What if My Service Provider Doesn’t Do It All?
Are you unhappy with your commercial cleaning provider because they don’t do all the things you thought they would do before signing the contract? You may not know it, but it happens a lot. Not just in the cleaning business, but in every business. It could be either because someone didn’t read all the clauses of the contract carefully or because, for some unscrupulous service providers, promises are made to be broken. Whatever the reason, you will find yourself fuming when things you thought would be done as part of the contract don’t get done.
How to Recognize a Bad Cleaning Contractor
The first step in guaranteeing your commercial cleaning company provides all the services listed in the contract (or promised verbally) is to hire a contractor of good repute. So, let’s begin with how to recognize the not-so-good contractors.
1. The company tries to avoid delivering credentials
Always ask for credentials before hiring a cleaning company. If your cleaning contractor tries to avoid providing proof he or she is fully licensed and insured, then he or she may not be a good contractor.
2. The company uses high-pressure sales tactics
If a cleaning contractor uses high-pressure sales tactics to get you to sign the contract quickly, then he or she is probably not someone you can trust. One oft-used tactic is a sales price or discount that is available only for a small window of time.
3. No portfolio and references
Every good cleaning contractor has a portfolio and referrals. He or she allows you to validate their claims. Ask the cleaning company for a portfolio of their work and at least one referral from a former or an existing client. Don’t be satisfied with just the testimonial posted on the website.
4. The company demands a large upfront payment
If your cleaning contract demands a large upfront payment, then the company is probably not someone you can trust. Contractors who ask for large payments in advance have a habit of disappearing after doing some incomplete work.
5. They use scare tactics to get the contract
If any commercial cleaning contractor uses scare tactics to get you to sign the agreement quickly, then they should not be trusted. The most common scare tactics used by contractors is to get you to believe there will be destruction and disaster if you don’t follow their suggestions.
What to Do When Your Contractor Doesn’t Do it All
What are your options when your commercial cleaning service provider doesn’t do it all, such as exterior window cleaning, pressure washing, and carpet cleaning? Here are some of the things you can do.
1. Talk to the contractor and ask for an explanation
If your cleaning contractor is not providing all the services you thought came with the contract, then talk to the CEO or whoever runs the company. It’s no use grumbling with the janitors or other lower-level employees. Tell him or her what you had expected. If the services you are not getting are clearly mentioned in the contract, read it out to him or her and ask for an explanation as to why the janitors are not doing them. If they are not explicitly mentioned in the contract, tell him or her you were given the impression they came automatically with the contract.
It’s not uncommon for misunderstandings to occur between two parties that have entered into a contract. Clients often do not bother to read the full text of the contract. Unscrupulous contractors know this and take advantage of it by deliberately putting misleading words and phrases or omitting some services entirely. Therefore, always make sure to read every word of the contract before signing your commercial cleaning agreement.
2. Document your efforts to reach the contractor
Contractors who do not fulfill the terms of the contract for one reason or another often start avoiding their clients. They deliberately ignore phone calls and refuse to reply to e-mails. If your contractor isn’t communicating with you, then start keeping records of your effort to talk to him or her. Note the date and time of every phone call you have made and every e-mail you have sent. Send the contractor a certified letter explaining your problem and requesting him or her to respond immediately. The records will be useful later if you decide to go court or solve it through mediation.
Has your commercial cleaning provider become uncommunicative after failing to provide all the services included in the contract? Start documenting your attempts to reach him or her today. If he or she doesn’t respond after you have made umpteen attempts, then send a letter informing him or her you are considering litigation. This is usually enough to elicit a response.
3. File a complaint with the trade union or professional association
Every profession has a trade union or a professional association that has some specific membership requirements. If your commercial cleaning provider refuses to communicate with you or to see your point of view, then you should file a complaint with the trade union or association in which he or she has a membership. But, before filing the complaint, make a threat to do so. A threat often suffices, because nobody wants to be investigated, reprimanded, punished or ousted from his or her professional trade group. If a contractor is found guilty of dishonest business tactics, he or she can lose his or her business.
4. Drag the contractor to the court of law
Lawsuits are usually messy and hurt both sides. But, sometimes, you are left with no alternatives. If your commercial cleaning company refuses to listen to you, then you should take him or her to court. Often, just a threat is enough to make the offered truce. But, if the contractor decides to fight, he or she should prepare for a full-scale court battle. If the contractor accepts mediation or arbitration, then that should also be fine. Your aim should be to make him or her capitulate and fulfill the full terms of the contract.
Lastly, always make sure the commercial cleaning provider can be trusted to fulfill the terms of the contract before signing the agreement. If the contractor fails to keep his or her end of the bargain, then do not hesitate to take the necessary actions.