33 Weeks and Ready Rentals Takes Advantage of Pregnant Woman
I must have brought Utah’s weather to New York. Yesterday was surprisingly cool- I almost needed a sweater. Today the report calls for 80 degrees, sunny and DRY. Talk about lucky. This visit is my last ‘hurrah’ for a while because despite being too small to notice, my doc has grounded me after this jaunt to New York. On the agenda for the past three years, it was time to see old friends and try to drum up new business with some of the magazines here. Plus, I had a hell of a week. First, the seller of this rental house I wanted in West Valley decides not to repair a roof he knows is rotten and I waste the inspector money as the sale falls through and then I have some sort of brain aurism and hire this lame company called Ready Rentals Cleaning Services to scour my home before the baby comes.
The quote came AFTER they visited my home. $300. I DID think the quote was high- how many people do you know that make $300/day, especially a cleaning lady? I was willing to do it- this once. I believed that I would be getting my money’s worth. That’s what they told me! You see, I wanted every particle of dust, dirt, dog hair, etc. removed; a hospital-like clean, like one of those you get just before you sell a house; like what Ready Rentals advertises! And there motto is “Cleaning Homes Not pockets.” Riiiight. I believed the price was so high because they were going to do that kind of job. What I got was a $70 cleaning job. A woman and her two teenage daughters arrived at 4 p.m. (instead of 3 as agreed) and I was worried that they would have to return the next day because any other time I have had a cleaning crew of even two people it would take five hours and I really didn’t expect someone to be cleaning at 9 p.m. on a Friday night. For $300, you should be getting a crew of 9 people if they think they’re going to finish (doing a great job) before nightfall.
Donita worked hard, I’ll give her that, but every time I peered around a corner or walked into a room I caught a kid sitting around, leaning against a wall or casually stroking a baseboard with a sponge or dancing a slow waltz with the duster. At about 8 p.m., Donita annouced she was almost done. I walked into what would be the baby’s room and nothing had been touched, not the floor vaccuumed or the window sill wiped among everything else. Then I went into the kitchen, put my hand on top of my overhead microwave and felt the tackiness of old grease (main things you do when ‘deep cleaning’ or even regular cleaning for that matter). She said, ‘oh yeah. we forgot. We’ll get to that.” I knew now I was in trouble. At 9 p.m. everyone left the house to get something to eat. I got back at 10:30 p.m. and they were there cleaning; one person essentially, 6.5 hours. Had I been paying $60 I would have felt bad and let them leave. For $300, it wasn’t nearly enough. That’s why again, I acccepted the estimate. I wanted my house germ-free for baby and to get what I paid for. Up to this point I hadn’t said anything because I did believe that they would come back if they had to or stay all night to finish the job they promised to do.
Then I get a call from her husband asking where she is. I explained that she showed up at 4 and that’s when he told me that it usually only takes them 2-3 hours to clean a place (for $300??? That’s insane!). I told him that she had a lot of work to do and was surprised that any of them thought they could get done in three hours ( I have a 2100 sq foot house, three bathrooms). He sounded frustrated and angry. I told Donita about the call and she grunted and raised her brow like I should know better than to keep her here this long. At this point, I felt I had been taken but was determined to make them clean as promised so that the experience would end this way.
This woman was here thinking she could get away with a few hours of wiping here and there then walk with $300 of my very hard-earned dollars. That’s a month’s rent! Anyway, this was when I took a closer look around the house. I ran my hand along THE TOP of my kitchen counter and my living room coffee table and felt the bumps (and saw the spots) where there were still dried food particles- the kind where you simply lick a finger and they rub off. I ran my hand on the kitchen floor and felt rough patches and stickiness- stuff any housecleaner would get if they were doing their job. I looked in the corners behind my plant in the kitchen and the floorboard was filthy and dust and doghair still piled there. They didn’t move a single book, plant or box to sweep, vaccum or dust. What cleaner do you know gets away with that? and defintely not one you’re paying $300. The handles on my kitchen fridge had not been wiped down, the plate in the micro untouched, dead flies below the kitchen window and on my living room window sill proved they hadn’t been attentive in the least.
I pointed all this out and asked for it to be done and that is when she fought me, claiming that they did these things. Was I blind? I went to my bedroom, ran my hand between the carpet and baseboard near the side of my bed, and pulled a baseball-sized wad of dog hair from the area. That took me two seconds. SHE SHOULD HAVE DONE THIS WHILE SHE WAS CLEANING. I showed her this. You can’t sell a house unless that’s gone. In my opinion and my two roommates who were here as they left, this job was done half-assed.
She argued with me that they had cleaned. I couldn’t believe this. I’ll admit that my house was dirty but it didn’t get that way between her visit for the estimate and a week later when she showed up to clean. She looked around and saw what was needed. I paid her to do the job – a DEEP clean fit for a newborn- and she should have offered to come back or reduce the price if I was unsatisfied.
In fact, her service order stated 100 percent satisfaction guaranteed.
I said I was not satisfied, not happy, at all with her ‘job’. She said they were done and wanted their money. It was midnight, I was tired, frustrated and frazzled, and a little scared. These people know where I live now.
In hindsight, I should have written a check I could cancel the next day but I couldn’t find it at that hour. I gave them cash, actually expecting her in good faith to hand me some of it back since I had the good faith to attempt to pay and voice my dissatisfaction. They ran off, never cleaning the entryway tile or front door (another thing every cleaner does and which they said they would get on the way out). In the morning, my roommate spent an hour cleaning his own bathroom. When you pay someone to clean your home, you don’t expect to have to clean again in the morning. For one thing, there was urine underneath the toilet ring and the toilet handle still dirty. I looked around in the daylight, even more dismayed.
I called Donita and asked for $100 of the $200 back- which, though was not fair in my mind it would at least put me at ease. She argued with me that when they clean, they clean empty homes and that they never spend as much time cleaning as they did at my house so I wasn’t getting any return. “We don’t move furniture,” she said. Yeah, but what about just the stuff you can see? The stuff every other cleaning person gets? I told her then she shouldn’t have quoted me or promised to do the job I wanted if they couldn’t provide it. At $300 I couldn’t ask for too much, you know? Even $200 is more that she deserved but at least I wouldn’t feel robbed. Which is exactly how I felt when they refused to honor their guarantee. And now I must add a small claims case to my list of things to do next week. You can’t “guarantee” money back for dissatisfaction and then not give it. I feel like these people are sharks. Yes I was a fool to ever agree to pay that much, to let this woman in my house without references and to pay with cash. Maybe it was my hormones not letting me think straight. I learned a very expensive lesson and can only hope to prevent the next person from experiencing my frustration and financial pain. There are plenty of cleaners out there that won’t take you to the cleaners. Why even bother with one you’re not sure of?
This NY break has been amazing for my soul. Quite restful comparatively. Carol Ann’s cute, little one-bedroom has a daybed and A/C. It’s in the midtown/Flatiron area and with the subway, I can get anywhere. Today, we’ll check out the Bodies exhibition. Toodles.