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Old 26.10.2011, 00:20
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what am I doing wrong: putzfrau services

I'm sure I'm doing something wrong, because I just can't seem to get a contract with a cleaning agency. My woes started on June 05, when I contacted putzfrauenvermittlung.ch via e-mail with an initial request. No responses for months on end.

Then, beginning of October, I contacted another agency, DBU. Their initial response was quite fast and one of their representatives came down to visit my apt for the initial inspection. I have a 91 m sq, sparsely furnished apartment. DBU gave me an initial quote of 400 CHF for cleaning my apartment twice a month (they do not give an hourly quote). In my desperartion, I agreed to even that and requested that they send me the contract. No response till date.

Then, I again contacted (this time by phone) putzfrauenvermittlung.ch. One Mr. Martin Hurtado came over to my apt for the initial review. He gave me a quote of 3 hours per fortnight's cleaning, at a rate of CHF 43 per hour. He asked me if I have a preferred date for the cleaning, and I said any day except Wednesday, and any time between 9 to 5 is fine for me. He sent me a contract with the sentence, "Cleaning will be conducted on either Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday between 9 am to 5 pm on a fortnightly basis." When I called him up to ask about this, he said that this is the standard sentence they include in all their contracts.

I have my reservations, I do not believe they include such a vague sentence in all their contracts, but still I signed this contract and sent it back to them, also asking Mr. Hurtado to arrange for the first cleaning session. No response to my e-mail. I have called him twice since then, and every time I speak to him he says "I will call you tomorrow to give more details" but that is the end of it.

My questions are:
Am I doing something wrong? I ask because both agencies seem to have cooled off after the initial review of my apt. If I may say so, I keep my apt super clean, so its not likely that I scared them away with mounds of filth. Or is it the other way round, that they thought I would be too demanding a client?
Is this inaction a swiss way of hinting that they donßt want my account?
If yes, how should I progress?
Is there any sort of prejudice against non-Europeans?

Really confused,
Cactina
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  #2  
Old 26.10.2011, 10:11
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Re: what am I doing wrong: putzfrau services

My experience was that companies wanted minimum 4 hours work per cleaning day and the one I was using only wanted to do weekly cleaning contracts.

91m2, 3 hours fortnightly isn't a huge amount of work for anyone. That's probably why they had trouble finding someone for you.
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Old 26.10.2011, 10:24
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Re: what am I doing wrong: putzfrau services

Have you tried putting an ad here on EF?

Should be enough in my opinon.
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Old 26.10.2011, 10:31
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Re: what am I doing wrong: putzfrau services

Make sure that the contract you signed is/can be terminated before going elsewhere. Otherwise you might end up being stuck with two cleaners.

If the company is not honouring their side (that is, they won't start cleaning) then it would make sense that you can terminate the contract. Unfortunately sense doesn't always come into it.

I'd start by sending them a letter saying that if they don't start cleaning by xxx then you consider they are breaching the contract, and see where you go from there.
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Old 26.10.2011, 11:50
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Re: what am I doing wrong: putzfrau services

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My experience was that companies wanted minimum 4 hours work per cleaning day and the one I was using only wanted to do weekly cleaning contracts.

91m2, 3 hours fortnightly isn't a huge amount of work for anyone. That's probably why they had trouble finding someone for you.
Might be true, however, the company (putzfrauenvermittlung) that OP has signed a contract with has produced a contract for 3 hours every other week. And I know of a couple others using putzfrauenvermittlung for fewer than 4hrs per week.

4 hrs per week of cleaning is a lot, to be honest.
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Old 26.10.2011, 12:12
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Re: what am I doing wrong: putzfrau services

i canceled my contract with putzfrauenvermittlung.ch. i found them very customer friendly before i signed the contract and then the admin-service (not the cleaning) becomes very bad. my contract said, quarterly cleaning of all windows. as i asked for it they wanted to charge extra time. not that i dont understand that but please dont sign a service contract and then start to negotiate. what happened next was that my usual cleaning lady was on holidays, i got no replacement cleaner, instead they charged me 6 weeks of their service that didnt happen. as i tried to claim my money back the excused themselfes and canceled the bill for said 6 weeks. but kept the money for the upcoming 6 weeks. and on top of that, they changed the payment turnus to "advanced payment". this was enough for me. i dont pay for a service in advance. i cant recommend this agency and what i read here is that they rip off people. my 75sqm flat was done in 2 hours and there was no try to get people into 4hours of a cleaning minimum. rip off.
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Old 26.10.2011, 14:27
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Re: what am I doing wrong: putzfrau services

That's the norm in Switzerland: high prices for mediocre quality. Nothing abnormal. Besides cheating on you it's not quite unusual.

May I suggest looking at the ads at Migros. You'll find a lot better value for your money. I would only hire someone for a test and then if I am happy with the service, maybe I would go into a contract.
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Old 26.10.2011, 16:38
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Re: what am I doing wrong: putzfrau services

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That's the norm in Switzerland: high prices for mediocre quality. Nothing abnormal. Besides cheating on you it's not quite unusual.

May I suggest looking at the ads at Migros. You'll find a lot better value for your money. I would only hire someone for a test and then if I am happy with the service, maybe I would go into a contract.
but doesn't that mean you have to pay tax and insurance for the cleaner? I thought going through a company and paying for higher price is because they take care of such things for you AND keep the service constant no matter the "cleaner" is sick or holiday etc..
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Old 26.10.2011, 17:21
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Re: what am I doing wrong: putzfrau services

How do you come to the idea of paying tax and insurance for the cleaner? I am not employing her/him, I am just paying for a service, avoiding an intermediary.

If you pay a company, you'll pay the whole overhead that's why it's more expensive. Any usually you get nothing instead. Why bother?
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Old 26.10.2011, 17:41
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Re: what am I doing wrong: putzfrau services

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I am not employing her/him, I am just paying for a service, avoiding an intermediary.
No, in fact you are employing him/her and have to makes sure the insurances are paid (and if you are unlucky you have to take care of withholding taxes). If you do not pay the insurance and she/he has an accident while cleaning your appartment, then you are screwed. And remember most accidents happen at home...
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Old 26.10.2011, 17:41
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Re: what am I doing wrong: putzfrau services

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How do you come to the idea of paying tax and insurance for the cleaner? I am not employing her/him, I am just paying for a service, avoiding an intermediary.

If you pay a company, you'll pay the whole overhead that's why it's more expensive. Any usually you get nothing instead. Why bother?
You are obligated to pay AHV contributions and insurance for anybody you employ, including a cleaner.

There's some useful information on this thread.

This article linked from that thread gives comprehensive information of what you need.
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Old 26.10.2011, 18:05
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Re: what am I doing wrong: putzfrau services

Wow, thanks for the info. I may consider getting into cleaning, because in my job I get paid for the hours actually worked. Having to pay all the insurance cost and taxes by myself. And no pay for the holiday.

But wait a minute... Are you sure it's working in the real word? I know a lot of people having cleaners, but never heard of paying insurance or tax for their cleaners, just the bill. It maybe be that the cleaner is self employed, I am not sure about that.
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Old 26.10.2011, 18:33
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Re: what am I doing wrong: putzfrau services

In Genève - Vaud - Valais - Neuchâtel - Fribourg - Jura, they have a system for employers of cleaners & other causal works through "Cheque Emploi". The employer pays through this organization and they take out the relevant deductions. Haven't used it yet as I only found it right before we left. But you can read below.

www.cheques-emploi.ch/
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Old 26.10.2011, 18:33
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Re: what am I doing wrong: putzfrau services

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But wait a minute... Are you sure it's working in the real word? I know a lot of people having cleaners, but never heard of paying insurance or tax for their cleaners, just the bill. It maybe be that the cleaner is self employed, I am not sure about that.
In Zurich about 3 or 4 years ago, there was a crackdown on cleaners being paid without any contributions, i.e. cash in hand. You run a risk as the cleaner and the client if you're not paying up and the fines are heavy.
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Old 26.10.2011, 19:11
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Re: what am I doing wrong: putzfrau services

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In Zurich about 3 or 4 years ago, there was a crackdown on cleaners being paid without any contributions, i.e. cash in hand. You run a risk as the cleaner and the client if you're not paying up and the fines are heavy.
Of course you run a risk. Paying up the contributions would be the insurance. What's important is the fine and the probability of getting caught. If you need a cleaner on a regular basis, the risk is higher.

@Offtopic: Doing the cleaning yourself bears a risk, too. So maybe it would be appropriate to consider that people who won't hire a cleaner and pay the compulsory contributions are doing the cleaning themselves. And because we are living in Switzerland, this means you generate income and you should pay taxes and social contributions. Unless you prove your house wasn't cleaned in years. Yes, a kind of Eigenmietwert.
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Old 26.10.2011, 21:36
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Re: what am I doing wrong: putzfrau services

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Have you tried putting an ad here on EF?

Should be enough in my opinon.
I did, several times, but it looks like there are myriad issues to take care of when you employ some one independently- some of the later comments to this post mention some of them. I reckoned that going through an agency is the safer way.
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Old 26.10.2011, 21:48
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Re: what am I doing wrong: putzfrau services

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In Zurich about 3 or 4 years ago, there was a crackdown on cleaners being paid without any contributions, i.e. cash in hand. You run a risk as the cleaner and the client if you're not paying up and the fines are heavy.
Yeah, that's true. I know of an Indian couple who were asked to leave Zurich (not by the gvt, but by the org that employed the husband) after the gvt fined them for not paying insurance, etc for their privately employed putzfrau. that's why i am a little hesitant to employ someone on my own.
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Old 26.10.2011, 21:50
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Re: what am I doing wrong: putzfrau services

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i canceled my contract with putzfrauenvermittlung.ch. i found them very customer friendly before i signed the contract and then the admin-service (not the cleaning) becomes very bad. my contract said, quarterly cleaning of all windows. as i asked for it they wanted to charge extra time. not that i dont understand that but please dont sign a service contract and then start to negotiate. what happened next was that my usual cleaning lady was on holidays, i got no replacement cleaner, instead they charged me 6 weeks of their service that didnt happen. as i tried to claim my money back the excused themselfes and canceled the bill for said 6 weeks. but kept the money for the upcoming 6 weeks. and on top of that, they changed the payment turnus to "advanced payment". this was enough for me. i dont pay for a service in advance. i cant recommend this agency and what i read here is that they rip off people. my 75sqm flat was done in 2 hours and there was no try to get people into 4hours of a cleaning minimum. rip off.
Hey this is good to know information. I instinctively felt the same, that they are eager to get new client but once they land the account they become lax about it. will wait and watch.
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Old 26.10.2011, 22:14
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Re: what am I doing wrong: putzfrau services

I initially had similar reservations about hiring the cleaner but actually it is not as complicated as it sounds.
In fact the cleaner actually helped me with all the paper work
ask in the forum or I can check with my cleaner if she can accommodate you too.

look at this thread
or
this thread
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Old 27.10.2011, 08:53
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Re: what am I doing wrong: putzfrau services

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I'm sure I'm doing something wrong, because I just can't seem to get a contract with a cleaning agency. My woes started on June 05, when I contacted putzfrauenvermittlung.ch via e-mail with an initial request. No responses for months on end.

Then, beginning of October, I contacted another agency, DBU. Their initial response was quite fast and one of their representatives came down to visit my apt for the initial inspection. I have a 91 m sq, sparsely furnished apartment. DBU gave me an initial quote of 400 CHF for cleaning my apartment twice a month (they do not give an hourly quote). In my desperartion, I agreed to even that and requested that they send me the contract. No response till date.

Then, I again contacted (this time by phone) putzfrauenvermittlung.ch. One Mr. Martin Hurtado came over to my apt for the initial review. He gave me a quote of 3 hours per fortnight's cleaning, at a rate of CHF 43 per hour. He asked me if I have a preferred date for the cleaning, and I said any day except Wednesday, and any time between 9 to 5 is fine for me. He sent me a contract with the sentence, "Cleaning will be conducted on either Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday between 9 am to 5 pm on a fortnightly basis." When I called him up to ask about this, he said that this is the standard sentence they include in all their contracts.

I have my reservations, I do not believe they include such a vague sentence in all their contracts, but still I signed this contract and sent it back to them, also asking Mr. Hurtado to arrange for the first cleaning session. No response to my e-mail. I have called him twice since then, and every time I speak to him he says "I will call you tomorrow to give more details" but that is the end of it.

My questions are:
Am I doing something wrong? I ask because both agencies seem to have cooled off after the initial review of my apt. If I may say so, I keep my apt super clean, so its not likely that I scared them away with mounds of filth. Or is it the other way round, that they thought I would be too demanding a client?
Is this inaction a swiss way of hinting that they donßt want my account?
If yes, how should I progress?
Is there any sort of prejudice against non-Europeans?

Really confused,
Cactina
In general, I didn't think it was ok to complain about specific individuals at named companies here?
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