Here are answers to many of the questions we receive from our customers about our professional maid services.
How do I select a cleaning service?
Hiring a cleaning service requires some planning and preparation – people will be coming into your home after all! So, here are some tips on how to prepare and what to ask your cleaners so that everyone is on the same page before cleaning:
- Ask, “How do you set your rates?” Most cleaning services charge an hourly rate for the initial visit, but may also charge by project, or by the number of employees they send afterwards. Housekeeping Associates charges hourly on one-time cleanings and the other pricing depends on size and condition of the home – if you would like a free estimate of your cleaning cost, please request a FREE estimate online or by calling your local office. You should also be able to avoid unwanted costs by putting a cap on the number of hours the cleaners will be in your home. Make sure to communicate clearly what you expect of the cleaners before your cleaning.
- Ask, “Are you bonded and insured?” Professional cleaning services will carry liability insurance and bond, and have a policy in place in case something gets broken, damaged, or goes missing in your home. What this means is if they should have an accident while cleaning your home you are not responsible for their medical bills. Many homeowners are not aware of their potential personal liability for work related injuries if the person or company they hire does not carry this insurance. We also take care of all employee taxes. This will provide you with security and peace of mind during the cleaning service. You may want to inform the cleaning service if you have any items that require special care. Housekeeping Associates if fully insured, bonded, and conducts state and nationwide criminal background checks on all employees.
- Ask, “ Do you perform extensive background checks on your employees?” A background check costs money. Therefore, a lot of companies don’t perform these checks for that reason. But, they are important! First off, hiring a convicted felon voids the surety bond mentioned before. This means that if a theft occurs, then there is not policy in place to protect the victim. Secondly, a consumer needs to know that the strangers in their home have never been arrested for any type of violent crime or theft. Rest assured, Housekeeping Associates performs extensive background checks on all of their employees.
- Make sure they are really a company. A real cleaning company pays payroll taxes. A real cleaning company pays income taxes. And if they don’t, then it’s the consumer’s legal responsibility to do that for them. Ask for the company to prove that all taxes are being paid if you are suspicious.
- Make sure that the cleaning company has more than a handful of customers. There are some quality individual housecleaners out there that follow the law, but the fact is a cleaning business is easy to start. In fact, a lot of people use this to their advantage. They start a cleaning business today, make a little money, and quit the next. Ask the cleaning company for references. Don’t let them dictate the names or list they show you. Ask for customers only in a certain zip code. The truth is that most cleaning companies have a standard list of references. They hand them out when someone asks for the list, and these three or four people say all sorts of good things about the company. Of course, it could be that the reference is the owner’s brother, or next-door neighbor. That is why it is important to predefine the parameters.
It may not seem important. But hiring an illegal contractor can cause serious legal and financial problems. Of course, an illegal contractor is typically cheaper than a legal contractor. But the reality is that no one is really saving any money because the penalty for hiring an illegal contractor can cost much more than just hiring the legal contractor in the first place. * This point was written by Ron Holt of Two Maids & A Mop of Pensacola, FL an independent maid service that seems committed to cleaning up the underground cleaning market.
Why should I hire Housekeeping Associates instead of any other company or individual?
Life is too short to spend your valuable and limited free time cleaning. Let Housekeeping Associates reduce the stress level in your life by eliminating cleaning from your “to do list” forever. You can trust Housekeeping Associates to take a personal interest in delivering the best and most detailed cleaning service possible. Our staff is easy to communicate with and they take personal pride in their work. Your satisfaction is our goal. Housekeeping Associates takes every possible precaution in hiring the most qualified and trustworthy individuals. All Housekeeping Associates employees are bonded and insured and have been thoroughly background checked.
Do you guarantee your service?
Yes. We have built our business and reputation by providing our clients with the best possible cleaning service available anywhere. For this reason, we offer you the following guarantee (must be notified within 48 hours of service):
“If you are not 100% satisfied with our services for any reason, we will come back to your home and re-clean to your complete satisfaction”
Is Housekeeping Associates a franchise?
No, Housekeeping Associates is an independent local company founded in 1990.
Do I need to sign a contract?
No. We will have you sign a Service Agreement at the time of your complimentary in-home estimate to acknowledge that you have received your information in writing. There is no term to this agreement; you may cancel at any time.
Who provides the cleaning products and equipment?
Our goal is to provide customized and sanitary service. We use the supplies you prefer so that you know exactly what is being used in your home. We also use your equipment so that you have peace of mind in knowing that your equipment has not been in other client’s homes, ensuring no cross-contamination occurs in case of allergies or bedbugs, for example.
Can you tell me about my cleaning team?
We make every effort to send the same cleaners every time. Normally, teams of two uniformed cleaning professionals will arrive to clean your home. On occasion, a crew of three may be sent if the situation warrants it. We make every effort to send the same team to your home for every cleaning taking into account any illness or vacation. We understand and appreciate your concern in having the same individuals cleaning your home on a consistent basis, but rest assured that ALL our employees successfully complete an extensive training program to ensure consistent cleaning techniques throughout our entire staff.
How do you monitor quality?
There are several ways in which we monitor quality. We have a quality assurance manager who is in the field on a daily basis checking the quality of work our teams are providing. In addition, our company policy dictates that our staff checks each other’s work before leaving the home. We will also send out an annual survey to every client and perform random telephone quality checks to be sure our service is satisfactory. Quality is our number one priority and we want our clients to be completely satisfied.
Do I need to be home for my cleaning? How will the team enter if I am not?
Clients have several options available to them, but providing access instructions that you are comfortable with is our main concern. If a customer chooses to provide us with a key for entry, please be assured we take every precaution to ensure a client’s safety. Client keys are stored in a lockbox at our office and are marked with a code that keeps the client’s privacy and security as the number one concern. Our management staff are the only ones who have access to which keys belong to which client. If you are not comfortable with providing a key, you also have the option of providing a garage code, a location for a hidden key or whatever method you are most comfortable with.
What about pets?
We love pets! We understand that pets are like children. We always want to know their names and if it is okay to give them treats. If you do have an aggressive pet, we ask that they are secured during the cleaning day.
What don’t you do?
Our employees are not allowed to climb any higher than a 2-step stool, move furniture that contains electronics or lift any objects over 20 pounds. They also do not prepare meals, do laundry, or provide any pet or children related services.
Why is the first time you clean my home priced higher?
We begin your service with an initial “detailed cleaning” of your home. This first clean is similar to a ‘spring cleaning’. There is a variety of first time tasks performed during this clean that requires extra time and effort. There is a big difference between “old dirt” and “new dirt”. It is not uncommon for us to spend two to four times longer at an initial clean than we will spend at your regular, recurring clean.
What if my cleaning falls on a holiday?
We will contact you approximately two weeks before a holiday to arrange for an alternate day. The holidays we observe are New Years Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.
Should I tip the workers for a job well done?
Tipping is neither required nor expected, but always appreciated. It will be shared equally by your cleaning team. An occasional note or a telephone call to the office when the team really impresses you will mean a lot.
Can I hire your service provider directly?
No, this is a major problem in our industry. A great deal of time and resources is put into hiring and training our staff. Our Service Agreement states that you agree not to hire any past or present Housekeeping Associates employee for a period of not less than 2 years from the date the employee last worked for Housekeeping Associates.
Payment is Due at Time of Service
When it comes to your housekeeping payment is due at time of service. Clients have the option of payment by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, Discover) or check. If you choose to pay by credit card, please know a 3% surcharge will be added.
What if I purchased services through social buying?
Congratulations on purchasing a wonderful discount through a Social Buying network. Below are some important points to remember.
We have a limited service area. Please check the Service Area page to be sure the home you want cleaned is in this service area before purchasing. If you have purchased the offer and are NOT in the service area, please contact whomever you purchased your voucher through.
This offer is valid for a specific amount of time for BASIC CLEANING SERVICES. Our crews work in teams so each member’s work is accounted for individually. If you purchased three hours of cleaning, that is equivalent to 2 housekeepers for 1.5 hours or 3 housekeepers for 1 hour.
Additional time may be purchased at the time you make your appointment at our standard rate. A valid credit card will be required for additional time.
To make the most of your cleaning time, it is very helpful to have a list prioritizing what areas you would like cleaned 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc. See our detailed descriptions of Basic Cleaning services on our website.
This offer cannot be used or combined with any other offer or promotion. This promotion cannot be used for current or past jobs. If you are a current client, you may use this offer for a SPECIAL CLEANING or other services we offer.
What is Included
The offer purchased is for a specific amount of time. It is not valid for an entire house, deep cleaning, or special cleaning requests. We will use your products, so please have them available or leave a note as to where they are located. If you prefer we use our products, there is an additional $10 charge. Please inform us at the time you schedule your appointment if we will need to bring our own supplies.
Each voucher must be used at one time and at one location. If you purchased a voucher as a gift, please have the recipient contact us directly to schedule their cleaning.
Kitchen appliance cleaning cannot be accommodated during the voucher cleaning unless additional time is purchased. We will gladly clean appliances on subsequent cleaning visits with an extra $30 charge per appliance.
We do not declutter. We are unable to provide comprehensive and thorough cleaning if are not able to get to the surfaces needed to be cleaned. Please have reasonable expectations for what can be cleaned by three people in one hour. We will send out staff members who are trained and experienced in house cleaning. They will work quickly and thoroughly to do the best job in the time frame provided. If you have specific requests or instructions, please let the crew know upon arrival.
Making Your Appointment
To help us schedule your cleaning, please call the office nearest your home. If you have a preference as to what day or week you would like your cleaning, please let us know. We will do our best to accommodate your request, however appointments will be scheduled based on a first-come, first- served, location, and availability of crews in your area. If you intend to use your cleaning for a specific calendar event, please schedule as far in advance as possible to insure availability.
Our crews leave the office at 9 am and clean no later than 5 pm. The first cleaning of the day is generally reserved for current clients.
Please remember, coupons have expiration dates.
Cancellations & Rescheduling
You MUST provide at least 48 hours notice if you need to reschedule your appointment. Cancellations less with than 48 hours notice will forfeit the voucher. If we are unable to gain access to your home at the time of cleaning or are turned away, the voucher is forfeited. Your rescheduled appointment will be based on crew availability within our standard scheduling process.
We are very happy to offer our cleaning services through Social Buying Networks in the hopes of gaining new customers. We have been locally owned and operated since 1990 and have many long-time, happy customers. We pride ourselves on excellence because you deserve the best! Our comprehensive cleaning services can be tailored to meet your needs. Our staff is highly trained, professional, dependable and courteous and we are fully insured and bonded. Please review our website for more information about Housekeeping Associates and the additional services we offer.
Your Satisfaction Is Guaranteed!
Are you bonded and insured?
Yes, we have limited liability, crime and employee accident coverage. You may request copies of our insurance be mailed or faxed to you by our insurance company.
What if something gets broken or damaged?
Housekeeping Associates realizes the nature of cleaning requires our staff to touch virtually all items within one’s home or office. If something is accidentally broken during a cleaning, we will leave a note and follow up with you for the right course of action. If any damage/loss does occur, simply notify our office within 48 hours of the cleaning date. Identical replacement or repair is always attempted first, if monetary compensation is required, we will request the amount be bartered in cleaning if possible or we will figure something else out with you. Housekeeping Associates is not responsible for damage due to faulty or improper installation of items. Please inform us if any items in your home require this type of attention. Examples would be broken or improperly installed blinds, tiles, curtain rods, loose carpet, etc. The most tragic form of damage is that of something irreplaceable either monetary or sentimentally valued. Rather than be sorry, the safest way to protect these items is to store them away on the cleaning day, or instruct us not to clean such items.
How will you access my home?
- The most convenient way; you may leave a key on the file in our key safe. **Note: Your key is coded as soon as it enters our office. It will be stored in a locked key storage box that only management can access. The day of your cleaning, your key is matched to your work order. At the end of the day, your team returns all the keys to management who then places the key back into the secure box.**
- You may provide an access code for your garage door.
- You may leave a key at a prearranged place at your residence.
- You may meet the cleaning team. If you wish to meet your team, we can give you a choice of two arrival windows: between 9 AM – 1 PM or between 11 AM – 3 PM. Housekeeping Associates cannot specify exact arrival times. The most efficient and problem-free way for everyone is to give us a key. That way you don’t have to wait for your cleaning team and you will avoid a lockout charge if you forget to leave us a way into your home.
How do you determine the cost of my cleaning?
Your recurring price will be completely individualized and based on the time it takes to complete a basic clean, any pre-approved changes that are discussed at the time of your estimate, and the frequency we clean your home. The price will also depend on the square footage of your home, condition, and other factors such as number of people and pets, clutter and lifestyle. We do provide some extra services for an extra charge like, Interior and exterior window cleaning. Please call the office if you are interested in having something extra done, or if you would like to make any changes to your regular routine.
What if I need to skip or reschedule a cleaning?
Call the office at least 24 hours in advance to reschedule or skip a cleaning, we will try to move your cleaning to a better day as close to your normal day as possible. In case of emergency, illness or poor driveway and sidewalk conditions, please call before 9 AM on the day of your cleaning. Please do not relay rescheduling information through your team, call the office. Please note: recurring customers that need to skip a cleaning know that there may be an additional cost added to the following cleaning. Frequency of service is one factor used in determining your rate. If the crew needs to spend extra time at your home due to a skipped cleaning, this may result in a skipped cleaning fee. This fee will be prorated at $70/hour.
What should I do to prepare for my cleaning team?
- Have the appropriate chemicals available or notify the office before 9 AM if we need to bring something you are out of.
- Have all personal/sentimental items put away.
- Have laundry, toys, dishes, etc. picked up. Unless this is an extra service in which you are paying. Note: If items are left lying around, we will pick up so we can complete our job and you will be charged the hourly rate for this service.
Why should I hire a cleaning service?
Although there are many reasons to hire out cleaning of your home we feel the top two are to:
- Free up your time: Your time is very valuable. Imagine your weekends free of cleaning! We know you are a busy person who has lots of different things going on, and you most likely don’t want to clean your home after a busy day. This is the perfect reason to hire a cleaning service -so you can come home to a clean home without having to lift a finger!
- Protect your home from germs: Your home accumulates dirt and germs, throughout the day, that need to be cleaned on a regular basis. When these germs are not cleaned, they can be picked up by our hands and skin, and cause illnesses in our bodies. With the right cleaning service, these germs don’t stand a chance! A clean home is a healthy home, so getting your home cleaned on a regular basis is very necessary.