Hourly Rate or Fixed Price: Which is better?

Choosing a Cleaning Service

Have you ever been caught off guard by an unexpected cost increase with a fixed price cleaning service? It’s a common source of dissatisfaction among customers who opt for fixed-price providers. These providers often change the quote and ask customers to pay more if the home requires more cleaning than initially estimated. In such situations, service providers may either request additional fees or, to avoid extra time or uncomfortable conversations about cost adjustments, they might rush through the job. This haste often results in a subpar cleaning service.

The reality is that estimating the exact cleaning needs of a home is an inexact science. The cleanliness of a home can vary from visit to visit, making fixed-price cleaning an inherently flawed system, as it’s unable to adapt to these changing conditions.

Hourly Rates: Fairness and Flexibility

At our agency, we firmly believe in the fairness and flexibility that comes with hourly rates. Hourly billing provides our clients the liberty to determine the extent of cleaning they need, paying only for the specific time required. For instance, if a client books a 3-hour service, it implies that a cleaner will dedicate three full hours to cleaning their home. This approach is measurable and guarantees consistent delivery, ensuring fairness for both the client and the cleaner.

Fixed Price Services: One-Sided Flexibility

In contrast, the flexibility in fixed price cleaning services tends to be one-sided, favouring the service provider rather than the customer. If during a subsequent service your home requires less cleaning than usual and the job is completed early, the company typically won’t reduce the fee. Often customers encounter situations where cleaners finish early and justify their full rate by citing their experience and efficiency.

Defying Practicality: The Experience Over Speed Fallacy

However, this reasoning defies practicality. While there may be a noticeable difference in speed and efficiency between a novice cleaner and one with a year of experience, the idea that this pace continues to increase dramatically year after year is unrealistic. Cleaning is not a profession where speed can be infinitely optimised. There are limits to how quickly a thorough and quality cleaning job can be performed. Therefore, the assertion that a cleaner with 15 years of experience can complete work in half the time of a cleaner with a year of experience is simply not feasible. Furthermore, if you had agreed on 3 hours of cleaning, the same experienced cleaner of 15 years would still need to clean for 3 hours. This approach ensures a more thorough job and is fairer for everyone, as it doesn’t compromise the quality of service based on the cleaner’s experience level.

The Double Standard in Fixed Price Services

The bottom line is that you’ll still be billed the full fixed price quoted, regardless of the decreased workload and this is not fair to the customer. This often-overlooked double standard is an inherent flaw in fixed price cleaning services.

Inflexibility of Fixed Price Packages

On the other hand, fixed price packages offer little to no flexibility. If you’re planning to be away for a week or need a quick 2-hour clean this fortnight instead of a thorough 4-hour job, a fixed rate doesn’t account for such variations. You’re committed to the same price regardless of the scope of work.

Moreover, fixed price cleaning can potentially undermine the quality and thoroughness of service. For example, if you have a big party coming up that would require more intensive cleaning before and after the event, a fixed rate could pressure the cleaner to rush through a bigger job within the same regular hours. This rush can compromise not just the visible cleanliness, but also hygiene standards.

Risk of Initial Underquoting

Another disadvantage of fixed price services is the risk of underquoting initially, only to overcharge later when the cleaner requires extra time. These services providers will almost always take your credit card details for this exact reason. Unlike these services, our policy is to accept payment on the day of service and you will only pay for the hours you have pre-booked. This approach ensures no unexpected charges and enhances your safety and convenience.

In terms of value, an hour-to-hour price comparison reveals that fixed price cleaning services can end up being up to 40% more expensive than hourly rates.

The Benefits of Our Hourly Rate System

In summary, our hourly rate system guarantees transparency, flexibility, and fair value for the service you require. You pay for the hours you book, and you get exactly what you pay for. And most importantly, with Inner Melbourne Maids, you’ll never need to hand over your credit card details – ensuring your financial details always remain private and secure.

We’ve made our case for why we believe hourly rates are the fairest and most flexible option for cleaning services and we look forward to the opportunity to provide you with a home that sparkles with cleanliness.

house cleaning checklist shortcut icon
What's Included
house cleaning prices shortcut icon
book cleaner online shortcut icon
Book Online