Avoid the "Bait and Switch" : Rusty's Carpet Cleaning Blog

Avoid the "Bait and Switch"

by Rusty Simpson on 12/08/10

If you're getting your carpet or upholstery professionally cleaned, and have done any research at all, chances are you've heard of the "bait and switch" scam that is common in the industry. Basically, this is when a company gets into your home with the false promise of extremely low prices. You may have seen coupons that seem too good to be true (for example a whole house cleaning for $60), and chances are that this is a scam.  This gives the impression that you can have your whole house completely cleaned for that price...but don't be fooled.

Carpet Cleaners have expenses to cover, and they cannot stay in business by charging extremely low prices and give you the quality of cleaning you need. Once in your home the day of the cleaning, your extra costs start to add up.  They may tell you that the price advertised was for smaller sized rooms, and your rooms are too large- extra charge.  They may say that since you have pets, you need pet treatments, even if there is no stain- extra charge. You want your furniture moved- extra charge. These can keep adding up and tac hundreds of unexpected dollars onto your bill. A legit company will make sure their prices are clear BEFORE they clean your carpet- rather than suprising you at the end.  A good way to do this is to get a guaranteed estimate ahead of time.

Secondly, ask questions. If you're looking at a coupon that advertises something like "3 rooms for $40", ask them what size room this includes.  Many times people will think this means any room, when in fact their area is much larger than the coupon will cover. Also, if they say you need a pet treatment for stains you cannot smell or see, ask them to show you the spots with their UV light.  Just because you have a pet, does not mean you need a pet treatment.

Basically, if you have a deal in front of you that seems "too good to be true," then it probably is. The solutions used to remove stains and do pet treatments cost money and take more time, so chances are they will be an extra charge to you.  Just get the facts ahead of time from an honest business who will be up front about their prices.  Your best bet is to go with a company that has technicians certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification.  These companies have standards they are abiding by and professionals who are trained in this area of expertise.

For more info on the standards set forth by the IICRC, visit http://www.certifiedcleaners.org/default.shtml

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