Multiple identities, odd behavior, skipping out on payments and Karma!

One of our favorite Comedy of Errors at American Maid started when we hired a new client who forgot to leave a check at the first cleaning. No big deal; it happens. He corrected the first “error” with a check for double the next time plus a fee.


[EasyDNNnewsToken:Left Justify Embed 300 x 250]The next time, he left a note for additional work worth $100.00 more. Way cool! We approved and performed the extra work based on our procedures, and billed for payment. No check came, but we continued to clean anyway. 


Then he missed a couple of payments, bounced a check, paid the extra fees, and always left a really nice tip. The client is such a nice guy and seems to bend over backwards to make things right that it’s easy to overlook the mistakes – both his and ours.


Alarm Bells

The Team Coach comes home one day from this client’s house and reports that there were a whole bunch of driver’s licenses, bills, and other paperwork on the floor in the spare room that we are supposed to vacuum only. She says it looked really fishy. As the owner, I decide that enough is enough finally. I call the client and explain to thim that we won’t be able to continue his cleaning schedule anymore until he clears up his entire account. He agrees, as usual, and asks me to meet him the next day to clear his balance, in cash, to the tune of around $500.


When I arrive the next day, nobody’s there. After two more trips to his residence to collect on the account, we finally head around to check out the windows and yep – he’s gone! 


Two Ways to Handle the Disappointment in a Client (and Money) Lost

Now, I’m kind of a “what goes around comes around” kind of a gal, so I didn’t think too much about it after that.  My husband on the other hand is an “eye for an eye” kind of guy, so he’s all bent out of shape about it.  Two months go by and my dear Hubby almost skips into the house with the newspaper in hand; at 6′ 7″, that’s quite a sight! 


Front page of the Local section shows this previous client standing at the side of the lake sopping wet looking at the rear tail lights of his beautifully restored 1965 Ford Mustang!  Dear Hubby could NOT contain his glee! 


We cut the entire story out – wrote KARMA across the top and stamped it with our Company stamp.  Sent it to him at his previous address with a big PLEASE FORWARD on it and never got it back in the mail. 


Now I have no way of knowing that he ever received it or saw it for that matter, but it sure was nice to think about.  It definitely made that bill easier to swallow! 


Liz Trotter is founder of American Maid Cleaning as well as an entrepreneur and leadership trainer based in Olympia, Washington. She is also a former ARCSI board member, creator of the Culture Circus employee development system and a charter member of Cleaning For A Reason. For more information, click here.