Accused of Theft, Angela Brown, Savvy Cleaner

Accused of Theft While House Cleaning

Accused of theft while house cleaning.

If you’re accused of theft you have reputations problems and damage control issues. And it’s not just your company accused of theft, it’s your entire maid service.

It’s time for a “Truth Talk” about addiction, drugs, and honesty.  A savvy cleaner will have bonding to replace stolen goods if not returned.

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Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer. You can find this and 400 other answered questions in this series on our YouTube channel.

What Happens When You are Accused of Theft?

Over-Delivering, Woman Pointing FingerAccused of theft. This is a serious issue, and we’re going to talk about this today.

There is a house cleaner who tells this story. “I have an issue with a client I’ve had for over 17 years. She just came and told me that she’s been missing things in her home like jewelry. The amount of items is about one thousand dollars.

She calls me two days after and tells me, ‘The more I see, the more things are missing in my home. I want to see, what are we going to do?’ 

And the ladies that have been servicing her home, they’ve been working for me for years. We’ve never had a complaint from a client before. In 17 years in business, we have never been accused of stealing anything. I’m not sure how to respond back to my client.”

Being Accused of Theft can Affect Your Reputation

Accused of Theft reputationWhen you get accused of theft it is a serious issue. It is not something that you should take lightly.

When your clients accuse you of stealing, your reputation is in jeopardy. Now, reputation management is the key to success in house cleaning. This is because all the referrals that you get will be based on the reputation that you keep.

Accused of Theft When You Have a Good Reputation

Accused of Theft trusted teamThe fact that you have had a client for so long shows you have a good reputation. And reputations are important in house cleaning.

Do you know how rare that is in the house cleaning business? Lots of people dump their house cleaners after a couple of months or years and cycle through new house cleaners. So, the fact that someone has been with you for 17 years speaks volumes.

So, you must have an excellent reputation and an excellent rapport with this customer.

When Clients Start to Get Older

Accused of Theft dementiaI don’t know how old the customer was when they hired you, but now, they are 17 years older.

As people get on in years — and I have no idea how old the client is — something happens to our brains. There is a tendency to mentally slip.

That comes with dementia, Alzheimer’s, or even common forgetfulness. So, it’s easy to misplace something and think it got stolen.

Some Clients are Grumpy When They Get Older

Accused of Theft grouchy old manIn my experience, with all the hundreds and thousands of people I’ve worked with over the years I’ve found this. As people get older, there’s a tendency for them to become a little bit mean and irritable.

They will lash out at people that once were their best and dearest friends. So, if you’ve had a great rapport with this customer, and now they are accusing you of theft. Could it be possible that there’s some cognitive slipping going on?

That would be my first thought because you said that the house cleaners that are working with you also have excellent reputations. That they’ve been working with you for years, and they have a good rapport with the customer.

Accused of Theft Out of the Blue

Accused of Theft cognitive slipSo, if you are being accused out of the blue for things that have gone missing, one of two things is happening.

Either your customer has misplaced something and they forgot where they put it, or one of your employees has gotten into some trouble.

That trouble could be financial trouble, it could be something you don’t know about. I don’t know what is going on in the personal lives, but that is the second place you might want to look.

Look for Theft Clues in Your Employees’ Behavior

Accused of Theft depressed womanNow, as you are talking to your employees, just in the regular course of everyday conversation, sometimes there will be clues to spot employee theft. Or that there are problems with that employee.

You will see things like an employee will start to be late. Or they will leave early. There will be things that are out of character for that particular person.

And so, if you’re seeing uncharacteristic things, it is possible there are problems there that need to be addressed.

Your Employees Could Be Slipping Mentally

Accused of Theft helping womanYour employees could be older. Maybe your employees are slipping cognitively.

It’s sad, but there are times when house cleaners get too old to do the jobs. They forget where they put things. So, it would be great if they would retire before that happens.

Sometimes though, a house cleaner will move something and see something expensive. Then they will move it to a safe place and forget where they put it. Then the client notices that it’s missing and blames the cleaner.

Make Sure You’re Insured When You’re Accused of Theft

Accused of Theft jewelrySo, what you need to do in this situation is to make sure you’re insured. This way when something goes missing, and you can prove that your employees took it, then your bonding will kick in. You will be able to make payments to repay the loss of what they took.

So, that would be the backup, but before that, let’s figure out what is actually going on.

You need to go to the customer, and you need to say, “Hey, listen, I need to know exactly what happened. I’m going to be interviewing my staff, and I need to know exactly what’s going on.

During that conversation, you may find a hint to the fact that maybe your customer is slipping into dementia. Maybe there are some things like that that are happening.

Talk to Your Team if You’re Accused of Theft

Accused of Theft confessionThe next thing you need to do is sit your team down and say, “Guys, our client has accused us of theft. This is so bizarre because none of us would ever do this. Our reputations are far more valuable than anything we could ever take. So, if we are accused of something, where do you think that’s coming from?

Give a safe space for your employees to come forward and say, “I confess, I stole it”.  That’s the most beautiful thing that can happen.

How to Fire an Employee Who is Accused of Theft

Accused of Theft customer reviewIt’s not good that they stole something, but it is that they would confess to it. Because that will help you stop this from happening again.

Now you can take the steps to fire this employee.

Then maybe you can do it in a way that doesn’t disgrace or shame them. Maybe you can help them get help so that they can move on in their life in a nice way that still helps them keep their dignity.

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*** Resources From This Episode ***

The Road to Character –

Building Character: One Virtue at a Time –

Louder Than Words: The Power of Uncompromised Living  –

Ask It: The Question That Will Revolutionize How You Make Decisions –

Mechanics of Online Reputation Management: Repair & Control Your Name or Brand Reputation Online –

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