Disclose one bad maid agency “United Channel”

With most families being dual-income-with-kids, outsourcing home cleaning and home economics to domestic helpers is almost a way of life for Singaporeans. Come in and discuss issues pertaining to maids and home management.
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Mint_Mom
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Disclose one bad maid agency “United Channel”

Post by Mint_Mom » Thu Feb 06, 2014 11:12 pm

We get a maid from United Channel on 11 Jan 2014. After several days, we realized we got a lot of bug bites, and we found bed bugs on the maid's suitcase. Further communication with the maid confirmed that the maid's hostel has been infested by bed bugs (same as the one found on her suit case) and she was also biten by those in the hostel. I am pregnant and the bed bug bites are so itchy and irritating that it is not tolerable. In order to control them, we have tried to spray different pestcides. However, pestcides are not very effective against them and it is harmful to human being too. We are hiring a maid to help us, but now the bed bugs brought by her is causing serious trouble to us! We are very upset, because first of all, the maid agency is not doing proper pest control of the maid's hostel.2ndly, the maid agency had not informed us of the situation of bed bug infestation of the maid's hostel and the subsequent risk of our house been infested.
Subsequently, we complained this problem to the maid agency, but the maid agency never apologized. The maid agency staff lied that they do proper pest control of the maid’s hostel. Their email reply is:
“With reference to the above and our telephone conversation yesterday, we have no issue or bed bucks and ticks or cases occur prior to this, we had routine and regular pest control activities, according to our boarding house stuff. We regretted this isolated incident happened. It might be due to other possible spread by of family members or guest who happen to be a carrier.”
Their email reply is ridiculous. Our house is newly furnished, and our house seldom has visitors, and our visitors are hygienic white-collar people. I feel very angry about such irresponsible reply from the maid agency.
Hence I would like to remind people to be more cautious when dealing with this maid agency “United Channel”. They have branches at Bukit Timah Shopping Center, Katong and Hougang green mall.

chixchix
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Re: Disclose one bad maid agency “United Channel”

Post by chixchix » Fri Feb 07, 2014 9:31 pm

gosh bed bugs ..they are not easy to get rid of, & they are very good hiders… once they get into furniture, thats it.

st2
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Re: Disclose one bad maid agency “United Channel”

Post by st2 » Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:54 am

I think you should write to MOM and highlight the bed bug issue to them. Let them check on the agency and their practices. Don't warn the agency you will contact MOM.

Jworld
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Re: Disclose one bad maid agency “United Channel”

Post by Jworld » Mon Feb 17, 2014 1:27 am

Bed bugs cannot be killed by insecticides. you need to hire pest control. My kid's bedroom was infested by that two years ago because we bought a bed from a very dishonest online seller. In the end, we paid for pest control after we discarded the bed.

cool_hi
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Re: Disclose one bad maid agency “United Channel”

Post by cool_hi » Mon Feb 17, 2014 11:51 am

Yes!!! 4-5yr ago, we also had a super bad experience with this agency!! Very bad service and super irresponsible! !


Jworld
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Re: Disclose one bad maid agency “United Channel”

Post by Jworld » Tue Feb 18, 2014 12:28 am

Two of my maids were from this agency. So far so good, although the first one cmi, we got this agency to help us send her to the airport after we purchased the ticket. Currently, with second maid from the same agency. We got both from the Katong branch.

Nonetheless, I empathised with those of you who encountered bad experiences and irresponsible attitude from the staff.

iemum
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Re: Disclose one bad maid agency “United Channel”

Post by iemum » Sun Apr 13, 2014 6:53 am

Bed bugs??? Sounds very familar. I once took a transfer maid from United and ended up having to hire a pest company to do a through clean up at home which cost us a bomb (clean up fees plus change mattress)


In total, I have taken 3 transfer maids from United Channel.

First maid (lasted 3 days)
- 1st day followed me home, in the car already tell me she wants to go home. But I spoke to her and she then seems fine. Second day, she again told me she wanted to go home so I asked the agent for help. Help came and I thought it was then ok. Third day, she cried and said that she wants to go home because she missed her son. The breaking point was when she told me seeing my daughter reminds her so much of her son and that she cannot continue to work in Singapore.

Second maid who brought the bed bugs to my home (I was her 3rd employer in 4 months)
- she was okay, in fact I was quite happy with her work. After working for me for 2 months, she started to say she wants to go back to agent and she wants to change employer. On hindsight, her employment records really shows that she will change employer every 2 months.
- brought her back to agent for counseling and she stayed with me for another 3 months.

Third maid (I was also her 3rd employer)
- Now into her 11th month with me. Throughout these period, she is ok and most importantly, my kids like her... However, I must say that she will once every 1-2 month, give me new challenges...
A) talking to the Bangalore workers and even had one coming to outside my house talking to her
B) requested for day off and hp (although before I engaged her we have agreed that I will compensate her on the off days). Threatened to go back to agent when her wish was not granted.
C) disappeared from my home for 2 hours in Feb this year and said she went downstairs to talk to her friend. I went to search around the neighborhood but could not find her.
D) she got her hp and end up, her hp followed her wherever she goes throughout the day. Many nights as observed, she will use her handphone until past midnight. Spoke to her about this and warned that if she does not control herself, I will keep her phone during day time.
E) last week, she went to fetch my 6 years old girl from bus stop... Ended up, my girl came home on her own because my maid was nowhere in sight. My maid was talking on the phone until she forgot about my girl!

Latest incident now is, she talked on the phone while working last evening at 7pm. When I queried her repeatedly... She told me she was talking to her boyfriend. Apparently they started dating since last Dec. Omg... I almost fainted. She then tell me she wants to go home although contract still has 1 year 1 month plus to go.

Goodness, this agency has made me a 'famous' employer now as I will be getting my fourth maid within 1.5 years.

Somehow, I missed my earlier maids, both stayed with me for a much longer time! The first stayed for 4 years, the second one stayed for 5 years.

Nowadays, with maids able to change their employers so easily, is there anything to protect the employers? We had to end up buying new insurance, pay admin charge for the transfer ($100 each time we change maid), take leave to train new maid... etc.

I don't mind giving more benefits to the maid, but 'with great power comes great responsiblilty'. With the change in perks, maybe employers could also be better safeguard?

Some suggestions include :
1) If the maid is preg and needs to be send back to their home country, airfares and new costs to hire a new maid could be covered by authorities/insurance/agencies? :please:

2) if maid keep changing employers (unless it is really true that employers ill-treat their maid), perhaps a limit should be set on all maid on the number of transfer they are allowed within 2 years of work
- this way, it can prevent maids from having the mindset that they can change employer until they are happy or whenever they free like it. This way, agencies cannot profit from such behaviors too as agency now charge fees both to the maid and employers. Currently, for maid who wants to change employer, agency will charge the maid 1-2 month salary for their placement fee. For the employers, although it's free agency fee, but still for every transfer, employers must pay admin fees of about $100 plus purchase new insurance :sweat:

mickeymickey
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Re: Disclose one bad maid agency “United Channel”

Post by mickeymickey » Sun Apr 20, 2014 11:10 am

Those big names out there like Nation, JPB, Homekeeper,United, etc etc…. they r all long time in the market already so where they have bother to know what kind of markets they bring ..they just want to "sell off " the maid

hotmetal
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Re: Disclose one bad maid agency “United Channel”

Post by hotmetal » Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:45 pm

Second this thread. Just got off a troublesome arrangement with United Channel. Their contract is not standardized, especially the one with $188 promotional agency fee. It's a trap, as a "top-up" of agency fee had to be done to change the new maid. My situation was the maid is 'mute' don't talk, cannot follow examples, and basically 'dumb'. In addition, the contract said our business relationship had to be 3 months. Hence if you are unlucky like me who gotten a maid who was 'mute and dumb', you had to suck it up for 90 days at least. All maid agencies will promise the maids being young will learn fast. I can dispute that with more than 70% confidence level from my 20 years experience of hiring maids.

Jworld
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Re: Disclose one bad maid agency “United Channel”

Post by Jworld » Thu Sep 06, 2018 9:03 am

I stopped using United Channel already. I stick with them at first because the second maid that they gave me was really God sent. Polite, aware of her roles, patient with old people, really know how to respect old ppl. After 2 years, we sent her back cuz she said she wanted to continue her studies. We were inexperienced with maids back then and so we didn't think of counter offering her to stay.

We switched to another agency cuz a friend managed to get a good maid. We did not like the service although the second maid they gave us was very obedient, hardworking and polite.

Then we went back to United Channel. this time, I dunno why. The service standard dropped to the rock bottom. We ended up changing three maids in just a short few months. They claimed to give unlimited or free changing of maid within first six months. We still had to pay for the insurance and all other fees. So everytime we changed, we burnt our wallet. The reason why we changed so many times was mostly because the maids they gave us were of very unacceptable standards. they claimed the maids know a bit of English, but in actual fact, the maids only learnt English during the first two weeks they arrived in Singapore.

their trsf maids, all cannot speak English one. we finally settled for the current one. Not because she good. It's because we changed so many times that we burnt a hole in our pocket, having to pay the insurance etc again and again. We have no choice but to tahan her for close to two years. Not only that she fails to learn English after being here for so long. She would use her handphone at night and talk very loudly to her bf or friends. Then day time she complaint that she wasn't given time to nap, while her friends' employers let them nap. She did the housework in sloppy and quick manners so that she could sit down and doze off after lunch. When my mother in law told her what she did wrong, she would raise her voice so loud until the veins on her neck popped out. She thought that we would want to renew her contract. So she made demands like she wanted more pay after renewal, and we have to pay for her excess baggage when she flies home. We told her that we don't need a maid anymore. So now, we are just waiting for a couple of weeks more to send her back while we are getting a new maid in from another agency. No more United Channel for us.

Why did we choose this maid? Yes, her English was bad. But all the trsf maids that we interviewed at United Channels were like that, if not worse.

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