Frequently Asked Questions

Are you licensed, bonded and insured?

Absolutely! We are fully licensed, bonded and insured. And because all of our cleaners are W-2 employees (and NOT independent contractors), they are completely covered by OUR business license, bonding and insurance. This means that you, our company and our cleaners are all protected from anything going wrong.

What is your service area?

Our service area is within 10 miles of our address in 98115.

Usually, our schedule stays pretty full just working with clients in this area. That said, when we have openings, we are happy to work with clients outside this area for a mileage reimbursement fee of between $25 – $35, depending on location and situation (ie: if we are already closer to your area, etc.). Note that this fee will go directly to our Team Member to reimburse for gas, tolls, drive time and other expenses related to the maintenance of their car.

Do you bring all of your own products to clean with, including a vacuum?

Yes we do. You can read more about our planet-friendly products here. If you have a specific product you would like us to use, we are happy to do so as long as it’s not toxic or presents a danger to our Team Member. Of course, we hope that any product you request we use is planet-friendly too!

Do I have to be home when you clean my house?

Not at all! In fact, most of our clients aren’t home when we clean (except, of course, during this COVID pandemic when we see most of our clients!).

If you have any specific instructions, just include them on your Estimate Request or, if you are a regular client, send us an email 24 hours before your appointment, and we’ll take it from there. Alternatively, you can always leave a note/list for your house cleaner.

Remember, too, if you have a security system, either make sure it is off for the day or let our office know the code and how to disarm and rearm.

How do you get into my home if I can’t be there?

Regarding getting into your home at your first appointment, contact our office with specific directions. Most people leave a key in a specific location outside and let our office know where we can get it.

If you are unable to be at home when your cleaner arrives for on-going appointments, we strongly encourage the use of a lock box. As a bit of a privacy advocate, I like the fact that with a lock box YOU have control over your key at all times — you can put it out each morning and take it in at night. You can hide the lock box in an inconspicuous place. And hopefully it will come in handy with other service providers or visitors you may have coming to your home (or if your kids forget their house key again!).

We can set you up with a Lock Box for a small fee of $25 (which covers the cost of the lock box). And, the lock box is yours to keep! Just let us know when you schedule on-going appointments that you would like us to set up a lock box for you. Alternatively, you can order your own lock box — we use this one, but feel free to get whatever you like.

If you really, really, really would like us to hold a key, we certainly can. We keep client keys in a lock box in our Supply Center. We do charge a fee of $25 per appointment to hold your key. This fee goes directly to pay your house cleaner for the time it takes them to visit our Supply Center, pick up the key, and then take it back after your appointment.

I have pets… what should I do with them on the day of my home cleaning?

Most of us have pets too, and we love them! If your pet is comfortable with strangers, we are more than happy to work around them. They will often just follow us around for awhile, then find a place to settle as we move from room to room. Occasionally, we have pets who try to help, and most of our Team Members get a kick out of their dedicated efforts. But, don't worry, we won't let your pet do all the work!

If your pet gets nervous or uncomfortable with strangers, please secure them away from the area that we will be cleaning. This is for the comfort of your pet and the safety of our Team Members. Thank you!

What about parking?

When scheduling an appointment, we will ask you about the best place(s) to park. If there is no free parking within a block of your home (remember, we have a lot of equipment and products to carry!), we will ask that you reimburse us for the closest paid parking. If parking is difficult to come by in your area and you have suggestions, please let our office know!

Is there anything I need to do before my cleaner arrives?

Absolutely not!! You have other priorities to manage... and isn't that why you hired us? Our job is to do the scrubbing and tidying - and we LOVE to do it! So, there is no need to "pre-clean" or get things ready for us.

That said, we want to focus on cleaning what YOU want to be cleaned. So, if there are lots of knickknacks on counters or bookshelves, it will take us more time to move them to clean and dust underneath. If there are things piled on the floor, it will take us time to move and straighten them to vacuum and mop. Again, we are HAPPY to do this - this is our job security 🙂 - but if you are looking to save a little cash, we suggest that you:

  • Remove clutter from areas to be cleaned
  • Have dishes out of the sink and off the counters
  • Have laundry picked up from the floor and furniture, etc.

This way, we can devote our time to cleaning rather than straightening up and organizing.

However, if you would like us to do the dishes, do the laundry, gather the garbage, tidy the clutter, etc., we are HAPPY to take care of these things for you! We are here to serve and endeavor to customize our cleaning to YOUR wants and needs.

Am I supposed to tip my house cleaner?

That’s entirely up to you. A tip is certainly always appreciated but never expected. Though we have the best comprehensive reimbursement package in WA (the highest wage in the industry, bonuses, full health insurance, a 401K retirement plan, 3-5 weeks PTO, holiday pay, etc.), if your cleaner does a really great job, they would certainly appreciate a tip. As I’m sure you know, housecleaning is hard work and our Team Members work extra hard!

Who is the other person I occasionally see coming into my home when my cleaner is almost finished?

That person is our Team Manager, a Trainer or a Team Mentor, who is coming in to spot check the Team Member working in your home to ensure our quality and service standards are met and to glean any best practices that Team Member may have discovered or developed. Not only are we strong believers in providing feedback (how else are we supposed to learn better ways of doing things), but we also value catching people doing things right and sharing those best practices with the rest of our team. So, we endeavor to create an environment where a Team Member is not nervous to see a manager or mentor but excited about the two-way interaction to come.

What do you do if something in my home gets damaged or broken?

You can rest assured that we are fully bonded and insured should anything in your home be damaged or broken by us. If, on the rare chance that this happens, we will let you know right away and will work with you to either replace the item or pay for repairs. Again, our policy of exceeding your expectations guides us in these unfortunate situations.

There are a few things you can do to help us out in this regard. We would greatly appreciate it if any fragile and expensive breakables are in secure locations around the house so that we don’t have to move them in order to clean. Thank you in advance!

Overall, the service you provided was great, but there is one thing I am not completely happy about.

We apologize! Our goal is that you are "Singing our praises from your rooftop!" So, if you are unsatisfied for any reason, just give us a call or send us an e-mail within 24 hours of your appointment, and we will work with you to fix the problem – at our expense. Yes, we will guarantee our work if you let us know immediately! Your satisfaction is very important to us, and we pride ourselves in getting most of our business through referrals and client reviews.

Please note, though, that if you cap the number of service hours, we cannot guarantee that we will get everything to our standard level of clean. In these cases, we will let you know after the appointment what we could and could not get to.

How do I pay for my cleaning services?

We make it easy! For your convenience, we have an SGEC Client Portal where you can review your account and pay your invoice, which is usually sent within 48-72 hours after your cleaning appointment. From our Client Portal, you can also set up automatic credit card payment for future services - just remember to click “Save for Future”. Easy-peasy! 

Alternatively, you are welcome to submit payment by either: 

  • sending via Zelle (pay to: info@SeattleGEC.com) through the Zelle app or directly through your bank. This is our FAVORITE and the most cost-effective way for us to receive payment! 🙂
  • paying via PayPal (pay to: info@SeattleGEC.com)
  • calling with your credit card information (206-595-4209)
  • leaving a check for your cleaner to pick up or sending one to our mailing address: Seattle GEC, SUITE #178, 1037 NE 65th St., Seattle, WA 98115
  • and, if you’d like to recommend another payment option, let us know!

    Most of our regular clients have a credit card on file with us, and we process charges within 48-72 hours of an appointment. Upon processing a credit card charge, you will receive a transaction receipt from our Merchant Service Provider as well as a Sales Receipt from us.

    If you have not made arrangements for payment prior to your appointment, we will e-mail you an Invoice (within 72 hours after your appointment) and you can follow its directions on payment. As a small business, we do appreciate prompt payment. Thank you in advance!

What is your cancellation policy?

We understand that you may need to cancel or move an appointment from time to time, and our goal is to work with you as early as possible to make that happen while ensuring our Team Members are compensated for their scheduled work time weekly. For a while, instead of a cancellation fee, we asked our clients to voluntarily help share the cost to pay our Team Members for their time. Unfortunately, that didn’t work well, and it began to threaten the types of benefits we would be able to provide to our Team Members.

So, we have introduced the following cancellation fees linked to time frames based on our business hours of Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm (note, these fees have been suspended during this COVID pandemic):

  • Within 0-24 hours of an appointment = Cancellation fee of 50% of the appointment cost
  • Within 25-72 hours of an appointment = Cancellation fee of $100

We want to give you a little background about why we’ve chosen to introduce a Cancellation Fee… Our Team Members rely on their scheduled hours for their livelihood. When we receive a cancellation within 72 hours of an appointment, we are lucky to fill that opening. At 24 hours or less, we are not often able to fill the opening. Further, when a last-minute cancellation occurs, our office Team Members scramble and to try to fill the opening, often leading to overtime and added stress. So, rather than have this be a hardship for our Team Members, we have chosen to pay them for their time if we are unable to fill the opening.

So, please know that if you are charged a Cancellation Fee, your payment goes directly to ensure your cleaner is compensated fairly for their scheduled work hours. We all thank you in advance for your understanding and your support of a small business that genuinely cares for their Team Members. Thank you!!

How can I give you Feedback?

After your initial clean (and periodically after that), we will ask you to complete an on-line Feedback Form .This is an opportunity for you to let us know how we did. Were there areas where you didn’t need so much attention or other areas where you had wanted a little more? Let us know—we use this information to customize your future cleans as well as reward your cleaner with semi-annual merit bonuses for a job well done.

Communication is key, and it is our desire to develop a long-term relationship with you. We don't need to be your best friend, but let us know how we’re doing and what you need, and we’ll do our best to make sure you never have to think about cleaning again! (Maybe we WILL become your best friend?!)