Bait and Switch Carpet Cleaning Operators

Author:Mark Moretti

Copyright (c) 2009 Metro Carpet Cleaning

The overwhelming majority of professional carpet cleaners are respectable and legitimate businesses that will provide high quality carpet care at a reasonable price. As with every type of business, there are always a few unscrupulous business operators that will look to take advantage of the average homeowner and can ruin it for all of the other legitimate service providers. Some of these underhanded businesses will cheat you on the quality of the cleaning they perform or on the type and quantity of chemicals they use. Many of them will use the age-old bait and switch technique to lure you in with a price that is hard to resist, only to change the deal when they arrive for the appointment.

It is important to stress that these types of carpet cleaning companies are in the minority and you may never have to deal with one, but it\'s important to recognize some of the ways you may fall victim to their swindles.

The basic bait and switch occurs when the company originally gives you an estimate either over the phone or in a coupon sent to your home and then starts to change the price when they arrive at your home to do the work. The reason many of these frauds work is that the homeowner has already made arrangements to spend the day cleaning the carpet and re-scheduling the appointment with another company is a lot of work or they may be moving out of the premises the same day and cannot call another company due to time restraints. They may choose to just pay the higher price and avoid wasting the day.

There are many ways that a bait and switch operator can swindle you and the most common one is under-quoting a job. This can start as a flyer sent to you through the mail that offers to clean a number of rooms in your home for a reasonable price. Seeing this, many homeowners are attracted to the low price and don\'t realize that the "typical" room described in the flyer is much smaller than even the smallest room in their home. This means the operator will arrive for the appointment and explain to the homeowner that one of the rooms they were intending to clean was larger than the offer specified and actually counts as two rooms. They may also charge more for irregular shaped rooms or hallways, even though the square footage is under the size specified in the ad. This is an easy problem to avoid as you can check when setting up the appointment. Ask the company what they consider to be a typical room size and if they charge extra for irregular shaped rooms. Most companies won\'t charge more, and if they do it might be a good idea to keep searching for a company.

Another common technique is charging extra for the cleaning chemicals needed for cleaning the carpet. The ad may offer a good price for the cleaning, but not include the actual chemical cleaners that are needed. These chemicals can be fairly expensive and may actually double the price that was advertised. A good way to avoid this scam is to ask the carpet cleaning company specifically what is included with the price. This way there is no confusion when they arrive to start cleaning.

Up-selling a customer is another common bait and switch technique used to justify a higher price for the basic cleaning. The way this trick usually works is that a higher price than the advertised price is offered to the homeowner for a more thorough cleaning. They may characterize this as a dual-pass cleaning or some other term used to make it seem more complete. In most cases they are doing the same cleaning job they would have done with the basic cleaning, they just make it sound better. To avoid falling into this trap simply ask the company to explain the differences between the basic and upgraded cleaning they are offering you. There are legitimate cleaning techniques that are more involved that a company can offer you like a multi stage cleaning process and a responsible company can easily explain the difference.

Some companies will try to justify the higher cleaning price by offering to "throw in" a carpet protection treatment like as part of the cleaning. If you hear this, it\'s a good indicator of them trying to scam you. The reason is that most protection treatments add cost to a cleaning because the chemicals needed to professionally treat a carpet for stain protection are expensive. There is no way that this can be given away for free since these chemicals cost the cleaning company a good amount of money to provide. A legitimate cleaner will offer you a price for the cleaning and a second price for the carpet protection application. This way you can see exactly what the cost of each will be in advance of making your decision.

Most of these bait and switch scams can be avoided by applying a little common sense. If a price is a lot lower from one carpet cleaning company, it might be a bait and switch problem for you so make sure you understand what\'s included with the price. Try and use established carpet cleaners that have been around for a while so you know they have a good track record of satisfied customers. These established companies will normally offer discounts and special offers from time to time and these can allow you to get a great price on the cleaning, and know that you have gotten your money\'s worth as well.

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About the Author

Mark Moretti of Metro Carpet Cleaning Sydney offers budget, yet high quality 100satisfaction guaranteed carpet, upholstery & leather cleaning, carpet protection, water damage carpet clean-up and commercial & office cleaning. Visit to book online or to request a quote.

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This is a letter of appreciation for the 17 years of excellent service and impeccable quality of work Winn's Pro has provided. Winn’s Pro has been dedicated to providing us and the owners of our units with continuing quality, caring and exceptional service.

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Avis Barton

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Aspen, Colorado

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I manage 16 luxury homes in Aspen, Colorado and would not go anywhere else for my carpet cleaning needs. On top of requiring very discreet and trustworthy services, our homeowners have specialty rugs and carpets which require unique care. Over the long relationship Ute Place has shared with Marty, there is not a problem Winn’s pro has not been able to handle for us. When he says, “call me any time”, he means it! Marty is always willing to help in emergency situations late in the day or over weekends and holidays and arrives on your doorstep quickly and with a smile. My homeowners are continually impressed with the “magic” Marty works on their carpets and rugs, always leaving them looking like new. I would, without hesitation, recommend Marty’s professional services to any client looking for a superior, friendly and flawless cleaning service.

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Danielle Paterni

Ute Place Resident Manager

Aspen, CO
Testimonial from Mason Morse Real Estate:This is to let you know that Marty Winn did an excellent job of cleaning our carpets. His service is unbeatable and the quality of his work is definitely first class.We had stains on our carpet that no other carpet cleaner was able to get out. The stains were set in and had been there for quite some time. Marty came to our office and said he did not care if we gave him the job or not; but he wanted to try and get the stains out. He not only got them out, his prices were excellent also.Marty came and cleaned our carpets and has followed up to make sure the stains have not returned.I highly recommend and trust Marty and Winn’s Pro Carpet Cleaning. He definitely is a professional and takes pride in his work.Thank you for all that you have done!Sincerely,Karen Scarberry/Office ManagerMason Morse Real Estate0290 Hwy 133Carbondale, CO. 81623

Would I recommend Winn’s Pro Carpet Cleaning? You bet I would. Winn’s Pro Carpet Cleaning cleaned the carpets in the Chamber office, and when I came in the next day I thought I was in the wrong place! The difference was amazing. Great work and fast service, way to go Winn’s Pro Carpet Cleaning!

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