Around the Home
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Frequently Asked Questions about housekeepers and cleaners.
Q: How do I contact DIAL-AN-ANGEL®?
A: You can call us on 1300 721 111 or just email us firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: Why doesn’t DIAL AN ANGEL supply a generic list of rates for all offices?
A: DIAL-AN-ANGEL tailors our services to your requirements and our rates vary accordingly. It is best to call the office located closest to where you need the service for accurate rates for the service required.
Q: How should I pay?
A: The simplest way is to pay by creditcard when you make your booking. For your convenience we accept Mastercard, VISA, Cash, Cheques, EFT, Money Order and American Express (payment processing fee applies of 5% for American Express).
Q: Can I change the method of payment at the completion of the booking?
A: No. This must be established at the time the booking is made with the Agency (see above).
Q: Is there an additional fee payable to the Agency?
A: No. The rate you are quoted includes the Agency Service Fee and GST payable for the visit. The Angel acts as a courier for the fee and the GST.
Q: Can I check the Angel’s references myself?
A: Yes. You may request the Angel to provide any additional references you require. The Agency is bound by the National Privacy Principles established by the Privacy Act of 1988 and is unable to supply these details. However, before any applicant is registered as an Angel, DIAL-AN-ANGEL undertakes comprehensive security checks including verbal confirmation of all personal and work-related references. Where State Laws allow police checks and ‘working with children checks’ are undertaken.
Q: May I book a regular service? Weekly? Fortnightly? Monthly?
A: Yes. Simply inform the co-ordinator when you make the booking or contact the Agency after you have enjoyed the initial service/s.
Q. How much advance notice do i need to give in order to make a booking?
A: As much notice as possible however, DIAL-AN-ANGEL is noted for its prompt response to emergency or last minute requests and will endeavour to fill a booking on the same day.
Q: Can I request the same Angel again? Should I make a further booking with the Angel?
A: An approach can be made by the Agency on your behalf to the requested Angel. It is better for this to happen than for the Angel to feel obliged to accept a regular booking while in your home and decide later that she/he really does not want an ongoing commitment. The Agency will make every effort to comply with your request but is unable to guarantee that the same Angel will be available to accept the next booking.
Q: What happens if I do not like the Angel? Or I am not satisfied with his/her work?
A: A phone call to the co-ordinator will ensure that a notation is made on your file. The Angel will not be offered your booking again. The co-ordinator managing your booking will advise you about the procedures we employ to deal with complaints if you are unhappy with any aspect of the Angel’s performance, appearance or attitude. You can read our full complaints procedure here.
Q: If the Angel I have booked suddenly takes ill or has a personal problem that prevents his/her arrival, will I be notified?
A: A co-ordinator will contact the client as soon as possible to re-schedule the booking or send a replacement Angel.
Q: If I hold a DIAL-AN-ANGEL Gift Voucher may I use it to pay the Angel?
A: Yes. Please advise the co-ordinator at the time of booking that you wish to pay using a gift voucher. It will be accepted and returned to the DIAL-AN-ANGEL office with a Time Sheet, which you will be requested to countersign. The section co-ordinator will arrange for reimbursement directly into the Angel’s banking account.
Q: Can DIAL-AN-ANGEL send an account for the Angel’s services to me or to the Company for which I work?
A: Yes. Staff Angels® employed directly by DIAL-AN-ANGEL can be provided at corporate or managed care rates. This can be organised through our Corporate Services department. If your company wishes to provide your family with home help of any kind, an approach should be made to your local DIAL-AN-ANGEL office or to the Group Administration Centre. DIAL-AN-ANGEL is noted for its professional approach to Incentive, Reward and Work/Life balance programmes for Company staff.
Q: If I like the Angel may I ask that they work only for me and not through the Agency?
A: Yes. However, you will be charged a placement fee and you must be prepared to employ the Angel on a permanent basis. This means that you will be responsible for income tax deductions, forwarding these to the ATO and the provision of a PAYG payment summary at the end of the financial year, superannuation (where applicable), annual and sick leave entitlements and any other benefits that apply when you employ staff.
The Angel may or may not wish to accept permanent employment and normally advises the Agency if an approach is made by the client.
Q: What is “Angelic News"?
A: Angelic News is our free electronic newsletter sent to Clients and Angels® with the compliments of DIAL-AN-ANGEL. It contains articles, tips, news, and information which is very helpful for anyone interested in home and family care – and really, that’s just about all of us. You can subscribe here.
Q: Should I leave a list of things I want done?
A: It is wise to advise the Angel what you require at the time the booking is accepted by phone. A checklist is supplied in the client kit sent out to every new enquiry. You may wish to leave a comprehensive list of duties marking your priorities in case the service takes longer to complete than you have anticipated. Please be a little more flexible with time on the Angel’s first visit.
Q: Can I ask the Angel to do shopping for me on the way to my booking?
A: Yes. When the Angel contacts you to confirm acceptance of the booking, advise her/him what purchases you require. You will be charged for the additional time involved and the purchases.
Q: If I book a housekeeper can I leave the children with the Angel while I do some errands?
A: If it was not in the job description given to the Angel, the responsibility for your child/ren places even the most obliging Angel in an awkward situation. The Angel has been selected for your housekeeping booking on the basis that childcare is not part of the job description and may not be appropriately experienced or skilled to undertake child care.
Q: We have pets, which are used to being in the house, will that be a problem?
A: Please advise us at the time of booking that there are animals in the house and we will refer an Angel who is fond of animals. DIAL-AN-ANGEL also provides Pet care services that you may wish to consider using as well.
Q: If I have made a booking for a general maintenance cleaning service but find that I need extra tasks that are not generally included (eg minding the children, doing some ironing, cleaning windows or the inside of a heavily soiled oven, cleaning refrigerator &/or freezer or cupboards) what should I do?
A: If you request more than one of these extra tasks you will be advised that the booking may be regarded as childcare with housekeeping or as a “Spring Cleaning” service which will attract higher rates.
Q: What should I do if I have not allocated sufficient time for the Angel to complete the service?
A: Telephone the Agency and advise the co-ordinator of the situation. The Angel will normally do as much as possible in the time allocated attending to your priorities first eg kitchen, bathrooms and living areas. If you are not on the premises, he/she will leave a note explaining exactly what has been done and suggest an appropriate number of hours required for completion of the tasks. If the Angel has no other commitments, he/she may be able to stay longer at your request, to complete the work required. Please notify the Agency if another booking is required.
Q: What cleaning tools and products do I need to provide?
A: A vacuum cleaner with attachments, fresh liner bags where applicable, mop and bucket, brooms for both inside and outside the residence, dustpan and brush, plenty of clean soft cloths, your preferred cleansers for bathrooms, kitchen and living areas, furniture polish or cleaner, dishwashing detergent, rubbish tin liners, a small step-stool for higher areas etc.
You must ensure that all appliances and cords are in good working order and safe to use. If you also require the Angel to wash and iron clothes, linen etc – you will need to provide laundry detergent and spray starch (if you prefer a finisher for the ironing).
Q: We have not outsourced our household cleaning before – should I follow-up the Angel while the work is being undertaken?
A: If there is a special way you like things to be done, advise the Angel prior to commencement of the service. Then you may ask the Angel to call upon you to check each area as it is completed. Angels have been advised at their interview that this is not a personal attack on their cleaning ability nor a reflection on their honesty.
HOME MAINTENANCE & GARDENING
Q: Will the handyman-gardener hold trade qualifications or certification in this field?
A: This is a non-tradesman service. Angels® who undertake these referrals are usually experienced handy-persons and/or enthusiastic gardeners who enjoy using their talent and abilities in the area of home and garden maintenance.
Q: Will an Angel come and give me a quote?
A: The Angel who accepts the referral to your booking expects to be paid at the rates quoted for his/her time. If further work needs to be done this may be discussed with the Angel who will advise how many additional hours are likely to be required to complete the tasks.
HOME & CORPORATE FUNCTIONS
Q: How much advance notice do I need to give in order to make a booking?
A: As much notice as possible for larger functions and specific holiday periods. Generally one week is sufficient; however DIAL-AN-ANGEL is noted for its prompt response to emergency or last minute requests and will endeavour to fill a booking even for the same day.
Q: What duties may I expect the Angels® to do?
A: Angels® are able to assist with food presentation, table service, washing and drying of crockery, cutlery & glassware and clearing away after the function. You may request them to assist with basic food preparation. Angels® with cooking experience and skills suitable for a light brunch or small dinner party can be referred. They also assist with the clearing & washing up as part of the service.
Please note that an exhaustive, specialised or complicated menu will require the allocation of a chef or qualified catering team. Drink stewards are available to assist with the serving of beverages and specialised cocktail waiters may be requested.
Q: What happens if I have not allocated sufficient time for the Angel to complete the service?
A: The Angel will normally be prepared to stay until he or she is no longer required.
Q: Do Home Entertaining Angels® wear a uniform?
A: For Home and Corporate functions your Angel will arrive wearing a white shirt and either a black skirt or pair of black trousers. A black apron with the DIAL-AN-ANGEL gold logo will also be worn.
Q: What products do I need to provide?
A: Your preferred kitchen cleansers, dishwashing detergent, rubbish bin liners, garbage bags and an appropriate number of clean tea towels to dry dishes & glasses. You must ensure that all appliances and cords are in good working order and safe to use.
Q: Do drink waiters have a Responsible Serving of Alcohol (RSA) Certificate?
A: Yes. Angels® with RSA certificates and drink waiters with many years of experience in the hospitality field are available.
A product that works by abrasion or scouring action
Acrylic floor finish
A water based product that dries hard and glossy
Compounds that contain one or more hydroxyl group. Alcohols used in cleaners are; ethyl, methyl, propyl and butyl
All purpose cleaner
A powder or liquid detergent suitable for general household cleaning
This means that an applicant has been accepted for registration with DIAL-AN-ANGEL® after having been personally interviewed and fully screened (with all references confirmed verbally). Police clearances and “Working with Children Checks” are undertaken where State Laws allow.
An agent that destroys bacteria, fungi, protozoa or any virus that is pathogenic
Microscopic single cell living organisms responsible for illness in humans
A product that is used for cleaning. removing stains and whitening/brightening fabrics
Optical or fluorescent enhancers found in product cleaners
Polishing with a pad, cloth or brush
Heavy deposit of floor finish, wax, grime or dirt
Having a burning, corroding or dissolving chemical reaction
A method that uses chemical cleaning agents to remove soil instead of mechanical or abrasive agents
Strong oxidising agents found in sodium hypochlorite. It removes stains, aids soil removal, whitens disinfects and deodorises laundry
Powdered or liquid product containing abrasives, surfactants and bleach
An undiluted form of a dilutable cleaning product
This service is provided where a third party such as a Trustee Company, a legal firm, an Insurance Company, The Office of the Protective Commissioner or large Corporations contract DIAL-AN-ANGEL to provide fully insured staff for their clients or employees who may be in need of assistance in the home. Only Staff Angels® are provided and an account is sent to the customer who is paying for the service to be provided to the recipient of the service.
Process of using a damp cloth or mop lightly wrung in detergent and water to remove lightly soiled surfaces
Destroys, masks or eliminates offensive odours
Domestic employees workers compensation insurance
All Angels® are covered by the Agency for Domestic Workers Compensation Insurance.
A product that destroys harmful bacteria and viruses on surfaces
Chemical product that cleans solid grease and other materials
Product that dispenses a fine mist or spray that picks up and retains light dust and soil
Liquid, paste or aerosol product to remove dust and stains from furniture
A surface lustre
The act of overseeing the organisational, financial, and day-to-day operations of a house or estate. It differs from housekeeping, which consists of the physical maintenance and cleaning of a house
A person who is employed to perform domestic tasks in a household
The work of cleaning and running a house
Process of removing dirt or soil by manual scrubbing or use of abrasives
A product that is non-damaging to the surface being cleaned
Non-alkaline, non-acid cleaner
A product used in laundry for bleaching that contains peroxygen compounds which releases active oxygen in the water
To shine, make smooth or glossy
These are services occurring on a regular basis; daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly. The client determines the regularity of the bookings.
Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA)
The Responsible Service of Alcohol Program (RSA) aims to provide liquor serving staff with knowledge and awareness in relation to the responsible serving and consumption of liquor in all premises where alcohol is served. Courses are available in each State of Australia and wait staff are required to have completed the course before being employed. The aim is to prevent drunkenness, minors accessing liquor and irresponsible liquor practices. RSA training is now mandatory for people working in the liquor industry including all permanent and casual serving and security staff, club secretaries and licensees of the premises.
An agent that reduces but doesn't completely destroy bacteria
Bleaching and disinfecting agent
A liquid that dissolves another substance, water being the most common
A Floor cleaning procedure that cleans, removes black marks and shines an area of flooring
A tool with a rubber edge to remove water from floors and windows
Staff Angels® are employed directly by DIAL-AN-ANGEL and they are covered for Domestic Workers Compensation, Professional Indemnity and Public Liability Insurances; Superannuation is paid and lodged with an approved fund; Income tax deductions are made by the Agency and forwarded monthly to the Australian Tax Office (ATO); Permanent employees are covered for Annual Leave and Sick Leave entitlements.
A detergent that breaks down wax or paint without damaging the underlying surface
Visiting Angels® refers to those Angels® who attend clients’ bookings but do not live in the clients’ homes. They, therefore require neither accommodation nor meals. They may be independent workers or Staff Angels®.
A natural protective coating for hard surfaces
A chemical that allows water to spread more freely
Here are some of our favourite housekeeping tips:
Install childproof locks on cabinets that house cleaning supplies. Never assume a cabinet is too high for a curious, climbing toddler.
Keep all household products in their original packages. Packaging includes useful first aid information in the event of accidental exposure or ingestion.
Don't leave cleaning buckets unattended. Even those with a small amount of liquid pose a danger to "top heavy" toddlers. If the child falls into a bucket, it may not tip over and he or she could drown.
Schedule cleaning during "down times" such as naptime or when children are in school, or on a play date.
Avoid distractions or interruptions when children are present during cleaning. If you answer the door, take the child with you. If the phone rings, let the answering machine do its job.
Post the Poison Info Centre phone number 13 11 26 by every land phone in your home and save it on your mobile phone
Do you keep a gift closet, adding new gift items year-round? Take inventory now, before you shop for more Christmas gifts. You’ll be amazed what you may already have in store!
Cook, Bake and Freeze now. This is a great time to prepare food while it’s quiet. You'll be ready in a moment when you need to put on a quick meal for surprise guests or provide goodies for a party
When ironing business shirts make sure you do the top button up only. This will keep the neckline straight and ensure the shirt drapes correctly when it’s hung in the wardrobe.
For spilled candle wax on carpets and upholstery, put a brown paper bag over the dried wax and run a hot iron over it. The bag will absorb the hot wax. Dried wax on wood floors can be removed by softening the wax with a hair dryer, then removing with paper towels. Wash spot down with a combination of vinegar and water.
To eliminate refrigerator odours try a little vanilla poured on a piece of cotton and placed in the refrigerator. Or after cleaning the refrigerator add a dash of lemon extract to the rinse water for a fresh scent.
Colour Co-ordinate! Use the same colour cloth to do a task each time (for example blue for furniture, pink for bathroom cleaner) to avoid mixing cleaning agents.
Try using lemon juice to remove rust and stains from plastic, either neat or diluted, and give curry stains on carpet the heave-ho with diluted lemon juice. For spills on carpets such as coffee, beer or soft drink simply dab the stain with soda water.
If you need to dry clothes quickly after they have been washed, place the items into the dryer with 1 large dry bath towel. The towel will help to absorb some of the moisture in the load, and help expedite the drying process.
When you are shopping, put all similar items together at the checkout for bagging – fridge, cans, bathroom, toiletries, etc. Saves time when putting them away.
Write a Family Evacuation Plan. Know the fastest way out of your home and how not to become trapped. Each room in your home should have two exits (including windows that are easily opened). Practice the evacuation plan with your family before any emergency occurs.
A bowl of vinegar placed in a room helps to absorb smoke odour.
Spreading a layer of mulch – woodchips, and even gravel or stone – over your flower beds and around trees prevents over 70 per cent of moisture evaporation from out of the soil. Aim for a layer 2.5-5cm thick.
In autumn conduct a thorough weeding to reduce work during the wet months to come.
In the garden street noise or “sound pollution” can be minimised by the use of water features, such as a waterfall, or a pond with a fountain jet. Wind chimes also help, as can bird feeders that attract songbirds.
When grass is mowed frequently, clippings are small and degrade rapidly. “Grass cycling” or leaving grass clippings on the lawn after mowing saves time, landfill space and nourishes the soil.
The next time you need to do some household cleaning, don’t rush out to buy a host of harsh chemical cleaners – check out this traditional cleaning remedy. Not only is it better for your family but it is better for your budget too!
Baking soda is a wonder product that is sadly underused in the modern household. Mixed with lemon juice, vinegar or even just some water, it produces a gently abrasive paste that is a great all-purpose cleaner and stain remover. Not only does it work on a variety of surfaces but it does not produce a corrosive effect, like many other strong cleaners.
Baking soda’s most famous property is probably its deodorising action – it has an incredible ability to absorb odours and can neutralise them as well, which makes it a great cleaner for the refrigerator and deodoriser for the dishwasher (sprinkle one-half cup baking soda on the bottom of the dishwasher between loads). It is also very effective at masking any odours from pet stains and general odours in carpets – simply sprinkle some baking soda over the carpet and leave for 10-15 minutes before vacuuming the whole area.
Make it a "Green Christmas"!
- Choose gifts that support eco living (such as fruit tress, herb plants, endemic plant species, bicycle, refillable pens, paper making kit, solar power gadgets, worm farm)
- Choose products that are free from harmful chemicals and ideally certified organic
- Choose practical gifts that are useful and serve a need (avoid landfill)
- Choose gifts that support ethical and environmental causes
- Give a gift voucher or membership for something your loved one is interested in
- Check out the markets for gifts that support local artists/community groups
- Buy toys that are repairable and durable.
- Invest in rechargeable batteries and a recharger as it works out cheaper in the end
- Donate time or money to an ethical cause on behalf of your friend.
Computers are loaded with hazardous chemicals like lead, benzene and mercury, but just 5% of computers in Australia are currently recycled. The rest end up as landfill. Here’s a tip. If you computer still works offer it to a local charity or school. If it’s useless or too old, MRI and Dell will take any brand of computer, keyboard, mouse, monitor or printer off your hands for a small fee.
5,000 tonnes a year of printer cartridges end up in landfill every year! Drop your used printer, fax or copier cartridges in the "Cartridges 4 Planet Ark" bins at Australia Post, Officeworks, Harvey Norman, Tandy, Dick Smith Electronics and Powerhouse outlets.
Australians use thousands of tonnes of batteries each year and most end up as toxic landfill. Did you know Cleanaway (cleanaway.com.au) collects single use batteries and rechargeable batteries in flat packed boxes and you can drop single-use batteries at Ikea stores.
Did you know that you can recycle a whole lot more than paper and glass? Your old reading or sun-glasses can be shipped to people in developing countries who cannot afford a pair. Drop off unwanted sunnies and glasses – even if they are broken – to any OPSM, Laubman & Pank or Budget Eyewear.
Summer is often a time when people fertilise their lawns and work in their gardens. But beware: Plant food, fertiliser, and insecticides can be fatal if your pet ingests them. In addition, more than 700 plants can produce physiologically active or toxic substances in sufficient amounts to cause harmful effects in animals.
With people and dogs spending more time outside, dog bites are likely to increase in the summer months. Spaying or neutering your dog reduces the likelihood that he will bite and provides many other health benefits.
Pets and pools can equal disaster. Prevent free access to pools and always supervise a pet in a pool.
Contact us for a free, no-obligation quote or to make a general enquiry.
When you seek only the best, it has to be from DIAL-AN-ANGEL.
Our friendly and experienced co-ordinators are ready to help.
Simply call 1300 721 111.
Christmas is just around the corner and it’s time to get organised!
Around The Home
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