Monthly Archives: November 2011

Nov 23

Groupon and Living Social Oven Cleaning Deals Bristol

By Graham Rogers | Uncategorized

Historical Oven cooking depicted in a painting...Image via Wikipedia

This Monday a new oven cleaning company, in Bristol advertised on Living Social the coupon site. We know that this company, a one man van operation, has only been trading for a month to six weeks at the most. So one van going out and cleaning the ovens. Living Social sold nearly 300 oven clean coupons over a two day period. As the coupon only lasts to the end of March this means if all the people with a coupon phone up in the next few days and book in their oven clean then the operative will be working solidly cleaning four ovens a day for the next 12 weeks to get them all in, this also allows for a 10% fall off of people who won' t go a head.

We've worked out that the company is getting about £7 an oven clean as part of the deal. So this company is going to spend the next three months working for £28 a day! It is siginificantly more than this just to keep one person employed and to get them to one job. So this company will be losing money big time on every job for three months and at the best time of year for oven cleaning! What a crazy time of year to offer this deal!

The only benefit we can see is that the company will get paid their cut in a lump payment up front by Living Social – Groupon give you the money due to you when each coupon is used – so you get the money in dribs and drabs over the period.

So what happens to those people who bought a voucher when they go to book in and they are told 'sorry we are full up'. I suppose these people will go to Living Social and ask for a refund. What do Living Social do when they get lots of people asking for refunds? They ask for the money back. So this oven cleaning company who have lost money on every job over a three month period will have by then spent the money they got up front Living Social and will have to pay the money back somehow! I think a certain way to go out of business.  So in all not the best of starts.

If you reading this as you are having problems  booking in with this company give us a call on 01275 370571 and we will help you out and I'll give you £5 off your clean if you book it with us on mentioning their name.

We have tried Living Social ourselves, in January of this year. We looked at it as a way to acquire a new customer base to whom we could market and get referrals from.  With our five vans we managed to book them in on a couple of days of each week for the three month period. But it felt painful doing them – I did a lot of them myself – a lot of effort for no money really does take the shine and the satisfaction off of oven cleaning. We sold a similar number to this company in Bristol and another 100 the next day in Cardiff. But did we get any repeat business from it? No did we hell! They want to pay the £20 again and they said that they'd wait for the next Living Social Offer! Did we get any referrals from it – maybe a few. So in all we won't be doing one of these deals again and really I wouldn't recommend it unless you can deal with the amount of cheap ovens you are going to have to clean as your part of the contract with Living Social. 

Contrast the new company with our bookings this week – they have been up. Things are getting busy with Christmas fast approaching, only 20 days to go!

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Nov 14

Oven Cleaning Tamworth

By Graham Rogers | Uncategorized

TamworthImage via Wikipedia

This weekend we launched Roger Gellion's business at Tamworth Sainsbury's store. We drove up on the Friday afternoon and did a two day launch with him giving up lots of leaflets and making some bookings for him to start his oven cleaning tamworth business. We are getting good at launching oven cleaners now! 🙂

So it was a case of getting to the store early to making sure we had our car parking spaces available. Even though we got there on the Saturday at 0800 someone had gone there before us. But we set up the marquee and our stand and we only had to wait a half an hour before the car moved off and we could take the marquee right forward so that it was in the prime position at the front of the store.

On the Sunday the store opened for browsing at 0930 so people could go around the store and chose items but they couldn't pay for them until the store 'opened' at 1000. We got there at 0845 and set up perfectly.

We stayed on both days until 1600 when we packed up. We felt it was too dangerous to continue after it got dark.

So with the interest this created a new oven cleaner tamworth was born!

In all we had lots of interest in our oven cleaning services in Tamworth and surrounding areas. We also had a few AGA cleaning enquiries.

If you are looking to get your oven, range cooker or AGA cooker cleaned in the Tamworth area why not give Roger Gellion a call on :  01827 232222. 


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Nov 14

AGA Running Costs What are they?

By Graham Rogers | Uncategorized

A row of cottages in Bibury, Cottswolds, England.Image via Wikipedia

For me the running costs of an AGA are still an enigma, and I often get asked how much will this AGA cost to run by people who have just acquired one on house purchase, for example.

Firstly have a look at these figures:

Offical AGA Running Cost Figures

From my experience of meeting 100s of AGA owners there is a certain percentage where people express exasperation over the running costs, I mean why would they tell the humble AGA cleaner their running costs? Isn't there some differences in running costs between AGAs of the same type? I mean do different AGA oil burner systems cost more to run? Are oil conversion kits more costly to run? Are some electric AGAs more costly to run?

I have been told of high heating bills (whole house that included the AGA heating cost) of £600 a month in two Cotswold barn conversions. The running cost of the oil AGAs was probably about £100 a month and the rest was for heating the house space. Though do four AGAs cost more to run as both of these were four oven AGAs? Does the size of the space in which the AGA is positioned, i.e high vaulting ceiling, make any difference to the running cost of the AGA?  I think it is pretty obvious that it does as large fuel bills go with large houses, having an AGA will be part of these costs. This is the reason that I am seeing a trend now with large house owners looking at alternative ways to heat their houses, with bore holes and solar panels etc.

For me any of these running costs seem way to much to even consider buying one of these AGAs. I changed my old gas heating boiler (1970s) in my house last year for a modern boiler and the fuel bill was 25% of what it was before, a huge saving. Surely AGA with all their millions of profit could come up with a modern fuel efficient green AGA? Although the AGA Total Control is being sold as being 'economical to run' see page 5 of their brochure page headed 'Why it's time for AGA Total Control', what is economical? Is it really the new green AGA?

The point I am trying to make is that my 30 Amp AGA is cheap to run, the figures for running costs are 100% accurate at £11 a week, month on month, year on year since I have had it. 
The AGA Total Control which looks fabulous and reading all the information on it seems to be the AGA for the 21st Century. But I was told by the salesman in the AGA shop that running costs for it would be higher than the 13 Amp AGA. So what are the proper figures for running the new AGA Total Control? What does this equate to in pounds per month?

In the press release over the weekend AGA announced  huge profits and also that 1 in 3 of the AGAs sold by the AGA group is the new Total AGA Control. So great news for the new AGA.I really don't think cost of purchase or running costs are going to put the people off in the demographic this aimed at though for some of us a fuel efficient AGA is the way forward.

And really if I could buy an AGA Total Control I'd love to have one to find out what it is like.

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Nov 10

AGA Total Control Buy or Not to Buy?

By Graham Rogers | Uncategorized

표면실장 부품Image via Wikipedia

Should you buy an AGA Total Control?

I'd say if you are thinking about spending £9500 on a Total Control why not get a 30Amp AGA? They seem to be on offer quite a bit. If you want to switch the AGA off in the Summer you could also buy an AGA module so that you have something to use in the Summer when the AGA is off or maybe just a small single oven and hob.

My 30 Amp is costing £11 a week to run – I can say accurately as it has a separate off peak meter. As we have smallish house it heats the whole house except for my front room (which is down steps from the main house as used to be the village shop). So for this running cost you could even leave it on all the time – like we do. It does mean our kitchen gets to 35 to 40 degrees in the Summer (we open the back door) but having the AGA on throughout the year has its benefits: we can dry things quickly on it and we can heat up our AGA kettle any time we need a brew, and of course we can cook on it striaght away without having to wait any time at all!

As I go to the local AGA shop regularly, to show people I am training for my business, I have got to know the people there. I have been told by them that the AGA Total control really is ideal for say a holiday cottage where you are going to be for the weekend and you want to turn it on whilst you are driving down the motorway. Or if you kitchen designer tells you that you must have an AGA in your kitchen then it would be the one to buy so you'd get the AGA look and the kudos of the AGA name. It could just sit there and you'd be able to just switch it on if you need to use it.

The AGA shop people told me that it is going to be more expensive to run than a normal AGA. As a normal AGA is costing about £30 to £35 a week to run – I have heard some horror stories on both the 13 Amp AGA running costs (£7 a day which was being metered) – this may have been a four oven AGA and also non AIMS.

The AGA Total control doesn't have that much in the way of ambient heat. I think this is because the amount of insulation they put in it on the production line reduces this. So your house won't be a warm or cosy as it would be with a normal AGA cooker, you may have problems heating a kettle when you want and you may have trouble drying things on it. So what it really boils down to is a very expensive but lovely looking ordinary cooker.

The AGA Total control arrives 80 per cent built as it is built on a production line. When AGA survey your house they will bring a pallet on wheels to check to see if it will go through your doors. As the AGA is approx 300KG steps up to your house are going to cause a problem as well as door widths. But if you have a new house build then of course you'll be able to plan the installation as part of the build. Ordinary AGAs are built on site and as they are made of cast iron it requires skill to get them all lined up properly. Is there going to be the same amount of skill required to commission the AGA Total Control? Hmm well that is a good question.

 It may be unreliable as the reason they are building on a production line is that they are trying to get build consistency right. That is they are trying to make it as reliable as possible. The AGA service engineer who came to repair my AGA this year told me that a lot of their jobs are fixing 13 Amp AGAs – PCB board needs changing. As they charge £100 for a call out it is going to be expensive even when the AGA is in warranty. And out of warranty you've got to cough up for the parts too.

If you do get a 30 Amp AGA it comes with a five year guarantee and this only stays valid if you have the AGA serviced annually. What the annual service entails on a 30 Amp AGA God knows. A few checks on the wires with a ammeter I'd guess and then a clean bill of health award. But by doing this it means that if one of your banks of elements fails in your 30 Amp AGA then you can get them replaced under the warranty, so this might save you a couple of hundred quid.

We have had our AGA cooker for 4 years now – it was a reconditioned one from Mr Cooker see 30 Amp AGA Cooker - we paid £5500 for it and it still looks like new four years on . I'd recommend Tony from Mr Cooker if you are looking to get one. We have had to replace elements for the last two years. The cost of the elements have been £150 each replacement. So £150 last year and £150 this year. With a new 30 Amp AGA the elements are in banks of 14, so if one goes wrong then you'll have to replace the whole bank, it isn't cheap about £250 – my element replacement cost was for the replacement of one element as my older 30 Amp AGA has the elements in series – call out charge £80 plus thirty minutes labour £24 and the element replacement cost itself. As our AGA is older we don't bother with any sort of servicing. So you have to look at this cost compared with the servicing costs of say a gas AGA – about £120 a year for one service a year, or an oil AGA – about £240 a year with two services a year (they coke up you know :-)).

But saying that the Total Control AGA may be the way to go for you. It looks fabulous and really if cost or purchase and running costs aren't an issue I'd say go for it.

If you already have an AGA Total Control would you contact me or leave a comment below please as I am about to do a video on them. From AGAs press release today they are selling a lot of them. 1 in 3 AGAs sold are the new AGA Total Control. So it really is getting people's attention.

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Nov 07

Oven cleaning Update

By Graham Rogers | Uncategorized

NEW YORK, NY - UNSPECIFIED DATE: In this hando...Image by Getty Images via @daylife

So we had a mad four weeks or so. We trained the three new franchisees in a week business course in the classroom for the first week. Then I trained each of them one week at a time and we got all of their vans fitted out and ready to go.

So far Pete in South Manchester has done four jobs already – he finished his training last week. Roger, in Tamworth – South Staffordshire –  who finished last Friday cleaned a standard AGA with overhead extractor today, and Brian (oven cleaning in Chippenham) although he did his training three weeks ago is doing is first job tomorrow (his van wasn't ready – he bought a brand new Nissan NV200 and it took a couple of weeks to sort out). We have given Brian our database of 467 clients that are in his area which he is taking over from us so that he can contact them to arrange appointments.

As our most recent employee, Paul, has left the company I now have my van back which means that I am available for work! So tomorrow I'm out cleaning. I have a double oven hob and extractor in the morning and a double oven in the afternoon.  Paul left his sander in the van. This is the second sander that an employee who has left has left. This means I now have two sanders. So if an employee of yours starts doing some sanding…

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Nov 06

Oven cleaning business launch Cheadle South Mancheter

By Graham Rogers | Uncategorized

Today we did an OvenGleamers business launch in Cheadle Royal Sainsbury's and John Lewis car park. So we are with the franchisee standing outside in the beautiful sunshine. A fabulous day amd lots of interest. We have got a pitch right outside the main entrance. We have had several enquiries about AGA cleaning. If are are looking to get  your oven hob range cooker or AGA cleaned in the South manchester cleaned give Peter Richardson a ring on 0161 850 999 now!

Also whilst in the area we had a look at Chips Away who were doing a business launch at Tesco's at Altrincham. We were being noisey just to see if Chips Away / Oven Clean do their business launches any differently. They had the same set up as us. Though they positioned their vehicle under the canopy. They didn't have a podium like ours but had a leaflet hanger on the legs of the marquee which we thought was a good idea. There were three guys at the marquee and a girl giving out leaflets at the bottom of the escalator. We did notice a very large number of leaflets thrown in the bin at the top of the escalator – it was full of them –  and in the bin outside the store. So even working on a numbers game it seems a good way to waste leaflets and money.

In all we got several bookings on the day and quite a few people showed interest.

As our franchisees usually get a weekend business launch we are going to go back in January to do another day to give Pete's business a boost in January which can be quiet.

 

 

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Nov 03

Oven Cleaning Van Ford Transit Connect Unreliable

By Graham Rogers | Uncategorized

OvenGleam's Oven Cleaning Operatives 2009Image by Ivydale via Flickr

Yesterday our Ford Transit Connect oven cleaning van broke down – the one here in the picture with the dodgy sign writing. The gear box wouldn't work. So we got it relayed by the RAC and to the garage that do our van servicing. Apparently, so our Peugeot dealer informed us,  the Ford Transit Connect has a common fault of the gear box going and it usually is the selector box. Today they confirmed this and to get it repaired is going to cost us about £550. We are also getting the brake disks and pads replaced so it is going to be an expensive garage bill when we get the van back tomorrow. So would you buy a Transit Connect – I really wouldn't recommend them in any shape or form. My other Ford Transit connect the van I started OvenGleam with: engine failed at 66,000 miles – replaced under warranty, engine failed again at 117,000 – van scrapped as both Transit Connects had engine failure within two months of each other!

So the history of our Ford Transit Connect that I bought new in November 2005 – turbo went and then three months later engine seized at 56,000 both fixed out of warranty – with the turbo costing about £1000 to replace and the engine £3000 to replace. And now the gearbox has gone at 110,000 miles.

Compare this with our 2006 Citreon Berlingo which cost about £3,000 less than the Transit and we have had also from new – leaking brake cylinder replaced under warranty. Currently at 117,000 and going, touch wood, well. Our Diahatsu vans both bought in 2006 have about 70,000 on the clock and we have never had a problem with them – well stickly speaking that isn't true as yesterday I drove mine into a low wall and the exhaust is now blowing on one of its joins – quoted £700 for the front section which includes the catyltic convertor or £156 for the back bit. I trying to get just the flange, where it is blowing, fixed.

Yes the gear box did cost £550 to fix, this was just sorting out the selector, they did try and upsell asking if we'd like to get the whole gearbox refurbished for £750 which we declined.

So now we just need to it go without problems for another few months.

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