As a home owner, a time comes when you need to work with a professional crew to clean your carpet. It could be that you moved to a new house and you need the carpeted floors power washed for a fresh start. It could on the other hand be that after weeks, months or even years of accumulation of dirt and nastiness your carpet simply cannot take any more. Whatever your reasons are, there is no denying that there is a lot to gain from working with a professional crew.
However, as with any other business in the service industry there are very many scams that home owners need to be wary of. Shady businesses prey on unsuspecting clients resulting in all sorts of disasters from unsatisfactory cleaning to actual damage to the carpet. It goes without saying that one of the best ways to deal with these frauds is by understanding the game. Below is all you need to know about the scams and how to avoid being a victim.
Common carpet cleaning scams
First thing’s first, we need to understand the many different scams there are out there. Truth be told, no one person knows or understands all the crooked tricks used by fraudulent carpet cleaning businesses. However, there are a few that are commonly repeated and therefore very easy for you as the home owner to spot. Below are 4 of them.
1. The door to door carpet cleaning scams
In this case, the businesses advertise themselves door to door with gran promises and incredible offers. For the most part, all you have to worry about with these crews is low quality work. The worst case scenario is that these so called carpet cleaners are using their offers as a ruse to get access to your home for other crimes including burglary. It is therefore super important to be careful with these kinds of cleaners.
2. All for one cleaning packages that are too good to be true
This scam is all about the money. The business offers to clean your entire home or all the carpets inside for incredibly low prices. At surface value, it seems like a pretty ok deal. After all there is nothing wrong with saving a little time and money right? Wrong. More often than not, crews that offer these all-inclusive services do a very poor cleaning job on the carpet. It could be that they are in a hurry to get all the work done. It could also be that they are not sufficiently skilled and equipped to handle your carpet’s specific needs. Bottom line, if you choose to go cheap with your carpet cleaning you will definitely be disappointed.
3. Price bait and switch scams
This is the most common carpet cleaning scam and by far the easiest to spot. In this case, the company lures you in with decent looking prices. However, once the project gets started you are suddenly confronted with all these additional fees and charges. Some businesses even take it as far as threatening to leave the job half done if you do not agree to cater for the additional costs.
4. The carpet over-cleaning scam
Finally, this scam involves a crew basically trying to shove unnecessary services down the customer’s throat. More often than not, a basic thorough cleaning is enough to give you full value for your money. However, some shady crews try to convince home owners to invest in extra cleaning services that are not really needed. This is done as a way to prey on your lack of knowledge about the whole cleaning process and what your carpet really needs.
7 ways to avoid getting scammed by carpet cleaners
It is a little scary to think that there are these and many other scams out there in the carpet cleaning industry. However, the good news is that these cases are very few and far between. What’s more is that it is very easy for you as the home owner to avoid being an easy target. Below are 8 simple tips that should help you avoid falling for carpet cleaning cons and scams.
1. Understand the process
This is truly the best way to ensure that you get full value for your money no matter what crew you are working with. It also puts you in the best position to identify a crew that is scamming you by taking short cuts. In this case, take your time to get acquainted with the carpet cleaning process and your carpet’s specific needs. You do not have to be an expert or anything like that but it does help to have a basic understanding.
2. Get a second opinion
When in doubt, always reach out to a different crew for a different perspective. This is the case especially with businesses trying to sell you services that do not seem necessary. It also comes in handy when working with businesses that have prices that seem too good to be true.
3. Choose the crew very carefully
The choice of crew is very important as it determines whether or not you expose yourself to crooks. In this case, it is important to take your time to review different carpet cleaning businesses in your area. Take into consideration factors like level of experience, techniques used, services and prices.
4. Get a formal price quote
This has always been the best way to avoid falling for the old bait and switch scam. It works with all types of services including carpet cleaning. Before they get started, the business should ensure that they give a fixed charge including all additional fees that are usually initially left out.
5.Research on common scams in your area
Carpet cleaning scams tend to be regional with fraudulent crews operating within their comfort zone. It is therefore very important while looking for a crew to ensure that you find out about whether or not any are linked with scams in the area.
With all this information, you should be able to avoid getting scammed. In a nutshell, all you have to do is to take your time while looking for a crew and also ensure that you are sufficiently informed about the process. Being present and airing any complaints also helps minimize chances of you being taken for a ride by your crew. In short, be vigilant and thorough in your search and you should not have any complications.