vacuum http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/7971/all en-US Company Coming? 10 Areas to Clean to Make It Count http://www.wisebread.com/company-coming-10-areas-to-clean-to-make-it-count <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/company-coming-10-areas-to-clean-to-make-it-count" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cleaning-4237229-small.jpg" alt="cleaning" title="cleaning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I do not need a sparkling house. What I need, and what I think the average person wants, is to not be embarrassed if someone drops by. I realize that I have set a low bar here. If we have the same mindset, you are probably also wondering where you should spend your time cleaning to make it count.</p> <p>Fortunately, several Wise Bread writers share the same house-cleaning goals. After reading their posts and taking an informal poll of some friends, I came up with a good plan of action and road tested it. Here's all you need to do to keep your home presentable. (See also: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-one-month-guide-to-spring-cleaning">Your One Month Guide to Spring Cleaning</a>)</p> <h2>1. Declutter</h2> <p>Andrea Karim explains why it's important to <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/jettison-the-junk-why-clutter-clouds-your-mind-and-saps-your-energy">manage the clutter in your life</a>: clutter clouds the mind and saps our energy. An empty laundry basket is great for this &mdash; load it up, and then go empty it. I probably could have used a wheelbarrow. My mother used to have a quote about this process: &ldquo;A place for everything, and everything in its place.&rdquo; If I could force myself to declutter once a day, I am sure it wouldn&rsquo;t be so overwhelming under the pressure of an arriving visitor.</p> <h2>2. Stow Your Cleaning Products in a Plastic Tote</h2> <p>Cleaning will go a lot faster if you have everything close by, from cleaning products to wipes, trash bags, and vacuum bags. I noticed I had been putting some cleaning products in the kitchen and some in the closet with no particular rhyme or reason. It&rsquo;s so nice not to run back and forth.</p> <h2>3. Clean Top-Down</h2> <p>Start with the cobwebs, then move to the dust, and then your floors. If you do that in the wrong order, you&rsquo;ll make yourself crazy recleaning.</p> <h2>4. Multi-Task in the Bathroom</h2> <p>I know that sounds odd, but bathroom products need time to soak in and work before you wipe them down. I like to spray the shower with an anti-mildew cleaner, squirt toilet cleaner into the toilet, and then wipe down the mirrors, windows, and counters. Then I go back and clean the shower and the toilet after the chemicals have done the hard work for me. If you prefer not to use harsh chemicals, check out Nora Dunn&rsquo;s post about <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-household-products-vinegar-can-replace">all-purpose vinegar</a>. If visitors are on the way, make sure you empty the trash can and put out fresh towels and fresh soap.</p> <h2>5. Make Your Bed</h2> <p>If it takes you more than five minutes to make your bed, you probably have too many throw pillows (guilty!). If the tangle of sheets and blankets is too much to deal with on a daily basis, check out duvets.</p> <h2>6. Put Away the Dishes</h2> <p>A good rhythm is to run the dishwasher after dinner and then empty it in the morning. If you do dishes by hand, wash at night, and empty the drainer in the morning. Change your kitchen sponge and towels frequently and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-your-dishwasher">keep your dishwasher clean inside and out</a>.</p> <h2>7. Don&rsquo;t Forget the Stove</h2> <p>Cooking is messy, and no matter what type of stovetop you have, it gets grimy. I have a small commercial range with burners that get bad build-up. I fill my sink with Dawn and hot water, gently set the burners in to soak, and then attack the surface of the stove. Be sure you check your stove manufacturer&rsquo;s manual to see what products they recommend. The stove knobs may also need your attention, and if you have stainless steel like I do, it will need to be wiped down.</p> <h2>8. Clean Your Counters</h2> <p>Hopefully your decluttering rounds included the kitchen. If so, the counters can be quickly wiped down.</p> <h2>9. Sweep or Vacuum</h2> <p>If you decide to vacuum, is the bag fresh? If it&rsquo;s not, the house will smell musty. If you write the date on the bag when you change it, you&rsquo;ll have a good idea of how long it has been since you last emptied it.</p> <h2>10. Make Your Decorative Items Decorative</h2> <p>Blankets and throw pillows don&rsquo;t look very HGTV-esque if they are strewn about randomly. Take a minute to fluff, fold, and arrange.</p> <p><em>How do you keep your place prepped for visitors?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/company-coming-10-areas-to-clean-to-make-it-count">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-in-your-house-youre-forgetting-to-clean">9 Things in Your House You&#039;re Forgetting to Clean</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-your-closet-ready-for-summer-with-these-5-hacks">Get Your Closet Ready for Summer With These 5 Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-ways-to-count-and-cash-in-your-change">Best Ways to Count (and Cash in) Your Change</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-throw-out-today">25 Things to Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-denim-expert-reveals-why-you-only-need-3-pairs-of-jeans">A Denim Expert Reveals Why You Only Need 3 Pairs of Jeans</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Organization clean company dust sweep vacuum Thu, 11 Apr 2013 10:24:33 +0000 Marla Walters 971474 at http://www.wisebread.com I Just Think Things Should Work Properly too, Mr. Dyson. UPDATED 7/7/09 http://www.wisebread.com/i-just-things-should-work-properly-too-mr-dyson <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/i-just-things-should-work-properly-too-mr-dyson" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/dyson.jpg" alt="Dyson sucks" title="Dyson sucks" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I don&rsquo;t own a lot of stuff that&rsquo;s considered top of the line. Hardly anything in fact. But I do have the &ldquo;Rolls Royce&rdquo; of vacuum cleaners &ndash; The Dyson DC14 Complete (well, it was top of the line when we bought it, costing over $500). And it sucks. Boy, does it suck.</p> <p>When my wife and I first got married, we couldn&rsquo;t afford the holy Dyson. We wanted one. We lusted after one. But instead, we bought a Kenmore from Sears and it did us proud for five years. It needed a clean now and then, but it was quiet and ran well.</p> <p>Then, in 2006, we decided to bite the bullet and use what little savings we had to buy the vacuum cleaner we would keep forever. The vacuum cleaner that never loses suction. The vacuum cleaner that all sorts of people were swooning over. </p> <p>We ordered our DC-14 Complete and I picked it up a few days later. It sure looked pretty. And it cleaned the floor like nothing we&rsquo;d ever had before. In fact, we cleaned an area with our old vacuum, then went over the same area with the Dyson. We picked up dirt that the old vacuum simply couldn&rsquo;t lift. Terrific! We sold the Kenmore for about $50 (it had originally cost about $250) and put our beloved Dyson in pride of place on the top floor. </p> <p>Then, after about 18 months, problems began. Very occasionally, it would make a noise that sounded like a lawn mower having a panic attack. It was horrendous. The kind of noise that makes you think the whole thing is falling apart. We would turn it off, turn it on again and it would go away.</p> <p>But after another few months, the noise became more than an occasional event. And after just over two short years of owning a Dyson, a $539 marvel, it had gone from something we loved to something we loathed. </p> <p>We called Dyson and the customer service department was far less appealing than the eloquent Mr. James Dyson in his ads. I was on hold for a while, then a quite abrupt CSR took me through a &ldquo;home fix.&rdquo; It didn&rsquo;t work for long. When I called back, just a few weeks later, I was taken through the same fix. It didn&rsquo;t work at all. </p> <p>That&rsquo;s when I asked about my five-year warranty, the one that comes big and bold on all the packaging and the adverts. I was told that my warranty had already ran out. &ldquo;After two years?&rdquo; I said, shocked. &ldquo;Yes&rdquo; I was flatly told. &ldquo;Two years.&rdquo; I was given the name of a local authorized repair shop, but I would have to cover the fix myself. </p> <p>Now, I did some digging. As it turns out, the earlier Dyson machines didn&rsquo;t come with the now famous five-year warranty. It looks like it was introduced because the machines that Mr. Dyson just wants to work properly, don&rsquo;t actually work properly. A lot of them have faults ( I looked through over 100 complaints before writing this article) and that was just the tip of the iceberg. So, perhaps the five-year warranty was introduced to overcome some of the complaints being registered on the web?</p> <p>I wrote to Dyson to see if I could get some kind of help with my own Dyson vacuum, a machine we can now only use when our little girls are outside because the noise scares them so much. I was hoping that I could get some kind of good will resolution, after all, I paid top money for a vacuum that lasted less than two years before developing a fault&hellip;you&rsquo;d expect better than that from a $150 vacuum from WalMart. </p> <p>I received a short reply from Dee Carter, another helpline representative, who told me:<br /> <em><br /> &ldquo;Thank you for contacting us! I apologize for any inconvenience this issue has caused you. According to our records the vacuum was purchased in 2005 and at that time the vacuum came with a limited 2 year warranty. We will be more than happy to refer you to a local Dyson authorized repair center to have the vacuum inspected and repaired. Unfortunately the repair will be an out of pocket expense. Again I apologize for the inconvenience.&rdquo;</em></p> <p>I'm not sure where Dee got her information from, but I still have my receipt from March of 2006, so Dyson's records are wrong. But that's of little consequence, because the two year warranty has expired anyway. Ironically, if I'd bought the same vacuum a few months later, this wouldn't be an issue. </p> <p>So, I&rsquo;m on my own. And I&rsquo;m left with three options:<br /> 1: Pay a lot of money to have my Dyson repaired<br /> 2: Sell my Dyson and buy a new one<br /> 3: Sell my Dyson and buy a Hoover bagless model<br /> 4: Do nothing and vacuum wearing earplugs. </p> <p>Right now, I&rsquo;m looking at option three. I worked hard to pay for a vacuum of this quality, and it turned out to be a fa&ccedil;ade. And I write this to warn you all of the Dyson vacuum cleaner and the possible consequences of buying one. Yes, you&rsquo;ll get a five-year warranty. But it may suffer from many problems in those five years. And when they&rsquo;re up, you&rsquo;re looking at stiff repair bills. </p> <p>If only things really did work properly. It&rsquo;s nice in theory, right Mr. Dyson?</p> <p><strong>UPDATE:</strong><br /> Well, after I posted this story I was contacted by a Dyson customer service representative. From the sounds of it, she was the head of customer service relations. Anyway, after a few minutes of empathizing with my situation, AND telling me that I was just a few months short of buying a vacuum with a 5-yr warranty, I was told that there was nothing she could do. Actually, let me rephrase that...there was nothing she was allowed to do. She could, in fact, have easily picked up the bill for the repair of this broken machine, but it is against Dyson's policy to treat any customer any differently. Although, I suspect if I were someone famous or rich, that would work a little differently. I did wonder why she had contacted me to tell me something I already knew; they weren't going to help. She said she'd get back to me. That was a few weeks ago. So, I bit the bullet and forked over the money to have the machine repaired. While my machine was in the shop we borrowed a Miele, and yep, my wife fell in love with it instantly. So, I guess the Dyson will be going away soon, never to return. What an awful situation that Dyson could have so easily put right.</p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/i-just-things-should-work-properly-too-mr-dyson">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheat-sheet-retail-markup-on-common-items">Cheat Sheet: Retail Markup on Common Items</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-sneaky-store-perks-that-make-you-overspend">4 Sneaky Store Perks That Make You Overspend</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-secrets-of-amazons-pricing-strategy-will-help-you-find-the-best-buys">These Secrets of Amazon&#039;s Pricing Strategy Will Help You Find the Best Buys</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-retailers-with-the-absolute-best-customer-service">7 Retailers With the Absolute Best Customer Service</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Shopping breakage complaints Dyson failure reports vacuum Mon, 08 Jun 2009 23:25:16 +0000 Paul Michael 3241 at http://www.wisebread.com Can a vacuum owner be protected? http://www.wisebread.com/can-a-vacuum-owner-be-protected <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/can-a-vacuum-owner-be-protected" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/vacuum.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="333" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>“Does the (Good Housekeeping) Seal mean anything?” was a question posed by Ivan, a Wise Bread reader and vacuum consumer. Having had a bad experience but now hopeful for a performs-as-promised vacuum, he wants to know if the Seal, placed on the packaging of certain products, provides any guarantees or imparts any rights to the consumer. </p> <p>Here’s what happened to Ivan a couple of years ago; he:</p> <ul> <li>purchased a vacuum cleaner from a Hoover factory store in California</li> <li>found that the machine “didn’t perform as one would reasonably expect from reading about the ‘advanced’ features on the box” that also featured the Seal</li> <li>attempted to return the product to the store for a refund</li> <li>persuaded a store associate to read the Seal and solicited this response, “Yes, it does say refund or replacement for defective, but it isn’t defective.” </li> <li>left the store with a promise to return the next day to meet with the manager </li> </ul> <p>At home, he visited the <a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/" target="_blank" title="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/">Good Housekeeping</a> website in an attempt to learn what the Seal meant for him, the consumer, especially now that there was a dispute on what constituted “defective.” He didn’t find answers and learned that, at the time, “nowhere on the site or in its links does it actually state the complete details.” </p> <p>Ivan asked for guidance in interpreting the guarantee. Here&#39;s what I did: </p> <ul> <li>visited the Good Housekeeping website and found a <a href="http://www.goodhousekeepingseal.com/r5/home.asp" target="_blank" title="http://www.goodhousekeepingseal.com/r5/home.asp">page that referenced the Seal</a></li> <li>followed the “click here to receive full details of the program” link</li> <li>never found the full details but landed on this <a href="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/money/consumer/" target="_blank" title="http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/money/consumer/">consumer advocacy page</a></li> <li>wondered if the full details were embedded in the <a href="http://www.goodhousekeepingseal.com/r5/home.asp" target="_blank" title="http://www.goodhousekeepingseal.com/r5/home.asp">product pages</a>, causing me to believe that guarantees were offered not by Good Housekeeping but by consumer products companies</li> <li>sent an email to the address associated with the Seal; sent an email and placed a phone call to the contact person listed on an auto-responder email</li> <li>waited</li> <li>visited the website in September</li> <li>discovered that a <a href="http://www.goodhousekeepingseal.com/r5/display.asp?file=seal.asp" target="_blank" title="http://www.goodhousekeepingseal.com/r5/display.asp?file=seal.asp">new page now linked to the “full details” page</a>, which contained information about the program and a contact email for those wishing to file complaints. </li> </ul> <p>In September, I heard directly from Good Housekeeping and learned that:</p> <ul> <li>websites were redesigned and re-launched in May 2007</li> <li>page in question was available in August 2007 but there was an incorrect link that took visitors to the &quot;GH to the Rescue&quot; page</li> <li>the link was corrected after the website techies and Seal administration staff were alerted to the problem</li> <li>information on the Seal is in the monthly magazine</li> </ul> <p>and, the program works like this: </p> <ul> <li>Good Housekeeping will send a complaint to the consumer via U.S. mail</li> <li>consumers need to complete the form with the product name, date of purchase, problem with the product, etc. and send in a copy of the sales receipt and any service records (note: there is a limited warranty for two years from the date of purchase)</li> <li>if the product comes under the scope of the Seal, Good Housekeeping will investigate the complaint and information will be shared with technical experts at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute</li> <li>consumers may be contacted to discuss the complaint, may be asked to send in the product (at Good Housekeeping&#39;s expense), or an inspector may visit the consumer&#39;s house </li> <li>when/if the product is deemed defective, then the consumer will have the option of receiving a refund or a replacement </li> </ul> <p>If anyone is wondering, Ivan did get to return his vacuum through his negotiations with the store manager (he reboxed the machine and the manager marked it as unopened). Now, this Wise Bread reader is back in the market for a vacuum and wanted to know if he should trust the Seal or just move on. So, here&#39;s the answer: talk to Good Housekeeping rather than the store or manufacturer (though holding the store accountable as he did was a great plan). </p> <p>Meanwhile, I am hoping that companies with websites will conduct <a href="http://www.useit.com/alertbox/user-testing-showbiz.html" target="_blank" title="http://www.useit.com/alertbox/user-testing-showbiz.html">usability testing</a> or, if they are feeling frugal, ask their employees&#39; friends to visit their sites and test the navigation.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-a-vacuum-owner-be-protected">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/i-just-things-should-work-properly-too-mr-dyson">I Just Think Things Should Work Properly too, Mr. Dyson. UPDATED 7/7/09</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/books-on-uncle-sams-shelf">Books on Uncle Sam&#039;s Shelf</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/share-your-brilliant-burst-or-dashed-dream-as-a-consumer-advocate">Share your brilliant burst (or dashed dream) as a consumer advocate</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-vile-craigslist-scams-to-watch-out-for">8 Vile Craigslist Scams to Watch Out For</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/netspend-the-story-of-the-visa-debit-card-we-did-not-apply-for">netSpend: The Story of the Visa Debit Card We Did Not Apply For</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs consumer advocacy Good Housekeeping Seal vacuum website navigation Fri, 12 Oct 2007 14:43:20 +0000 Julie Rains 1276 at http://www.wisebread.com