This morning Jay Joseph, Online Marketing and Social Media Specialist for MaidPro (and the one responsible for removing my negative feedback from their Facebook page), called me directly on my cell phone to discuss this situation.
He explained that when he saw my original Facebook update yesterday, he immediately called my local MaidPro office. In fact, I was talking with the local owner in her office when he called (which she confirmed with me). Understanding that my situation was being resolved, he tried to reply to my Facebook update, BUT, even though the post was public and MaidPro was tagged, it was originated on my personal Facebook page and he could not post a reply. (I own this – MY BAD.)
He made the decision to remove my post since it was resolved and he could not reply, then thought to himself “I will contact her personally later.” HIS BAD. He admitted his mistake to me today. The word “later” does not exist in Social Media, a 24/7 world of total immediacy. By the time he looked to follow up on things today, I had already blogged about it and my story was out there. His opportunity for an immediate customer service response had passed.
He did not ask me to post this update, but I felt it was the right thing to do. I am satisfied that (a) he understands the mistakes made in this situation, (b) MaidPro did a sufficient job in making things right for me, and (c) this was a valuable learning experience for all. I should also disclose that he offered me a “more than words” apology in the form of MaidPro credit or a retailer’s gift card. I chose the gift card – I’m thinking it will make our move-in much more enjoyable than our move-out.
This was not the post I had in mind to write tonight. I had wanted to write something about our move, about how my husband and daughters (and one dog and two cats) have driven all the way from Texas to Utah in 2 days and plan to make the final stretch to Oregon tomorrow. Or something about how living in a hotel for one week with two boys can really grate on one’s nerves, and how anxious I am for our flight to Portland on Thursday.
But instead, tonight I’m going to write about a very disappointing experience I had with the company MaidPro, and how the local franchise all but redeemed themselves, while the folks at the corporate Facebook page really, really dropped the ball.
Having moved my family cross-country once before, I knew this was going to be a long, busy, exhausting process. For the first time EVER, I insisted that we hire a maid service to perform the move-out clean on our rental. My husband balked at the idea several times, but I would not back down. Our locally franchised MaidPro office has several positive reviews online and came personally recommended to me by a friend I trust, so I hired them to clean our 3600 sq ft house for $400.
This is what I found last night when I came to check on the house after the cleaning:
It may be hard to see in these pictures what I saw with my eyes, so let me give some details:
Not detailed in pictures was just the overall shabby job of areas that were “cleaned,” but not cleaned well. Certainly no better than I could have done it, and not “sparkling,” as so many fans of MaidPro say their house is after a clean.
It may sound shallow to say this, but I was broken-hearted. $400 is a lot of money to me, and I had pushed so hard to have this little “luxury” of a move-out cleaning for us, and really, for myself. I posted my disappointment to my Facebook wall, purposely making the update Public and tagging MaidPro so someone at their site would see it.
If you can’t read the text, it says:
MaidPro SERIOUSLY broke my heart today. The move-out cleaning service I paid a bundle of money for was HORRIBLE. Two closets left entirely forgotten (with floors that really needed to be cleaned), window sills left with cat fur all over them, the built-in microwave left untouched (and it’s disgusting), and other “extras” I apparently should have asked for (like cleaning out the crumbs from the kitchen drawers) – despite the fact that about 50% of their “49-point check list” was not applicable (making beds, changing linens, washing dishes, etc…none of THAT needed to be done, but was checked off). I am so, so sad. The landlord has every right to get an entirely new company to come in and clean – I would not trust the quality of this clean if I were him. And guess who’s going to pay for THAT, too?
No profanities, nothing vulgar, nothing untrue or utterly malicious in nature. Just an outline of my disappointment and details of the poor service I received.
This morning, I had to walk through the house with the landlord without having any time or opportunity to “fix” what MaidPro had not done. It was MORTIFYING to see the disgust on his face and hear him tell me over and over “Mrs. Nerdin, oh, Mrs. Nerdin, this is not good, this is not good at all.” He pointed out one thing after another that troubled him, commenting that the floors didn’t even look vacuumed and the tile floors still needed to be swept (true and true). More than once he asked me to provide him proof that I had even hired a service, because he was not sure he believed me. Honestly, I didn’t blame him.
I went to the local MaidPro office immediately after meeting with my landlord. He had said he would “work with me,” but still needed to take some of my deposit in order to hire another company to come back and clean the house right. If that was the case, I wanted my money back from MaidPro.
The owner of the local office met with me right away after hearing my story. She was friendly and apologetic and very efficient in sitting down with me to make things right. She listened point-by-point to every complaint I had, drafted up a new work order for a re-clean of the house, then called my landlord directly to tell him she could get someone in the house RIGHT THEN to fix their mistake. She offered no excuses, was not pushy or dismissive of my complaints and how upset I was. I actually left the office feeling ok about the whole situation.
I got online tonight to update everyone about the situation, and noticed that MaidPro had been “untagged” in my original Facebook post. That’s because they deleted me entirely from their Wall:
I was disheartened to see this, but not totally surprised. After all, I took the original screenshot because I wondered if something like this would happen.
I understand a company’s impulse to keep everything rosy on their Facebook Page. I understand the utopia of happy, happy customers they want to cultivate and promote on Facebook. But a company like MaidPro runs the risk of compromising their credibility when they choose to squash criticism rather than respond to it.
The same person monitoring Facebook mentions of MaidPro could have just as easily reached out to me about my situation – either personally if they still wanted to delete the post, or publicly if they wanted people to know they value all their customers, and not just the ones with something positive to say.
It begs the question: does MaidPro even have a response system in place for negative feedback? Or is their response – as in this case - simply to erase criticism and pretend those customers don’t have something valid to say?
What’s really sad about this situation is that the local MaidPro franchise owner dealt with me honestly and directly. Why couldn’t someone at the corporate MaidPro Facebook Page do the same?
MaidPro could have left my negative Facebook comment as-is and dealt with it honestly and directly, instead of deleting it without contacting me or responding to me. But they did delete it. And now instead of updating my small circle of Friends on Facebook that the local MaidPro office made things right, I’m sharing with my much larger blog audience that MaidPro’s corporate PR needs a lesson in Customer Service and Social Media 101.