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Cancellation Charge for Maid Service – How Much?

Should I have a cancellation charge for maid service? And if so how much? I’m trying to grow my cleaning company then a client suspends cleaning. And should I have a cancellation charge if they reschedule or postpones cleaning? Or should I just charge a flat rate for a cancellation?

Cancellation charge is a house cleaning FAQ Angela Brown gets asked a lot. On today’s Ask a House Cleaner she gives cleaning advice on when to waive a cancellation fee. And should you charge a cancellation fee? This and other tips. 

Show sponsors are Savvy Cleaner Training. (Maid service training and certification.) My Cleaning Connection (a resource hub for cleaning stuff.) HouseCleaning360 (list your business and get new clients.) And Savvy Perks (employee perks for cleaning business owners.)

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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.

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Question: Cancellation Charge for Maid Service – How Much?

Cruelty-Free Cleaning Products woman shrugging, blank backgroundCancellation charge. How much should we charge for a cancellation charge if the customer cancels on the same day as the cleaning? So, there’s no time to turn around and resell that cleaning. 

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Cancellation Charge for Last Minute Cleaning Cancellations

Cancellation Charge woman on phone call, cancellationExplain your company policies on cancellation to your cleaning prospect before they hire you. 

“Hey, I’m going to charge you X amount of dollars if you cancel the day of the event.” Once they know your rules they pretty much adhere to that. People are like little kids. They want to know where the boundaries are. And they may push, and see where the boundaries are, and see if you’ll actually enforce it. But once you enforce your rules and regulations, people will finally comply. Because now they know you mean business.

Two Schools of Thought on the Cancellation Charge

Cancellation Charge woman on phone call, cancellationIf your business is flexible, and you have to cancel on the customer from time to time, don’t charge a fee. Just have an understanding that you will both work with each other. 

You may have ailing parents or young kids. Both need immediate attention from time to time. 

You may have to leave in the middle of cleaning to rush home. And in turn, your customer may have a similar situation to deal with.

Nope. No Flexibility – Yes, Cancellation Charge

The other school of thought is, I am a house cleaner and this is my business. This is my bread and butter, and I cannot afford for you to cancel on me. I will not cancel on you, and you do not cancel on me. If you do cancel on me, and here’s the catch, “I would charge 100% of your daily fee.” 

Here’s the reason why. If they have to pay for the cleaning whether you are there or not, chances are less likely that they’re going to cancel. 

They reason, “I’ve got pay the money either way, so I might as well get my house cleaned out of it.” And so, even though it’s not convenient, a lot of times they’ll just leave you a key. 

 Because if they’ve got to pay the money, either way, it’s less likely they will cancel.

Tragedies – No Cancellation Charge

Cancellation Charge firefighters working on nine elevenNo cancellation charge in the event that there is some catastrophic event. This is something that trumps all other excuses, and that happens sometimes, unfortunately. I remember 9/11 was one of those days, where the world just kind of seemed to come to an end for a moment, and none of the regular rules applied. 

So, if there’s some catastrophic disruption that affects everyone, then no, you don’t charge a fee.

Your Walkthrough Has a Built-in Place for the Cancellation Charge 

Cancellation Charge credit card and statementOn your walkthrough take a moment to discuss your rules and regulations. Talk about your cancellation charge and what happens if one of you breaks the agreement. 

If your cancellation charge is 100%, then tell them right up front, “Hey, this is my business. This is how I pay to keep food on the table for my kids. And so, if you cancel on me, I still charge the full fee. I just wanted to give you a head’s up, because you haven’t canceled yet, but I wanted you to know that that is part of my policy. So, it will be in your billing, and we will just swipe your credit card the same as if we’d come to clean your house.” 

And if they don’t have a credit card on file with you, that payment is due before your next cleaning. 

And if they don’t make that payment before your next cleaning, you’re done. You do not come back to clean for them again, which means they just erased themselves from your schedule.

Firm Rules Create Firm Financials

Cancellation Charge calendar with checkmark on a day Charge a lock-out fee or a cancellation charge that is hefty enough not to ignore.

 If it’s only $25.00 or $50.00, which some people charge, it’s just a nominal fee. Some customers look at it as an inconvenience fee. But if you charge the full amount – you will rarely get cancellations. 

And my suggestion is that you do have a wait list that you can turn around and resell open slots to someone else. 

But in the event that you don’t, it’s an excellent time for you to then clean your own house. 

Avoid cancellations by charging a serious fee. And when you get them, make them work to your advantage.

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About the Show

Learn how the show came to be, interesting facts about the show host, and other frequently asked questions about the show.

Resources For This Episode

The Road from Contract to Close: How to Successfully (and Easily) Manage the Details without Losing Your Mind – Or Your Clients – http://amzn.to/2v9qmq9

The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It – http://amzn.to/2hzXS48

Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine – http://amzn.to/2vurNQY

The E-Myth Contractor: Why Most Contractors’ Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It – http://amzn.to/2v91ZZx

The Most Successful Small Business in The World: The Ten Principles – http://amzn.to/2hz0yir

QBQ! The Question Behind the Question: Practicing Personal Accountability at Work and in Life – http://amzn.to/2wjIv31

Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People – http://amzn.to/2v9V4j6

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HouseCleaning360 – Referral database of the world’s most prominent home service providers and the homeowners they serve. 

My Cleaning Connection – Your hub for all things cleaning.

Savvy Perks – Employee benefits for your employees.

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