can create 10 customers, nonetheless shes the one that is putting money in the companys pockets. A lot of money at that....I am truly surprised at this situation, and the audacity for Two Maids & Mop to post this on their own website!!! Why would potential customers even bother calling when if nothing else, they see how you respond to an unhappy customer.....But, it is what it is, take this post down, and since this customer probably wont want you in her house, offer her a gift certificate to a restaraunt or something geez.....

  10. Anonymous 11:14

    I totally agree

    I was willing to take my blogs down after we came to an agreement (in fact I asked to only pay for $200 and then we came to a $225).

    I see no reason to continue this anymore as it only truly makes "HIS" business look bad. I have said this before and have NO PROBLEM saying this again. I have NO DOUBT that he has customers that have "Awesome" service with GREAT people working for him.

    I just had a bad day and had a bad response all around with a bad situation and personally I think there way of "charging" was a bit well experimental and failed as he said in his blog.

    I think he is only causing himself to lose clients trying to leave this open to SLAM my housecleaning skills or threaten me (with HARM to my family like the one comment that said family services).

    I think he's opened a nice can of worms.

    AND I know the media is looking at this. Ohhhh my :(

  11. Anonymous11:31 PM

    Its crazy....and yes the comment about the child services thing was very wrong, and clearly from the person who was writing the other blogs for the company. Its their issue if they didnt come out to size the job up before they started to clean. Yikes, they seem to have a large client base too.

  12. Anonymous11:47 PM

    In the spirit of the season, Two Maids and Only One Broom will not have to worry about their #1 Fan writing any more on this blog. She will, instead, concern herself with Christmas cards and wrapping presents and baking cookies and making eggnog and, well, you get the picture.

    I will light a candle for the anonymous hater who needs Christ more than anything this season. You also have an invite to my house for coffee to see the "nastiness". The nastiness, of course, being DeCaf coffee.

    DBasil, see you Thursday. Thanks for having Micki's back.

    Second anonymous, you are correct in your supposition. TM&aBroom doesn't really have a grasp on this PR thing. I'd love to help, but mother told me that if I can't say something nice, don't say it. Merry Christmas.

    To conclude, since I don't feel like ranting, if you are contemplating using a cleaning service, call around, get quotes, then find a friend with teens and pay them half of the best quote and give them Red Bull and pizza. Your house will sparkle, your pocket will be heavier, and the economy will receive a boost down at the mall.
    Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

    Number One Fan's Number One Fan

  13. Anonymous 11:47

    I'm not making cookies :)

    I just CLEANED that silly oven after those girls didn't wipe out that stuff they left in there (BIG BIG BIG SOAR SPOT) and we had that awful smell just before THANKSGIVING and I had to clean it good (since it is a self cleaning oven). SO don't get me started on the OVEN THING.

    oh yeah.... I forgot to even mention they completely forgot about the OVEN yep. They forgot to wipe out completely after they sprayed something in it....

    he he


    Thanks for the sweet comment.

  14. Anonymous8:46 AM

    I just want to say 'WOW'.

    As one who used to do housekeeping in a hotel- well this is horrible customer service. I've also been in Micki's house. I'd say the hater leaving the comment was either Ron, the blogger himself or one of the maids who got busted doing a substandard job. I've done deep cleaning- yes, you don't want to rush, however time is a factor. You don't want to go at the pace of a special olymics hurdler.

    Considering how slow they did go, it makes it even worse that the work they did was so horrible. I've been in Micki's house- many times. Yes, there is a family living there, but it's clean. These people are not slobs.

    You hire a cleaning service to help with getting ready for big events- moving, parties, having a baby. You hire people when you are incompacitated and need help doing the job. Micki has certain health issues- her doctors don't want her to do a lot of the cleaning, so she hired people to help prepare the house to be sold.

    It's not unreasonable to want to get what you pay for.

    Unfortunately, Micki has had to do pretty everything herself. I was looking to hire someone (I'm in my 9th month- baby should be here soon). Thank you Micki- you helped narrow down the list of people to hire. If you need help around the house, let me know and I'll come by. I won't even charge you $75/hour and I'll do a better job. LOL.

  15. Jessica your so sweet.

    How about we SKIP the cleaning and go to Starbucks :)

    We will get the "daughter" of mine to do the work. I could pay her $10 and she would be happy.

    She does a great job with bathrooms. :)