The biggest distinction between the both would be that a maid service company mainly does residential cleanings, and a cleaning company does both commercial and residential. Although some maid service companies still do commercial.
So what’s the “Real Deal” with these maid service / cleaning companies?
My professional opinion is the benefits of a cleaning company out weigh the benefits of an individual aka independent maid. UNLESS, you know the individual on a personal level or as a trusted referral, its probably not worth the risk. A “trusted referral” means someone you know as a friend or relative refers you someone else that they can vouch for, I would not recommend any “trusted referral” that someone told you about while in the subway or elevator. Trust me I have been there done that!
If that person is trusted then it may be a definite benefit for you.
Side Note: If you are leaning towards hiring an independent maid I would ask everyone I know AND trusted if they had a cleaning lady or know of one they would recommend. I have noticed most people don’t go spreading the word, but its not because they don’t want to tell you, its just because they don’t think about it, but once asked, most people open up and tell you all about their maid, and their wonderful experiences.
Lets face it. Cleaning Companies or Maid Service Companies are in it for the money, just like anyone else would be. That is not to say they don’t keep their job performance in check. The trick is finding those companies that care about their quality.
Always try to find a company that values quality over quantity. Yes, easier said than done! That is what will ultimately get you a great result versus a mediocre or bad result. Believe it or not there is companies out there that are a family business or small enough to know they cannot afford to slack off, if they do its their paycheck!
So these owners try their hardest to make sure their employees are doing the work correctly. Feedback, ultimately decides if there needs to be any changes. So NEVER be afraid to let them know if something was skipped or not done as well as before. Its your money, the last thing you want to do is give it away! So don’t hesitate to let them know if the job was not done correctly. Once this happens, make sure to check the issue at hand after the cleaning, if it was dealt with correctly chances are you’ve got yourself a good company to work with. If the problem never happens again then you have yourself a great company to work with!
On the other hand, if the issue at hand keeps coming up then its best to terminate your services as soon as possible. If you don’t terminate your services, you will only disappoint yourself and feel like you gave your money away. Trust me, terminate your services as soon as you start feeling like they don’t care.
Some companies have the normal contracts were you agree with their services and how they deal with certain issues when they happen. That’s fine, do sign those. It covers them, but more importantly it covers you and you can always turn back to it if an issue were to arise.
Then there are those oh so horrible contracts that make you sign for all the above PLUS you have to stay with them for a certain lengh of time. What is that! Run from those, and never look back. Think about it, what if their cleanings are crappy or horrible at best, your stuck with that for a while!
Some companies, mostly up and starting companies that do not have much of a history, so instead they have referrals. Don’t hesitate to ask for some referrals, and of course call the referrals to verify this companies’ performance.
Do they have a website?
Check out their website if they have one, most cleaning companies that have a website have their cleaning list on there and such.
Do they try to earn your trust?
Most try to earn your trust by having some sort of policy were they will re-clean an area within a certain amount of time if it was not done right the first time, ask to see if they do have some sort of policy like this, if not then I’d think about moving on to the next one on the list. Also trusting means knowing they will not steal your belongings or break anything. If this happens to occur then they better be ready with insurance and bond. Make sure they have these before continuing. One other trusting factor would be good standing with the Better Business Bureau. The BBB always has good stuff on their website, whom to trust and whom NOT to trust. Being members of some sort of consumer friendly group is also a good plus, that tells you they care what consumers think of them and want to do everything possible to make the consumer happy. Look them up in the search engines to see if you can find anything out about them. If not much is said then its either two things. They keep their clients happy so no one has anything bad so say about them, or they have hardly any clients that no one can say anything bad about then (goes back to being a fairly new company). Neither of those are bad, but just make sure you know whom you are dealing with. On the other hand, if you do get negative feedback on the search engines or an up and coming website, www.ripoffreport.com, then its best to move on to the next one down the list.
Do they answer their phones or emails?
When you call and they answer, that is a very good sign, because it means that when it comes time for you to call about something serious they will be there for you. As with any other business, if they do not seem helpful then move on, that means when something goes wrong they will turn their backs on you. You will also have to be considerate of some up and coming companies that do not yet have someone full time answering the phones since they all might be cleaning homes, including the owner. So don’t brush those off, leave them a message and give them a chance to at least get back to you, they should do it in a timely manner and know that a client will not wait next to the phone for long. In the meanwhile, continue with your search.
Emails are also the newest form of communication with maid service or cleaning companies. I love the ones that offer email services, because I get to ask what I want on my time, instead of having to call them during the day when I’m super busy. Also sometimes you prefer to email them a list of certain things that were skipped or additional things to do for next time. Some companies are now emailing you cleaning reminders, invoices and more stuff that would have other wise been a pain to do without having email. Its great for us all, since it cuts down on consumption of papers, stamps, ink, all that!
How long have they been in business?
This goes back to legitimacy. I do not believe there is anything bad about a new maid service or cleaning company. Most companies are new at the whole company thing but not at cleaning. Judge them more on their actual cleaning experience rather than the years the maid service or cleaning company has been in formation.