in Blog
on 09 August 2018

With the market ever increasing with new businesses and the time of year where you get cold callers at your door step, it’s really important to select wisely on any trade person you employ.  With people sometimes opting for a cheaper job, sometimes this can actually work out more expensive in the long run.

You cannot solely rely on tradesman referral sites (as sometimes feedback is not 100% accurate and their standard of work may not always be checked thoroughly) or indeed newspaper advertisements, social media etc. It’s always wise to obtain referrals from individuals or companies that have used a service provider before and have had a good experience. Referrals always speak volumes.

There are many schemes which are marketed out there and in our industry of cleaning, there is competition of course, but the consumer is quite often unaware of the standards that should be provided when having carpets or furnishings cleaned.  As North Star are an advanced member of the National Carpet Cleaners Association, we have attained accreditation to meet certain service standards.  Therefore, we are trained to BSI PAS86 Standards and we put this training into practice as a standard level of cleaning service.  Other companies may not work to this standard and will offer a much lower price to attract the consumer and if you’re lucky, may at best only provide one or two elements of the code of practice PAS86. They would then look to upsell other elements.  There is a term called “Bait and Switch” which is illegal, whereby you may get an offer of an extremely low price and then they start adding add-ons to this which puts the price up.  Sometimes you will not even be aware of this fact until they arrive on your door step and you feel under pressure to turn them away or say no!

Some of the key things to look for are:

  • Is the company certified by a reliable organization such as TACCA, IICRC or NCCA or an equally reliable accreditation? If the answer is no, then they may not have sufficient knowledge and training to do the job.
  • Are they fully insured and licensed? You can request to see their insurance if you are in doubt.
  • Do they use non toxic and environmentally friendly products? Are their products BS rated or equivalent?
  • What do consumers say about them? Check customer feedback on review sites such as one of the trade bodies in the cleaning industry (as above).
  • Does the company upsell any unnecessary services? Do they come across as pushy? Some companies will offer you services that you do not need.
  • If it’s too good to be true (i.e. really cheap) then that’s a red flag!
  • Test their knowledge. Observe their suggestions, timing and their confidence in their response.

Bait and Switch Advertising and Consumer Laws can be explained more in this link:- https://consumer.laws.com/deceptive-advertising/bait-and-switch-advertising

If you have been a victim of Bait and Switch in the cleaning sector, we would be keen to hear of your experience. You can message us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call us directly on any of the following numbers:

  • 01795 511945 Main Office
  • 01795 602 322 Swale
  • 01634 926 322 Medway
  • 01622 962 322 Maidstone
  • 01322 686 322 Dartford & Bexley

 

in Blog
on 11 July 2018

180711aThere seems to be a bit of a craze at the moment in chucking pints of beer into the air and over one another!  Scenes can be seen all over the UK but more recently in areas such as Boxpark in Croydon and Times Square in Newcastle.

Obviously things are getting tense now we are embarking on our first semi final for 28 years!!  As you can imagine households across the UK will be having their own in-house celebrations and if we win, we are going to have a lot of beer and possibly wine spillages to clean! 😊

What should I do if I spill beer/wine over my Carpets and Upholstery?

The answer is fairly simple but DIY products tend to emerge from every cupboard possible in the home. If in any doubt, please call us and seek our technical assistance.  It could save you a lot of money in the long run.

Beer

  • 180711bStep 1. Use a clean white paper towel or cloth to absorb as much as of the stain as possible.
  • Step 2. Use a handful of salt over the stains and leave it to absorb overnight and vacuum following morning.
  • Step 3. Call us to carry out a hot water extraction clean!


Wine

  • Step 1. Use a clean white paper towel or cloth to absorb as much of the stain as possible.
  • Step 2. DO NOT pour red wine on white wine, as this will only dilute the red colouring onto your carpet and resoil a larger area over time.
  • Step 3. Use a small solution of soda water (fizzed up as much as possible to react with wine on contact) and continue to blot and repeat process. DO NOT RUB. DO NOT OVERWET. If any doubt please call us immediately to seek professional advice on 01795 511945. Please note this is an emergency remedy only and not a guarantee to remove the stain. This is to assist you in preventing the stain from becoming permanent or making the carpet worn.


Other Handy Tips:

When treating a stain always work from the outside of the stain to the centre and do not vigorously rub as you will damage the carpet fibres.

From a professional cleaning point of view. The best cleaning results are often achieved by the use of chemicals.  Depending on carpet type and construction there are various methods which can be used and treatments such as solvents, powders, detergents and other solutions during the cleaning process. Manufacturers in the cleaning industry design products specifically for the cleaning of carpets and upholstery, ensuring that they are safe to use within a domestic environment (i.e. home). If you have asthma or are chemically sensitive, please inform our office during the initial contact process.

NORTH STAR are proud members of the NCCA (National Carpet Cleaners Association) set up 50 years ago for our profession.  To see the benefits of using a member and what it stands for please visit: https://ncca.co.uk/who-we-are/

 

in Blog
on 30 April 2018

We were delighted to attend the NCCA’s 50th Birthday Celebrations and Awards evening on Saturday, 21st April 2018 in Stratford-upon-Avon (a long journey for us!).

It was lovely to see other like minded individuals and businesses we have shared relationships with over the years, such as Prochem Europe (who have supplied us with invaluable machinery and cleaning supplies).

It was a great honour to have been nominated for one of the awards for best online contribution of the NCCA. In fact, many of our customers had not heard of the NCCA, which is why we decided to promote this more in our work. We first became members when we set up North Star back in July 2000, that’s 18 years ago! We cannot believe just how quickly the time has gone and we have also gained Advanced Membership over the last few years. The benefits of being a member is invaluable to us, it helps us network with various businesses and also strives to improve our performance and knowledge in undertaking various training courses and workshops all over the country. One of the most recent courses that has been introduced to members is Trauma Cleaning, which includes every day occurrences we come across, such as blood stains, urine, vomit etc. It helps us to analyse and risk assess how best to deal with the situation. There are many cleaning companies out there but do they actually know how to risk assess and diagnose the best cleaning method? This can be a real problem when there are companies advertising daily on social media offering massive discounts but without the relevant training and knowledge. This is probably just one of the reasons that we decided that being a member was invaluable and gives our customers that added protection and trust which they seek when employing the services of a reputable cleaning service. Over the years, we have received training in carpet pricing and identification, how to spot clean and treat stains, carpet repairs, hard floor maintenance, stain guard protection, to name but a few. We have gained such a vast amount of knowledge and experience in our field it enables us to carry out a much higher level of service and gives us that passion and drive to push the business forward. We love what we do and hope you do too! You can now leave us reviews directly on our designated page within the NCCA website in the members section, by clicking on: http://bit.ly/NCCAReview

Currently, many of our customers utilize the Checkatrade feedback form, but the NCCA is designed and set up specifically for cleaning service providers for carpets, upholstery, hard floor maintenance etc.  We need to educate people in what the NCCA stands for and how important it is to promote this in the right areas where people are seeking professional and knowledgeable cleaning services.  The NCCA is the only nationally recognised trade association dedicated to the cleaning of carpets, hard flooring and soft furnishings.

By means of a comprehensive training scheme, the association uphold its promise to potential customers, that every one of its members holds a recognised qualification, is fully insured for their work and can provide the highest standards of service and professionalism within the industry.  Please take a look at the website and see for yourself at: https://ncca.co.uk/

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