Maid hiring services aren’t the first thing that come to mind when thinking about problematic industries, but when Adam Hassan sought a maid to clean his home, he ran into seemingly endless issues.
After booking a maid cleaning service online, the maid failed to show up or even call – and the company refused to take full responsibility, saying that the maid was simply a contractor.
“They tried to hide behind the fine print, and when we pursued a refund, they insisted on refunding us by cheque even though we paid with a credit card,” Hassan says.
Even looking for services through Kijiji and Craigslist proved fruitless, as there was no way to vet the maids and Hassan’s family were forced to schedule cleaning times only when someone was home, making the service inconvenient.
“All of these things happened over a year, and one day I was sitting on the couch shopping on Amazon and I used the one-click purchase,” Hassan says. “I thought to myself, why can’t we get a maid like this?”
Hassan is the founder of Maid in TO, a service that lets you book a maid for any day or time through their website or mobile app. Drawing on the problems he faced when trying to book a maid, Hassan vets the maids by validating their insurance and ensuring that they have multiple references and criminal background checks. The maids also do a test cleaning at his house or a friend’s house to ensure that their standards are up to par – of course, they’re paid for this time.
“It’s a really saturated market, and if you do a Google search of cleaning service companies in Toronto, you’ll see 25, 30 or 50 companies,” Hassan says. “There’s space in the market for other players.”
Users who use Maid in TO – which has service available across the GTA – can expect to have two maids come to their house (for the safety of the maids and a more thorough cleaning job, Hassan says), with a flat rate of $125 for one bedroom, with an extra $20 added for every bedroom. A part of the money they make from the service goes to the Daily Bread Food Bank every month.
Since they launched in early April, they’ve had about 28 bookings – Hassan says the amount is intentional.
“We’re keeping it a little low because we want to scale appropriately, we don’t want to overpromise and underdeliver,” he says. “We truly are customer service first, cleaning second.”