The value of the right contract

It’s fair to say we win and start new cleaning contracts every month. The contracts will always include a breakdown of what services we’ll provide, how we will guarantee the delivery of these services and will also include costs and our standard terms of business.

Whilst 100% of clients will accept the terms at the time of starting the job – there will always be one that won’t play by the rules when it doesn’t suit them anymore.

We have one client like this – a retail client that we’ve worked with for over 5 years that we cleaned for on 3 mornings a week. A year ago they approached me and said they had to cut costs and asked if we could reduce the service to 2 mornings a week. I agreed (even though our minimum contract policy is for 6 hours per week) but did so in the hope things would improve for them and they’d get back to where they were when the market improved.

They approached me again recently and asked to reduce the service further to just 2 hours per week but instead of reducing this to one visit of 2 hours they wanted 2 visits but for only one hour each. I had to apologise and decline as we can’t have cleaners (that don’t live in the city centre) travelling for upwards of 45 minutes each way on a bus to get to work for only one hour of work. Whilst it’s not illegal it’s just a downright dirty practice that is so common in our industry and one we won’t support in any fashion. (Please was other articles I’ve written on this subject).

Anyway, within 10 minutes of our phone call the client emailed me to say he wanted to cancel our contract with immediate effect. I phoned him back and reminded him we have a contract in place, he has a fabulous cleaner with 5 years of impeccable service, and if he wants to terminate immediately we’ll invoice him in lieu of notice and will enforce it legally if we have to. None of our staff have zero-hours contracts and we have notice to pay them – so, this has to be enforced.

I’m glad to say they backed down and we’re now working our notice and I personally can’t wait to get the cleaner out and put him into somewhere else where his qualities, diligence and loyalty will be much more appreciated and respected.

We appreciate that the climate we do business in changes all the time – but what should never change is respect for a contract and respect for the people that work hard to deliver it. Too often cleaners the world over are treated with contempt and like second class citizens. Thankfully we don’t work with many (soon to be none) clients that operate that way. If the cleaner is always put first then you’ll get the best service you’ve ever had.

By the way, if you’re looking for a cleaner with over 20 years high-quality service for your office we’ve got one available very soon.

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Most weeks we’ll receive calls from companies making enquiries to see if we are able to provide cleaning cover whilst their own cleaners are off