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About Poppies Domestic Cleaning Services

Who Are Poppies?

Poppies is a cleaning service with a difference – a lot of differences actually! At Poppies, we are truly passionate about what we do, and are proud to be able to offer our bespoke services across the UK. 

With a team of hard-working, dedicated and experienced cleaners, we are one of the premier providers of domestic and commercial cleaning services. We work closely with every single one of our clients to give real value and a service that actually makes a difference.

We pride ourselves on our dedicated approach to every single project, and offer a bespoke service that is completely tailored to you and your needs.

Our staff are all consistent and permanent, so you can feel confident that when you use our service, your home will be cleaned to the same high standard every time.

Our high-quality service and passionate mentality mean we’re well loved by our clients across the country, and it’s the reason we’ve been helping make life easier for them since 1980.

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Poppies Domestic Cleaning Services

Early Success

As the business grew Sue opened a major new branch in Newcastle. She attended evening classes at Durham University Business School where one of the lecturers told her about Franchising. This inspired Sue to develop her business into a Franchise operation so that others could buy into and benefit from her successful business format.

As a Female Northern Entrepreneur Sue became quite a local celebrity and was one of a handful of business people invited to meet Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in Downing Street.  The very next day one national newspapers printed the story of “Mrs T meeting Mrs Mopps”

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Change of Business Name & Franchising

The publicity caused someone to see the opportunity to make a legal claim for using a similar business name.

Sue decided to change the name of her company to Poppies. By calling staff Poppies (because they pop in and out) Sue hoped that people would soon prefer to ask for a Poppie rather than just a “cleaner”.

After 4 years of successful trading Sue sold her first Franchise in 1984. The owner of that business is still our Franchisee.

Sue believed that a Franchise was the best method for Poppies. To be successful each outlet needs someone to take responsibility for the staff and the service. Standards have to be set and maintained, problems solved, mistakes and misunderstandings professionally dealt with. A local person, committed to their own business but with support and back up from a growing network of experienced colleagues seemed then and now to give clients and staff the best of all worlds. Poppies creates businesses as well as jobs and provides a valuable and in increasingly necessary service.

In 198? Sue was recommended for an MBE by then prime minister John Major for “Services to Domiciliary Care”. Always a Northerner at heart Sue arranged for the award ceremony to take place in County Durham. The honour was presented to Sue  by the Lord Lieutenant acting on behalf of her Majesty the Queen.

Domestic Cleaning Services
Poppies Domestic Cleaning Services

The Present and The Future

Sadly Sue Rorstad is no longer with us.  After a long fight against Cancer, Sue passed away on New Year’s Day 2015.

A woman of many achievements, Sue was most pleased that through Franchising Poppies has been able to create so many jobs.

In particular, it has created hundreds of permanent, part-time and flexible jobs. These jobs give mums with school-age children the chance to earn money and still meet their family commitments. This is a practical form of Work – Life balance.

Above all Sue wanted her business to recognise, respect and value its employees. She thought of Poppies as much more than “just cleaners” and believed in the need to reward people properly for their commitment as well as the jobs they do. All our staff are expected to care about the client as well as their property giving practical support to each individual wherever and whenever they need it the most.

Demand for help at home is growing as busy working people and families juggle with competing pressures on their time and others strive to stay independent in their own homes for as long as possible despite illness, accident or old age.

If it is to provide a consistent and reliable service, no professional organisation can expect employees to subsidise the service they provide. For example, Poppies staff have to travel between properties – often in their own vehicles. Staff have to be reimbursed for the cost of such travel and pay needs to take account of  the time it takes for them to travel to and from a client’s house not just for the hours they spend working in compliance with NMW regulations.

Poppies’ clients share our belief in a fair deal for employees seeing this as important and valid as fair trade is for farmers at home as well as abroad.

If we truly aim to provide our clients with a high quality, professional and consistent service then we have to start by treating our employees in the same way.

This was the philosophy of our founder and remains so today.

IN MEMORY

SUE RORSTAD MBE

1953 -2015

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" Just wanted to say a big thank you 4 saving me the hassle and stress. You’ve done a fantastic job and I’ve been telling everyone what a god send you lot are! "

- MN (Lathom)

Poppies Domestic Cleaning Services

FAQs

FAQS – REGULAR CLIENTS

What if I need to change my cleaning Service?

Make any changes or variations to your service it is very easy – but please do so directly with the office. Poppies’ employees are not authorised to agree any changes. They are not based in the Poppies office  and its possible they may forget to  pass on your message.

We try to be flexible. Life is unpredictable and with notice we will adapt to changes if at all possible.

If you have an appointment or similar reason to change your day, please try to give at least 2 working days’ notice (to arrange an alternative work for your Poppie) so you will not be charged and we will do our best to reschedule your visit.

If you are going on holiday – let us know in advance. We can either suspend the service (you won’t be charged) or sometimes it is an opportunity to ask for other jobs to be done instead (a mini spring clean for example).

What happens when ‘My Poppie’ is away?

We do understand that both clients and Poppies alike prefer to see the same familiar faces. We organise our service to make this possible wherever we can. However Poppies cannot guarantee the same person will always be available and sometimes it is necessary to re-allocate staff for operational or personal reasons.

In the case of staff sickness, holiday or other short-term absence we will carefully select another employee so as to provide a continuous service.  Poppies are contracting to provide a service rather than any individual. You may be charged a cancellation fee if you choose not to accept an available alternative person.

Who will clean my house?

Poppies’ staff are careful to recruit, vet and train all new members of staff. Often new recruits are recommended to us by existing employees and we do not let staff work alone until they have worked with others and achieved an acceptable level of competence.

All our staff are properly insured and instructed in current Health and Safety legislation as it affects them working in your home.

When can I have my home cleaned?

Poppies’ customers expect a reliable, consistent service. Ideally a weekly customer likes to have the same Poppie on the same day of the week and at a regular time. In order to achieve this Poppies works on a 4-weekly cycle. This means regular customers have the choice of a weekly, fortnightly or four-weekly service. It may be that under some circumstances we are not able to offer the day and or time that best suits you straight away. In which case we will look to find an acceptable alternative whilst waiting.

Do I need to be home when you call?

No you do not have to be in provided we have agreed access. We have a security procedure for looking after client keys and keeping alarm codes secure.

If clients are likely to home when we call then it is important that discuss the best method for working around your house so as to minimise any inconvenience or disturbance.

Do I have to sign a contract?

We don’t ask you to sign up for long periods of time although we do expect a regular client to be with us for at least the first 3 months in order to benefit from the regular client prices. Unless we have agreed to start earlier you have the statutory right to change your mind up to 14 days before your first service. We do have some standard terms and conditions of service which explain how we manage our relationship with clients. A copy of our Terms and Conditions is provided to every client.

What if something is broken or damaged?

Over its 35 year history Poppies has an exceptional record of care in client homes. Nevertheless accidents do happen and we have a unique corporate insurance policy shared by all legitimate Poppie’s outlets. As explained in our Terms and Conditions our insurers will ask for every claim to be put in writing within 7 days of event and each claim is subject to an excess charge. Staff members are instructed to contact the Poppies office immediately if something is broken or damaged.

How much does it cost?

Every single job has to be viewed and priced individually. It is part of Poppies’ investment in each client and demonstrates our commitment to providing a service that truly meets the needs of each individual. No two homes are furnished or decorated in the same way and people have very different requirements. Where you live may also affect the cost of your service as we are now legally required to ensure that staff are properly paid for time spent travelling between properties.

Cancellations

It is very important that we protect our employees. If staff are unable to get access to or complete a job which was previously agreed with you this will attract a cancellation fee. This often happens for very silly reasons; someone forgets to leave a key where they said; a lock has been changed; a neighbour forgets to let us in. Cancellations that take place within less than 48 hours of the due date and time of a service attract a 100% cancellation fee.

What if I don’t get on with a member of staff?

This is a really important part of our service. We try hard to allocate people who will suit each other.

People may not always get on or fall out. If you are unhappy please just say so. You should not worry or feel guilty, nor do we expect or need and explanation. Simply contact the Poppies office and ask for a change. We won’t ask embarrassing questions or challenge you and we promise to be discrete.

In fact, we quite often deliberately move staff around – if only for a short time.  This gives clients the chance to meet other staff members and this often proves useful when regular staff or ill or on holiday.

What if I have items of special value?

This topic is covered in our standard Terms and Conditions because we know everyone has items that are precious to them. These may or may not have any real monetary value. Please do take reasonable precautions to protect such items especially the sentimental ones.

Please do make sure that your ornaments, pictures and mirrors etc. are properly secured. Poppies cannot accept liability for any damage which results from our attempting to move or clean furniture or other items belonging to the client which were previously faulty, insecure or dangerous.

Accident or Injury

Legally your home becomes a place of work for Poppies’ employees. We take steps to educate and inform our staff about the hazards and risks. We have H&S policies intended to protect our clients as well as staff. However, we need you to inform us immediately should you become aware of something that may endanger the health or safety of our employees. Failure to do so could mean that you would be held liable for resulting injuries. If you are in any doubt, please call the Poppies office.

I am at home but need to leave sooner than I expected?

Please understand that many Poppies staff have to pre-book and pay for childcare services. They depend upon the jobs they are given to meet these commitments. Poppies are not offering a service based upon the number of hours attended. For this reason, if you instruct a member of staff to leave before the end of an agreed session Poppies will still expect to be paid for the full service duration so that we can honour the commitments to our employees.

How Do I pay for my Regular Service?

We do not want payment pay in cash. Poppies’ staff cannot accept cash on our behalf.

We will invoice the first session(s) until we are both sure that the service level suits you.

Afterwards, you can continue to receive invoices and pay by cheque– although this will usually attract an administrative surcharge to cover the cost of cheque processing, stationery and stamps.

We generally encourage clients to pay by regular monthly standing order as this helps spreads payments evenly throughout the year. Your local office will arrange this for you. If for whatever reason we fail to provide a scheduled service, we will refund the cost of that service directly to your chosen bank account.

Do Poppies Supply cleaning products and Equipment?

Poppies do need to make sure that the products and all equipment used by our staff is both safe and fit for purpose. We know from long experience that many regular customers have their own preferred brands, concentrations, formulas and scents chosen from the increasing variety of available products. Since its inception Poppies has always been willing to accept and use our client’s own products and equipment. We can recommend and will supply (at extra cost) cleaning materials, products and equipment for regular clients if required. For most spring clean and one-off jobs Poppies will expect to supply all necessary materials and equipment.

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Client Testimonials

  • " Just wanted to say a big thank you 4 saving me the hassle and stress. You’ve done a fantastic job and I’ve been telling everyone what a god send you lot are! "

    - MN (Lathom)

  • " We were indeed pleased to see, when we returned home last Tuesday, what a good job Poppies had done in our absence. It was a sight to behold as every where was sparkling "

    - FKM (Ormskirk)

  • " Just wanted to drop you a line to say really impressed with the thorough job that Tracy did yesterday – thank you for your continued professional service "

    - Kate (Exeter)

  • " You may be interested to know that I have had an immediate offer on my house for the asking price, and I’m sure that Poppies spring clean had a good deal to do with it!…. Thank you "

    - CH (Parbold)

  • " Thank you to you and your team for a fantastic job yesterday. The house was spotless throughout. Thank you very much indeed!… "

    - Rachel (Topsham)

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