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the Cost of One Time Housekeeping Service

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$ 230
Dec 2007
Seattle, WA
Local housekeeping business initial cleaning  more... close row

Description of service

This was the price for the initial cleaning of our home by a locally-owned housekeeping service. They charged $35/hour per person.

The first time, it was 3 hours x 2 people, plus I gave them each a $10 tip.

We have a 1000 square foot, 2 bedroom 2 bath home with a large kitchen. With the exception of the floors, we generally keep the place quite clean.

Review of Service

I guess it's pretty normal for housekeepers to charge a bit more, or take a bit longer, the first time they clean someone's house. They don't know your place very well, and they don't know how clean you normally keep it.

In this case, however, I was a bit appalled at the price, especially with regards to the service I received. The women who came to clean were both very pleasant, and they did a pretty good job, but not great. I found unrinsed cleaner in one shower, cobwebs and dust that had been overlooked, and their vacuum cleaner had broken while they were using it, so I was disappointed to observe that they instead went over the carpet and picked up what they could see by hand. Needless to say, that was not exactly what I had in mind.

Beyond this, I found that in the company's extreme efforts to give good customer service, I was terribly annoyed with how many phone calls I received from them. The calls to schedule and confirm were certainly warranted, but the quality assurance person, the follow up on the broken vacuum, a misunderstanding about payment methods and amounts, then the continuing string of just calling to check in, was exasperating.

When I discovered that of the $35/hour I was paying, only $10/hour went to the cleaners themselves, I decided I could not support such a housekeeping bureaucracy and I canceled my service.


First of all, be clear about what you want your housekeeper to do. Provide a list, if possible, and prioritize it so that they know what is most important to you.

Don't be afraid to offer feedback, as that is the only way that they will know how to meet your needs and keep your business.

As always, when you are the customer, you should spend your money where you think it is worthwhile. It may be awkward to cancel a service you have committed to, but it's better than not being satisfied to where your money is going.

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