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ExpatSingapore Message Board 22 October 2017, 17:45:55 PM *
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Author Topic: Maid Agencies  (Read 19040 times)
Lynda
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« on: 27 October 2000, 12:59:00 PM »

We are thinking of taking on our first full time maid. Can anyone recommend a good agency to use? What are 'reasonable' agency fees?
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Susie Homemaker
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« Reply #1 on: 27 October 2000, 16:01:00 PM »

We've used several but have had the most success (in terms of professional service, experienced maids, fast with the paperwork etc) with InterMares in Lucky Plaza (tel 732 9112). Have also used Prestige and Expat with varying degrees of success. Main thing is to sort out in your mind what kind of helper you want and to be specific in the interview process to make sure you get someone compatible. Generally fees run $600-900 with or without guarantee.
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nicky
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« Reply #2 on: 28 October 2000, 0:02:00 AM »

hey,

We're also new here and a few people recommanded me to find a maid without an agency...
You tell someone with a reliable maid you search for a maid and the news spreads around...
When you've found someone, you go to an agency (a friend of mine went to prestige) and they do the paperwork for s$350.
You've got no garantie, but even if you pay s$ 688 you've got none...
See a lot of maids and wait for the one...
Sometimes it seems like you never will meat a nice person who thinks like you, but they excist!
Succes!
If you want, I can give you some agencies wjo's fees are resonable. (Got it from a local...)

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Susie Homemaker
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« Reply #3 on: 28 October 2000, 20:02:00 PM »

Nicky is right. You can definitely do it yourself. I have always used an agency b/c I am working and would rather pay someone to stand in line at MOM and all that nonsense. It's also a total pain if they have to get a passport renewed or be repatriated so a good agency can be useful under those circumstances. We hae done it once without and it was fine and I believe the agency charged about $250.

You might want to try it both ways. You don't pay the agency until you hire so you could have some interviews through an agency, and on your own, and decide that way.

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Abigail
Guest
« Reply #4 on: 31 October 2000, 12:38:00 PM »

Ah, then you missed my post a while back! It's not necessarily the case that a maid that has worked for expats is better than one who has not... I have interviewed several girls who came highly recommended by expats who were supposedly leaving the country. Only to find out later on that they weren't leaving at all, but just wanted to make a change and lied not only to me but to the helper. If they pawn her off on someone else they don't have to pay to repatriate her!
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felicia
Guest
« Reply #5 on: 02 December 2000, 17:33:00 PM »

I think Nicky must be lucky to find a reliable maid without an agency. I
came to Singapore a year ago and after two tries have given up trying to find
a good maid on my own. When I was new here they told me about the notice board
at Cold Storage. That's how I hired my first maid who was "excellent with
children". Yes, she was excellent with children and I was so pleased because
she handled my own three children so well that I could find time to indulge
myself in some extra curricular activities. She was a good cook too. In short
she was perfect.

But I found out after a few months that all was not as it seemed. I left the ordering of the provisions to her and seldom checked if ever. Then one day I discovered to my horror that I was billed for things I did not even care for, like sardines, biscuits of every description and chocolates. On her days
off she would play Santa Claus and have a picnic with her friends eating the food I paid for!

I blamed myself for not supervising her. Anyway, to cut a long story short, I let her transfer. She got a job before I could say Jack Robinson, courtesy of Cold Storage notice board!

My second maid I found also at Cold Storage. She was as fantastic as her last employer said she was. I assumed that her previous employer was letting her go because she would be going home. Wrong! I discovered later that she was still in Singapore and had a new maid. Anyway, nothing untoward happened. The
maid was good but she had to go home. Her husband had died. Then I knew I had been had. Because I remember that she had said she was single. So it is no use to retain her when you cannot trust her anymore.

When my second "free" maid went home, I thought that perhaps I should go to an agency and hopefully my luck would change. After reading about InterMares I contacted them. What I liked was their website and the profiles they posted of the maids available. I find the profile quite fair even though
I suspected that white seemed whiter. It was better than taking the word of my fellow expat that the maid was so good, etc. And I could evaluate the dozen or so maids on the web site at one go and then request the agency to send me the maids I have shortlisted so I can interview them.

Well, to cut a long story short, I am quite pleased with the first maid that I have hired through InterMares. No the maid is not fantastic, but so far she is not playing Santas Claus with my provisions and her husband is not dead or dying and I think I will have her for the full two years.

I think they know what the real reason is for the maid needing a transfer. They assure me that they will not place a maid if they think there is something fishy.

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Jill
Guest
« Reply #6 on: 19 December 2000, 19:23:00 PM »

Felicia seems so unlucky. Two excellent maids for free and neither worked out.

Is it because the maids are not that great after all. Didn't someone say that the former employer or soon-to-be-former employer
just wanted to save the cost of repatriating the maid so say all the wonderful things about the maid so that someone would hire her?

After the current employer say such wonderful things, you tend to see the maid in a good light. But the real test comes a couple of weeks later, when you slowly get disillusioned and begin to be more critical of the excellent maid.

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