We are now available to chat via WhatsApp either during or outside of office hours including weekends.
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More than 2 billion people in over 180 countries use WhatsApp to stay in touch with friends and family, anytime and anywhere. WhatsApp is free and offers simple, secure, reliable messaging and calling, available on phones all over the world.
Where do I get WhatsApp?
You can download WhatsApp to your smartphone. If you have an iPhone, then you’ll need to use the App Store, and if you have an Android phone or tablet then it’s the Play Store. It doesn’t cost anything to download WhatsApp and when using WIFI it is free to message, send photographs and videos.
When making an enquiry or requesting a quote you can send us photographs or videos of your rooms, furniture, stains, marks etc using WhatsApp and get an almost instant reply. It takes the guess work out of quoting and can determine the most suitable method of cleaning for your home furnishings.
Whilst most carpet and upholstery cleaning companies do their very best to provide a high-quality service at a fair price, there are some individuals and carpet cleaning franchises that are less ethical and employ bait-and-switch tactics on unsuspecting customers.
The bait-and-switch con is usually spotted in online or leaflet advertising with a company permanently promoting particularly cheap offers such as prices starting at £15, one room any size for £15, or a whole house for £75 etc.
What then usually happens is that the carpet cleaning representative will try to raise the agreed price with additional hidden charges. These are often explained by stating that “you were quoted for a basic clean, but your carpets need a deep clean” or “you need specific additional chemicals or special process not covered by the offer to remove these types of stains.”
Simply put, the “bait” is the misleading offer, and the “switch” is the attempt to scam the customer into paying an inflated price. And if the customer doesn’t agree to the new price, the clean is usually very rushed and the offending company out the door as soon as possible to minimise time and money spent on the job.
Unfortunately, this tactic is still being used in the UK even though it became illegal in 2008. In England and Wales, bait and switch is banned under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008; breaking this law can result in a criminal prosecution, an unlimited fine and two years in jail.
The BBC TV programme Watchdog brought this to peoples attention a number of years ago, however it is still being used today.
Watchdog Part 1
Watchdog Part 2
How to avoid being scammed by bait-and-switch
Firstly, we recommend avoiding any company that is currently advertising any suspiciously cheap deals. It’s simple:
A carpet cleaning franchise operator simply wouldn’t make a reasonable living if he were to clean carpets at the prices advertised (after paying franchise fees, running costs etc.).
And if they did manage to do so, it would be at the expense of any sort of quality service because jobs would have to be completed at breakneck speed in order to cram as many appointments as possible into their working week.
But aggressively pushing an inflated price on a customer and then carrying out a substandard service when they decline is simply not acceptable.
Granted, there are sometimes genuine reasons for having to increase the price of a job: The rooms may be significantly larger than described. There may be additional areas or rooms added.
Always do your homework and if possible, get recommendations from family and friends. Using local companies, means you are more likely to have heard about their reputation – good or bad! Check reviews on Facebook, as people post under their own name and profile so probably more likely to be genuine. If reviews seem to be written in the same way, style, etc, they may not be genuine. Some tradespeople write their own, and if you are looking for that, it’s quite easy to spot.
THE MODERN BAIT & SWITCH TACTIC!
But in truth, bait-and-switch extends far beyond its legal definition. Bait-and-switch is prevalent in almost all social media platforms, online newspapers, magazines etc. You’re probably familiar with the techniques, even though you might not have considered them “bait-and-switch.”
Think of the last time you followed a clickbait link. You had sky-high expectations set by a too-good-to-ignore title, only to be disappointed by a lacklustre article behind it.
It annoyed you and wasted your time, but, in the end, that link did exactly what it was supposed to do. It got you to land on the page without providing you any value.
The idea behind bait-and-switch is to draw customers in with an attractive proposition, fail to deliver, and convert them under the fact they’re already there. Isn’t that exactly what that clickbait was aiming to do? Isn’t that exactly what’s happening when a white paper turns into a sales pitch halfway through? Interesting eh?
To discuss your carpet and upholstery cleaning and receive a quote over the telephone, simply call us now on 01942864474, or any of the local numbers listed listed on our Home Page. We’ll start a conversation to help us understand your specific needs and how we might deliver them, then we can provide a best-value, obligation-free quotation.
INFORMATION WHICH WILL BE USEFUL TO HAVE READY TO RECIEVE YOUR TELEPHONE QUOTE:
CARPETS: Tell us which room and have the approximate size ready for us for each room. We accept measurements in imperial sizes, metric sizes, strides etc. If there are any stains, spillages, pet accidents, let us know. Some of these may need specialised treatments and we need to know in advance.
During our cleaning process we do everything possible to reduce, improve or remove spots and stains however 100% success may not always be possible and is NOT guaranteed.
Accidents of bodily fluids such as blood, human urine or human faeces are better dealt with by specialist companies who have the training and equipment to deal with this type of cleaning. THIS IS NOT A SERVICE WE OFFER.
UPHOLSTERY: Let us know the style of sofa; corner or straight, how many seat places; eg a four seater corner sofa and one armchair, three seater and two seater sofas, two footstools etc. Check for any labels which state the fabric composition or any cleaning symbols. We accept photographs of your furniture and labels by email, text or WhatsApp.
Popular fabric compositions to look for POLYESTER, COTTON, LINEN, WOOL, SILK, POLYPROPYLENE, ACRYLIC, NYLON, VISCOSE, RAYON, MICROFIBER, COTTON VELVET ETC.
If the label gives a % of the fabrics used i.e. 85% polyester and 15% viscose please let us know, we can then identify the best method of cleaning for your furniture.
This is an example of a fabric care label from a sofa made in Italy by Habitat. The fabric composition is 60% Cotton, 30% Acrylic & 10% Viscose.
The Care Symbols mean; (in order) *Do not wash or wet clean, *Do not use bleach, *Can be ironed up to 150 degrees C, *Dry Clean Only, *Do not tumble dry. Which means this sofa can only be cleaned by a dry cleaning method.
THIS IS WHY THIS INFORMATION IS SO IMPORTANT.
We spend a lot of money on buying the sofas, chairs and carpets that suit our homes, when it comes to cleaning them, please do not ring round for the cheapest quote.
Quality cleaning and cheap price do not go hand-in-hand!
Current Covid restrictions are due to expire in England on 24 March 2022. However to keep our customers and our technicians safe we will continue working with our own newly reviewed Covid secure practice guidelines that we ask all customers to read and accept before we arrive for your appointment.
These guidelines are constantly reviewed and take into consideration Government advice and recommendations.
1. If you or any member of your household has received a positive Covid PCR or LFT test, or develop any of the symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) or any of the following symptoms:
• a new continuous cough
• a high temperature including fever & chills.
• a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)
• shortness of breath or breathing difficulties.
• muscle or body aches
• sore throat
• congestion or runny nose
• nausea or vomiting
Please call us straight away to rearrange your appointment.
2. If any of our technicians develop symptoms or have been in contact with anyone that has developed symptoms another technician will be appointed to carry out your carpet /
upholstery cleaning, if there are no technicians available for your allocated appointment, we will call you to rearrange your appointment.
3. Social distancing will still be observed.
4. We will no longer be wearing masks, however if you would like us to wear one to enter your property, please let us know.
5. We ask you to direct us to the room/s where we are to be working and remain in another room with the door closed until all the cleaning has been completed.
6. We respectfully reserve the right to refuse any cleaning job if any of our guidelines are not met or the property is hazardous to the health and wellbeing of our technicians.
We thank you for booking Gerrards and for your full cooperation. We hope you remain well and keep safe.
Cleaning is the new cool. Or so goes the mantra of the growing army of people polishing sinks, collecting Zoflora like they’re perfumes and giving their dusters a name!
We are talking influencers or cleanfluencers – a social media community that loves nothing more than videoing themselves mopping their floors and cleaning their toilets on Instagram.
The leader of this movement is none other than Sophie Hinchliffe, aka Mrs Hinch. She’s the ex-hairdresser who began filming herself while cleaning her home back in 2018. Her simple idea has gained her millions of fans who hang on to her every word and start cleaning conversations on their own accounts – her very own #hincharmy.
Her influence is so strong that over 50% of people who have heard of her say they’d buy something purely on her recommendation alone.
So, what is behind this Hinch hype?
According to research, social media is fuelling this cleaning mania. Almost 30% of people say that social media makes them clean more regularly and 31% say it makes them buy more cleaning products.
But are these tips guaranteed to do what we are being told they do?
Let me explain the reasons why I ask this question:
I took a phone call from a lady this week who had come across a new patch of dog urine on her carpet. Knowing that a urine stain is better to be treated as soon as it’s been spotted, she googled how Mrs Hinch would tackle it.
This was the tip from Mrs Hinch’s book: Urine: Make a paste with bicarb and white vinegar. Massage into the problem area and hoover away. Finish with a spritz of Febreze.
Simples! Or so you’d think!
NO, it wasn’t!
As soon as she added the paste of bicarb and vinegar to the stain it turned dark brown and not only that, it sealed the urine stain straight into the carpet. This is when she phoned us! Unfortunately, by this time it was too late for us to have any effect on the sealed in stain.
LETS TAKE A LOOK AT THIS:
What’s in Pet Urine?
Pet urine is a combination of ammonia, bacteria, hormones, nitrogen and uric acid. It’s the uric acid that creates a lingering smell even after you’ve cleaned up after your dog’s tinkle area. It can be especially potent when the air is humid like now during the summer months.
Dog urine is highly acidic. A fresh stain shouldn’t cause much damage if it’s taken care of immediately after the accident occurs.
Fresh urine stains on the carpet aren’t too difficult to deal with. The trick is to get all the liquid out of the carpet before the dog urine travels down the carpet fibres and pools at the bottom. Fold a dry cloth or towel and press it firmly over the stain, ideally by standing or stamping on the towel or cloth applying maximum pressure so it absorbs as much urine as possible.
Now you need to dilute the wet area. First, use lukewarm water and add a few drops of dishwashing soap and dab the wet area using a sponge. Avoid pouring the solution on the stain as that will just cause more liquid to sit at the bottom of the carpet.
Repeat this process several times until the urine stain is gone. Once it’s gone, rinse out the soapy area with fresh water and use a dry towel to blot the area.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE Avoid using vinegar on fresh pet stains as the acid in the vinegar can react to the acid in the urine.
Old Urine Stains
Once the stain dries, the ph. level in the acid rises, causing ideal conditions for bacteria to flourish. Not only does the bacteria cause the acid to oxidize and stain the carpet, but the bacteria and organic matter in the urine also cause an unpleasant odour. The longer the stain languishes, the worse the odour gets and the harder the stain is to remove.
Our high-performance cleaning system deep cleans, sanitises and deodorises your carpets as standard, however for any problematic areas of pet urine stains we can apply specialised treatments, however there may be an additional charge for this and extra time would need to be allocated for your appointment. Please note that even though we do everything possible to reduce or eliminate odours, spots and stains, due to the depth of contamination, 100% success may not always be attained and can NOT be guaranteed.
Please discuss this with us when you contact our office.
PLEASE NOTE: As professional carpet cleaners we have a number of stain removers to take out most stains from carpets, however once you have tampered with the stain and changed it from its original state i.e. urine into urine + bicarb + vinegar + carpet shampoo, it can no longer be successfully cleaned out of your carpet as it’s no longer the original stain.
Here is our spot & stain guide
Items & Solutions Required:
Dry white absorbent cloth or towel
Home made dry cleaning solution – Surgical Spirit (available from most chemists)
Home made detergent solution – One teaspoon of gentle wool safe washing detergent mixed with half pint of warm water.
Home made vinegar detergent solution – One teaspoon of white (not malt) vinegar mixed with the detergent solution above.
Home made ammonia solution – one teaspoon of household ammonia mixed with one cup of warm water.
Final Rinse Procedure:
Mix one part white vinegar with 4 parts water
Pour in to a spray bottle and spray over the stained area
Blot the dampened area DO NOT RUB to remove excess moisture
Now place another clean dry towel over the stain and stamp on it again, even adding a something heavy on top of the towel for a while to absorb as much of the moisture as possible.
Spots & Stains:
Liquid Spillages – tea, coffee, alcohol and urine.
A. Act quickly. At first, it’s a spillage, and not yet a stain.
B. Using a white towel or kitchen roll, press all your weight on the spillage, even standing on the towel to blot up as much as possible. This may take a few minutes but is worth the time and patience.
C. Check to see if much of the spillage has been transferred to the towel or kitchen roll and replace with a clean one as often as necessary. Do not be tempted to rub or scrub the stain.
D. Once no more colour is being transferred, dab a clean towel with a small amount of water and continue blotting the stain for few minutes.
E. Now place another clean dry towel over the stain and stamp on it again, even adding a something heavy on top of the towel for a while to absorb as much of the spillage as possible.
F. Assess the spillage area afterwards and if any colour remains.
G. If you are a previous customer of ours we will have left you a free bottle of our professional stain remover. If you have one of these follow the instructions above A to F and then use the spray following the instructions on the label very carefully.
H. If you do not have any of our spotter available use a very small amount of the vinegar detergent solution (listed above) working from the outer edges of the stain inwards, a little at a time and then finish with the final rinse procedure as above.
2. Chocolate, sweets, ice cream & vomit
A. Scrape up any excess using a blunt knife or spoon.
B. Working from the outer edge inwards, spray the detergent solution and blot dry.
C. Follow with the ammonia solution and blot dry.
D. Follow the final rinse procedure as above.
Photo’s courtesy of Freepik
3. Fats, grease, gum and shoe polish
A. Scrape up any excess with a blunt knife or spoon.
B. Working from the out edge of the stain inwards, use the dry cleaning solution as above.
C. Working from the out edge of the stain inwards, this time with the detergent vinegar solution and blot dry.
D. Follow the final rinse procedure as above. The above processes are pretty effective, and at the very least will remove the worst of spots and stains while causing no further damage to your carpet or making it more difficult (or impossible) for a professional to remove. Please note that even though we do everything possible to reduce or eliminate odours, spots and stains, due to the depth of contamination, 100% success may not always be attained and can NOT be guaranteed.
As always, if in any doubt, please do call us on 01942 864474 for further advice.