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Thread: Do you tip Merry Maids?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Spokane, WA USA
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    280

    Do you tip Merry Maids?

    I'm assuming so. I'm just not sure how much. How much is normal?

    I finally convinced myself to spend the money to have someone clean twice a month. I am an awful cleaner, and quite frankly it never gets done.

    We had a walk through today and I purposely didn't clean so they would know what our "real" house would look like. They our sending out two people on the 28th for the first cleaning. I can hardly wait!
    Jennifer

  2. #2
    Nope. Just pay the fee.

    My housekeeper comes twice a month. She's been with me for 5 years now. I give her a cash bonus at christmas, and usually another bonus around final exam time because I'm very appreciative of her taking care of my house while I'm so busy.

    Debie
    Never take life seriously. Nobody gets out alive anyway.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Arlington, VA
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    1,555
    I have a cleaning service and I do tip (around 15-20 percent - not sure if that's too high). I think it is different if you have a cleaning person who is self-employed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
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    San Ramon, CA
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    12,858
    I don't tip either. I'm paying for a service and they set the price. If I asked them to do something out of the ordinary, I might tip then.
    Democrats are Sexy. Who has ever heard of a good piece of elephant?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
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    Phoenix, AZ
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    Absolutely. Just as with any service, tipping is appropriate. I agree that tipping for a service is different than tipping for a housekeeper who is self-employed. For a service, I would tip 15-20%, just as I do for any other service where the provider is working for a company. They make an hourly rate, like anyone else, and rely on tips. My current housekeepers, though, are self-employed, so everything they make, they take home. I tip them each $5 as a courtesy, but that is far from what I would tip a service, which is why I don't use services.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Ventura, California
    Posts
    711
    Originally posted by tbb113
    I don't tip either. I'm paying for a service and they set the price. If I asked them to do something out of the ordinary, I might tip then.
    It never occurred to me to tip-- after all, I don't tip the guys at Jiffy Lube or the guys from the tree trimming company. But I do give a gift at Christmas.
    Lucinda

  7. #7
    I've used both the self-employed and service but never tipped. I think of them as I do the gardener or trash collector, I never tip them. I do give a week's extra pay at Christmas as a gift.
    Christie

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    Austin area (specifically Elgin)
    Posts
    136

    Question related question

    I too have finally realized that we need someone to help keep our house under control. My husband travels a lot but is a neat freak and doesn't think I keep up well enough while he's gone (our thresholds for clutter are just mis-matched!). Our compromise is having someone come every other week. They'll be doing big stuff, like mopping and vacuuming, dusting, wiping cabinets and fan blades, and doing the bathrooms. We already run the sweeper at least 2x per week and clean bathrooms weekly, but rarely get to dusting or mopping on a regular basis. Now if I could just find someone willing to file for me!

    I'm wondering tho what's reasonable? We live in a rural area but within 30 minutes of Austin, TX. I've got three referrals -- each of whom is independent. I have no idea what to expect for expense. Anyone have a ballpark figure?

    TIA!

    - Em

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Waterford, MI
    Posts
    2,331
    I have never tipped my cleaning person, but I did give her a cash gift at Christmas.

    I figure she is making at least $15 dollars an hour, and sometimes more if she is quick. She is also self-employed and takes it all home (without tax ramifications).

    Lisa

  10. #10
    We just arranged for a cleaning lady. We are about 45 minutes of the Detroit Metro area. Our gal will come every other week and vacuum, sweep/mop floors, dust, clean bathrooms and do thedishes etc. if they need to be done. She is charging $35. I think that is low, but then again, it will probably take her 2 hours to do it all, so it is good money, all under the table.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Metrowest
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    968
    The Maids and Merry Maids are paid poorly, and if possible, maybe you could hire an individual recommended by your neighbors? I strongly recommend the chapter on The Merry Maids in Barbara Ehrenreich's book, "Nickeled and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America". It's an eye-opener.

    I have a woman who comes in to clean, who works for herself and has an assistant, so please know I am not against hiring someone to help me out. She does a very good job. I give her a tip at Christmas time, usually a week's fee.

    -Donna
    No matter how you slice the baloney, there are always two sides!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ
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    Our housekeeper does whatever we ask of her, but her regular duties are dusting everything (baseboards, ceiling fans, window coverings and windowsills, light fixtures, etc.), doing the floors (sweeping and mopping the laminate, vacuuming the carpet), vacuuming the furniture (the pet hair is a problem), and scrubbing/cleaning both bathrooms. It typically takes her and her assistant together anyway from 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours, depending on if they've done extra things (like clean the windows (interior and/or exterior), the refrigerator, oven, etc.), and each visit (they come every other week) runs me between $70-100. (For reference, my house is approximately 2000 square feet).

    They do a FANTASTIC job - much better than I could do myself, and way faster than I could do it. It's soooo worth the money to me.

    You can always do a "test run" of each of the cleaners you're considering, to see how they do, before you decide on a regular person. I "tested" mine by having them do the move-out clean on my apartment, and it was immaculate by the time they were done.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Spokane, WA USA
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    280
    Originally posted by donnamp14
    The Maids and Merry Maids are paid poorly, and if possible, maybe you could hire an individual recommended by your neighbors? I strongly recommend the chapter on The Merry Maids in Barbara Ehrenreich's book, "Nickeled and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America". It's an eye-opener.
    Donna,

    I read this book several years ago and I remember that chapter. That's why I'm sure I need to leave a tip; I'm just not sure what would be appropriate.
    Jennifer

  14. #14
    I agree that the Merry Maids are paid poorly. They are also paid "by the job," so if someone cancels at the last minute, they're out that money they would have gotten. That also explains why sometimes it looks like they're rushing through ... because to make their XX amount of dollars for the day, they have to get to all the houses on the list.

    When we had our apartment, I used Merry Maids, and they did a fine job (no kids or dogs then though, just dh and I). I think we paid $65 or so for a 2-bedroom apartment, every other week.

    Now, we have a private housekeeper, and like Aggie, she'll do just about anything. She comes weekly and charges me $100 (stays either all morning or all afternoon). She even does laundry and with a two-year-old, that's a beautiful thing! She also does my neighbors and my Mom. Only drawback with her is you CANNOT cancel for sickness, vacation, etc., because this is her only source of income (and lecture will ensue). So my Mom and I trade-off if we have a scheduling problem. My mom is out of town today so can't lockup, so Tina will come here (all day too!) instead. My regular day was this past Monday, so there's less for her to do, which means she's tackling reorganizing kitchen cabinets, closets, etc. Definitely one of the only things I splurge on, but worth every penny.
    Visit my website (mostly cooking, with life thrown in for good measure):
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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Metrowest
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    968
    Jenanne- I am not sure how many people would be coming in to do the work. Three or four? I don't know how much to tip a crew. Sorry I can't be of more help. (Also I wonder if they have to report tips to a supervisor?)
    -Donna
    No matter how you slice the baloney, there are always two sides!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    4,736
    I don't tip. The cleaning service I use gave me a set price and that's what I pay. I do give the crew each a nice-sized Walmart or Target gift card at Christmas, but that's all.
    Edited to add that I don't use Merry Maids, but a private service that sends out teams of 2 or 3 workers at a time.
    Margaret

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Southeast, MA
    Posts
    2,305
    I have a self-employed cleaning guy and I don't tip him every week but give a week's pay as a Christmas tip. He comes every 2 weeks and the rate is $90 - it takes him about 3 hours to clean our 2000 sq ft house, but I work from home so he doesn't always have to do the office and I usually have a room or 2 under construction he doesn't have to do all the rooms. Good for you for splurging on this indulgence; I find many of my friends think I'm crazy to spend this money but it's worth it for a couple of reasons. One the house is well taken care of - I can keep up with the bathrooms and swiffing wood floors but how often would I actually MOP? And it saves me all kinds of resentment that my fiance and I have WAY different tolerances for dirt!

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