Category Archives for "Uncategorized"

Jan 10

where has the fuel gone.

By Graham Rogers | Uncategorized

A self-service pump for diesel fuel. To the ri...

A self-service pump for diesel fuel. To the right, a credit card payment terminal. At a Preem petrol station in Avesta, Dalarna, Sweden. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Okay so we looked at the bill for our latest troublesome employee’s fuel card for his van it was unusually high. We checked the van’s mileage.

We then checked all the petrol purchases for that van. This took us about a week.

His purchases were 6 times more than our other oven cleaning vans – which were the same make and model. His mileage was 1400 miles more than it should have been for the mileage for the jobs we was driving to. He had filled up the van three times on a Sunday (we don’t work on Sundays) at a garage that is 15 miles away from where he lives, with about an hour and half between refills. He lived right next door to a Tesco store where he could use the fuel cards. He was also filling up miles from where he was working in the day. He was going out of his way to drive to petrol stations to fill up.

We decide that we are going to give him the boot. But we needed to get him into the office to go through the proper dismissal process.

Anyway we got him in. We took all his stuff off him. We interviewed him, he only said “that van uses a lot of petrol”, and the “the contract does not say I can’t use the van for personal use”!

I sacked him. We then took him home.

The next day I drove the van he had been using. The fuel gauge said the tank was empty! He had only filled it up the day before – even though we cancelled the cards for that vehicle, he still managed to use them to get fuel. But  he had filled up and then driven home to siphon off the fuel; that was the reason it took him so long to get to the office for me to sack him!

So, luckily, in the end we managed to deduct from his wages the fuel costs but we missed the last payment. We delayed his pay day. I think his intention was to get paid and then leave to go onto to the next employer so it was lucky we noticed the fuel payments going out of our bank account.

In all it sort of all worked out, and next time I’ll insist on my gut reaction – we should have got rid of him in the first week when he was being late etc.

The week after he left we received on his phone  a text message: ‘please ensure that you bring id to your interview’.

I texted them back saying I sacked the person who’s phone this was as he had stolen petrol. Their

reply to me was can you give a reference for him! Really unbelievable. It was a national cleaning company. Perhaps they didn’t think it mattered.


ovengleamers van
Oct 04

Troublesome Employee Number 2

By Graham Rogers | Uncategorized

So after our last employee left we felt well that’s all over and lets try again. We quickly found someone, through a recruitment agency, who was suitable and  interested.

He seemed nice enough. As I was just about to go on holiday I took him out for a day and then let my employees train him. Big mistake!

It wasn’t that he wasn’t cleaning well enough after his training week. It was that he may not have been an ideal candidate to be trained in the art of cleaning in our OvenGleamers method. The subtleties of getting the process right were over looked. There were some things that if I’d known about I would have corrected or made a decision to get rid of him.  He got through the training week and went out on his own.

When I got back I looked at the reviews he was getting. They were good.He was getting to the jobs on time, and doing good cleans. One lady said she would have him back every time from now onwards, she was so impressed.

But then some things started to happen that got us thinking.  He said to me when he came to the office: “These jobs are TOUGH!”. Considering he was only doing standard single and standard double oven cleans, this got me thinking that he may  not be up to it. We were just about to train him to do the bigger ranges and AGAs. This was going to be after I had gone out to ensure it wasn’t only the end result he was getting right but our overall process as well. I had a feeling that he was just going through the motions as far as the paperwork was concerned.

So I think he must have known, I not sure how. I looked at the his schedule and decided to check all the jobs he was going to do in our village the following week.

Then he called in sick for a “back problem” on a Monday. Okay I know that it’s easy to get back problems, but this guy was a relatively young bloke and he said he got it from laying down on a kitchen floor whilst cleaning the ceiling of the oven. Beats me. We had to re arrange his appointments. He saw the doctor and he said he would be okay for the next day.

Then we got a call, on the same day that he had taken off sick, to say that he hadn’t returned a key to a local letting agent from whom he had picked up a key to do a clean on the Thursday before. The key hadn’t been returned on the day and it was now four days afterwards. This is something we are hot on and something we would never do! I went to see him to pick up the key. He said that it was too far from the job to get back to the agents and then to get to the next job on that day. We checked the job, it was last one of the day! He lives 5 minutes away from the letting agency. Why didn’t he just drop it off?

Then the next day things came to an explosive end…


Dec 25

Ep 46: New AGA Owner First Steps

By Graham Rogers | Uncategorized

Okay so you’ve just acquired an AGA Cooker, say you’ve moved into a house or just bought one. Here Graham Rogers goes through the steps that you need to take when you get your first AGA. If you’ve bought a house with an AGA in the kitchen, what do you need to do first? What would be useful? What book would be best to buy? Which pans should you get? Here is a guide for you.

Jun 25

Oven Cleaning Companies Electric Screwdrivers Use

By Graham Rogers | Uncategorized

We had a franchisees training day last Saturday and one of the things that the franchisees brought up was the increasing number of jobs they had got to where the

Perfect Screwdriver set

Perfect Screwdriver set (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

panels in the oven have been tightened up too much, so much that they couldn’t get them off because the screws had been rounded off. I think the main reason if that some oven cleaning companies are using electric screwdrivers to tighten up the screws and over tightening them and doing so ruining the screws/nuts.

For us when we get to these it’s a case of pointing this out to the customer when we do our checks and apologising for being unable to do the full clean that we normally do.

This has been mainly on the NEFF, Bosch ovens where you need to use a T15 hex tool to get them off rather than using a screwdriver.

I learnt when I was in the RAF about how not to tighten up nuts when I over tightened a nut in the cockpit of a Sea Harrier Jump Jet. The nut overtightened and then head fell off, meaning a complete strip down of the cockpit to re tap and die the nut. So these days I check the screws are tight but don’t over do it.

We carry the T15 with a ratchet screwdriver. For me this is has always the most I have ever needed as they normally come off very easily and you just need to tighten them up so they are just tight.

Jun 01

Leisure Range Cooker Door not going back on properly

By Graham Rogers | Uncategorized

Anthony our OvenGleamers Franchisee in Cardiff has a great start and we helping him to build his business in Cardiff.

National museum Cardiff, front side

National museum Cardiff, front side (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He hasn’t had any big problems but he did have one when cleaning a Leisure range cooker:

I went across to help him last week as he was having  a problem getting  a door back onto the cooker. I talked through the problem one the phone with him but we weren’t getting any where. So  I thought I might as well just drive over and see if I could fix it as Cardiff isn’t that far for him. I was expecting to walk in and put the door on and then leave, but it really wasn’t that easy.

The door wouldn’t go back on. There was a problem with the locking clasp not lining up. So you put the door back into position getting the grooves on the door lined up and then to unlock the hinges you have to push the locking clasp back into position, but it wouldn’t go back in. I spent a while, about twenty minutes, trying to get it back on and then realised that the reason it wasn’t going back into position was that the metal plate into which the groove in the door fits was bent inwards. It wasn’t us who did this and from what I could see it would have been pretty difficult to bend it, so really I wasn’t sure what happened there.

This was the reason for the clasp not closing as it didn’t have room to close down. So in the end I filed the two clasps down a bit and they then closed. Problem solved. It’s the first time I’ve had this problem but something we need to look out for when cleaning these sort of range cookers.

On the same job Anthony had also made the mistake of unscrewing a side opening door from it’s bracket. The back plate on the bracket then fell inside the oven. In the end we had to get a repair company to come out and sort it. They came out on the same day and fitted.

Even though there were these couple of problems the customer was very happy with the clean.


Mar 19

Oven Cleaning Company Cardiff

By Graham Rogers | Uncategorized

Here is our new franchisee for Cardiff North, Anthony Sellick,  who will be providing a professional oven cleaning service in Cardiff.

Anthony has actually be a key person in a very large cleaning company in Cardiff and has extensive knowledge of the cleaning industry especially in Cardiff and surrounding area.

Here I have done my local marketing video slightly differently to how I have been doing them in the past.

I have re-written the script and added an offer, and done some more bits to optimise the listing in both YouTube and Google.

So it will be interesting to see if it will work better.

Feb 06

OvenGleamers AGM – OvenGleamers Academy – OvenGleamers GRACE Software

By Graham Rogers | Uncategorized

ovengleamers vanWe held this years AGM at our office in Pill on the first Saturday in January and used our training room at our office for the training! If you have been to see us this is the room that I have got set up as a film studio most of the time with a large green screen and lights all set up. When the lights are put away and the screen moved back we can put enough chairs to sit up to 25 franchisees, guests and some partners. We had a look at the room this year and we may be able to do one more AGM in our office before moving somewhere else as it is becoming a bit of squeeze, but we will see on how fast new franchisees join us this year.

The day went very well we started at 10.00 with my wife Catherine bringing everyone up to speed and introducing the new franchisees and talking through the year’s successes using promotions and advertising mediums.

One that stood out was one of our OvenGleamers franchisees did a promotion and got 56 bookings in two days! To appear at the event cost £120 and he was hoping to get at least 3 bookings, but it went crazy with people queueing to book and he booked all them all in. So a return of £5,000 for two days standing around. He did have a bit of a sales process in place. The van was there and he was able to talk through the way we do things, showing them the Mercedes van, the dip tank and rear wet area, and show them pictures of the results, and all this together, and of course being at the right place, at the right time, worked very well.

We had two guest speakers and we announced two things:

1. The introduction of our new Customer Service software GRACE™ which is going to revolutionise our business for both ourselves and all the franchisees. And we are looking to see the growth of both our own multi van business and each of the franchisees business this year is increased by the use of GRACE™ this year. GRACE has been developed for us by a local software company and was something we wanted to introduce to enhance the customer experience with OvenGleamers.

2. The introduction of my new OvenGleamers Academy™.

For this I have set up an exclusive website for franchisees and uploaded all the content that we have put together for the franchisees in one place, which includes the 22 one hour long training webinars we have done over the last two years for the franchisees. I have set up a franchisee forum on the site and also am in the process of making a full set of training videos for technical help, which will, I hope, be invaluable for the franchisees and help to prosper and grow.

Lunch was at the Indian Restaurant across opposite our office (if you have been listening to my podcast you may remember that this restaurant closed but has since reopened with new owners) which was fabulous.

In the afternoon we had a technical discussion and finished at about 4pm.

In the evening it was a Christmas ‘Do’ at the Walton Park Hotel in Clevedon which still had the tree up, with our employees and the franchisees. Walton Park gets better every year, they have had a refurbishment programme so everything looks a lot better there now, and I found a very good conference room with fantastic sea view aspect that will be an ideal location for future AGMs …


Jan 09

OvenGleamers busy December

By Graham Rogers | Uncategorized

Historical Oven cooking depicted in a painting...

Historical Oven cooking depicted in a painting by Jean-François Millet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So how was Christmas? It was busy as ever and we broke our records of the previous year because we took more in one day that we had done before. So, as we take payment in advance, we took by card payments the most we had ever taken in one day. And overall we had an increase in sales of 30%.

We cleaned about 400 ovens in December, our four guys were working 6 days a week doing about 4 a day, and I went out cleaning AGAs for a week or so.

We had some complaints and I have been going out to see people this week to find out what the issues were. In all we had 5 complaints – so just over 1% not bad but zero would have been better – and they were:

1. AEG oven – scratched inside, or chipped as the customer said. I went out and saw this lady. The scratch was about half a centimeter long and it was just a slight scratch were the operative had been trying to get some burnt off carbon from a ridge. The chips were old ones and what you often see in older ovens. I apologised and told her this was the first time anyone had complained about scratching the inside of the oven in 10 years of operation, and told her that the chips were a sign of age of the oven. She was happy about this and we agreed on us giving her a discount for her next clean.

2. Mercury Range – Hob racks have gone blotchy. I went out to see it. The hob racks were completely clean of burnt on carbon, and black and there were some grey watermarks on them. To me they didn’t look bad at all. The issue here wasn’t the standard of the cleaning but that we hadn’t told her that her perfect hob racks would be affected by the clean. This was an older Mercury range and the hob stands are cast iron and not enamelled. Normally when we dip these they go a light grey, though we can get around this with a quick dip. Most of the time when we come to clean these hob racks they are already light grey in colour because the owner has been putting the racks into their dishwasher which strips off the finish (I suspect some sort of oil). In this case the lady had contacted Mercury and asked them about cleaning; they had told her that if she put them in the dishwasher they’d go grey, so she had washed them in the sink in soapy water. As the cooker was 11 years old she had been doing this all the time and kept them clean. So that was the issue, blotchy top. I offered a refund and told her that the way to get rid of the marks completely (we had tried oiling them) would be to put a different finish on them, for example an enamel finish, which we could arrange, but we would have to look at putting it through our insurance.

3. Gas oven not going to full flame after clean. If I’m cleaning a gas oven this is something I check at the beginning and the end of the job. You turn the gas up to max for the oven and wait and watch the flame. It should stay low for about 60 seconds and then suddenly jump up to full height. If it doesn’t it is normally bits of flaky grease covering the jets. For this clean our operative didn’t check this. I’m now producing a new list of checks for the guys to do on cleans. She had the oven cleaned on the 9th of December. She phoned us on the 10th of December. We went back on the 11th of December and we couldn’t get it go up to full flame. We called out and engineering company. Then we didn’t hear anything until we got a letter in the post yesterday – 8th January 2015. The lady said that because the guy we had contacted hadn’t contacted us she had made her own arrangement to get it fixed. The worksheet she sent us showed that she had paid £85 for an engineer from Hotpoint. He had fixed the problem, which was  – ‘fsd phial moved by cleaning company causing flame not to stay lit’ and door catch broken. Replaced catch and refit phial.’ Okay fair enough and £85 was pretty reasonable. But the lady had sent her credit card payment which showed the date she had paid for the service, she had paid on line for Hotpoint repair service with a set payment of £85 to include all parts and labour. The date on this statement showed that she had paid this on the 10th December! Why would you she have paid for the repair without waiting for us to see if we would fix it. So for a bit shady. She hadn’t mentioned this  to us when we had spoken to her on the phone on the 10th or the 12th when we arranged for the engineer visit. I have spoken to her and said it looks dishonest but if she sent me the full invoice for the Hotpoint work I’d look at paying it – it had a bit missing at the bottom  and didn’t have a VAT number. I expect she called them out to fix the door catch and then they put that we had broken it to justify us paying it. Whatever the Phial is, I’m guessing it something that if you just move slightly affects the flame control and perhaps they set this up for us to pay for the door catch.

4. Transfers missing after clean. An old New World gas cooker. The numbers had come off during the clean. I bought some replacement ones on Ebay not knowing it was a gas cooker. So when I got there to replace them the numbers didn’t go in the right direction, that is the knob turned anti-clockwise and the transfers I bought were for an electric oven so the numbers went clockwise and not to a high enough in the numbers. Again goes back to pre check list which we need to get right.

5. SMEG single oven range cooker. We replaced the bulb when we cleaned it. The bulb blew straight away and the oven stopped working. Our operative was unsure of how to fix it. I went out and pulled out the oven and replaced the 13 amp fuse in the power point behind the cooker – fixed. I didn’t put another bulb back in – I told th customer  there may be problem with the circuit in her oven’ s light. As she had breakdown cover with Domestic and General. I told her to arrange a visit to see if they could fix it.



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