this past week I received a coupon via email from a company called HandyBook for a two hour cleaning, $39. I've been feeling pretty bad the past several weeks and I have several stressful things going on, so I thought that this came at a perfect time so that my apartment could be professionally cleaned (just one less thing on the plate, you know?) before I begin this frustrating tale, let me say that I live in a 500 square foot apartment, so by no means is there some huge daunting task ahead of any of the cleaners, just some general 'spring cleaning' and deep down cleaning that I needed done.
I go online to their website and purchase the booking. the site does not have an option for a one-time cleaning, so I signed up for a re-occuring cleaning every 4 weeks to allow myself time to cancel it or see if maybe I'd want it again in about a month or so. I purchase the booking and schedule it for the next day, January 2nd. The site tells me that the time I've selected works, and the booking is successful.
fast forward to just a few hours later, the night before the cleaning (which I had scheduled early in the AM, I think around 7 or 8); I'm told via email that the person who was going to clean my place could not accommodate the time and I would have to re-schedule. what I found odd is that they immediately refunded my $39 instead of just giving me the option to re-schedule the cleaning or choose to refund the service all together. Nevertheless, I went on their website and chatted with a customer service agent for about 15 minutes and got it all sorted out. He was able to apply the promotional discount I had for a cleaning scheduled today, Jan. 3rd, at 7 PM, although the coupon had expired. My card had to once again be charged $39 for the re-booking; a little inconvenient, I thought, as for a brief period my bank account had an extra $39 chunk missing from it while I awaited the original refund, but not a huge deal. For the inconvenience, they even threw in an extra free hour to the booking (after I asked due to the inconvenience) so I thought that was great. Keep in mind that for this second booking, the customer service agent booked this date and time for me, which would lead you to believe that this is an acceptable time frame, right?
today in preparation for the cleaner, I organized my home a little bit just to make it easier for the cleaner to get around as I am particular about where I like things placed. I had been asked if I wanted to spend time with a friend tonight, and I declined because I was expecting the cleaner to arrive at 7 PM. at 6:00 PM, I get an email stating that once again, they could not accommodate my booking time, and that I'd have to reschedule. they once again immediately refunded me for $39. On top of this, in the email that I got tonight, the agent wrote in all capitals "PLEASE SCHEDULE A FEW DAYS AHEAD TO AVOID THIS HAPPENING AGAIN"... ok.. I thought that was a little.. abrasive, especially considering that the site *allows* you, as a customer, to pick a cleaning for the next day, AND the rep I chatted with on their site specifically scheduled this date and time. the fact that this happened twice in a row after I had made accommodations and changed plans for this cleaning, then felt a bit chastised had me really irritated, so I decided to call customer service.
I called their 800 number and sat on hold for over 20 minutes, all the while growing more agitated. a woman answered the phone and I started to explain what happened and my immense frustrations. I wasn't yelling, but I was audibly annoyed and I made sure to tell her that I knew this wasn't her fault, I just felt that this was extremely unprofessional and a poor way to obtain new customers. Without so much as even a quick apology, she said "please hold" then immediately puts me on hold. she comes back less than a minute later and says "ok I talked to my manager and he agreed to give you 1 free hour on your next booking." I started to explain to her that I have a small apartment and that 4 hours is a completely unnecessary amount of time to clean this apartment; it would be a waste of my time and the cleaners. as I'm explaining what I would like instead, she cuts me off completely mid sentence and says "I understand but this is all I can do for you, one free hour." I ask to speak to a Supervisor and she says "OH, definitely." in a very condescending tone before immediately placing me on hold.
the "Supervisor" (he announced himself as 'acting Supervisor') gets on the line, and by this time I am fucking pissed. Still though, I say "hey, sir, listen, I know this isn't your fault nor the girl who transferred me to you. BUT. she just had a really nasty attitude with me and.." blah blah I went on. as I tell him that I had to reschedule plans to accomadate this booking, he LAUGHS at me! I paused and took a deep breath because I knew that as pissed off as I felt, I really wanted to yell or curse, but working in customer service for many years has taught me that not only is that immature behavior, but it'll only get you hung up on at best. he gives me a very generic apology, tells me my "feedback will be passed down" (yeah right), then says "in order to avoid this, you need to book out at least 2 days in advance, otherwise we can't guarantee the service." I told him truthfully how utterly RIDICULOUS that is, and instead of blaming the customer for selecting a date and time that is offered to them on the site, why don't you fix your faulty system by *not* allowing customers to choose next-day cleanings? He says nothing, agrees to give me a credit with a discounted rate, and all in all I am now booked for a 2 hour cleaning for $20 on Monday.
I will be sure to provide an update if the cleaning/service is not up to par or if they pull this crap with me again. checking Yelp showed me that I am definitely not the first one they've done this to...
UPDATE 1/4: well what do ya know, they emailed me and cancelled on me tonight for tomorrow's booking. that's three cancellations in one week. then they had the audacity to just simply move my booking to Wednesday at noon without ever even discussing this date with me!! I don't have availability on this date. I called and cancelled everything and asked for all of my money back. what a complete joke of a company, I have never been so pissed at a company before. the level of ineptitude is mind boggling.