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Author Topic: Cleaning woes, again!  (Read 2896 times)
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alek0
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« on: November 28, 2011, 07:31:20 PM »

After all the trouble with cats throwing up after weakly cleaning, I changed the cleaning liquid to another earth-friendly, biodegradable, no-chlorine products and cats seem to be fine with it, when we cleaned the place by ourselves. Rescheduled weekly cleaning to biweekly to see how it goes, and of course after the maid cleaned it, they threw up again. Decided to give it another chance, Saturday cleaning by us no problems, maid came and fortunately bf saw her "cleaning" cat food and water bowls with general purpose cleaning liquid which I have specifically told her to use only in the bathroom. Argh! What sort of insane idea is it to use the same solution to scrub the toilet and wash the bowls! Argh!  And even though it was thoroughly rinsed, Mitzie threw up on Sunday. Another thing is, she used almost half a bottle of cleaning solution, when I finish cleaning usually the liquid level goes down by about one finger. No wonder kitties have been having trouble. Grrrrrrr!

Then another problem is that it seems awfully difficult to cancel the service. There is a contract which specifies one month notice for termination of service. I have told the managing director of the cleaning agency about the problems at the end of Sept., and agreement was that we suspend it for a while until I figure out why cats throw up and then resume the service on biweekly schedule and see how it goes. Well, it is not working, and she insists that we can't terminate it for another month! I am absolutely not willing to let in any of her maids in my home ever again after extreme stupidity last one demonstrated (and person from the agency tried to convince me that what she has done is not so unusual). I am willing to pay part of the amount of monthly expenses without the maid actually coming over, since it is biweekly cleaning schedule she has plenty of time to find another client (in fact she is hiring several new maids because she has more cleaning requests than she has available maids), so it is no loss to the company. But she insists on this one month. Any ideas what can be done? Bf said to just ignore it, pay for the services we used and if she decides to pursue this one month termination via small claims court, we can file a counter claim for damages the maids have done to our home and the veterinary bills as the consequence of throwing up problem. Any other ideas? I would prefer to settle this quickly and reasonably, but I think there has been sufficient notice that we may terminate the service if problem continues. Also, am I justified to post bad experience with this cleaning service (other cleaning services in HK do not have this one month notice thing) to message boards for expats in HK, so that other people wouldn't get into this unmanageable situation that you want to terminate the service due to problems caused to you by their service and you have this one month termination notice thing which is rather unusual.

And I still can't believe that that idiot used a general purpose surface cleaning solution to wash the cats' bowls. Grrrrrrrrrr! Maybe I should have washed a glass with it and offered her some water. Idiot. It has been three days and I am still so angry. And what is the point in having housecleaning help if I would have to constantly watch her so that she doesn't do anything stupid. Might as well do it myself. Actually when bf&me clean together, we are done in slightly over an hour, once a week that's not too bad.
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caylee
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« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2011, 08:15:29 PM »

You are not alone in disliking cleaning services. Someone I know hired a woman to clean her home and she spent her time cleaning every single light fixture in the house, yet left the upstairs bathroom with lots of dust, kitty litter and other dirt on the floor. I could not believe the way she left other rooms. But the light fixtures were very clean!

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lesliek
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« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2011, 08:39:45 PM »

You are usually better off with an individual rather than a service. That way its the same person always & you can explain anything you want them to do or don't want them to do. I can't imagine it being normal to clean food & water bowls or dishes with an all purpose cleaner anywhere though ! At least you know whats causing the problem now.
 I think you should go in personally with copies of all the vet bills & offer to pay for the month if they pay for the vet bills & all special diets required due to their idiocy. I'm sure your bills are higher. I certainly think you can safely post about this experience as a warning to others.
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alek0
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« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2011, 08:53:43 PM »

My bills are certainly higher. And there are also damages for the things the cleaner has broken (I don;t have a single working attachment for the vacuum cleaner anymore and need to buy a new vacuum cleaner since attachments are not available separately since this model is no longer made, argh).

It was always the same person even though it is arranged through an agency, but you tell her something, she says "Yes, Madam" and then proceeds to do what I told her not to do, or doesn't do what I asked her to do.

We had a really nice cleaner for a few years with another cleaning service, she loved cats and she would usually stay a bit afterwards to play with them, we never had any problem with her, but then she got promoted from an hourly cleaning plan to a premium cleaning plan, where you have two maids coming in and the other one who worked with her was horrible, I told them no bleach, no chlorine containing cleaners, use my own products, but she kept bringing that awful chlorine stuff, so I had to change the cleaning service. Then we had one who was afraid of cats, which obviously didn't work to well, then one good one who quit the agency after a while for family reasons, and then we had to switch to this cleaning service since the previous one had no maids available on Saturdays. I guess the best solution is we do it on our own and that's that. Bf prefers to do vacuuming and dusting which I hate, and I prefer to do kitchen&bathroom which he hates doing, so it is a nice division of work.
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catbird
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« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2011, 06:02:01 AM »

While I'm really sorry about what happened with the cats, I'm very glad you finally got to the bottom of this problem, and you know for sure what was happening!

I don't know how it is where you live, but where I live, many of the people who work for cleaning services are those who have trouble getting other jobs, often because they have various sorts of difficulties with all kinds of skills.  Listening and comprehending could be an area where this person has problems.

I hope you will give the company that runs the cleaning service a piece of your mind, and strongly suggest to them that this cleaner should always work with another person who can guide and direct her.  Also, if you threaten to sue for the cost of all the vet bills, perhaps they will be eager to let you out of your contract. Wink
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bug
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« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2011, 08:49:52 AM »

I'd get the in there for the rest of the contract, give them a bucket of water and a pre-measured portion of the cleaning liquid you want them to use and follow them all around the house just to pi## them off. Then, I would never use a cleaning service again and just do it myself. Hey, that sounds like what I did for my renovation!
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Meowli
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« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2011, 09:08:04 AM »

Wow, mystery solved, anyhow! Yecch, cleaning stuff on dishes....no wonder it caused throwing up. Until their contract is up /you can terminate the service, I think you will hide and lock up the cat dishes during the time the cleaners come.
At least with doing it yourselves you know what is being used and you will save money...
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catwoods
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« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2011, 02:29:16 PM »

As others stated, I'm glad you did find out about this but sorry about what the poor cats went through from it! I think that's a good idea about hiding and locking up the dishes during any last few visits you have from this cleaning service...

I agree with what others have said, get out of the contract ASAP and then just do it yourself. Sometimes that's the only way to get things done the right way...
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JJ
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« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2011, 10:11:23 PM »

Might want to hold off posting on other places about this company until you are free and clear of the contract in case they try to sue you for defamation or slander of their business.
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alek0
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« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2011, 10:04:05 PM »

She agreed on partial payment for December and we are ending the contract. Of course I'll wait until all is settled to post my experiences with this company.

Btw, some things about the cleaning are totally outrageous. The cleaner last time used almost half a bottle of cleaning liquid, and some things in bathroom were still grimy, like around the jets in the tub and so on. I cleaned it yesterday, liquid level in the bottle is less than one finger down and there is no grime anywhere. Grrrrrrrrrrrr! You don't use the liquid to completely dissolve and rinse away the dirt, you spray a tiny bit and then you scrub. Grrrrrrrrr again. And of course nobody threw up after I cleaned it.
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August
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« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2011, 01:39:17 AM »

It's horrifying what you went through.  Thank goodness your BF sneaked a peak.  Just awful.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2011, 01:50:37 AM by August » Logged

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lesliek
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« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2011, 05:26:27 AM »

Glad you were able to get the contract ended ! It would be great if there was a magic cleaner that required no scrubbing, but I've never heard of 1 ! I can understand using more cleaner if there was a mineral or rust buildup to dissolve, but your place is new . How bad could it be yet ?
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catbird
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« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2011, 06:06:48 AM »

Glad you can get out of the contract soon!  This person apparently knows little about cleaning, or perhaps just doesn't care to do the job well.  Maybe she is just pouring cleaner down the drain so that it looks like she did something!
« Last Edit: December 05, 2011, 06:35:24 AM by catbird » Logged

The problem with cats is that they get the exact same look on their face whether they see a moth or an axe-murderer--Paula Poundstone
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