Smellmycheese's Blog

So this blog post is basically just my chance to get it out there that Leeds Domestic Cleaning, trading under Design Market, is shoddy as hell and the manager, a Simon M Macbeth, has a hell of a lot to learn about customer service and social media. It’s not a fun read, barely even interesting, but hopefully it will mean that when people are looking for a cleaning company in Leeds, or if they Google Leeds Domestic Cleaning, they’ll have the benefit of my warning.

(The repetition of ‘Leeds Domestic Cleaning’ and ‘cleaning company in Leeds’ is for SEO purposes.)

And Simon M Macbeth, if you’re reading, this could all have been avoided had you simply rearranged my appointment without me having to chase you, not deleted my posts from your Facebook wall and blocked me from posting further and dealt with me in a courteous and friendly manner. You really know how to rub people up the wrong way, as demonstrated by a fellow disgruntled customer on Ripoff Report. Ever heard the phrase ‘the customer is always right’? Perhaps you should heed it.

And, before the inevitable smartarse comments about doing my own cleaning start, I have never paid for a cleaning service before in my life and I doubt I ever will again now! I took up this offer because it seemed like a great deal. How wrong I was.

Read on for my cautionary tale about this cleaning company in Leeds:

I paid for an oven clean online with KGB Deals  and then upgraded to also receive a fridge freezer clean when I booked the appointment with Leeds Domestic Cleaning, trading under Design Market. Google them if you like; I don’t want to give their website any inbound links.

The cleaner failed to turn up. I was in waiting at the time of the appointment and for several hours afterwards. My intercom works and there is no reason I would not have heard it.

I called later that day explaining no one had turned up and sent a message via the Leeds Domestic Cleaning website’s contact form.

I received a response from Leeds Domestic Cleaning manager Simon M Macbeth later that day and the correspondence proceeded as below:

Subject: KGB Oven
Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2012 14:17:03 +0100

Hi Leah
 
Paulina arrived this morning and waited around 25 mins after there was no reply on the intercom

Many Thanks

Simon M. Macbeth
Clients Manager
Leeds Domestic Cleaning

___

Subject: RE: KGB Oven
Date: Sun, 22 Apr 2012 07:58:23 +0000

I can assure you that did not happen. I was up from 9am and in waiting all morning. Why would I make this up? I would have heard the intercom so I can only think she’s gone to XXX East, XXX North or XXX South rather than XXX West. 
This really isn’t a satisfactory response and I would like my money back. Please call me on XXX
Thank you,
Leah 

___

Subject: RE: KGB Oven
Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2012 08:29:48 +0100

Hello Leah,
 
Nobody is saying that you have made up anything – Im sorry that it seemed that way to you.
 
If you like I will email over to you a photo of your front door to show you we was there.  Paulina is due in our office on Tuesday so I will have access to it then.

Many Thanks

Simon M. Macbeth
Clients Manager
Leeds Domestic Cleaning

___

I then called Simon and he said he was not prepared to offer me a refund but that as a ‘goodwill gesture’ he would make another appointment for me. He said he would send me an email confirming this. I sent the following email after our phone conversation so I could have in writing what we agreed, and I also asked for the mystical photograph of my front door as promised:

Subject: RE: KGB Oven
Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2012 08:56:54 +0000

Hi Simon,
Further to our phone conversation, if you could confirm in writing for me that someone is coming round for the oven and fridge freezer clean at 1.30 on 12th May as already paid for, that would be great. 
Being based in Leeds, I wouldn’t imagine it would be too difficult to take a photo of my front door at any point, so it proves very little. However, please send me the photo anyway so I can ensure the cleaner goes to the correct address next time. Thank you. 
Please give the cleaner my number: XXX so that she can call if she struggles to find me again. 
Thank you,
Leah. 

___

Two days later, no email had arrived. I called Simon and he said that he had sent an email along with this supposed photograph of my front door. He didn’t know why I had not received it, but he would re-send it in 10-15 minutes.

Nothing had arrived the next day and so I tried to call Simon again. I was put through to voicemail and so left a message which I followed up with this email:

Hi Simon, 

I left you a voice mail this morning to the following effect:
Following our phone conversation yesterday (Wed) in which I told you I had not yet received the email confirmation of my new appointment or the photo of my front door which you said on Monday that you would send on Tuesday, you said you had sent the email and you did not understand why I had not received it. You said you would send it again in around 10-15 minutes. This was at around 12.30pm yesterday; I have still not received the email. 
I have checked my Junk mail folder, although I can’t imagine why there would now be a problem with me receiving your emails there has not been previously. 
If you can get back to me on the phone and in writing with the confirmation of the new appointment on the 12th May and the photo you offered to send me, that would be great. 
Thanks, Leah. 

___

Since this, I have had no reply from Simon and I have noticed I have been blocked from writing on the wall of Leeds Domestic Cleaning’s Facebook page, and a comment I posted there regarding the cleaner not turning up has been deleted.

The company I bought the voucher from (KGB Deals) has refunded me, but the extra service I paid for directly to Leeds Domestic Cleaning cannot be refunded through them so I will be going into the office in person to try and get this secondary refund back from Simon M Macbeth in person.

The ironic thing is that had Simon simply responded to my initial contact in a polite way offering to make another appointment for me, I would have been happy with this and would not have had a problem with Leeds Domestic Cleaning. As it is, I had to chase to even get this and I can only assume that because I have already paid, Simon is not bothered what happens next and is now choosing to totally ignore me.

I would advise that, if you are looking for a cleaning company in Leeds, you do not use Leeds Domestic Cleaning as the service is not only unreliable, the manager is rude, abrupt and has no grasp of how to deal with customer service issues.

Cautionary tale over.

I have definitely got it (Facebook fatigue, that is). Or at least fatigue at a certain kind of update.

I have found myself increasingly bored of seeing updates about what people are doing with their weekends, evenings, lunch times, bed times… I just can’t remember why I ever used to care. Did I care? I think I did, Or at least, it didn’t used to make me annoyed at a large percentage of the human race in quite the same way.

Don’t get me wrong, I used to be just as guilty as the next person of updating my Facebook with what I was eating, where I was going, where I had been and yada yada yawn. Then I realised that not only was I hugely disinterested in the minutiae of other people’s lives so why the hell would they be interested in mine, I realised that, actually, I actively do not want people to know where I’m going, what I’m doing and who I’m seeing, unless I choose to tell them personally for some reason.

It’s not just the ‘who cares’ factor either, it’s the cringe factor of people flaunting how fun! and busy! their lives are on a regular basis.

So I’ve for the most part stopped updates about my personal life. Oh and blocked people from checking me in without approval, so that other people can’t decide to share the insignificant details of my social life for me.

(Obviously if I’m going somewhere amazing and exciting or have a moment of weakness and feel like I must let people know I’m having fun! and I have friends! and I eat food! I might succumb and do an update, so don’t hold me to any of this.)

For now though, I’m getting such Facebook fatigue that I’m getting to the point of hiding updates from almost everyone, which would make being on Facebook slightly pointless.

Why don’t I leave? It’s entangled me in its web of millions of my photos that don’t exist anywhere else and a general feeling that I somehow need it to exist in the real world. It is becoming another platform for me to be annoyed at people on and I am just too scared to leave it, goddamit.

The good thing about Twitter is that people tend not to spew as much mundane personal dross as on Facebook. They tend to share funny or interesting observations, articles, pictures or thoughts and not tell the world how they’re in a bar on a Friday (amazing news!) is or how they’re having an early night (stop the press!). Or, at least, not the people I follow. But then, I don’t tend to follow people I know in real life on Twitter.

So there are a few possible conclusions here: everyone I know in real life bores me/Twitter is better than Facebook/I am just becoming grumpier than ever.

Probably the last one. Right, I’m off to have a bath and eat some pickled onions.

I sent my first real letter of complaint today (well, email) and thought I would share it all with you. Usually I just bitch and moan on here so this is quite an achievement. Names have been changed for the purpose of this blog post (very clevery, I’m sure you’ll agree) but otherwise this is what I sent word for word.

To whom it may concern,

Hello. I have been using your Headingley store for many years now (although it has not always been a Bainsburys, the staff have remained mostly the same) on an almost daily basis (as it is two minutes from my work place) and in all the time I have been visiting I have had the same complete lack of any kind of customer service from one particular member of staff. This member of staff’s name tag was ‘Bangela’ yesterday (I haven’t bothered to check previously as it’s only just got to the point where I’ve really had enough and have decided to complain.) I assume this is therefore her name but I guess she could have been using someone else’s name tag.

Bangela will literally not speak to me when serving me. Not one word. I’ve tested on several occasions whether if I don’t say anything either, anything at all will be said. No, it won’t.

To paint a typical picture for you, I went in the store yesterday and the day previously and took my items to the cigarette kiosk where she served me. I placed said items on the counter. No ‘hello’, no smile, nothing. She then didn’t tell me the final amount, she just sort of looked at the till display. I gave her my money, she took it, gave me my change, and not a word was said throughout the whole transaction, no ‘thank you’, no ‘goodbye’, nothing. This was the case on both days and every time I’m served by her;  a bit like a very quiet Groundhog Day, if you will.

Now I know she CAN speak, as she finished her conversation about her son with her colleague before she started serving me in silence.

I also know this is not a one-off. Every time she serves me, which must total thirty times or more over the years, it is in complete silence and with a faint look of disgust on her face.

I don’t know this lady personally and have never done anything to offend her that I am aware off.

Whether she treats all customers like this or if it’s a personal vendetta, based on who knows what, I also don’t know. But I am pretty sure I have seen her say at least ‘thanks’ to other customers.

I’ve worked in bars, shops and supermarkets. It’s really not that hard to at least say hello and thanks. I don’t want a cuddle and a kiss, I don’t even want a conversation. I just don’t want to feel as though I might be invisible or as though I am a terrible person for attempting to purchase a packet of Bnack a Backs.

This lady makes shopping trips a bemusingly depressing experience and I am tired of it.

I’ve done nothing to deserve such ignorant treatment and neither have most other shoppers, if indeed they are receiving it. I can speak to the store manager as well but I have avoided doing so to date as I’m sure it will make future shopping trips even more unpleasant.

Please can you let me know what you are able to do to help me with this?

Thank you,

Leah.

Today’s annoyances:

  • Twatty sales calls.
  • Stupid squinty mouth poses.
  • How hard it is to give blood.

Twatty phone calls

I get these a lot from people who pronouce my name in a variety of weird and wonderful ways, but today’s really took the biscuit. They got my name so wrong that it wasn’t even my name. In fact, they weren’t actually even looking to speak to me, but it was clearly my fault for not being the right person and for having my phone number. Let me clarify – here’s how the converastion went:

Caller (aka massive twat): “Hi is that Lucy Smith?”

Me : “No, it’s not, you’ve got the wrong number”

Caller: “Oh well it’s just that you’re eligible for an Orange upgrade”.

Me: “I’m not Lucy, you must have the wrong number”

Caller: “This is definitely the right number.

Me: “Well it’s not, is it…”

Caller: “Oh, sorry about that.”

Me: “You’re a twat.”

All of that genuinely happened apart from I said the last bit once I’d already hung up.

And I was probably much ruder when I first answered his initial question “Is that Lucy Smith?” and just said “No”, offering no further explanation. Because why the hell should I? You’re calling my phone, trying to flog some shit, and not even to me! So I feel no need to elaborate on anything.

God I’m hard work. Poor bastard.

Squinty pursed lip poses

Right, listen up kids under 25. I don’t know where this craze for posing with a mouth scrunched to the side and lips pursed tightly as if to resemble a small cat’s anus came from, but here’s a tip for free: you look like absolute nobheads.

Lady with cat's anus on face

It is not hot, it is not cute, it is not kooky. There’s a reason that people naturally smile when they’re happy – it looks nice and therefore expresses the nice emotions being felt (probably. I’m not a scientist.). Most people look more attractive when they smile.

Squinty pursed lip poses make you look like the aforementioned cat’s anus with a lemon inserted into it. Now which would you say looks better…?

Back in my day, we did pout for photos, but not in a weird squinty anus way. So it was slightly less lame. And we definitely smiled more than we pouted.

Someone I am friends with on Facebook, who will obviously remain nameless, does this on literally every. single.photo of her. Every one. And there are hundreds of these photos. It’s like her face is stuck to one side with that cat’s lemony anus where her lips should be, as if she is physically unable to smile. I think I saw one picture of her smiling once when she was caught off-guard and didn’t know it was being taken.

She looked liked a normal, natural human being. It was nice.

Poor girl, it’s clearly a self cofidence thing, to be so afraid to just bloody smile and look natural. But this is not a one-off incident, it’s a trend among the under 25s and it must be stopped! Does anyone know who started it? I bet it was Justin Bieber. What a cock.

How hard it is to give blood.

I’ve done this before, but shamefully only twice in my entire life. When I tried to make an appointment today I was reminded why. It’s a pain in the bloody (ha ha ha, blood pun) arse.

First, I called the fax number by mistake. Okay, so that was my mistake, but whatevs. It was irritating.

Once I got the correct number, I got an automated message saying that they were open at 12.15 on Wednesdays and Fridays. Oh. So I called back later and got through to some kind of local switchboard from which I was then put through to the specific Leeds blood donor centre I wanted.

No answer after several rings.

So I tried again later on the exact same number but for some reason, this time I got through to a national switchboard and a highly irritating Irish woman (the fact she was Irish is of no relevance) who proceeded to ask for my name, date of birth and what my address was in 2006, presumably because 2006 was the last time I successfully gave blood.

I have no idea where I lived then and couldn’t be arsed to work it out. All I want to do is make an appointment lady, why do you need all this info? Apparently so she could get into my ‘personal records’. She mentioned something about needing me to help her out with this which I found horrifically condescending and decided I definitely did not like Irish questioning lady one bit.

So I said I would just go into the blood donor centre and make an appointment that way. I didn’t. I just called back once again and got through to the local switchboard this time and the same man I’d spoken to the first time. He was friendly and Northern. I liked him much better.

I’m getting bored of this story and I’m sure you are too, but to cut a long story short (ish) I was told if I wanted an appointment on a particular day I would have to ring on the same morning. Just like the ridiculous charade we have to go through to get a doctor’s appointment these days*.

(*A rant for another day. Lucky things.)

Most people don’t bother to give blood because they reckon they’re scared of needles (wonder if they would be if their own life was in danger, or that of someone they loved…?) or, really, because they’re lazy and selfish. We all are. Just admit it.

Anyway, my point is it should be easier to be less lazy and selfish.

(Here is the website if you want to give it a go http://www.blood.co.uk/)

This post is probably full of mistakes but I don’t care. I’m tired and I’m off.

Night night.

Something that never ceases to irritate and bemuse me (two states of mind which, as regular readers will know, I am particularly familiar with) is fashion. It really is an utter bunch of arse when you look at it isn’t it?

Buy these clothes and you too could look like a patchwork nipple in a hat.

Obviously, most of us follow clothing trends to some degree. I don’t go walking around in a hessian sack with a pineapple on top of my head for example. I wear clothes that are in keeping with the times and which I like for two main reasons: I think they suit me and they are reasonably comfortable.

Not because someone has decided something is must have and SO this season.

And this is where fashion gets ridiculous – you probably could very easily find some emaciated model trudging the catwalk in a hessian sack, and I’m damned sure I’ve seen fruit adorning the heads of catwalk models more than once.

What’s more, a true fashion victim would wear said hessian sacks, were a TopShop version for under 60 quid to become available.

And then every other bloody person would start wearing them. I’m not talking general trends here, like long scarves, cropped trousers or skinny jeans. I’m talking instantly recognisable items that suddenly render a sizeable portion of the population sheep-like clones. And which the cast of Hollyoaks will definitely be wearing.

Cases in point:

Faux fur coats

Ugg boots

Those woolly hats with animal ears

NO.

Last winter I must have seen these items, mainly on students and ‘young professionals’, at least five times a day, if not more.

It’s just faintly embarrassing to be seen wearing the same ‘must-have’ item as every other person in the street, surely?

I haven’t got a funny ending to this blog post.

Well it’s been a while, but like Take That and genital warts, I’m back.

A lot has happened since I last blogged. I am now living with an actual real live (brilliant) man, which means I can no longer moan about being single and nearly 30. Don’t despair though, I can still moan about nearly being 30. And everything else.

So to ease you gently back into my funpacked world of moaning and whingeing, we’ll start with chuggers. AKA charity muggers.

chuggers

"Hello, are you a nobhead too?" Yes, yes I am!"

Oh how I detest them.

For those not familiar, I’m referring to the creatures that lurk in the middle of high streets ready to pounce on you with their clipboards, false smiles and personalities that could variously be described as ‘wacky’, ‘zany’ and ‘crazy’. All words that make me want to gouge my own eyes out with a rusty spoon and then feed said eyes to the irritating little arsewipes.

Think I’m being harsh? Let me explain why you’re wrong. One: I’m right. And B: do not be fooled into believing for one second that these people give two tiny shits about cancer sufferers, wounded animals, abandoned clothes pegs or whatever charity it is they’re trying to ensnare you into via the medium of direct debit.

They might happen to care, but it would be completely coincidental.

And this is what makes their smug, self-satisfied, over familiar manner all the more galling. I know they work on commission, they know they work on commission and anyone with a functioning brain cell knows they work on commission. So they can sod off trying to guilt trip me into giving to whatever charity they happen to be working for. If you care that much pal, get another job and then the money that the charity save by not paying your commission can actually, you know, go to charity.

When they try and reel me in by making some grotesquely patronising comment such as ‘hey there trendy hair!’ or ‘hi girls!’ (when I’m with my 60 year old mother, for god’s sake) are they expecting us to giggle girlishly and immediately sign up to give ten pounds a month to the retired dogs’ bowls society for the rest of our lives? Because that’s not what happens. What happens is I swallow back my barf as I politely say no thanks and attempt to walk around them as they get into my personal space with their invasive bodies and their stupidly inane fake smiling faces. Next time I plan to place one hand on their chest and shout NOOO in a very deep and loud voice as I continue walking.

(Possibly.)

The whole Andy Grey, other football man I’d never previously heard of, debacle of a week or so ago, got me thinking about feminism, the struggle for true equality, and how we’re really not there yet.

And then I got distracted by pore strips. They’re really rubbish. Essentially, pore strips are white bits of paper that you stick on your nose. They make you look like you’ve had a nose job whilst you’re wearing them, and they ‘draw out impurities’. ALLEDGEDLY.

They do in fact seem to have drawn out my impurities, from their former comparatively well-hidden location, to the front of my face. Which wasn’t really the effect I was going for when I purchased this product.

Ahh, the things we do for beauty eh? As a single but highly eligible bachelorette (have I mentioned at any point previously in this blog that I’m still single and fast approaching 30? I doubt it), it’s important to maintain a well groomed appearance at all times, just in case an opportunity presents itself for you to ensnare charm a man when you’re least expecting it.

So, recently, I decided to try out several treatments and products that are a step up from my usual arduous beauty regime, which consists of washing my body and face, rarely washing my hair, moisturising, and putting some mascara on. Oh and concealer under my eyes, now that I have permanent dark circles there because I am OLD.

So I tried the pore strips, which made me look spottier. I also did a face mask, which was fun because it made me look like I was in the Black and White Minstrels (but white-ed up instead of blacked up) and smelt of strawberries.minstrel

On top of this I subjected myself to a range of other forms of grooming and preening which I won’t go into, because… well, it would be weird.

The question is. Was it all worth it? Do these things actually make a scrap of difference to how you look or do they just make you feel like they make a difference? Is the only difference they really make that they minimally boost your confidence, making you come across as a more ‘attractive’ person?

Probably the latter.

And hey, it’s pretty fun to pamper and preen like a proper girl every so often.  But I do wonder about the amount of money some gals (and guys I’m sure) spend regularly on an array of beauty treatments that, no offence ladies, make a minute amount of difference to the way they look.

Nail art, hair extensions, spray tans, eyebrow shaping, teeth whitening – as a one-off I get it, but as a regular thing…

One, how can you be arsed? Two, wouldn’t you rather spend your cash on, you know, doing things? Three, it aint going to make that much difference to your looks. You’ll still be you (unless you have facial surgery) just a less well-off, more looks-conscious version of you.

Because once you start tweaking and changing, I reckon you just want to carry on and find it impossible not to notice more ‘flaws’ and things you could change and ‘improve’ upon. 

If anyone’s not seen Channel 4’s Beauty and the Beast, I recommend it. It’s Channel 4’s usual bordering-on-the-exploitative-but-highly-watchable-reality-TV fare and puts together very vain (for which we can read ‘self-conscious’ and actually very sweet, in the case of the first Beauty at least) people with people who have severe facial deformities/scarring and so on.

In the first episode, the Beauty in question makes a breakthrough and dares to bare, leaving the house without her false eyelashes on, but still with full make up and hair extensions of course.

Thing is, her excessive concern for make up and beautifying was all down to trying to distract attention from her really rather ginormous boobs, which men, from smart business types to homeless alcoholics,  felt it was more than acceptable to openly leer at and comment on. Her make up and hair was basically saying “talk to my face you ignorant, sexist TWATS”.

And the ironic thing is, a multitude of women out there would consider or have considered paying thousands of pounds and undergoing surgery under general anaesthetic just to have slightly bigger boobs.

Including me.

Like I said, we’re not quite there yet and sometimes it is hard to be a woman. But I think it’s just hard to be a person, regardless of gender, in this looks-obsessed, materialistic society, that makes you think things are important when they really are of no significance whatsoever.

Right, I’m off to be a hermit and live in a bear cave somewhere.

Bye bye!

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