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The New App that Cleans Your House

Rachel Ward | September 9, 2013 | Story Tech World

Handybook, a new app that’s taken NYC by storm and recently launched in San Francisco, instantly books vetted and insured professionals (this is not a peer-to-peer model a la Lyft or Task Rabbit—the acceptance rate is only three percent) to perform household cleaning, handyman, or moving services. Prices are fixed, and the app provides 100 percent next day availability with a goal of soon meeting 100 percent of same-day requests. The punctuality guarantee has even prompted many Airbnb hosts to use the service to maximize the turnover rate of their rentals.

We did a test run of the new app touting itself as Uber for household services. Here’s our report:

10 a.m. Thursday Visit to book a housecleaning for Friday morning. Start by choosing the number of bedrooms and selecting a time and date. The price for a four bedroom comes up as a reasonable $140 for four hours. After confirming the booking with the address and payment, the site asks whether I’ll be home (yes) or where I’ll hide the key, and if I have any notes for the cleaner (no). True to the claim, the entire process only takes about 90 seconds. Seems almost too easy…

11 a.m. Thursday Receive an email with my cleaner’s first name and phone number and a heads up that she’ll be calling to check in prior to the appointment. (She doesn’t).

8:05 a.m. Friday The friendly cleaner shows up 10 minutes early. Greet her and show her how to lock up when she’s finished. Rush to finish getting ready and head out the door to work.

6 p.m. Friday Arrive home to a clean apartment. Roommates agree that it isn’t as thorough as other (pricier) cleaning services we’ve tried. Send feedback and receive the following response: “For large apartments it's best to make a note so the cleaners can allot extra time. The cleaner however should have let you know it would take longer than the four hours and then asked if you wanted to authorize an extra hour of cleaning as that is standard practice for all of Handybook's services.”

Overall, it was such a convenient, streamlined process that we'll give it another go in the future.

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