TERMS & CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS
We undertake to do the best job possible for all of our customers for a fixed price. That is our commitment to you. Of course, like many businesses, there is some ‘small print’ - so here it is.
1. We operate a ‘fixed’ pricing scheme for a straightforward sweep or job.
2. We rely on you to tell us what we are sweeping – the price will be quoted to you based on that information. If you have failed to tell us in advance of any problems, or that it is, for example a fireplace that is larger than average, we reserve the right to ‘re-quote’ on arrival. You may decline to use the service at that point.
3. In the event that we encounter a problem (this might, for example, be a blockage or a problem flue) the sweep will advise you in advance of completing any work if there is likely to be any extra charge to be made.
4. If you decide you do not want the sweep to continue with the job, we reserve the right to make a charge to cover our costs including a contribution towards work already undertaken.
5. We understand that our customers have busy lives. If you have to change or cancel an appointment please give us as much notice as possible. At the least 24 hours. We have allocated time in our day specifically for you and late notice cancellation may mean that we are unable to offer the appointment to someone else.
6. We reserve the right to charge a cancellation fee of up to 100% of the quoted price in the event that no-one is at home when we attend the property and/or we cannot gain access.
7. We also reserve the right to charge in the event of a late cancellation (less than 24 hours notice), subject to the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013.
8. Payment is due at the time of provision of the service, except where alternative arrangements are arranged in advance.
9. Various payment options are available.
• You may pay by cash or cheque payable to Wilkins Chimney Sweep.
• Most of our sweeps accept DEBIT or CREDIT cards.
• BACS (bank transfer) details will be provided at the time of service if payment is not received. A reference will also be provided. If this is not quoted, we may have to contact you to trace payments.
• We can email an invoice and payment will be required within 7 days. Payments not settled within 7 days may attract a charge of 2% annually above the Bank of England Base Rate.
10. We may take a non-refundable deposit when booking your sweep,
11. If you provide more than 24 hours’ notice of being unable to attend a prearranged appointment, you can rearrange and transfer the deposit. Less than 24 hours’ notice will result in your deposit being lost.
METHOD OF SWEEPING
12. It is not possible to sweep a chimney using solely a vacuum cleaner. Brushes (or a rotary power sweeping equipment) must be used.
13.Some of our sweeps may undertake ‘power sweeping’ (the use of a drill type device to ‘flail’ the chimney flue) but this will only be used when we feel that the condition of the chimney will support this method.
NESTS OR BLOCKAGES
14.We are unable to remove ‘live’ bird’s nests (usually found between April and June when Jackdaws are nesting) as it is illegal to do so (please see RSPB guidelines). If we find a nest in the chimney when we are sweeping we will usually arrange to come back to remove it when it is legal to do so. Please don’t ask us, or any other person, to break the law and remove the nest when it is illegal. We may make a charge for our time if we cannot sweep. This will be credited to your account when we return to remove the nest for you.
15.While great care is taken to prevent damage to your property, the sweep cannot be held responsible for badly maintained or deteriorating pots, cowls, chimney stacks, fireplaces or any other part of your chimney. Material information should be disclosed, such as age and type of bird guard or cover, and any known problems.
16.No responsibility can be accepted for chimney problems that occurred during sweeping that were not obvious before the sweep was undertaken or have not been advised to us if known by the customer.
17.We’ll do our best to advise you and take precautions to prevent damage, but in some instances may recommend remedial work prior to sweeping or ask you to sign a disclaimer to allow us to continue. Please don’t be offended – we’d rather you knew in advance.
18.We aim to sweep all types of appliances that burn solid fuel, wood, oil or gas, in residential or commercial premises. We do encounter some problems with woodburning stoves (and sometimes other installations) that have been fitted without provision for sweeping. Worse, some are not ‘legal’ installations and are just plain dangerous. We will do our best to sweep but sometimes we will be unable to undertake the job, leaving you with the best advice we can offer to rectify the problem.
19.Stainless steel flue liners are not indestructible. We carry a range of brushes and will use the one most suitable for the job but tar is the enemy of the steel flue and very aggressive cleaning may not be appropriate. We will do our best!
20. For the sweeping of Aga and Rayburn flues make sure the appliance is switched off allowing plenty of time (at least 24 hours) to cool down. If we are unable to sweep, as the appliance is too hot, we reserve the right to charge a call out fee.
CERTIFICATES OF SWEEPING
21.Your insurance company may require a certificate of sweeping the chimney. We will happily provide a certificate for every chimney we attend; details are retained on file should you need them.
22.The certificate is not a warranty or guarantee that your chimney is safe to use since a full visual inspection (CCTV or other) has not been made and soundness or integrity testing has not been carried out. These are separate tasks that can be performed if any problems or concerns are highlighted by our customer or by the sweep. The certificate is confirmation however that we have passed a brush or appropriate device through the flue and removed as much soot and/or debris as we are able.
FITTING CAGES, CAPS & COWLS
23.It is frequently necessary to cross the roof in order to reach the chimney stack. If it can be avoided, we will not use the roof ladder. When we do have to use it we will take every care in placing the ladder to avoid broken tiles and/or guttering. We rely on our customer to advise us if there are any problems already identified with the roof.
24.If we are working outdoors (such as fitting a cage, cap or cowl) the work will be dependent upon the weather being suitable for working from a ladder. We’re sorry if we have to postpone but we will carry out the work as soon as we possibly can.
25.All of our sweeps are registered under the Data Protection Act 1998. We will not share or sell your data. We only make contact once agreement has been made to do so.
26.All of our sweeps carry a low-tier environmental waste license.
27.We are a local, professional chimney sweeping business and we rely on customers coming back to us year after year. If you like what we do, please tell everyone! If we have disappointed you in any way, please tell us!