Valet Maids

Dawna Boone launched ValetMaids.com to make booking cleaning services easy, safe and reliable. Scroll for a special CandysDirt.com code that’ll save you 20 percent on your first cleaning.

For as easy as apps like NextDoor and Angie’s List make it to get names and numbers of local cleaning services, there are still too many to choose from and there’s no guarantee about the quality of service, or worse yet, who is showing up at your door. Dawna Boone launched locally-founded Valet Maids like many other entrepreneurs do — by creating a solution to an existing problem. In Boone’s case, she found it difficult to find a reliable cleaning service that made getting an accurate price quote and scheduling appointments online easy.

“While moving around during my career, I’d always have a hard time finding a good cleaning service,” Boone says. “I worked in public accounting, which requires long hours. I didn’t want to spend my limited free time cleaning.”

Knowing the needs of busy professionals, Boone applied her business acumen to entrepreneurship to launch Valet Maids this year.

“I think there is a perception that to be a real entrepreneur means that you need to invent the next Facebook, when that is not the case at all,” Boone says. “Entrepreneurship is finding a way to solve a problem in the marketplace.” (more…)

Tidy

Tidy’s direct mailers and flyers paper the nation, but customers both locally and nationally say doing business with them is anything but neat.

Mary* hired Tidy, a cleaning service papering the nation with its flyers, after seeing one of the company’s direct mail pieces in her mailbox.

“I paid for a clean that should have been 1,000 square feet clean,” she said. “Their maid did not even make it through my living room.”

“The maid was on the phone the whole time and when I asked her to do the cleaning I was promised she called me a pig and walked out, without cleaning 1/5 of my home.”

Mary said there was no real or easy way to complain, either.

According to the company’s website, the premise is similar to Uber or Lyft. Customers hop online or on their smart phone, set up a cleaning on the website or app, provide a credit card number, and wait for your “Homekeeper” to show up.

There are levels of service, too, ranging from a minimal one hour clean — the Tidy, all the way up to a full cleaning for four hours with two “Homekeepers” — the Mighty.

According to the company’s website, they do a federal and county background check, as well as a check on the national sex offender list and other similar lists.

Mary, who took to Facebook to relate her story, found that several other people had similar stories. Some said that when they couldn’t get satisfaction with Tidy, they contested the charge with their credit card company, and were able to get their money back.

More troubling, though, were the instances of theft or robbery. At least two other people related instances.

So CandysDirt.com began to look closer at Tidy. Was this a case of a couple of bad subcontractors, or are there systemic issues with the company?

(more…)