How to get the most from your hygiene company
We understand that you will be shopping around for quotes from other hygiene service providers, but you should always ask: “What do those quotes include or exclude, and will I be getting what I'm quoted?”
Many companies get stuck in long and expensive service provider contracts, and struggle with poor service and charges that were forgotten about at the quotation stage. We’ve put together a few guidelines and questions that you may find useful when looking for a service provider to keep your washroom sparkling, fresh and hygienic.
Q. Are there any charges other than those quoted?
A. Remember, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Many service providers will appear very cheap, but the extra cost is hidden somewhere; you just have to ask a few more of these questions and you will find out where it is.
Q. If I would like to add something new to our washroom during a contract, what will happen to our current contract length?
A. It is common practice in this industry to automatically extend your contract for another two or three years if you want to add anything to your washroom. With Supermac Hygiene, the additional service will be added to your existing contract.
Q. If I forget to cancel my contract in time, what will happen?
A. Often service providers will let your contract expire without reminding you, so that they can automatically renew your contract without your knowledge, leaving you stuck with them for another two or three years. With Supermac Hygiene, once your contract has expired and you would like to continue with our services, with our existing equipment, you will go on a renewable three-month contract, for as long as you like. All we require is 90 days’ written notice to discontinue our services. If you want to upgrade your washroom equipment at the end of your contract period, then we offer you either a one- or two-year contract.
Q. What is the proof of quality with the consumables on your quote? Are the consumables ISO9000 certified? What is the integrity of the products on your quote?
A. Cheap hygiene products are often watered down with nasty chemicals and water, so you think you’re getting more for your money – but you’re not. Many manufacturers will cut product input costs when there are no hygiene or quality control standards.
Q. What are the exact specifications of the consumables I am buying?
A. This is where the wool can be so easily pulled over your eyes. For example, paper consumables come in a wide range of lengths (you can get rolls ranging from 100m to more than 300m), and paper towels vary greatly in number and size per packet. Always look carefully at your quote, and ask exactly what it is that you are being quoted on.
Q. Will your service be at regular intervals?
A. Often, a contract will state that your washroom will be serviced 24 times per year, but it doesn’t specify at what intervals these services happen. It looks like your washroom will be serviced every fortnight, but all the service provider is contractually obligated to do is visit 24 times in the year. They may well still be within the bounds of the contract to neglect your washrooms for a month or more. At Supermac Hygiene, we will always service your washrooms at regular intervals and we’re there when you need us the most.
Q. Will you meet the specified dates of service?
A. Some service providers will skip a week here and there, and come again the next week. If this happens enough in a typical two- or three-year contract, you will be paying much more per cost of visit, as your service visits have been reduced. This is how some service providers “make up” the difference on cheaper quotes, as the number of visits have been reduced.
Q. Will my dispensers be brand new?
A. You would think you shouldn’t even have to ask this question, but many companies recondition their dispensers once a contract is finished and simply fit the same dispensers in a different company with the next contract. Although there is nothing wrong with a second-hand dispenser if it has been reconditioned properly, you need to know what you are being quoted on and what you are paying for, so that you can make an informed decision.
Q. What will the after-sales service be like?
A. Many companies will contract the business and then be very difficult to contact. Sales staff have huge targets to meet and will say almost anything to get the business, but keeping it is not as high a priority. Our sales staff are paid on customer retention, so you can rest assured that if you have any problems, they will be resolved.
After reading this you may feel that choosing a washroom hygiene company is like stepping through a minefield, but all you really need to do is ask the right questions so you can make the best and most-informed choice for your company.