Back to the super house-cleaning that was supposed to be my Valentine's Gift. When last we looked, Merry Maids and their subcontractor Turner's Carpet Cleaning had left disappointingly dirty floors on the first floor or my house, and Merry Maids "special attention deep cleaning" had been anything but deep. But, Merry Maids' charming Branch Manager Jeff had promised to make things right. He was going to show me that my experience was by no means a representative one....
Here's what happened next.
On Thursday, Jeff, the Branch Manager, told me that he would try to arrange for a team to come here on Saturday, but that he didn't think he could get that done. He promised that if there was no Saturday crew, he would have a crew here on Monday.
On Friday afternoon, I called him to find out what the plan was. I was not happy that I had to call him, instead of him calling me to report on what he was able to do, but I let that go. He promised a crew Monday afternoon, by 2:00.
In the mean time, at his request, I sent him the pictures that you've all seen here. I told him that I wasn't intending them to be a list of demands, but that since he'd acknowledged that the experience I'd had was an anomaly, and he'd told me that he was using my house as a teaching opportunity for a number of people on staff, I figured I'd send along a shot of anything I noticed. After all, my cell phone is right there in my pocket, so it's not hard to do.
Monday morning arrived, and Jeff called. He told me that he'd contacted the carpet guy, who would get in touch with me, and that he and his crew would be here at 1:00. I informed the family (home on Spring Break) that the crew would be here an hour early. I was pleased.
Luckily, I'd padded the window for them to be here, since I had clients right up to 1:00.
At 12:45, Golf Pro and Bookworm left the house to run errands and get her hair cut. They didn't want to be here for the bulk of the cleaning.
At 12:54 Molly from Merry Maids called to tell me that the cleaning crew would not be here until 2:00. At 1:30, Scott, the carpet guy, who hadn't called me yet, arrived to address the many remaining stains and the dog fur.
I had a long chat with Scott about the need to "pre-vac" the carpet. He allowed as how he could do that. He also allowed as how he might have some spot remover he could use on the stains, some of which he admitted to not having seen when he was here last. (I wonder -- had he forgotten to put his contacts in?) I'm still rather mystified that he hadn't done both in the first place, but either way, he said he'd do it this second time around.
I had him start on the first floor so that the crew wouldn't have to walk over freshly cleaned carpets or stairs to get to the issues in the upstairs bathrooms.
At 2:08, Jeff, the Branch Manager called again. The crew couldn't get here until 3:00. He allowed as how he wasn't sure they could finish the job today, since they were getting such a late start. He began to ask when would be a good day for them to come back to finish the job. I refrained from pointing out that I'd originally asked if they could be here by noon. I didn't refrain from pointing out that every time they do this, I effectively have to take the day off, and can't see any clients.
Eventually, he started blaming things on my time restrictions (since I work from home, and my job requires the house to be quiet, I have to schedule blocks of time for them when I won't have clients here). I admitted that I was very frustrated, and was beginning to feel like asking to just have my credit card credited for all it had been charged, and calling it a day. I didn't want to do that -- because I don't want to start over, blocking off yet another day for a new team. In the end, however, Merry Maids opted for taking a loss on the afternoon of incompetent cleaning instead of making good on their repeated promises to show me what their business practices really are.
Jeff told me that my account had been Jinxed from the start.
I'm not kidding.
Scott the carpet guy then finished. He pointed out places where he'd gotten more of the spots out of the carpet. He showed me a huge dog-sized swack of fur that he'd pulled from the carpet under my beds... and showed me a lovely tool I'll have to try to find somewhere that works wonders to pull the fur out of the carpet.
Off he went. And while I'll admit that the dining room is much improved, and the stairs appear to have lost their extra fur coat, the upstairs hall carpet still has big spots on it. I'll know better when it dries.
So, I've lost two afternoons and the first half of one evening. I have somewhat cleaner carpets in my dining room and bedroom. Maybe even clean enough to wait awhile before calling in the real guys, if I can ignore the upstairs hallway and that spot in the library. I have somewhat cleaner bathrooms, with gross places that I now KNOW about. And the floor that was the impetus for all of this -- remains dirty.
I guess I'm not back to square one, but I'm sure not where I expected to be.
After giving myself a brief cooling off period, and I decided that I'd really rather they just come do the floor, so that I get what I need AND they get paid for the work they did. I called Jeff again, and we had a very pleasant conversation. His proposal is that they come in and do the floor at their hourly rate: $60.00 per hour for one person, or $100.00 per hour for two people. They anticipate several hours to clean the floor. I wonder just how much of that $60.00 their employees see.
I'm off to see how much I can condense this all for YELP.
Whine mode off.