Hands up who has had a sneaky clean round the house before the cleaner you are paying to do the job comes round? We may be too busy to stay on top of domestic chores so are happy to hire someone to come in and do it for us, but we don’t want them to see how untidy/dirty we really are.
However, some people don’t seem to care what the cleaner or maintenance person finds, and have a pretty broad idea of what they think their duties involve.
UK cleaning firm Fantastic Services (opens in new tab) said their staff had been asked to dispose of (possibly) dead animals, stumbled across strange and sinister looking rituals and been asked to babysit a possessed snail!
Rune Sovndahl, co-founder of Fantastic Services, said that in the 10 years they’d been in business, customers have kept the cleaning pros on their toes. ‘Over the past decade we’ve been sending cleaners, builders, gardeners, removals professionals and pest controllers to homes all over the UK,’ he said. ‘While the vast majority of jobs are pretty straightforward, others have required a little bit of thinking outside the box. And, just for the record, no, we won’t dispose of your dead dog and we don’t want to get involved in your “adult party” either.’
Fantastic Services’ top 10 maddest, and completely genuine, requests
‘One of the professionals went to perform a window cleaning service. When he arrived at the address, he rang the doorbell a few times but no one opened the door. However, he could hear someone inside, so he looked through the window. He saw a group of girls gathered in a circle, in a room full of candles, performing something that resembled an occult ritual. The scene spooked the cleaner so much that he’s since refused to take jobs at this address.’
SKELETON IN THE CLOSET
‘A removals pro turned up to a house to meet with a client. He got the shock of his life after entering one of the bedrooms to collect boxes and finding a full-size human skeleton. It turned out the client was a collector of such objects, but it didn’t make it any less creepy.’
‘One of our customer service agents received a call from one of the professionals saying a service had been cancelled. When pushed for a reason, the professional informed her that the client was having a “private adult party”. The agent was pretty confused about what cancellation reason she was supposed to mark in the customer’s database.’
'A woman called concerned that her dog was acting strangely and was lying on the carpet and not moving. She thought maybe the dog had died…and she wanted the pest control team to come and take him away. The agent explained that removing dead pets is not in the Fantastic Services’ portfolio, the pest controllers just deal with things like mice, wasps and bed bugs. The client suddenly changed her mind and insisted that the animal lying on her carpet was a “big rat”. Luckily the dog started showing signs it was alive, so the Fantastic agent advised her to give the pet a bowl of water instead.’
‘One of our regular customers called saying that in addition to the cleaning that week, she’d like us to look after their pet – a snail – while they were on holiday. The lady’s daughter had autism and had become convinced this little snail was holding the soul of the pet rabbit they’d just buried, and she wouldn’t go away without having a professional take care of it. We actually took in the snail as our new office pet, which we returned safe and sound after their holidays.’
‘A client called in to discuss his booking with an agent. However, the gentleman was very upset as his wife had just taken all of her things, as well as his car, and had left him. The agent asked if there was anything she could do to help him out and the man asked her to sing him a song! We understand that breakups can be really hard sometimes and while the customer service expert couldn’t sing for him, she stayed on the line and offered him advice on how to fix things up with his loved one.’
‘Another customer service agent called a client who had booked a removals service. It turned out that the man had just been kicked out of the house by his wife. When asked for a drop-off address for the service, the man replied “the nearest hotel!”.'
‘A customer booked a pest control service because his loft was infested with mice. While inspecting the place and setting bait, the specialist stepped on a crooked board and fell through the ceiling right in front of the customer. Fortunately, no one was harmed, and the pro fixed the damage, but it was like a scene from a cartoon.’
‘A customer service agent called a client who’d booked a removal service, to discuss some details surrounding the job. The conversation went on for around half an hour. At one point the agent became suspicious because the client seemed to repeat the same thing over and over again. He realised that the client has been playing a recording of himself all along.’
‘A guy called because he lost his phone on a train. We couldn’t possibly have helped him so the agent advised him to call the train company or the police. However, the gentleman couldn’t comprehend that we do not clean trains and couldn't help him locate his lost phone. Finally, the unlucky guy demanded to be passed to speak to a manager to clarify things!’