High Cost of Cheap Cleaning Service
When Cutting Costs Is More Expensive Than It’s Worth…
Accountability. That’s the philosophy we’ve formed our business around, and you can see the evidence of that in everything we do. We hold ourselves accountable to our employees by committing to paying a living wage. Our clients can trust that we operate as a licensed, insured, bonded business in the state of New York. We are accountable to our community as well, and we honor that relationship by being mindful of our environmental footprint and doing what we can to operate as a green business.
Unfortunately, accountability is the exception not the rule within our industry and other service industries. Far too often, profitability outweighs the importance of accountability. Many service businesses, especially in the cleaning industry, cut costs where it matters–insurance, wages, licensing–so they can charge the bare minimum. Only when consumers are educated about the dangers and risks that come with hiring cheap services will accountability be just as important as profitability. Choosing the cheapest cleaning service has a high cost later. One which you may not even be aware of.
Education and awareness should serve as our guides when we choose vendors and products to make a part of our lives. Whether it be the cleaning service you hire—in my world—or the restaurants you frequent, be reminded to hold these businesses accountable for the high price they ultimately demand from you and the community they serve.
To Be or Not To Be Insured
Insurance is a subject fraught with confusion, abuse, and ignorance. Business insurance, liability insurance, health insurance…there’s so many options to keep track of and maintain that it’s a wonder anyone can choose coverages at all. In the green cleaning industry, insurance carries even more importance than most businesses ever need to consider.
For example, as a green cleaning service with residential and corporate clients we are trusted within our client’s private offices and homes, an important responsibility that we honor with insurance coverage. Sound strange? Let me explain. Our cleaners are employees—not cash workers—and as such they are insured against liability and injury, even if an accident were to happen on the job while they were in a home or an office. The insurance coverage they carry actually protects you and our employee. You don’t run the risk of being sued by our cleaner because, as our employee, they are protected by our workers comp insurance. That should come as a relief to those who don’t relish the thought of hiring a cheap cleaning service only to lose their home or business in a lawsuit.
Unfortunately, there is a growing trend for businesses in our industry and others to bypass accountability in favor of profitability. Earning money as a business—large or small—will always be the end goal, but at what cost? When businesses forego accountability they take drastic cost cutting measures, which ultimately hurt their workers, their clients, and the communities they serve.
It’s become a common practice to save money by hiring cash workers so insurance isn’t required. Clients may not even be aware that they are opening themselves up to a potential lawsuit every time they do business with a company that operates in this way. Consider our earlier example, if you work with a cheap cleaning service that sends workers into your home or business without insurance coverage and an accident happens there you can expect to defend yourself against a lawsuit by the uninsured worker. The risk is certainly not worth the money you may have saved by contracting with the lowest priced vendor.
The client is not the only one who loses when companies do not value accountability. Cash workers are forced to work without earning a living wage or workers comp protection, which ultimately dooms them to become a burden on tax payers and their families. Ultimately, our communities and collective quality of life suffers along with them in a variety of ways.
Prove it. When In Doubt, Ask!
To protect yourself and your home or business against uninsured cleaning services, always ask if they are licensed, bonded, and insured before you enter into business.
As a potential client you have the right to request a copy of the workers comp and liability insurance certificates to confirm that the potential service company is adequately protected.
You should also ask if the cleaners are W2 employees of the company. If they are uncomfortable answering your question or if the answer is no, that should serve as a red flag signaling you to beware!
New York state has strict restrictions about licensing businesses – especially when it comes to granting a license to a green cleaning service, which is why you should always confirm that the company is legally able to do business in New York before you give them access to your home or business. If your potential vendor is operating with an out-of-state license you may not be able to resolve any legal complications within the New York justice system. We recommend also checking The Better Business Bureau to conduct your own informal background check on any business you’re thinking of hiring.
At first, it makes good financial sense to move forward with a lower cost vendor or product; after all, the economy has tightened everyone’s purse strings, but the next time you decide to go with the lowest bid or to buy the cheapest electronic, ask yourself if the low cost now is worth such a high cost later.
Have you had a bad experience with an uninsured service company? Tell us about it here or visit us on Facebook.