Tag Archives: Brisbane Property Solutions

Tips for writing customer feedback about your own business (especially for Brisbane’s worst bond cleaners – Brisbane Property Solutions)

My friends at Brisbane Property Solutions have been busy. Not only are they terrible, terrible, bond cleaners in Brisbane. And not only should you not trust them to clean your house. They are terrible reviewers of their own business. And you should not trust them to talk about themselves…

As a follow up to the situation described in the previous post – I emailed the company with some feedback, pointing out our areas of concern. The email featured the photos from the gallery in the previous post.

Subject: Our House “clean”

Hi,

We finally had the chance to check out the clean you guys did of our house for our exit today. We’re handing the keys over to the landlord on Monday.

And we were staggeringly underwhelmed.

We booked a bond guarantee end of lease clean – and while we understand that it was a big job, which took extra time, which we paid for… I was quite clear in my directions to Kirsty, our cleaner, over the phone. Especially regarding what we wanted done in the additional time – the walls and the floors.

I am sure you are familiar with the included items listed on your website for this standard clean (at this page: http://www.brisbanepropertysolutions.com.au/712fd69e-58e0-4590-81ea-a8841203f8b0.aspx – just so we’re clear).

It seemed to me from our inspection that the vast majority of these tasks were not attempted, which leaves us feeling a little robbed, and considering our options.
I took some photos, which are included in this email, I look forward to hearing what your solution to this is.

I pointed out that they had dirtied the carpet that we had had cleaned, and mentioned that the walls and floors had not been completed, as requested (several times). And finished with:

“These are just some examples of the state of the house, which, as you can see, we have several reasons to be disappointed in, after spending a significant portion of the bond we are anticipating receiving on this clean. We booked your company on the basis of the product you offered, rather than labour time involved – and the jobs quoted on were not completed.

I will wait for your reply before taking any further action, but as I say, we’re meeting with our landlords on Monday, and I hope to be able to offer them some sort of explanation and solution at that time.”

I sent this email on Saturday. Which, as was pointed out to me in some detail by Lisa, the company’s representative, over the phone – was well and truly outside the time guaranteed.

To point out that we were aware this was outside the 48 hour period, I sent a follow up email – almost immediately after the previous email:

“we were unable to attend the property within the 48 hour period stipulated due to work and family commitments. We have a newborn baby, and I have just started a new position so taking time away from work or home for either my wife, or myself, is difficult. Today was our first opportunity to examine the work.

Secondly, the house has been vacant, and locked, since completion of the work – the owner is, to our knowledge, moving back in to the property so there have been no rental inspections, and nobody else inside the house.

We trust that you will respond to this complaint quickly and in good faith.”

We weren’t necessarily expecting a written response prior to heading over to the house on Monday morning. And we weren’t disappointed not to get one. But, as we drove to our old house on the Monday to start cleaning the bits they refused to touch (the rendered walls), I called them. And spoke to Lisa. And wow. I’ve never been treated more rudely by a product supplier ever before. I’d post the last three minutes of the ten minute call, which we recorded – but doing so would probably see me fall foul of the law. It is hilarious. She cackled triumphantly when she realised that because our job fell outside the guarantee period, we weren’t covered.

As an aside – I can understand the need to not provide a lifelong guarantee for a cleaning job. But 48 hours seems pretty arbitrary. Are they expecting their work, in a locked house, will vanish in a puff of smoke, or turn back into a pumpkin, when the clock rotates four times (clocks are 12 hours, remember).

It was a bizarre phone call, in which, as I am wont to do on occasion, I mentioned that bad reviews are bad for business, and mentioned that I work in Public Relations so get pretty good bang for my buck review wise. I wasn’t trying to blackmail her, or be vindictive, I was just blown away by what was passing for customer service over the phone, and I suspect the owners of the company would be too. I’m going to do my best to contact them directly, along with the real estate agents who “recommend” this company.

I sent a follow up email, after our call ended with threats of legal action from both directions (I had informed Lisa that I had asked the Commonwealth Bank to investigate our payments on the basis that the goods (in this case services) received were not as described), in that email I outlined the facts as described in these posts. And I have not received a response.

So, onwards and upwards.

Brisbane Property Solutions Gets Reviewed

I am curious about how a company like this gets business – especially when they get such horrible reviews from customers online (if only we’d checked that first, I know…). Here’s a sample of the reviews from True Local.

  • chris050  Newbie   1 review

    DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY. Worst company ever. We had nothing but problems from the start with them stuffing up the booking and booking the wrong house, wrong number of bedrooms and trying to ask payment to fix their mistake. They didnt turn up on the right day with no phone call to let us know. They charged us $600 and all they did was give a quick mop and vacuum. No light fittings, walls, fans, windows, oven or anything were cleaned. Do not use this company

    1 WEEK AGO

  • Review1991  Newbie   1 review

    $1000+ later my 2 bedroom townhouse was clean. Caused problems with my previous real estate. Rude and over ridiculously priced for the bad, slow and inaccurate.
    Do not hire them you’d be better off doing it yourself! It’d take a quarter of the time and money. My real estate recommended them also, so watch out and READ REVIEWS which I obviously didn’t do.

    2 WEEKS AGO

  • Esco_White  Newbie   1 review
     Do not go through BPS! I had them clean my two bedroom apartment and they charged us $600!! Not only that, but the service they delivered was not good. After the first clean the realestate sent an email with a huge list of tasks missed (simple things like stains on benchtops and streaks on vanities) so they scheduled to come back; after running around to get the keys and get back to the apartment they failed to show and wasted my time. After that, they promised a manager will meet me there the next day and inspect the place so i took the day off work only to be greeted by the cleaners again who were disgruntled and rushed their work because they had to go back!!

    After the second attempt the owner of the apartment told us the carpets werent clean enough so we asked for a partial refund and this business claim that the dirt on the carpets and everything on the list mentioned above was due to inspections and having people come in and look at the place? They took no responsibility for their shotty work and blamed it on people who came in to look at the place (with no evidence or knowledge of how many inspections were held after the first clean).

    – i had to explain instructions numerous times and gave me attitude for having to do re-work.

    – told me a manager would meet me instead sent cleaners again whilst lying to me on the phone

    – very hard to contact a manager, all i got was a business owner who told me it wasnt there fault – taking no responsibility for their service or lack there of.

    – poor customer service – requested them to call me and never did, instead, just emailed me with ridiculous illogical EXCUSES to why things werent completed.

    $600 – it is safe to say I got ripped off because their “bond clean” didnt get my bond back even after two attempts.

    8 MONTHS AGO

  • Crumb  Newbie   1 review
     Really disappointed by this service. Requested a bond clean for a 2 bedroom unit. Cleaner who arrived took a second to look at kitchen and bathroom, then immediately advised the clean would take two people, and double the time – totally unreasonable for a modern unit that was already mostly cleaned. At the end of this, whole tiled area was not mopped & was left with dirty shoe marks and bits of cleaner’s metal scourer lying everywhere. The staff had informed me before he left that the carpet cleaner would clear this up.
    All that was done ultimately was the kitchen (had left one cupboard uncleaned), one bathroom (done to a mediocre standard), the air conditioning, one screen door and the lights – hardly a full bond clean. I was there for approximately one hour and during this time, the answered personal calls nearly every ten minutes.

    Paid more than $200 – a complete waste of money

    10 MONTHS AGO

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. These reviews so perfectly describe our interactions with the company – and I can’t help but think that were I running this company and seeing such reviews typed in pixels, permanently emblazoned on the interwebs, I’d be more than a little concerned.

Now the social media experts (the people who write books) say that dealing with criticism online is important. And you should respond publicly, graciously, and likeably, so that other people see that you are interested in your customers.

You probably shouldn’t go writing your own reviews…

I mentioned that I spoke to Lisa on the phone. Lisa had a strong New Zealand accent. Interestingly, the latest five star review, the first positive review after a string of half star reviews, was by a Joy Packer, the second was by a Lisa Craig – with a kiwi bird as her Facebook profile picture. Now, this could be an unhappy coincidence. But I think not…

Joy Packer has reviewed two bond cleaning companies in ten months. She promised to use the last one again. But it appears she’s fickle.

Compare Joy Packer’s reviews with Lisa Craig’s reviews…

Now. I’m not a great believer in coincidences. And I’d put my money, and at the very least, my mouth, on the line and I’d say these two people are the same, and I’d say there’s a fair chance it’s the very same staff member who abused me on the phone.

Some rules for reviewing yourself online

1. Don’t use your real name (speaks for itself).
2. Do just one, or thousands. Two reviews in quick succession after a string of negatives doesn’t look great.
3. Variety is the spice of life – four stars is fine. If you shoot for the top, and talk about yourself in glowing terms, people will get suspicious. Reality bites. Use different words.
4. Keep track of which fake accounts have reviewed what.
5. Pay someone else. Review writing can be outsourced. It’s a bit sad when you have to stoop to doing this yourself – especially if you get caught.
6. Just do the job you promise to do, in the manner you promise to do it in – then you won’t have to invent reviews. You’ll get good ones that are deserved.

Moving out of your rental property? Need a Bond Cleaner? Avoid Brisbane Property Solutions

So our move from suburb to suburb within Brisbane has been somewhat protracted. Partly because of the incredible incompetence of our bond cleaners. We used Brisbane Property Solutions. They rank well on google. They are endorsed by a bunch of real estate agents (all of whom will be receiving an email with a link to this page). They offered an expensive, but according to their website, comprehensive, bond cleaning service. Backed with a “bond guarantee” and an intangible “satisfaction guarantee”

Thorough clean?

We knew our property was dirty – that’s why we hired professionals. It had copped some water in a storm before we moved in, and had some reoccurring mould problems. The walls were a bit dirty. The floor copped a pounding during the move – because we moved when it was wet, so there was some mud on our dining room floor.

Here’s what Brisbane Property Solutions says about themselves (all spelling mistakes their own):

“Our move out cleans are carried out by dedicated mobile teams of cleaning profesionals who specialise in properties in need of a thorough deep clean either at the end of a tenancy or before the start of one. Our teams are equipped with all the necessary cleaning products, tools and equipment to undertake your move in/out clean in the fastest possible time frame with an eye for detail that is unrivaled by our competition.”

This sounds like these guys will deliver the product they offer, on time, and with a certain eye for quality and detail. And “necessary cleaning tools”… so one would assume that a standard sized house, with a bit of mess, would fall within the normal terms. Or so we thought.

As it turned out – our house had some unforeseen issues – including a dead, and badly decomposed rat, which they found sitting on top of one of our kitchen cabinets. The oven was messy, as a result of a fire which we attempted to put out with flour. But we’ll get to that. Lets keep breaking down the claims on the site:

“We understand how important it is for you to have your property professionally cleaned and checked prior to moving out. We have carried out thousands of move out cleans in Brisbane and know how to satisfy landlords and Real Estate agents. We have created an extensive checklist (Below) outlining all of the standards required by letting agents to assist our move out/in cleaning crews.

Book this service with us and you can be rest assured that every square inch of your property will be professionally cleaned and polished its not just a promise … It`s our guarentee !

Sounds good. Especially the bits I bolded.

“Don’t forget that our move out cleaning service is fully guaranteed and insured – if you are not entirely happy with the job we’ve done then we’ll come back and rectify any issues free of charge within 48 hours of completion ! Because getting your Bond Back and your Satisfaction is our number one priority !

Brisbane Property Solutions currently works with in excess of 30 real estate agents & property managers throughout and as such we are real estate preffered suppliers for services.”

A 48 hour period was a bit out of the question for us – but we were pretty confident on the basis of the above words, and the checklist, that we wouldn’t need it.

So we called to book. And despite the website listing the costs as:

Bond/Deep/Construction/Pre-Sale Cleaning Services 1 Cleaner 2 Cleaners (Recommended)
3 Bedroom Property $299 (6hrs Labour) $349 (8 hrs Labour)

We were told the second cleaner was required for the purposes of the guarantee – and that the price listed did not include GST. Despite their Customer Service Agreement stating that all prices are inclusive of GST:

“5. All prices that are displayed on our website are inclusive of GST, Chemicals and the labour of the required staff unless otherwise specified.”

Other relevant clauses in different sections of that document include:

“3. If at the commencement or during the course of providing a service or services, it is apparent that the actual cost of the Service will exceed the quote provided by BPS, BPS will provide the Customer with an option to pay an increased amount to complete the Service, or pay the quoted amount without the Service being fully completed.

4. The Customer must inform BPS whether any cleaning services required are for an ‘end of tenancy or move out clean’ at the time of quotation.”

And:

“6. The customer agrees that unless BPS has deemed a job complete our customer satisfaction guarantee is thereby nil and void. In the instance a customer books only the minimum time period i.e.: 3hours of an end of lease clean and more time/service is required we will not guarantee our work as we have not completed and signed off on its completion.”

On the booking page there is the following disclaimer:

“Please Note:Prices are exclusive of GST. If additional services are required ie: carpet cleaning or pest control additional charges will apply. The above Hours of Labour are calculated as an average of labour required to complete an average sized bond clean – Prices may vary depending on the size & condition of your property. Brisbane Property Solutions offers a 100% customer satisfaction guarentee – Please refer to our customer service agreement for further information.”

This time they say prices are exclusive of GST. But intriguingly, offer this “100% satisfaction guarentee (sic).”

So we booked the second cleaner, at the already increased price of $389. And arranged to leave the front door of our now vacant property unlocked. They were unavailable on our preferred date – so our carpets were steam cleaned before they arrived. By a different company – who performed their job adequately (though not brilliantly).

Our cleaner called at approximately 7am to inform us that our house was a big job, and to attempt to claim that our study, quite a narrow room with a built in desk and bookshelves, was actually a bedroom. Which was odd, because there is no room in that room for a bed. She also informed us that she would not be cleaning the cement rendered walls in the kitchen, and the glossy rendered wall in the dining room because she didn’t want to damage them. These were the two messiest walls because they were home to our turtle tank, and coffee machine, respectively – and they were a large part of the reason we booked the cleaners.

So much for having the “necessary tools”. She told us they’d found the rat, and that the oven was dirty, and they’d spent a long time just on the kitchen and bathroom. I said we really wanted to make sure the walls and floors were done, and mentioned that our carpets had already been steam cleaned.

A few hours later she rang back to say that the only work she could guarantee was the kitchen and bathroom, and she asked what we wanted as the allocated time was drawing to a close, and she had to go off to do a private cleaning job in the afternoon. I said I wanted to make sure the walls and floors were done. She said that she was worried that it didn’t look like much had actually been done. I said I would get back to her about booking additional time at an obscene hourly rate. After that phone call ended I weighed up the costs involved, and sent the cleaner a text message asking if two hours would be enough for her to have the place looking like something had been done. She rang back, and in the phone conversation I stressed, again, that we wanted the floors done, and we wanted it to look like we had spent some money on a cleaner. I authorised the additional work on that basis. Phoning Lisa, at the company’s head office. I would later have an incredible conversation with Lisa, which I recorded, where she spends an amount of time insulting me for missing their 48 hour guarantee period…

Time passed. I did not hear back from the company at the end of that period. There was no inkling given that the walls and floors had not been completed.

On Saturday we had our first real opportunity to drive across town to check out the state of the place, and clean the rendered walls. We bought some cleaning gear for those, and opened the front door. I think there might be a mark on the landing from where my jaw hit when it dropped. This is a story best told in pictures.

Here is the list of jobs the company claims to undertake in a standard bond clean:

ENTRY
Doors/Walls/Skirtings/Screens Dust & Wash down
Light Fittings Dust & Wash light shades removing all bugs
Floor Mop/Vacuum paying particular attention to all edges & corners
LOUNGE/DINING ROOM
Doors/Walls/Skirtings Dust & Wash down
Windows / Screens Vacuum all sills, tracks & screens, clean windows thoroughly ensuring no streaks/smudges
Blinds/Curtains Vacuum & wipe down – For stains consult your proffesional
Fans/Light fittings Vacuum & wash all light shades removing all bugs, Vacuum all fans
Power/Light Switches Wipe over with damp cloth
Floor Vacuum/Mop paying particular attention to all edges & corners
KITCHEN
Doors/Walls/Skirtings/Screens Dust & Wash, ensure all oil & grease is removed
Windows / Screens Vacuum all sills, tracks & screens, clean windows thoroughly ensuring no streaks/smudges
Blinds/Curtains Vacuum & wipe – Stains consult your proffesional
Fans/Light fittings Vacuum & wash all light shades removing all bugs, Vacuum all fans
Floor Vacuum/Mop paying particular attention to all edges & corners
Cupboards/Drawers Vacuum inside & clean inside & Out -Wipe down doors
Benches/Tilings/Splashbacks Wipe down with spray and scrub stubborn stains if needed
Sink/Disposal unit/Taps Clean & Remove any build up stains ( Jif works well) rinse thoroughly
Stove top/Grill Remove all oil & grease, ensure all rims are cleaned (oven cleaner works well)
Oven Use oven cleaner scrub well, ensure any residue is removed
Exhaust Fan/Range hood Clean all filters with oven cleaner and hot water
Dishwasher Wipe inside & out remove filter and clean complete final clean with empty load
Power/Light switches Wipe over with damp cloth
BEDROOM / S
Doors/Walls/Skirtings/Screens Dust & Wash down
Door Frames/Wardrobe tracks Vacuum & wipe over with damp cloth if have mirrors clean leaving no streaks / smudges
Wardrobe/Drawers/Shelves Vacuum & Wipe over with damp cloth scrub walls inside if needed
Windows / Screens Vacuum all sills, tracks & screens, clean windows thoroughly ensuring no streaks/smudges
Blinds/Curtains Vacuum & wipe with clean damp cloth and water if necessary
Exhaust Fans/Light fittings Vacuum & wash all light shades removing all bugs, Vacuum all exhaust fans
Floor Vacuum/Mop paying particular attention to all edges & corners
Power/Light switches Wipe over with damp cloth
BATHROOM / S
Doors/Walls/Skirtings/Tiling Dust & Wash down
Windows / Screens Vacuum all sills, tracks & screens, clean windows thoroughly ensuring no streaks/smudges
Blinds/Curtains Vacuum & wipe clean – Consult your proffesional for stains
Exhaust Fans/Light fittings Vacuum & wipe all light shades removing all bugs
Floor Vacuum/Mop paying particular attention to all edges & corners
Bath Clean thoroughly using bath cleaner
Shower/Shower Screen Clean thoroughly removing any build up
Basin/Vanity Clean thoroughly & vacuum all draws
Mirrors/Cabinets Vacuum as necessary & wipe out. Polish mirror with window cleaner & paper towels
Towel rails Wipe over with damp cloth
Toilet (doors/walls/floor) Clean with stripping agent & rinse thoroughly Remove Seat & Clean
Power/Light switches Wipe over with damp cloth
LAUNDRY
Doors/Walls/Skirtings Dust & Wash down
Windows / Screens Vacuum all sills, tracks & screens, clean windows thoroughly ensuring no streaks/smudges
Blinds/Curtains Vacuum & wipe with clean damp cloth and water if necessary
Exhaust Fans/Light fittings Vacuum & wash all light shades removing all bugs, Vacuum all exhaust fans
Power/Light switches Wipe over with damp cloth
Wash tubs & cupboards under Vacuum & Wash remove pieces of soap, scale & lint
Washing Machine/Dryer Wipe & Vacuum inside & out
GENERAL
Balcony/Deck Sweep away dust & cobwebs, mop if needed clean windows ensuring no streaks / smudges
Garage/Storeroom Sweep out , Wash walls
Staircases/Railings Remove all cobwebs & wipe down with damp cloth

And as you’ll see from this gallery, we’ve every reason to be disappointed with the results. We understand it was a big job, but we purchased the additional time with particular instructions regarding what we wanted done. And it wasn’t…

Tomorrow, I’ll share a follow up post with my interactions with the company since. There’s plenty to learn from in terms of what not to do so far as customer service is concerned.