Frequently Asked Questions
Click on a question below to expand and read the answer.
In case you don’t find the information you’re looking for here, please ask us your question directly by either calling us on the number above, or using the contact form at the bottom of this page. During business hours we do utmost to give you a fast response – typically straight away for queries by phone, or within 2-3 hours for online enquiries.
First off, we are very picky about who we allow to serve our customers. We turn down a lot of applicants because we don’t use anyone we haven’t got great confidence in.
Our cleaners get AccessNI background checked, and personally vetted, because we know how important it is for our clients to have absolute trust in the person or teams they let in to clean their home, around their possessions, pets, family or children.
We don’t just send out someone to clients and hope for the best, we have trial cleans, trial and review periods, and hands-on management. We care about our team members and actively support each person’s work and development.
We also regularly do quality control checks, and ask customers for honest feedback and take action if needed as a result – we have a culture of continual improvement. We religiously ask customers for their feedback or rating (but don’t worry, we do this in a way that’s easy and without taking up your valuable time!)
These things make a huge difference. In our experience most cleaning companies recruit in a hurry when they start getting busy, with very little vetting, testing, and little understanding of how to tell whether a cleaner they’re taking on will truly be trustworthy and leave their customers satisfied.
After all, we HAVE TO take great care of our customers and do things right, because we put our money where our mouth is with our Double Guarantee policy, so if we don’t do a good enough job we lose money. Simple as that.
Absolutely not. That’s what we’re here for. Discretion is a big company value for us. We’re here to help. We don’t judge.
You and your details are safe and secure when you book or pay online with us.
Our website is fully secure with 256-bit encryption to protect your information, and is certified by Comodo, one of the industry leaders in digital security and secure-site authentication.
For our online credit/debit card payments we’ve carefully chosen Stripe to power our systems, with security at heart and compliant with the strictest PCI requirements.
Yes, we are fully insured with appropriate cover, such as public liability cover and employer’s liability. Our insurance policy is designed for responsible trustworthy cleaning companies like Speck, and includes things like loss of clients’ keys, etc.
Choosing The Right Service:
On our Services & Pricing page, we give example checklists showing the sort of coverage and detail throughout a home that these services typically include. You’ll notice there are only minor differences between the checklists for the two service types. Both types cover your whole home, including inside windows, with a good level of detail.
The difference between the Get Clean and the Deep Clean is the intensity of cleaning that’s required.
An easy way to think of it, is that a Get Clean is more wiping and dusting, whereas a Deep Clean allows much more time and scope for scrubbing and labour to tackle stubborn areas where needed.
The Deep Clean is the most popular package, and many clients already know which of the two is most suitable for their needs. If you’re unsure though, that’s no problem! You can:
• See our guide on choosing which is right for you.
• Or, if you like, book the Deep Clean service anyway if you think it might be necessary or worthwhile. We are in regular contact with our cleaning teams during a day’s work, and there have been many occasions where we’ve refunded or reduced a client fee to a Get Clean level whenever we felt the particular client/home wouldn’t get value for money at the Deep Clean level.
• Or, contact us! Our friendly team loves to listen and give our best recommendations.
Our ethos is to walk into a room, pick a corner, clean top to bottom and everything in between. We do not clean around things! We can even help to tidy, help arrange things to create that “hotel” finish. Just ask!
To make things user-friendly, we have devised detailed checklists that both you and the team have, so you can know what to expect from a Get Clean or a Deep Clean. Find these on our Services & Pricing page.
These lists aren’t exhaustive – the ethos remains even if the features of the house are slightly different from those in the example lists. We do nonetheless ask that if there’s anything that you particularly want done which isn’t in the lists, to let us know before your appointment.
As much as we think we’re fantastic we also have limitations! There are some things we cannot do:
• Agas and Ranges – This gorgeous equipment needs specialised cleaning.
• Blinds – Blinds can be very delicate and time-consuming to clean properly. We can do this for you if needed, but it would normally be priced separately (depending on the number and condition) rather than included in a standard package clean.
• Unusually high places – The teams do have a small set of step-ladders and extendable dusters, but we do not have the equipment to reach extra high ceilings or areas. This also applies to conservatory ceilings etc.
• Cleaning issues vs. maintenance issues – Sometimes items or surfaces that are very corroded, rusted, damaged, etc, can unfortunately be impractical to clean effectively. Examples of this could include: *Any areas which are liable to fall apart or experience further damage as a result of scrubbing needed to get them clean. *Heavily rusted surfaces, for example window-frames parts, where, with the best will in the world, anything beyond very superficial surface cleaning would take up a great deal of time with very little result to show for it. * Mould on walls as a result of damp – while our teams can sometimes help lift some mould in smaller areas, please do not expect large areas of wall mould from damp to be eradicated in a standard Get Clean or Deep Clean package. Usually this is better treated as a maintenance issue rather than a cleaning issue. *For bathroom mould, for example in showers or on grout, our team does have mould sprays and will treat the problem accordingly, but please manage your expectations because mould can be difficult to shift. Sometimes black mould will be improved drastically, other times not too much. Sometimes it will just fade to grey after cleaning but sometimes won’t sparkle again!
• Extensive wall-cleaning / washing – In a Deep Clean service, we DO spot-check walls and remove local stains or splatters wherever possible, however, we DON’T as standard wash or clean whole walls, or big areas of walls. Sometimes walls just need to be repainted (or re-papered). Other times we might be able to help, but such requirements would need to be discussed on booking and pre-arranged. Please just tell us.
• Heavy-duty lifting/moving in order to clean – Teams would not normally clean behind/under very heavy items like fridges, washing machines, etc, as part of a standard Get Clean or Deep Clean.
The flat-rate packages as they stand are suitable for about 95% of client houses. So, in short, if you’ve picked a service that’s suitable for your home and needs, and there’s nothing particularly nonstandard about your home/requirements, then the flat-rate quote will apply.
We offer a service quote, not a time-quote, because from our experience in this industry we can predict quite well the amount of labour needed for each type of job. Every home is different, and we allow a generous margin for the natural variation in scope of work from one job to the next.
There can be circumstances when the standard packages wouldn’t be appropriate for a client’s home, but these are the cases where the scope of work would be substantially non-typical for the job type.
We’ve given some examples of when this might be the case in the next question below.
As mentioned, our standard flat-rate package cleans (Deep Clean / Get Clean) are suitable for about 95% of client houses. The exceptions are fairly easy to recognise, so here are some real-life examples:
• If you are lucky enough to have an extraordinary home, or one that’s significantly bigger than the number of bedrooms would imply. For example, although your house only has 3 bedrooms, in reality you have a three-bedroom barn conversion with three large reception rooms, a huge kitchen and an even bigger conservatory. You get the drift! Not every house with the same number of bedrooms is the same size. That’s OK, we expect that. But if the team are likely to be taken aback when they arrive at the house or apartment, please talk to us!
• If it’s been as long as several years since the property had a really good clean.
• If your home has been very hard to manage lately and it will take a LOT of time, dedication and elbow-grease to have it clean again. Maybe there is lots of clutter or hoarding. Maybe life has been unkind and you have been unwell and have struggled, and your home has been badly affected.
Whatever the reason, being open with us helps us create an excellent service for you.
We are a professional and non-judgemental company that simply wants to help you fall in love with your home again.
If you think your requirements might need a personalised quote, instead of one of our standard flat-rate cleans, please just let us know.
A fully green/eco product suite is available on request. If a client wants only green/eco products to be used, we are happy to abide by that strictly. Please make sure you notify us before your appointment if this is your requirement.
In general as a company, we have a preference towards green and eco-friendly cleaning products. However, this is something of a work in progress, because, for certain types of heavier cleaning work, we still find that some mainstream products and chemicals are more effective in lifting dirt and giving a fresher finish.
However, if the client has requested green/eco only, that’s all we’ll use. On the confirmation email we send you when you book we ask about this and tell you what to do if you want eco products only.
Cancelling or rescheduling with at least a day’s notice – it’s easy, flexible, and free!:
If you need to cancel or reschedule, that’s no problem, but we do ask that you always try to give as much notice as you possibly can – and always at barest minimum a full day’s notice.
We always try to be as flexible as we can in the event you need to change the date or cancel. We’ll either move your appointment to an alternative time/day that’s available, or issue a refund – whichever you prefer.
We understand things can change, so please don’t hesitate to contact us to let us know as early as you can in the event you want to change or cancel the appointment.
With the following specific exception, we do not retain payment or charge any fees for cancellation.
The one exception – without 24+ hours notice:
The one exception is if the client cancels or postpones without giving us at least 24 hours notice (or if the team arrives on the day and are not allowed to provide the planned service, for example if they are unable to get access to the property even after we’ve tried to contact you).
In these cases, we have to charge full price for the planned service. This is because our teams depend on their scheduled jobs, and by that stage it’s too late to reassign them elsewhere, and because last-day cancellations really affect our ability to provide an excellent and efficient service. Speck thanks all clients for their understanding in this matter.
No, whether you’re at home with us, or out while our cleaners work is perfectly fine.
Many clients are not in when we clean. If nobody will be there when we arrive you just need to arrange with us how we get in.
Some regular clients like to leave a key in a safe place for us and the cleaners replace it when finished or make an arrangement with a neighbour to let us in, others lend a spare key. Whatever works that you’re comfortable with is good for us too.
First, please don’t keep quiet about it. We’re a local company run by good people with a culture of constantly improving and who really care about our customers.
If the team or cleaning professional is still with you, first please tell them what you’re disappointed with.
Although most of our customers think we do an amazing job, of course we’re only human and maybe we’ve overlooked something. More often than not, once we know about it it’s easy to put right and leave you with a smile on your face again.
If the team isn’t there anymore, or if you’re unhappy with the cleaning professional’s response, or if for whatever reason you’d rather deal with management instead, then please call us on 02890 994122, or email us via the contact form at the bottom of this page, as soon as possible within 24 hours of your clean.
We always aim to address any problems in a sensitive and professional way, in line with our company Fair Play Policy. We also provide a Double Guarantee – please see the next question below where we explain this in more detail.
We try our very best to provide an awesome experience every time, but we’re a company run and staffed by humans, so of course it’s possible we overlooked something! We’re not happy unless you’re happy, so we offer a bold Double Guarantee. If you aren’t happy with the job, we’ll come back and put it right for free. If you’re still not happy enough to recommend us to a friend, we’ll refund you in full.
Our complaint and guarantee process works like this:
1. If something has gone wrong, we want to know as soon as you do. (Within 24 hours, or at very latest within 3 days of your clean, please). We’re very customer-focused and your feelings matter to us.
2. A member of management either does a client visit in person, or has a conversation by telephone, to get as full an understanding as possible about the specific areas of dissatisfaction.
3. We offer – at our own expense – a team or person to come out and rectify issues. We will make a genuine attempt to turn the negative experience into a positive one!
4. If you’re still not happy with our work after this, we will refund your clean in full.
This guarantee is deliberately designed to hold ourselves accountable for great service!
There are some basic conditions. These are:
– We need to know ASAP if something has gone wrong. Please contact us within 24 hours of your clean (or re-clean) if you are dissatisfied. In cases where this isn’t possible for you because (for example) you’re away so aren’t able to see the home and results of the cleaning until after this, we’ll understand and will still follow the guarantee as long as we’re notified no later than 3 days after the cleaning visit.
– Please note that the re-clean offered is to fix issues identified, not to provide a second clean of everything. (This is especially important to understand in cases where the home has been used or lived in between the initial clean and the re-clean).
– For the guarantee to apply, the complaint needs to be relevant to the service that was booked or promised. By this, we mean that if “X” isn’t advertised to be cleaned as part of the service you booked, isn’t on our example checklists, and wasn’t requested and agreed to at the time of booking, then complaining afterwards that “X” wasn’t cleaned (or wasn’t cleaned to your satisfaction) unfortunately doesn’t warrant a re-clean or a refund. We ask that you understand the logic. When our teams are out cleaning they do often take the initiative to include/clean things that might not be exactly listed on our example service checklists (you can view these on our Services & Pricing page). However, if there is something not listed which is important enough to you that you’d complain if it weren’t done, please tell us about it before the appointment, don’t leave it until the day or afterwards!
We clean all kinds of homes, and strive to give every client a top level of care, every time. Regardless of whether it’s a luxury dwelling or the opposite.
That said, high-spec properties can come with the added challenge that they can need very high levels of care with the materials, fittings and fixtures. Where the typical level of mediocrity – “good enough” – is just not good enough. So clients with these type of dwellings can often feel an added pressure not to risk their home to cleaners (and any other tradespeople) who might not be caring or competent enough to let loose on their prized possessions.
Please be rest assured that the level of care and pride that we and our cleaners take in our clients homes is second to none. See the information in some of the other FAQ sections on our trust, safety and hiring. And for more information on our specialist care for luxury properties, click here.
Let’s talk! Please give us a call on 02890 994122 (we’re available for customer service until around 7.30pm most evenings except Sundays), or use the contact form below to send your query. We look forward to hearing from you.