Many of our clients in the past few years have found us using Google or Portage Online. Our business shows up among many others in multiple search engines. Would it surprise you to know that not all results in a search are actually legit House Cleaning services?
But if the ad isn't a real legitimate House Cleaning service, what is it? It is usually someone operating illegally.
I have been in business cleaning homes since 2005. And in that time I have seen some less than savory individuals pass themselves off as House Cleaners. Many fake online business ads and web pages are done up to get customer information that is then sold to individuals who can't or won't do business the legal way.
Some of the individuals in our community that are cleaning homes independantly have been charged with crimes they committed while in customer homes. They continue to have access to customer homes because they work "under the table" for cash as Trunk Slammers at a rate much cheaper than a licensed business. Trunk Slammers are not covered by insurance, whether it is liability or Workers Compensation. So if something gets broken, it is the home owner's problem. If the worker slips or gets hurt while cleaning, it is the home owner that can be held liable for all medical costs. There is no moral compass or consequences that will prevent these individuals from breaching your trust. Is this the type of person you want to have the access to your home?
How to tell if a House Cleaning service is legit?
1. The business is licensed to operate by the City or Municipality you live in. Yes, Diana's House Cleaning is licensed by the City of Portage la Prairie. Every business licensed by the City can be looked up in the Virtual City Hall Business Directory. You can look up each business by name or from a list of categories at http://atlas.city-plap.com/vch/subsections/directory/directory.html.
2. When you look at a web page ad that shows a cleaning business promoting house cleaning. Look for a local address and phone number. If there is no local address, ask why. If you can't reach the business using their advertised phone number, ask why. Some advertised web pages will have an online form to fill out, even when the phone number is out of service. These are web pages that are specifically created to sell customer information to less than reputable individuals.
3. You are a local resident in Portage la Prairie and you have NEVER heard of them. They don't have a Facebook page, they aren't listed with City Hall and none of your friends have ever hired services from them. Don't be afraid to ask how long someone has been cleaning homes.
4. They are usually not legit when you ask how much they charge, they tell you they sell their services by the hour. They won't have rate sheets or information pamphlets. Why? Because they have no idea how much time it takes to clean a 1200 square foot home. Don't be afraid to ask for a written list describing the services they provide.
5. Membership in the ARCSI (Association of Residential Cleaning Services International) is a very good indicator that confirms a House Cleaning service is legit. ARCSI will not allow any business to become a member unless they can prove they are licensed, insured, complete background checks on all staff and/or are bonded. The ARCSI organization also provides training for members and their staff to ensure high quality services are provided to customers on a consistent basis.