Questions You Should Ask?

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Since we started trading in 1994 we’ve seen dozens of alternative oven cleaning companies come and go. We’ve also had many instances over the years where we’ve been asked to rectify jobs where ‘others’ just haven’t undertaken the task to our exacting standards.

Unfortunately, many of these jobs were booked by customers who bought on price rather than value. Customers who were prepared to take a risk by saving a few pounds and assuming that ‘all oven cleaners do the same’.
To help you find some important answers before you book an oven cleaning service we’ve put together some helpful FREE information.
Not asking enough questions before booking the services of an oven cleaning supplier could have some very serious consequences indeed.

So here are a few ideas of the questions you really must ask as not all oven cleaning companies are the same !! To help even more we’ve also included the ‘reasons for asking’ underneath the questions.

When you clean my oven will that include the roof?
Reason for asking…The roof of an oven is area that gets particularly greasy especially where the oven is ‘fan assisted’. As the fan is circulating the warm air, it is also spreading grease and fat evenly over the oven’s internal surfaces. If the oven has an integral grill then this, in turn, will be get a covering of debris which becomes a genuine fire hazard next time the grill element is turned on. Even when the oven isn’t fan assisted it is common for a build up of grease to accumulate on the oven roof as it isn’t visible in a lot of instances. It is therefore extremely important that the roof of the oven is included in the oven cleaning process and that the oven cleaning company chosen to undertake the job has the specialist tools to undertake this task both safely and efficiently.
Does your oven cleaning service include removal of the rear fan cover?
Reason for asking…is that behind the rear fan cover there is a heating element, a fan blade and a fan motor. There will be, as per the roof, a good build-up of grease and fat surrounding these items and it is this debris that generally leaves a ‘smell’ in the oven if not cleaned correctly. A large build-up of debris could also represent a fire hazard and might eventually get so bad as to affect the efficiency of the heating process and use extra fuel to heat the oven cavity.
What ISO standard have you been trained to?
Reason for asking…is that many oven cleaning individuals will have received what is known as ‘over the shoulder training’, nothing much better than picking up a few ideas from A.N.Other whilst in customer’s homes. Others may have paid for a ‘training course’ and received a ‘self-certification’ from the company who got paid !! Using an oven cleaning supplier that displays the ISO logo demonstrates that all of the operators within that organisation will have all undergone the same industry standard, approved initial training and will also receive regular updates on the very latest products and supplier information.
When you specify ‘fully insured’, does the insurance you have cover the actual appliance that you’re cleaning?
This is a VITAL question to ask as there are many interesting and varied interpretations of what ‘fully insured’ actually means !! Many oven cleaners will suggest that they carry Public Liability cover and that their policy extends to cover third party damage. Unfortunately this WILL NOT COVER the item being worked on should an accident/incident occur. Accidents do happen. Some may be relatively inexpensive to correct but others may result in the oven needing to be replaced. Oven cleaning companies charging an extra pound or two will potentially be able to offer the total peace of mind you need when making your choice. Please be sure to ask this question in the circumstances.
Are you happy for me to see a copy of your insurance cover?
You are perfectly entitled to ask your oven cleaning supplier to bring along a copy of their insurance policy especially if you are still in any doubt having read the above. Reputable operators will be pleased to give you sight of the document before starting work at your property.
How many of your cleaning materials that you use either indoors or outdoors contain caustic?
Of the dozens of oven cleaning products available these days either shop bought or purchased via the internet, many still contain caustic soda. Some suppliers use the chemical name (sodium hydroxide or sodium potash). Caustic soda based oven cleaners are corrosive and are not suitable for use on glass, painted surfaces, ‘stay-clean’ liners, heating elements or aluminium. Breathing the fumes from caustic based products supplied in aerosol tins can have severe detrimental effects. You’ll find that many oven cleaners will stipulate that ‘no caustic is used in your home’ however this will inevitably mean that caustic is being used in the outdoor process ‘in the van’. It is therefore wise to check the validity of any/all advertised claims that an operation is being carried out ‘caustic free’.
My oven has an enamel interior so have any of your ‘own brand’ products been tested and approved by the Vitreous Enamel Association?
All products that have been tested and approved by the Vitreous Enamel Association (VEA) are listed on their web-site www.vea.org.uk. The VEA symbol will be displayed on all product packaging and the reason that these materials have been tested is to show that they are effective in use and will not damage vitreous enamel surfaces. This is a very important factor to consider as the huge majority of oven interiors are coated with vitreous enamel. It is highly advisable to ask to see the product container(s) that an oven cleaner is using in your home and check that the VEA symbol is displayed.
Will I have to pay extra for cleaning my racks, trays or grill pan?
Many oven cleaning companies advertise prices which are artificially low with a view to adding ‘extras’ either over the phone or when they arrive. Always check what the final cost will be as, paying extra for shelves, trays and racks can add a significant amount of money to your bill. It is probably best to seek a true professional supplier who will offer an ALL INCLUSIVE quotation rather than a somewhat open-ended flimsy estimate.
Is VAT included?
Again, best advice is to check to see if your quoted price will have 20% extra added on completion. Unfortunately there are a few oven cleaning companies that will give an estimate ‘including VAT’ that are simply not VAT Registered. In these instances it is impossible to claim back the VAT on an invoice amount from a company that hasn’t registered for VAT in the first place !! A company not registered for VAT should say that ‘there is no VAT to add’ rather than ‘VAT is included’. As a consumer, you have the right to know which statement is correct.

We trust that you’ve found this information useful in helping decide which oven cleaning or oven valeting supplier to use.

The final question to conclude this article is…..

Do consumers still generally get what they pay for?
Answer….”YES”, the basic business principle is still in place as it always has been……”pay a bit more, get a lot more!!”
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