Policies & FAQ
ALL SCHEDULED APPOINTMENTS MUST BE CANCELED NO LESS THAN 48 BUSINESS HOURS IN ADVANCE. Failure to notify Happy Earth Cleaning Co-op of reschedule or cancellation two (2) workdays in advance will result in a $104 (+tax) cancellation fee. Leaving your home inaccessible can also result in a cancellation fee if it prevents the team from entering your home in a timely manner on cleaning day.
Miss & Mistake Policies
Because we hire cleaning people and not cleaning robots, your team will occasionally miss some cleaning tasks during your appointment. Other times, they might make a mistake while cleaning.
Bottom line, we don't make mistakes on purpose. Our teams strive only for excellence, and they want to hear from you any time they miss that mark. Please reply to your Supervisor's customer recap (sent after each appointment) with any critical feedback you might have. The team will use your direct feedback as a vehicle of development and improvement; they listen to and incorporate your perspective to prevent future mistakes.
If you've experienced a high volume of misses in one cleaning, a free make-up appointment may be necessary to fix the items missed during the initial cleaning. Happy Earth management will request photos of the misses along with a list of items missed within 36 hours of the appointment-in-question to accurately asses the misses for you. They will use the timing in your plan to determine the total time allotment for all the misses, and then schedule a make-up appointment for that amount of time at no extra cost to you. Time may be added to a future appointment if a return visit is not needed. Additionally, future cleaning credits and discounts can be applied if the misses caused inconvenience. This is how we stand behind our work - by working in collaboration with our customers to make sure their expectations are being met.
But remember: Just as we sometimes make mistakes, we also believe that the customer is not always right. Happy Earth management analyses evidence from ALL angles (the customer, the cleaners, the plan, etc.) when investigating misses and calculating fair reimbursement.
Broken Item Policies
Our teams handle 1,000's of objects while cleaning and dusting every month, and sometimes customer items get broken.
First off, if you have anything in your home or office that absolutely cannot get broken, PLEASE TELL US. We would prefer to skip these items completely, and we'll note them as "untouchable" in your customer file. Heirlooms, inheritances, priceless works of art, sentimental items and expensive objects are some examples of things we'd rather avoid entirely.
For all other broken items, we can reimburse the cost in a number of ways:
1) Direct replacement: This is the best option if you know the make/model of the item, and it (or an equivalent) can be readily found online or in store.
2) An equivalent amount of free cleaning: If we can accurately pinpoint the value of the item, we can provide free cleaning in that amount to compensate for the break.
3) Direct reimbursement: We can compensate you monetarily for the value of any broken items.
In all cases, additional future discounts can be applied if any broken items caused extra inconvenience.
We love feedback of all sorts about our business and our teams. We strive for perfection with all customers, but sometimes we miss the mark. Other times, we far exceed expectations. Please let us know about your experience any time you feel the need. We appreciate your business and understand that we cannot grow and improve without listening and adapting based on your feedback. We are always looking for your input, and we implement suggestions from both customers and employees that often go on to positively impact our business. Please email your Supervisor or firstname.lastname@example.org with any feedback. We share feedback with our cleaning teams to help them grow and get better at their job.
Winter Weather Policies
For the safety of our teams, we do reserve the right to call a “snow day” if the weather is bad, especially in the morning. Happy Earth Cleaning Co-op does not operate cleaning teams on snow days. All "snow day" appointments will be rescheduled or cancelled and customers will not be subject to a cancellation fee. We apologize in advance for any issues this may cause.
Again for the safety of our teams, please keep the access pathway(s) to your home or office free of snow and ice. Supervisors reserve the right to decide on-the-spot if an address has properly maintained sidewalks, driveways, stairs, etc. If your Supervisor decides it’s too dangerous to carry equipment over any poorly maintained pathways, they will skip the cleaning appointment and you will be charged a cancellation fee (per the “inaccessible” reason listed in the “Cancellation Policy” above).
Summer Weather Policies
Once again, for the safety of our teams, please do your best to keep your home or office at a decent temperature during your summertime cleaning appointments. Cleaning is physical work that becomes dangerous in conditions that are too warm. Supervisors have been instructed to vacate any location warmer than 85 degrees, and to take a photo of the thermostat or thermometer readings as evidence. If this happens in your home or office, you will be charged a cancellation fee per the “inaccessible” reason listed in the “Cancellation Policy” above.
If you communicate effective ways to cool your home or office, Supervisors will try those first before cancelling the appointment. Some ideas include:
1) Leaving windows open for the team to close (please communicate which windows should be closed again).
2) Giving the team permission to open and re-secure windows on their own.
3) Leaving the AC on for the team (please communicate if you would like it shut off after they leave).
4) Giving the team permission to start and shut off the AC on their own.
Our cleaners do not open any closed doors, cabinets or drawers in your home. They need express permission from you to open any area that’s closed off. For example, when taking your trash out and replacing the garbage bag, you need to give your team permission to open the cabinet where you keep the liner bags.
Doors we open to access your home will be locked while the cleaning team is on site, and again upon exit. Windows we open will be closed and locked again upon exit. Alarms we disarm will be re-armed. Keys we extract from a lockbox will be placed back in the lockbox, and the lockbox will be left where it was found. Spare keys that come back to our office for us to store will be locked in our key safe until your next appointment.
We will not remove anything but dust, dirt and grime from your home.
We are licensed, bonded and insured against any security issues that might arise.
The state of Minnesota has banned smoking in the workplace. With that in mind, we do not work in homes where smoking occurs inside. Likewise, our teams are only allowed to smoke during unpaid breaks during the work day and should not smell like smoke in your home.
Insurance and Bonding
Our insurance agent will provide proof of our insurance upon request. Please email or call our office at 612-516-7112 if you need to initiate such a request.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are your natural cleaning products effective against Coronavirus?
Yes, thank goodness. Our favorite all-purpose natural cleaner SAL SUDS permeates COVID-19's lipid envelope, allowing it to be easily washed away. Hydrogen Peroxide, another favorite of ours, will sanitize Coronavirus with its unstable oxygen molecule. We've been using both products for a long time, even more now that the pandemic is upon us.
Do you provide office janitor services?
Yes we do. Our commercial clients often find our Basics sufficient for most ongoing or one-time office janitorial appointments. We can also remove trash/recycling, restock some supplies, and recommend any repairs we might notice. Our natural products are effective at sanitizing offices, centers, clinics, apartment building common areas, bathrooms, break rooms, and kitchenettes. Our business hours are Mon - Fri, 9:00am – 5:00pm, we do not currently operate any cleaning teams outside of those times.
What’s the deal with this virtual consultation?
We're performing virtual consultations for new clients throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, an email process we've secretly had in place for years. Hooray, contingency planning! When you fill out our Service Request Form, we'll send further instructions for helping us complete your sight-unseen cleaning bid.
Your virtual consultation is the first step in hiring Happy Earth to clean your home. The virtual consultation delivers crucial information about your Twin Cities (MN) address directly to our salesperson. It costs nothing and is completely risk- and obligation-free. We can perform the virtual consultation during a video tour of the home with you, or you can send us photos/descriptions of the rooms to be cleaned. We use that information to write your personalized cleaning bid(s) within three (3) business days after the virtual consultation. Our cleaning bids are very detailed, broken down room-by-room with timing attached to each space. You will have the opportunity to continue working with our Salesperson to hone your bid, if you want to make changes. We will only schedule your cleaning bid if and when you approve it.
Are you really Minnesota's first employee-owned cleaning cooperative?
As far as we can tell, yes. Let us know if you have conflicting information. We're a little like a grocery co-op, except only employees can purchase a share (sorry, customers). Employees who purchase a share of Happy Earth Cleaning Co-op become "member-owners" with a vote at all member meetings, potential to be voted onto our Board of Directors, and rights to profit-sharing (called "patronage") at the end of every fiscal year we finish in the black.
Do I need to be on-site during the cleaning?
We actually ask our customers to be out of the home, if possible, as a part of our new COVID-safe cleaning protocol. If you'd prefer to be home, we ask that you isolate on a level or in a room of the home where the team will not be expected to clean during the appointment. This is to preserve social distancing at all times.
Will the same team always show up at my home or office?
We do everything in our power to send you the same Supervisor for each and every clean. Unfortunately, due to sickness, vacation, and turnover, we can’t make this a 100% guarantee. Your customer file is constantly updated (at least once per appointment), so the information your team has about your home will always be accurate and up-to-date in our Dispatch software, regardless of which team is cleaning. No matter what, there will always be at least one Supervisor at every appointment monitoring quality and time usage.
Will my regular appointments always be at the same time?
Once you’ve committed to regular cleaning appointments, they will always be scheduled for the same day of the week and the same time of day. If any changes need to be made, we will approach you first. The frequency will depend on how often you want service: weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. Remember that we have a 2-hour arrival window for every visit, meaning your team may arrive up to 1 hour before or 1 hour after your scheduled time.
How long will you be in my home or office?
It depends on how many cleaning hours you’ve requested. We take the total cleaning hours for your job divided by the number of cleaners in home to get the actual time spent in your home. If we quote your job at 6 hours, a team of 2 will complete the work in 3 hours (2 people x 3 hours = 6 cleaning hours). A team of 3 will get the same job done in 2 hours (3 people x 2 hours = 6 cleaning hours).
Is there anything you won’t clean?
We do not clean in toxic environments. We are residential and commercial cleaners, not a HAZMAT crew, and not a crime-scene cleanup service. For cross-contamination and OSHA reasons, we do not clean:
Bodily fluids/human waste
Insect infested homes or areas
Deep carpet cleaning
Full window cleaning, especially exterior windows
Large-scale or home organizational jobs
Areas where smoking occurs inside
Anything above our reach on a 2-step ladder
Metal Venetian Blinds
Suspended glass or heavy objects (i.e. chandeliers)
We do not move heavy furniture.
Does my team expect a tip?
Your team does not expect a tip, but they’ll love you for it. If you’re a believer that great morale produces great work, tipping your team can be a worthwhile investment. For the most part, we hire millennials and artists, two notoriously cash-strapped segments of the population. That said, tipping is never expected.
Do you offer gift cards?
Yes we do! We offer gift cards in any amount over our 2 hour minimum. We make a great gift for all occasions. Fill out the gift card request form and we will be in touch to finalize your order. Expect to hear back from us within 1 business day. Make sure the gift card recipient resides within our service area.
Do you use environmentally friendly cleaning materials and practices?
Absolutely! Our main disinfectant is white vinegar, which we small-batch infuse with lemon for extra cleaning power. We also use Dr. Bronner's SAL SUDS as our all-purpose cleaner for surfaces that don't tolerate vinegar. For scrubbing, we'll use baking soda or Bon Ami. For polishing, a little coconut oil goes a long way. But the most important material is Good Ol' Fashioned Elbow Grease. We never use any chemicals or bleach because we're 100% green and eco-friendly.
Additionally, we have instituted a number of waste reduction tactics from our daily operations, which include:
Removing disposable products from our cleaning materials by mixing in batches and using refillable containers.
Reducing paper waste with an iPad/tablet fleet.
Recycling plastic bags for ourselves and our customers.
Planning team driving routes to reduce overall miles driven.
Supporting other local, green businesses like Peace Coffee.
What To Expect On Cleaning Day
Our professional cleaning team will arrive at your home or office, meet with you if you are on-site, and check for notes if you are not. Please give them your areas of focus in-person or via note if anything has changed since your bid was approved, so they can always be updating your priorities into your plan. If you want them to clean exactly according to the plan written by our salesperson, no notes are required.
Next, the team will assess cleanliness and use your plan to meet cleaning expectations. The team will split up and go to work focusing on our Basic standards. Extras are completed at your request, or as time allows. The Supervisor will be assessing team progress throughout the clean and will identify what Extra items they will be able to complete with any spare time. From time to time, we will contact you to suggest Extras we notice during our visits, and to request more time for them, if needed.
You can be present during your appointment, but do not be offended if your team does not have a long time to chat, they are only trying to get you the most value for your money. The team will also maintain social distance.
2-Hour Window For Appointment Start Times
The team should arrive within 1 hour on either side of the scheduled start time that has been communicated to you by Dispatch. This means that the team could arrive as early as 1 hour before the start time and as late as 1 hour after the start time. For example, if you have a 2:00pm appointment scheduled, the team could arrive as early as 1:00pm and as late as 3:00pm. Arrival time depends on many factors: appointments that preceded yours that day, traffic, construction and employee breaks. If the team is going to arrive outside your arrival window, we'll call and let you know to make sure there aren't any conflicts.
We complete one-time and regular (ongoing weekly, bi-weekly, monthly) appointments for homes and offices.
We lock ongoing appointments into a regular day-of-the-week and time-of-day, which is then assigned to Supervisor. The team's Assistant rotates often day and will change frequently. If your regular Supervisor is unavailable on your appointment day, we'll send another Supervisor so we don't have to alter your schedule. Our central Dispatch software ensures the information in your customer file is always up-to-date, no matter who is cleaning.
We are open Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM, and closed on weekends and most major holidays. Your appointment will be scheduled within a 2-hour window allowing our team some flexibility to deal with traffic and other delays. We will contact you if we are delayed outside the arrival window for any reason, unless you specify that you will not be home during your appointment.
We will contact you immediately if we experience any last-minute or emergency issues which might affect your appointment scheduling.
Time in your home
We divide the total cleaning hours for your job by the number of cleaners we send to get the actual time spent in your home. If we quote your job at 8 hours, a team of 2 will complete the appointment in 4 hours. A team of 3 will get it done in 2 hours and 40 minutes.
Unless otherwise notified by us, your home or office will be serviced by a team of two or three cleaners. Our teams consist of a Supervisor that is in charge of the cleaning team, and an Assistant or two. Teams of two or three ensure the safety and security of our cleaners and allow us to efficiently tackle all of the cleaning while minimizing the time we are on-site. We will make every effort to ensure that the same Supervisor is in charge of each and every appointment, for the sake of familiarity and consistency. You can expect communication from us should your cleaning team ever change. See Our Team page for more information about our amazing team of cleaners.
All members of our cleaning teams agree to a thorough background check prior to employment with Happy Earth Cleaning Cooperative. Our office and field staff all hail from the Minneapolis - St. Paul metro area; you're supporting a local business when you book with Happy Earth.
Preparing For Your Appointment
It is helpful for us if you de-clutter before we arrive, to allow us to focus on deep cleaning. General tidying of surfaces and floors is most beneficial. For example, if dishes are left in the sink, we will need to wash them (or remove them) prior to cleaning the sink. An empty sink allows us to focus on deep cleaning your kitchen and the rest of your home or office. Extra time will allow us to get to some of the items on our Extra list.
Home Access (keys/codes)
We prefer that you have a lock-box available on your cleaning day to allow us access to your key and your home. You can put the lock-box out on your cleaning day and take it back inside after our visit for maximum security. Please let us know any access or alarm codes so we can enter and turn the alarm off, if needed. Once we are finished, we will re-secure your home and place the key(s) in the lock box. We recommend this Master Lock Key Lock Box for its ease of use and affordability. If there is no other option but to give us a key, we will take it. We have a key safe that is used to keep all customers’ keys on lock-down at Happy Earth HQ when not in use. We are fully insured in the event of key loss and our cleaners are trained in the importance of managing customers’ keys in a secure manner.
You can expect to receive a recap (e-mail - paperless and green) from your team’s Supervisor after every cleaning visit. We use these recaps to communicate individually to each of our customers details about what was completed in their home, what we plan on doing during the next visit, any special circumstances encountered in the home and the next four future cleaning dates.
Please use these recaps as your chance to communicate directly with the Supervisor who was in your home. You can let them know when you are happy with their work, or if you have some constructive feedback regarding the service. We love feedback, it is the backbone of how we continue to grow and improve. We can update your cleaning plan at any time using our central Dispatch software, so keep us posted on life changes which might affect your cleaning. Almost all cleaning plans evolve over time. Do not hesitate to hit "Reply" to your recaps for any reason. Keep us in the know.