Service Agreement

Seattle Green Cleaner's Service Agreement is designed to help our clients understand the service they are purchasing. These terms clarify and describe our guarantee, exclusions, cancellations and potential problems, which we strive to avoid if at all possible. With your help, these issues can be avoided to ensure a successful service to you in your home. These Terms of Service define the responsibilities and liabilities of both Seattle Green Cleaner and our customers. We work to earn your continuing business with each and every cleaning. While we do not require our customers to sign a contract for a specified number of cleaning appointments, we do require a minimum of two full weeks notice of termination of service.

Service Agreement

BY SCHEDULING SERVICE WITH SEATTLE GREEN CLEANER, YOU AGREE TO ACCEPT THE FOLLOWING TERMS AND CONDITIONS WITHOUT EXCEPTION:

 

General Limits, Conditions and Liability

Satisfaction Guarantee:  Your complete satisfaction is our #1 goal! Seattle Green Cleaner's Customer Satisfaction Guarantee: "If there is anything you are not completely happy with, please let us know the same day cleaning was provided and we’ll come back to fix it." We want you to be a very happy customer!

Our Satisfaction Guarantee does not apply under certain circumstances:

  • To homes in "Condition 5"
  • When we use a customer's cleaning products, supplies or vacuum cleaner by request of the customer
  • When the customer does not allow us enough time to thoroughly clean to our standards.
  • When the customer will not allow us to take before/after photos of our work.

Insurance, General Liability Insurance, and Tax Reporting:  Seattle Green Cleaner carries a $1,000,000 liability insurance policy. Since most of our professional house cleaners are W-2 employees, if something is damaged in your home, you  are protected through our Liability Insurance. We promise our customers that Seattle Green Cleaner collects and reports all employer‐required taxes for its professional house cleaners' services to local, state and federal agencies. This protects you from IRS tax‐liability with respect to income the cleaners receive.  All employees are covered by Washington State Workers Compensation Insurance (L&I) for any injuries occurring inside your home. All of our employees are covered by Washington State Employment Insurance.

We may use contractors from time to time. We will only hire contractors who have 3+ years of recent, residential, professional house cleaning experience, and who have their own $1,000,000 liability insurance policy, which we have verified. These cleaners are paid a higher hourly rate than employees, but they use their own cleaning products and supplies, pay for their own gas, and any other expenses related to cleaning and getting to your home. These cleaners are under contract with Seattle Green Cleaner and sign a non-solicitation agreement.

Estimated Hours:

  • Initial cleaning appointments:
  • You will be charged for actual cleaning hours (rounded up to the nearest 5 minutes) and not the estimated time.
  • Our estimates are based on Total Cleaning Hours since we often clean in teams of two or three, reducing the amount of time we are there. 6 total cleaning hours = 3 hours per cleaner with a team of two cleaners or 2 hours per cleaner with a team of three cleaners.
  • Recurring cleaning appointments:
  • You will be automatically charged for the amount of cleaning time we've determined is necessary for cleaning.
  • Employees will stay the entire duration scheduled. If cleaning takes more than 5 minutes (per cleaner) due to a change in condition (messier than usual, dishes in the way, etc.) you will be charged the additional time required to clean.
  • Contractors are typically faster at cleaning and better at scrutinizing their own work. For this reason, a contractor may take less time than our employees to clean and may leave the appointment earlier than the regularly scheduled amount of cleaning time. Your cost will not change in these circumstances.

Estimate Accuracy:

Our estimates can only be as accurate as our customers are realistic about the condition of the home. Our estimates are usually quite accurate when all areas of the home are accounted for on the estimate form, when the home's square footage is factual and especially when the home's condition is realistically defined. The home's condition is the largest determining factor of time.

Upon arrival, if we think it will take significantly more time to clean than estimated, we will attempt to contact you and let you know right away. If we cannot contact you, the manager will decide whether or not to continue cleaning or to stop cleaning at the estimated time and leave areas unfinished. If you have a preference, please discuss this with us in advance while scheduling your initial cleaning appointment.

You will be charged for actual cleaning hours and not the estimated time. We round up to the nearest 5 minutes and charge in whole dollar increments.

Whole Home Cleaning:

Our policy is to clean the entire home (or at a minimum, the main living level of the home), at the initial cleaning appointment. After the initial cleaning, we are happy to customize our service to fit your needs by working off a priority list if necessary. This policy is not flexible for the initial cleaning. Though we've received very few complaints over the years, nearly 100% of complaints about an initial cleaning service were from customers who didn't have us clean their whole home.

Before your cleaning appointment: Your price for cleaning is based on the professional house cleaners focusing all of their time and energy on cleaning instead of routine housekeeping. We ask that you take a few minutes before a scheduled cleaning for general housekeeping to allow easy access to areas/surfaces to be cleaned. There are things you can do before your cleaning appointment to save cleaning time and money, i.e. wash dishes, make beds, empty garbage bins and generally de-clutter. We’re happy to do any of these with advance notice and with the understanding that they were not included in the estimate. If you’d like our professional house cleaners to do these tasks for you, please email the Office at least two business days before your appointment so we can adjust the team's schedule and adjust your cleaning fee for the additional “cleaning preparation” time.

Scheduled “Arrival Time” for cleanings:  When booking your service, we provide an estimated arrival time of when the professional house cleaners will arrive at your home, give or take 15 minutes. Actual arrival time may vary due to unforeseen circumstances (traffic jams, weather, the professional house cleaners needing extra time to finish cleaning a previous home, etc.).

  • You will receive an automatic email reminder 23 hours prior to your scheduled cleaning appointment.
  • You will receive an SMS message 1 hour prior to your scheduled cleaning appointment, unless you have opted out of SMS messaging or if we do not have your mobile phone number.
  • You will receive an SMS message if cleaners will be later than the 15 minute arrival window, unless you have opted out of SMS messaging or if we do not have your mobile phone number.

Security Alarms:   Seattle Green Cleaner is not responsible for any charges from a local police department which is called out due to an activated alarm which we are not able to turn off. We encourage our customers to make sure we have updated alarm information a minimum of two business days before a scheduled cleaning appointment.

Pets escaping from the home:  We take great care of all our customers, including pets. If your pet will be free-roaming during the cleaning, please let us know in advance, so the professional house cleaners can be on alert when they open doors. Our professional house cleaners are trained to close doors as soon as they enter and exit your home and will not leave doors open for long periods.We cannot be responsible for pets that “escape” when our professional house cleaners are entering/exiting your home.

Pet feces, urine, vomit, litter boxes, etc.:  Our professional house cleaners cannot touch or pick up pet feces or vomit, including emptying litter‐boxes or touching/moving house training pads. Urine stains on hardwood floors will be mopped by our professional house cleaners, but please understand that if urine has soaked into wood, the stain may not come out and you may need to contact a flooring specialist.

Cleaning Supplies: We provide our professional house cleaners with all necessary tools, equipment and cleaning supplies necessary for a thorough job.

  • Use of homeowner's Products: If you prefer to supply your own cleaning products, we must have ample time (at least one week before your scheduled appointment) to thoroughly research the product to make sure it meets our stringent standard of environmental responsibility and safety of our cleaners. If the product does not meet OUR standards of Earth/Human/Pet Friendly, we absolutely will not use the product. Since we have not tested your products for effectiveness we will not be responsible for any damage associated with that product or solvent and the Satisfaction Guarantee will not apply. Any additional time required to clean due to using your products will be charged accordingly.
  • Use of Homeowner’s Vacuum:  If you request our professional house cleaners to use your vacuum, we will not assume or accept any liability for damage to the unit itself, to your home or  any of its contents, and the Satisfaction Guarantee will not apply. Since we are not responsible for maintenance or training with the unit, we will not be responsible for any repairs to it. Additional time will be required for a team of 2 or more cleaners to use only the home owner's vacuum (which usually doesn't have the ease and accessibility of our vacuum attachments), resulting in an additional cost to clean hour home.
  • Vinegar: We are happy to use vinegar on hardwood floors when we know about it in advance and when the customer provides the vinegar. WARNING: If we are asked to use vinegar on floors and anything caustic has touched them (i.e.: toilet bowl cleaner, tile & grout cleaner, etc.), it can create a violent reaction that may “burn” surfaces.   Since we don’t use anything toxic, we will not be held responsible for any damage occurring from the mixture of vinegar & any caustic products you may have.

Cleaning:  Our professional house cleaners take pride in cleaning your home. Since we wet-dust everything, our tools and techniques allow us to remove most of your home’s dust in a reasonable amount of time and effort.

  • Settling Dust:  During the dusting process, some dust becomes airborne and will not settle until we have left.  Especially in the warmer months, when windows are open and fans are blowing, dust accumulates much faster. It may take several visits before settling dust becomes minimized.
  • Dusting Knick‐Knacks, Collectibles, and other small items:  We clean small items based on the size and the number of items on a shelf or flat surface like a mantel.  If there are 10 or fewer small items on a shelf we will clean them and the surface below them and return the item to the shelf.  If there are more than 10 items per shelf we may need to clean only the surfaces around those items.
  • Cleaning height limits:  We are not able to clean items on shelves or hung on a wall that are higher than a professional house cleaner of average height can reach standing on a 2-step stool.  We do use extension poles to high dust rooms but we will not high dust items that may tip over or hung on the wall because we are not able to hold it with one hand in order to secure it while we clean.
  • Showers and Tubs:  Showers and Tubs can accumulate lime, calcium and soap scum.  Our cleaning products work very well on cutting through these deposits, however sometimes it may take a few visits before showers and tubs become free of these deposits. Mold and mildew are organic and will grow deep into and behind grout or calk. Surface stains will be minimized by our cleaning products, but completely eliminating it may require the homeowner to have these areas re‐grouted or re‐caulked. We are also happy to suggest eco-friendly DIY options for daily use.

Damage or Breakage:  Our professional house cleaners exercise the most reasonable care when cleaning your home. We do carry insurance for damage caused by our cleaners. We are not liable for damage that is caused by “normal wear and tear,” improper installation of an item in your home, or artwork, collectibles or family heirlooms valued over $100 that were not disclosed during the setup process. These items include but are not limited to the following examples:

  • Carpet & Rug Snags:  Carpet snags are the result of “exposed loops” caused by normal wear and tear, moving furniture, etc. which are snagged by a vacuum’s roller‐brush. We take the most care possible to prevent rug snags while vacuuming, but are not able to individually vacuum each piece of fringe at the end of a rug and will not be responsible for any damage caused.
  • Broken Blinds:  Customers should be aware that there are some inherent risks each time your blinds are cleaned. Blinds will become brittle from daily exposure to the sun, and strings/chords will weaken over time resulting in breaks. For this reason, our professional house cleaners will only clean shutter-style blinds.
  • Improperly hung pictures/decorations/mirrors/clocks/fixtures:  If these items are securely/properly attached to the wall, they should not fall when the item is cleaned.
  • Artwork, Collectibles, Family Heirlooms and valuables over $75:  These items are expensive or impossible to replace; we will not take the risk of cleaning such items. When scheduling your initial cleaning, please let us know about any of these items so we can avoid cleaning them unless the customer wants to sign a waiver of liability.  It is the customer’s responsibility to inform Seattle Green Cleaner of any new items brought into the home, after our initial setup, that fall into this category.
  • Preexisting damage/issues: If there are any areas of your home with preexisting issues including leaking sinks/toilets, toilets that continually run, carpet snags, damaged or broken items/furnishings/materials, it is your responsibility to advise us of these issues before we clean. We are not liable for preexisting damage or for any damage caused by trying to clean these areas.

Additional Services:

We’re happy to do any of the below with advance notice and with the understanding that they were not included in the estimate and therefore will require additional cleaning time:

  • Refrigerator cleaning (interior, if empty)
  • Counter top microwave cleaning, interior (built-in microwaves are always cleaned)
  • Window cleaning (interior) & window tracks (newer windows only)
  • Wall washing
  • Cabinet cleaning (interior)
  • Light fixture cleaning (where accessible)
  • Clean ceiling fans
  • Clean shutter style blinds
  • Changing bed linens (with the understanding that this is not our forte since we are house cleaners and not a housekeepers)
  • Monitors and TV screens (we will clean these by request only and with the understanding that we will not accept responsibility for potential damage)
  • Collect pre-sorted garbage, recycling and compost, and take to outside bins. (We will only take out pre-sorted items.)

Services not offered:

  • Interior oven cleaning (there are no truly green oven cleaners)
  • Interior dishwasher cleaning (It is best to run an empty dishwasher with vinegar instead of soap. Although this is an easy task, it is time consuming, therefore it’s a service we don’t offer.)
  • Carpet shampooing and Upholstery cleaning (it is more cost effective to hire a carpet/upholstery cleaner)
  • Exterior window cleaning (we leave that to window cleaning specialists)
  • Inside of fireplaces (To avoid harming our HEPA filtered vacuum cleaners or carrying ash/soot between homes, and to avoid harming our employees.)
  • Anything on the exterior of the home.
  • We do not move large appliances to clean underneath them.
  • Disposal or hauling of construction debris.
  • Post-construction cleaning of items that contractors should clean (removing paint/plaster/grout splatter, removing tape residue from windows, etc.).
  • Removal of black mold (This is for the safety of our cleaners. We recommend seeking a mold remediation specialist).
  • Handling or disposing of needles (or anything belonging in a Sharps/biohazard container)
  • Litter Boxes
  • Animal excrement or "wee wee" pads
  • Diaper pails
  • Ironing
  • Laundry

Quality Control and Inspections:

  • Audits and Inspections:  Seattle Green Cleaner randomly inspects and audits our cleaning teams, during your scheduled cleaning time.
  • Pictures of before and after work:  Cleaners we will take before and after photos at the initial cleaning appointment and at move-in/out cleaning appointments. This is to show the condition of work areas before and after cleaning and is how cleaners show proof of their work. We occasionally need to take photos at a recurring appointment, for example, when the home is not in its usual condition.
    • These pictures are used for training, proof of our work performance and promotion of our high quality standards. We do not take photos of personal items (family photos, jewelry, etc.).
    • If you do not want pictures taken of work areas in your home, please notify our office before your cleaning appointment to sign a waiver of liability. The Satisfaction Guarantee will not apply when cleaners are not permitted to prove their work with photos.

Safety and Work Conditions:

  • Temperature Settings:  During summer months, many of our customers turn their air conditioning off or set them to higher temperatures during the day, while they are at work. On your scheduled cleaning day, we ask that you set the thermostat to, at the highest, 72, so your professional house cleaners can work in a safe environment without overheating.
  • For safety reasons, if our professional house cleaners arrive to a home that is warm and the air conditioning is turned off or not reduced to safe levels, our cleaners are instructed to adjust the thermostat while they are in your home. They will return the temperature to the previous setting before they leave.  We still ask that you do let the air conditioning run on the day of your service because it can take several hours to cool a home to safe levels.
  • During the winter, we request that the home is between 60 and 72 degrees.
  • Cleaners will NOT remove their shoes: As a Washington State employer who provides L&I insurance and carries Liability Insurance, we cannot allow cleaners to remove their shoes during cleaning.
    • Since we clean our way out of every room, we aren’t leaving anything nasty behind.
    • Since we’re an environmentally responsible cleaning company, we don’t use or purchase anything disposable (i.e., disposable booties).
    • We ask those customers who don’t want shoes worn in their home to provide shoe covers/booties for cleaners.
    • They MUST have traction on the bottom to prevent slips and falls and to comply with Workman’s Comp standards.
    • Washable Shoe Covers – Reusable booties can be purchased here.

We welcome your feedback:  Getting customer feedback is an important ingredient to a successful house cleaning service relationship.  Your feedback helps us monitor the performance of cleaners and deliver the highest quality cleaning experience in the industry. After your cleaning service is completed, we will send you a follow-up email asking you about the service you received, asking you to grade our performance on a scale of 1 to 10, and inviting you to provide honest feedback. Our employees receive a bonus for each 10-star review received. They want to do a great job!

Non‐solicitation of Seattle Green Cleaner staff:

When entering into an agreement for services with Seattle Green Cleaner you agree not to solicit for hire any staff introduced to you at any time by SGC for any kind of home related services. We spend a lot of time, money and resources finding, interviewing, checking references, doing background checks, and especially training our professional house cleaners. Each professional house cleaner signs an agreement barring them from performing any home‐related service for any of our past or present customers or any customer we've given an estimate to. If you are found to have solicited one of our staff, please be advised that our referral/training fee is $3,500 per person. Payment is due within 30 days from the date on the invoice. Our cleaners are our most valuable asset; we charge accordingly.

Payments and Fees, Changes and Cancellations, Termination of Service:

Payment for Services:  Payment is due before the end of the business day (5:00 pm PST) on the day our services are delivered. We accept payment by credit card only for the initial cleaning appointment. We accept credit card payment or electronic funds transfer payment for recurring service. We do not charge a fee for using credit cards of EFT since these are the only methods of payment we accept and are a normal cost of doing business.

  • Credit Cards:
    • We accept Visa, MasterCard and Discover (credit or debit) for full payment on cleaning day.
    • We require a signed Credit Card Authorization Form for PCI Compliance when scheduling a cleaning appointment.
    • Your credit card will be charged on cleaning day and a receipt will be emailed to you.
    • Regularly scheduled, recurring service appointments are set up with recurring credit card payments on their scheduled cleaning days and the automatic charge goes through in the early morning hours, usually 1:00-5:00 am.
    • A $10.00 per day late payment fee will be applied when payment is not received during business hours on cleaning day.
    • It is the customer's responsibility to inform us of updated credit card information at least five business days prior to their scheduled service appointment.
    • Although we accept credit cards only for the initial cleaning, we also offer Electronic Funds Transfer as well as Credit Cards for recurring service.
  • Electronic Funds Transfer:
    • In addition to credit cards, we also accept EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) for full payment on cleaning day, for recurring service only.
    • If you would like us to charge your bank account instead of your credit card, we require a signed EFT Authorization Form for PCI Compliance.
    • Your EFT will be charged on cleaning day and a receipt will be emailed to you.
    • Regularly scheduled, recurring service appointments are set up with recurring EFT transactions (or credit card payments) on their scheduled cleaning days and the automatic charge goes through in the early morning hours, usually 1:00-5:00 am.
    • A $10 per day late payment fee will be applied when payment is not received during business hours on cleaning day.
    • A $40 fee will be applied to charge backs and returned items from your bank.
    • It is the customer's responsibility to inform us of updated bank information at least five business days prior to their scheduled service appointment.
  • Lock‐Out Fee:  You are responsible for providing professional house cleaners access/entry to your home. Customers can avoid a lock-out fee by providing a key to be kept in the insured lock box in our office.  If cleaners arrive for their scheduled appointment and aren’t able to enter the home, a lock-out fee of 100% of the scheduled service price will be charged. Seattle Green Cleaner is insured against any problems associated with giving us access to your home.
  • Late Payment Fee: A $10 per day late payment fee will be applied when payment is not received during business hours on cleaning day.
  • Refunds:  We do not offer refunds. If you are not happy, please let us know the same day cleaning was provided and we will come back to re‐clean any areas free of charge according to our Satisfaction Guarantee. As an ethical company, we will not trade refunds for reviews.

Scheduling Changes/Fees:  Please let us know as soon as possible if you need to reschedule or cancel a cleaning appointment.  If you can provide us with at least 7 days advance notice of any scheduling changes, it gives us an opportunity to find another home to clean.  Last minute notifications make it nearly impossible to find your professional house cleaners work and can cause them financial hardship.

Our customers have peace of mind knowing we will be at our scheduled appointments. We request the same courtesy from our customers. Since we schedule weeks and often months in advance, when an appointment is canceled at the last minute, we aren’t able to fill that spot. Our cancellation/rescheduling policy protects our professional house cleaners who depend on the hours we have scheduled for them.

  • $100.00 Cancellation FeeA $100 charge will be applied for appointments canceled two business days prior to a scheduled appointment. 
  • 100% Cancellation Fee – Cancellations received within one business day of a scheduled appointment, same-day cancellations and no-show/lock-out appointments are charged 100% of the scheduled service price. When we collect this fee, we still pay employees as if they’d cleaned for you for the full time.
  • Example of two business days: If your appointment is on a Friday, it must be rescheduled or canceled via email before 5:00 pm on Tuesday to avoid any fees (Wednesday and Thursday are the two business days prior to the scheduled appointment). If your appointment is on a Monday, it must be rescheduled or canceled via email before 5:00 pm on Wednesday to avoid any fees (Thursday and Friday are the two business days prior to the scheduled appointment).
  • Business hours are 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Monday-Friday. Cancellations after 5:00 pm are “The next business day”. Cancellations must be received via  email.

Scheduling changes can result in the following:

  • PRICE CHANGES – The price for your recurring service is partly based on time between cleaning appointments.  We have 4 recurring categories:
    • Weekly (Once a week)
    • Bi‐Weekly (Every two weeks)
    • Monthly (Every four weeks)
    • Occasional (Six weeks or more since the last cleaning)

Rescheduling your cleaning can result in an increased cost of service. For example, if a biweekly customer skips an every 2 week cleaning appointment, this creates a 4 week interval between visits. Cleaning time takes longer for monthly service (every 4 weeks) than for biweekly service (every 2 weeks). We can either increase the cleaning time necessary to complete the same areas or we can work off of a priority list. Time will be considered for vacations when the home is not occupied.

Updated policy through Phase 3 of the Approach to Recovery

All of us at SGC have been quarantined and are officially, without question, able to return to work. We understand that many of our customers are still working from home, not able to leave for work, or are homeschooling children (do we all agree that teachers deserve about a billion dollars per year?).

  • If you’re able to leave during your cleaning appointment, please do. This helps keeps everyone safe.
  • If you’re not able to leave during your cleaning appointment, please confine yourself/family to one area of the home. We can clean that area last or skip that area.

We need at least ONE FULL WEEK’s Notice of Cancellation via email until Phase 4 of the Approach to Recovery is implemented.

  • If your appointment is on a Monday, you will need to cancel before the Monday one week before your scheduled service.
    • Let’s say the appointment you want to cancel is Monday, May 18th. With this temporary policy (until Phase 4 is implemented), you must cancel before Monday, May 11th. (So by May 10th)
    • Our normal cancellation policy is to receive cancellation more than two business days in advance. With the regular policy, if your appointment was on a Monday, you would have to cancel before 5pm the Wednesday before. Now you need ONE FULL WEEK before your scheduled appointments.
  • When customers cancel at the last minute (within two business days), we are not able to fill that space for customers who do want their homes cleaned and our staff find themselves off instead of working.
  • This updated policy was emailed to each customer and was posted on our blog 04 May, 2020.

 

Termination of Service:  We realize circumstances arise which make the cost of professional house cleaning move lower on the financial priority list. We're happy to help you find creative ways of keeping our service by reducing the frequency of cleaning appointments, reducing the amount of time cleaners are there, and/or working from a priority list.

  • If you have recurring appointments scheduled with us and wish to terminate service, we require a minimum of two full weeks notice prior to the next scheduled appointment for biweekly customers and four full weeks notice prior to the next scheduled appointment for monthly customers.

 

Privacy Statement

Seattle Green Cleaner is committed to protecting the privacy of customers. We will not sell, exchange or otherwise distribute your personal identifiable information to outside parties.

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