I posted an ad on a local job board advertising my house cleaning services, as I was seeking some extra income as a side gig. A woman replied and said she was interested. I chatted with her briefly and learned she needs the whole three-story house cleaned, and she hasn’t had anyone clean it in a while.
I give her my hourly rate, which was the average rate in the area from people I had talked with.
Client: That much? That’s too much!
Me: Well, it’s very physical work, and I would need to recover afterward. It’s different from a desk job.
The client sullenly agrees.
When I arrive at the house in a nice part of town, I notice she barely has any cleaning supplies (even though she stated she had everything). I made the best with what she offered me.
Client: Here are some rags.
There are 4 rags. I had to use some scarce paper towels for the rest – not ideal.
I almost passed out from the amount of work that was needed. Some areas of the house hadn’t been cleaned in months from the looks of things.
At the end of nearly 4 hours, I was glad to be finished. The woman criticized some of my work – which I didn’t appreciate, especially since I went over various areas twice to ensure it was extra clean.
She then writes me a check.
I say thanks and leave, wanting to never return to that house.
I tried to cash the check soon after, and it bounced.
I had to text her various times to ask for payment – explaining the check bounced.
Client: Stop texting me!
Me: I will need to take the issue to small claims court if I don’t hear back from you in a week with payment.
Client: You didn’t even clean my house that well. I hired another housekeeper who did a much better job than you!
She finally re-sent me a check that went through.
Words of Wisdom: ask for cash at the end of a home improvement / cleaning job.