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Wow. Since I wrote my first blog post and second blog post about Simon Macbeth and Leeds Domestic Cleaning, things seem to have snowballed and my blog has received more and more comments from people who have experienced similar problems with Simon. Some in relation to Leeds Domestic Cleaning, others in relation to his various other companies (Outdoor Fitness Leeds, Design Market, Films by You, to name just a few) and others still recounting times they’ve been ripped off by him in his capacity as a landlord.

If you visit the Leeds Domestic Cleaning Facebook page now [edit: the page now appears to have been taken down] you will see that it’s flooded with negative comments from people who, like me, paid for a service they did not receive and then failed to receive a refund.

You’ll also notice a message on the Facebook page and on the Leeds Domestic Cleaning website itself stating that Simon Macbeth has sold the company and giving the personal email address and phone numbers of the people who have apparently bought the business (on eBay) and telling customers of Leeds Domestic Cleaning who are still owed money to contact these people: Natalie and John.

After Natalie commented on my blog I spoke to her on the phone and what Natalie told me had in fact happened is that she bought some cleaning equipment and web design from Simon Macbeth, not the Leeds Domestic Cleaning business, and has not actually received everything she paid for. She is seeking legal advice about this and about the fact that Simon Macbeth has published her email address and phone number without her permission, resulting in her fielding calls and emails from Simon Macbeth’s many disgruntled and let down customers.

In the meantime, I have reported my experiences to BBC’s Watchdog/Rogue Traders and suggest that anyone else who has had a bad experience with Simon Macbeth and/or Leeds Domestic Cleaning please do the same; the more people who report this story, the more likely it is that it might get covered.

It’s fantastic that my blog posts have become a forum for Simon Macbeth’s disgruntled customers to share their terrible experiences (please read the comments under my second post; they have to be seen to be believed) but unfortunately no one finds my blog until they have already suffered negative experiences with him, as it’s then that they Google ‘Simon Macbeth’ and ‘Leeds Domestic Cleaning’. And by then it’s too late!

So I’m hoping that if enough people help spread the word by sharing this blog post on Twitter/Facebook/Google+ (not only will it help spread the word to your friends, it will help increase the blog posts’ search rankings so they show up when people search in Google for Simon Macbeth and Leeds Domestic Cleaning) and by reporting your stories to Rogue Traders if you have suffered similar experiences then we’ll get to a point where people are warned about Simon Macbeth and his various business before they lose any money.

Thanks in advance for helping to spread the word. All comments welcome!

Ah what fun I have had with Simon M Macbeth of Leeds Domestic Cleaning over the past few days. For all those not familiar, please read my initial Leeds Domestic Cleaning blog post to get up to speed on the astoundingly shoddy service I have had at the hands of Simon M Macbeth and his operation, Leeds Domestic Cleaning (trading as Design Market).

In short, I paid for a cleaning service, no one turned up and then Simon M Macbeth dealt with the situation by fobbing me off with offers to send me photos of my front door (to ‘prove’ someone called and which of course never transpired), only offered to make a second appointment as a ‘goodwill gesture’ when I called him after his emails offered no solution, pretended to be someone else (I believe), before cancelling my second appointment and refusing any further contact, never mind a refund.

I would really appreciate it if you could help me out by sharing links to this blog post (and/or my first post) on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and anywhere else you can think of, as I have effectively had money stolen off me (and you doing this will help my posts’ search rankings so hopefully other people can be warned). If you can also write on Leeds Domestic Cleaning’s Facebook page saying that you have heard negative reports and therefore will not be using them, that would be brilliant. They will just delete negative comments written on their wall (they’ve done this with me and others) so the best bet is to write it as a ‘recommendation’ on their page; they seem unable to delete these.

Read on for the second lot of email correspondence between myself and Simon M Macbeth, plus ‘Mark Wang’, who, coincidentally, makes exactly the same grammatical errors as Simon and writes in an all too familiar manner. Funny that…!

Subject: RE: KGB Oven

Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2012 10:19:58 +0100
Hi Leah,

I have checked and thus can confirm that you are already booked in on the 12th May 2012 at 13:30.

Many Thanks

Mark Wang
Clients Manager
Leeds Domestic Cleaning

Always a sure-fire sign someone can’t string a coherent sentence together if they resort to unnecessary use of ‘thus’ and ‘hence’, if you ask me.

Subject: RE: KGB Oven

Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2012 09:32:06 +0000

Thank you. I am still waiting on a photograph of my front door as offered on Monday (see previous emails). Can you tell me where this is please?

Thanks,
Leah.

Subject: RE: KGB Oven
Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2012 10:56:47 +0100
Hi Leah,

I will speak with Simon regarding the photos that Pauline had taken from outside your house. Having spoken to Paulina she kindly informed me that she deleted them after you advised Simon that you would not beleive they was taken on the day of your clean. I guess you thought that we would drive to yours the following day and take the photos then?
Many Thanks
Mark Wang
Clients Manager
Leeds Domestic Cleaning

Note the use of ‘was’ instead of ‘were’. Exactly the same mistake Simon made in his email offering to send me a photograph of my front door to ‘prove we was there’.

Subject: RE: KGB Oven
Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2012 10:13:26 +0000
Hi Mark,

If you look at the emails below (which you will also have in your own emails) you will see that this is not the case. I asked to be sent the photos anyway to ensure that the cleaner would go to the correct address this time.

I quote: “please send me the photo anyway so I can ensure the cleaner goes to the correct address next time. Thank you.”

This was sent on Monday. Paulina was not due in the office until Tuesday according to Simon. So when would she have been given the incorrect impression that she should delete this mystical photograph…?

I have tried to call several times over the past two days and keep getting put through to answer phone. Can you please call me on XXX? It would be nice to speak to a different representative of the company to get their take on my experiences. I wasn’t aware there was another Client Manager as I have only ever spoken to Simon. Or failing that, if you could just answer the phone I would appreciate it.

Thank you.

Subject: RE: KGB Oven
Date: Sat, 28 Apr 2012 22:21:56 +0100

just wanted to confirm that your booked for 12 May 2012 is cancelled
Many Thanks
Simon M. Macbeth
Clients Manager
Leeds Domestic Cleaning

I left another voice mail at this point asking if Simon could have the decency (and guts) to call me back at least once and explain this to me. He of course didn’t. He sent an email (as usual) instead.

Hello Leah,

I’m not happy with the defamation posted over the internet about myself and LDC. Due to this we are no longer willing to work with you.

Since we did previously attend your property and you failed to let in our cleaner we are under no further obligation to you.

Please stop with your continuing phone calls and emails as this is our final respo

Many Thanks

Simon M. Macbeth
Clients Manager
Leeds Domestic Cleaning

Subject: RE: KGB Oven
Date: Sun, 29 Apr 2012 20:33:45 +0000

Hello Simon,

It’s interesting that you are not happy with the ‘defamation’ posted on the internet about your company (all of which is nothing but the facts). I am not happy with the abysmal treatment I have had at the hands of you and your shoddy operation. You have taken money from me and not provided a service, so you are certainly under an obligation to refund me or provide the service and I will not be ceasing the phone calls, emails or internet activity until you do this.

You keep insisting that someone turned up on the date of my appointment. As I have told you several times, no one buzzed my intercom that morning.

You offer to send me a photo to ‘prove’ you were there. I take you up on this laughable offer, the photo never transpires, and then a ‘Mark Wang’ mysteriously appears who makes exactly the same grammatical errors as you and believes Paulina has deleted this (obviously mythical) photo.

I’ll be honest with you Simon, I don’t believe there is a Mark Wang. I believe that was simply you emailing me.

I don’t believe that Paulina took a photograph of my front door on Saturday. I don’t believe Paulina came to the correct address and I know she did not ring my intercom. I can prove I was in all day and you have yet to prove anyone called at my address.

I do believe you chose to ignore my phone calls and I know you have blocked me from your Facebook page. I also know you could have phoned me at any point to try and sort this sorry mess out, rather than fob me off with mythical photographs and promises of emails and (it would seem) mythical members of staff.

It’s interesting that I’m not the only person who has experienced this complete lack of customer service from you, as demonstrated by a Ripoff Report I read online.

I am a social media manager and have now written reviews for your company on Google, Google Plus, Ripoff Report and my own blog. I have filled my posts with mentions of your company’s name and asked as many people as I can to share links to my blog post to ensure that it appears in search when people Google your company name. I have asked people to spread the word on Twitter and Facebook and I will continue this until as many people know about your shoddy operation and complete lack of customer service as possible. Or until you refund me or provide the service as paid for.

This could all have been avoided if you had any grasp of how to treat customers in a courteous manner and had simply offered me another appointment in the first place, without me having to call and chase you. Simply replying to me by email telling me unequivocally that your cleaner had turned up and offering no solution or apology is not acceptable and the way you have dealt with the situation since then has gone from bad to appalling.

As well as the continued contact and internet activity I will be looking into how trading standards and the CAB can help me and whether I can take this to small claims court if necessary. If you decide to do the right thing and refund me, you have my number.

Thank you

Leah
I am not in control of what you do however this will be the final time I reply to you.
Many Thanks
Simon M. Macbeth
Clients Manager
Leeds Domestic Cleaning

update: the same Simon M Macbeth runs several companies, including Outdoor Fitness Leeds and it would appear that he has been reported for scamming before. It looks like he could also operate under the names Simon Naylor and Simon Greenwood and has a reputation on the internet for various scams, if it is the same person. 


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.


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