As a homeowner, it goes without saying that one of your most important duties is ensuring that your home is at all times presentable. For those with carpeted floors, this is an especially difficult task as these super comfortable home accessories seem to constantly and unwittingly attract dirt and stains. With everything from coffee spills to puppy fur, you will undoubtedly always have your hands full as far as cleaning chores are concerned.
Carpet cleaning services exist for the sole purpose of making your life a lot easier as the home owner. With their expert skills and high tech cleaning equipment, they will have your carpet nice and spotless in no time. However, as with many other home convenience service providers, there is always a chance that you will not get full value for your money. So what can you do to ensure that you get along with your carpet cleaning crew and that you get the most from the agreement? Below are 5 key ways to go about your business with your carpet cleaners in order to ensure you get exactly what you want and pay for.
TIP #1- Choosing the best carpet cleaning Dublin business
The single most important thing you need to do if you wish to end up a happy client is to settle for the right business. This means that random selections and unconfirmed referrals simply won’t do. When choosing your carpet cleaner, there is a lot you need to consider and look into to ensure that you end up working with the very best business within your reach. Below are 7 sure ways to ensure that you get to work with a business that deserves your time and monetary investment.
– 7 ways to ensure you settle for the best business in town
1. Look for them in the right places
There are very many ways to find a carpet cleaning business as a homeowner. The most traditional yet reliable method is though the phone book. This provides you not only with contact information but also with an address which you can visit for more details. However, thanks to technology a cleaning crew is literally just a click away. Most businesses worth their hide have invested in online platforms with websites and ads that make it easy to find them. All you have to do is search carpet cleaner near me’ and you will have several pages full of options for you to go through.
2. Go through their online websites if present
If your online searches are successful, it is always advisable to take your time going through the content on the pages. This will give you a rough idea of what to expect in terms of services offered and at times in terms of pricing. The websites usually also feature testimonials in form of pictures and messages from former clients which will also come in handy.
3. Consider client reviews and ratings
While you are still on the internet, it wouldn’t hurt to go through reviews and ratings for the different businesses that caught your eye. This helps you by giving you first-hand information on what you can expect working with the businesses in question. The reviews are usually available on the business’s website or on online review platforms like yelp.
4. Find information about the services offered
Having a general idea of what to expect is not always enough if you wish to find the right business for you. To be on the safe side, find out more about how they do the cleaning and what equipment and chemicals they use. You can acquire this information by either contacting the business directly or paying them a visit.
5. Pay an initial visit to their base of operation
In addition to equipping you with information on how they work, visiting the business premises also helps confirm the legitimacy of the business. Working with a cleaner with no physical base of operation is more often than not risky and leaves you vulnerable to a myriad of scams in the industry.
6. Get a price estimate and an formal quote
It will cost you absolutely nothing to get a formal quote from the businesses that you are interested in. If you wish, you can get estimates from several businesses that catch your eye and use your budget as the determining factor.
7. Trust your gut instinct
Finally, always trust your instinct. If you feel like there is something off about the business then you shouldn’t stick around. If the deal seems too good to be true then turning away is probably the best choice for you. Whatever the case, it will all boil down to your preferences and priorities in which case your instincts and the information you have will come into play.
TIP #2- Keeping an eye out for scams and cons
As with every other business on earth, the Carpet cleaning industry is riddled with con artists and scam crews that prey on unsuspecting clients. The saddest part is that most people do not see it coming and might not even realize that they have been scammed until it is too late. Below is a list of commonly encountered scams in this line of work and how to identify them. There are also a few guidelines and tips on how to ensure that you do not become a victim of these unprofessional characters.
– Common scams in the carpet cleaning business
1. The bait and switch scam
This is the oldest con in the book and is practised by con artists in pretty much every service field there is. Unfortunately, the carpet cleaning business is to immune to these unscrupulous techniques. Basically, the con artist gets you interested by offering you the deal of a lifetime. It seems like you will be getting the highest quality services in the industry for the lowest prices imaginable. Then once the project starts, they change their mind suddenly and demand an increase.
More often than not, they site unbelievable excuses and find ways to blame you for it. They might say something like the stains were harder to remove than we thought’. If you are dealing with a particularly nasty crew, they might just leave the work unfinished just to spite you leaving you with a bigger mess than before.
2. The ghost business scam
Having your carpet cleaned away from the house is a great option. You are assured that your property will be left undisturbed and that you won’t be left with a house that smells strongly of chemicals. However, there is always the risk of your carpet getting lost or stolen while in those offsite locations. This is the basis of the ghost business scam.
It starts off innocently enough with the sales reps approaching you usually on their door to door visits. Once they have sold you on the idea of having the carpet cleaned offsite they pick it up and chances are that it is the last you will ever see of it.
3. The surface clean scam
This is a con trick unique to the carpet cleaning industry. Basically, the business promises you carpet paradise explaining how no fibre will be left untouched. But when they get to the actual cleaning, the results are dismal. From a far, the carpet might look clean. This is because they focus their efforts on the surface. However, if you take a closer look then you will realize that the base and the lower level fibres are still dirty and are harbouring untouched particles. By this time, it is usually too late to ask for a refund. Some even go to the extent of blaming you claiming that you made it dirty yourself after they had finished the cleaning.
4. The door to door carpet cleaner scam
This is by far one of the most dangerous carpet cleaning scams in the industry. Basically, a so called sales rep shows up unannounced at your doorstep with the carpet cleaning deal of a lifetime. And trust me, they can be very convincing. What follows is usually never a good thing with everything from contract breeches to actual robberies. So the next time someone tries to sell you on a carpet cleaning project. Please decline and keep your door shut.
5. The best method cleaning scam
There are many different methods of cleaning carpets. You can have a simple vacuuming, deep vacuuming, water cleaning, steam cleaning and so much more. The best method to apply depends on many factors. These include the carpet material, the amount of dirt and the types of stains on the fibre.
With the best method scam, the business tries to force their most expensive service down your throat claiming that it is the only way to get rid of the stain. What should make you suspicious is when they make this claim without seeing and inspecting the actual carpet.
– How To Avoid Getting Scammed
1. Ask for proper identification
Licensed and certified carpet cleaning crews are more often than not reliable professionals. They are therefore less likely to defraud you. Licensed professionals are also a lot easier to deal with as they usually have some authoritative body to report to making it easy to hold them accountable for all their actions. Therefore, before you get into business with any carpet cleaning Dublin crew, make sure that they provide proper identification and credentials. If they don’t have them then you have no business entrusting your carpet to them.
2. Do your homework
The most effective weapon against service industry scams is information. The same case applies to carpet cleaning scams. To be on the safe side, make sure you do some research on different carpet cleaning techniques. It is also very important to learn as much as you can about the business. One of the best ways to do this is by visiting their premises and interacting with those in charge before making your final decision.
You should also learn as much as possible about different carpet cleaning service scams. This will allow you to spot shady businesses and suspicious deals from a kilometre away and protect yourself and your precious carpet from substandard work. The good thing is that information about these scams is easily available online making it easy for you to get all the information that you need without much hassle.
3. Ask for a formal quote
This is the best defence against the bait and switch scam. The estimate is usually based on different factors including the carpet size, material type and the stains. A formal quote ensures that you do not end up getting overcharged for services whose estimates were much lower. It also ensures that the business is legally liable in the event that they breech the contract and hold your carpet hostage for extra pay.
4. Confirm location of physical base
Confirming the business’s physical location will help you particularly avoid the Ghost business scam. This makes door to door carpet cleaners an absolute no-no for you as the client. You can get the address from the business website or from a phone book. When conducting such a visit, you may choose to call and book an appointment or just pay a random visit. Whatever you choose, the confirmation should help put your mind at ease.
5. Go through client reviews
Finally, protect yourself by learning from other people’s mistakes. One of the best ways to do this is though client reviews. When going through client reviews for hints of scams, it is always a great idea to go through independent channels where discussion forums, review platforms and independent reviewers are the best. This is because a business is unlikely to advertise its unscrupulous nature on their own website.
TIP #3- Avoiding suspiciously cheap businesses
Everyone loves a good deal and there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to save the extra penny. However, with the service provision industry, it is always advisable to be wary of suspiciously cheap services. With carpet cleaning in particular, going cheap is never a good idea with there being a huge risk of you being disappointed in the final results. Below are some of the reasons why you should always avoid businesses whose prices and offers seem too good to be true.
– 6 Reasons Why Going Cheap Is A Horrible Idea
1. They use low quality cleaning chemicals
In the service industry, you usually get what you give. If you pay little money for the cleaning, chances are that the chemicals being used to clean your carpet are not of the best quality possible. More often than not, this means that you will end up with substandard and unsatisfactory results. This is the case especially with deeply stained carpets or those from which pet waste odour needs to be removed.
2. They use substandard cleaning tools
This is usually a problem whether you have your carpet dry cleaned or wet cleaned. With dry cleaning, cheap businesses use low power vacuums which do not always get all the particles. With wet cleaning on the other hand, chances are that their drying tools will also be substandard. This means that you will most likely have to wait for a longer time for your carpet to dry completely.
3. They may end up doing more harm than good to your carpet
Another reason why you need to avoid unusually cheap carpet cleaning services is that they may end up doing more harm than good. This is the case especially when you are dealing with delicate carpet fibres that need special handling. Chances are that the cleaners will not take very good care of it leaving it vulnerable to all sorts of disasters from unravelling fibres to total carpet shrinkage.
Cheap services may also lead to stain spreading in the process of cleaning. This happens when insufficient inspection was done resulting in cleaning without focusing on the high concentration areas.
4. Cheap services are usually a front for scams
One of the easiest ways to draw in customers for a scam is through low prices whether it is the bait and switch scam to the surface clean scam. The saddest part is that to most people, it seems like a lucky find until it is too late to back down. To avoid this, make sure you compare the prices offered by the business to other reputable cleaners in the same area and elsewhere. This will allow you to know whether or not the prices are within the normal range.
5. Cheap carpet cleaners are unreliable
More often than not, cheap carpet cleaning service providers are highly unreliable. It can be something as simple as a missed deadline or a delayed delivery or something more serious like a poorly cleaned carpet. Whatever the case, you as the client are usually at a poor vantage point as you didn’t pay enough’ to complain.
6. Cheap carpet cleaners are also not always sufficiently trained
Finally, with unusually cheap carpet cleaning crews, chances are that you are working with seriously under-qualified cleaners. This is not always a big deal and with ordinary cleaning they just might get away with it. However, if you want thorough and specialized services, then you can rest assured that you will be disappointed by their final results.
In conclusion, if the deal seems way too good to be true, please run and hide. You carpet and peace of mind are not worth those few extra pennies that you are trying to save. Just be patient and do your research properly and you will definitely find a reliable business within your desired price range. However, you have every right to make bargains, ask for discounts and make use of special carpet cleaning offers. Just be careful and avoid settling for any unusual looking prices and deals.
TIP #4- Keep in touch and stay informed
As the client, it is important to understand that soliciting carpet cleaning Dublin services is not something that you will do only one time. In fact, health and home service experts recommend that you should have your carpet professionally cleaned at least once every 3 to 6 months. With this in mind, it becomes very important to stay in touch with your carpet cleaning business of choice.
As a client it is also very important to understand what is going on during the cleaning in order to ensure that you are getting the very best services that your investment can afford you. It is therefore important to ensure that you always ask questions. Below are a few of the questions that you need to as the cleaning crew before, during and sometimes after the cleaning session to ensure that you get the most out of their services.
– Questions Every Client Should Ask Their Carpet Cleaner
1. Are you licensed and or certified?
This is one of the most important questions to ask your carpet cleaner if you intend on getting into business with them on a long term basis. Proper formal licensing is pretty much a guarantee that you are working with an individual or a business that understands the trade. Licensing also protects you as the client from things like scams and contract breeches as the cleaners are held legally liable by the governing body.
2. Can you clean my carpet?
I know that this seems like an odd question to ask but it is super important to get the answer before you get into business with the carpet cleaner. It is important to understand that not all carpets and stains are the same. And not all carpet cleaning businesses can handle the type of mess you are working with. The best way to have this question answered is by having the professional inspect the carpet and the specific stains. They should then be able to tell you whether or not they are sufficiently trained and equipped to handle the mess.
3. What method do you recommend for my carpet?
As stated above, there are many different carpet cleaning methods employed by professionals. Some are more intense than others. But just because one technique offers deeper cleaning than the other it doesn’t mean that it is the best method for your carpet. During the inspection done to determine whether or not the business is up for the task, the professional should also have an idea of what method they should use on your carpet.
4. How much will it cost me to get it cleaned?
The next important question you should ask is about the price. How much do they charge for your type of carpet or stain? Do they have any discounts? Are there any offers for new or repeat clients? Such questions will go a long way to ensure that you get the very best deal possible for you carpet cleaning.
5. Do you have a refund policy?
This is a question that pretty much every client forgets to ask in spite of the importance of the answer provided. As the client, you have a right to a refund if the services provided are not those that were formally agreed upon. Establishing whether or not the business has such a policy will save you a lot of time and effort in the event that they fail to deliver on their extravagant promises.
6. Do you have a long term cleaning package?
Think of this as a retainer agreement. Carpet cleaning is not a one off service and finding a business you can stick to is always a great idea. It is important to ask this question as some businesses actually offer special discounts to clients who work with them on a long term basis.
7. Are you insured?
These days, more and more carpet and home cleaning businesses are getting insured. This comes in handy especially when the cleaning is being done from your home. Insurance frees you from any form of legal or financial liability in the event that something goes wrong during the cleaning session. It is important to note that this is fairly new in the industry and not all business have it. So do not disqualify a good business simply because they are not insured. However, if you find one that is, actually insured, then you should give some serious thought into working with them on a long term basis.
TIP #5- Be vocal about your expectations
Finally, it is important as the client to always communicate. If you want something done, then tell the cleaners. If you don’t want something done, tell them. If you don’t like something they did, tell them. Vocalizing your expectations and concerns will ensure that you get exactly what you want. It also minimizes the chances of disappointing results from the cleaning session. This tip applies mainly when you have them working from home and not cleaning the carpet in an offsite location. However, even with the latter it is still important to voice whatever queries and special requirements you have. Below are a few of the basic things that you should always tell your carpet cleaner.
– Things You Should Always Tell Your Carpet Cleaner
1. Be careful with the carpet
Don’t be afraid to seem fussy as the client. If you feel that the crew is handling your carpet too roughly, feel free to vocalize your concerns. After all, you are the one who will have to put up with runny fibres and missing patches if they end up ruining it.
2. Be careful with my home property
When you have the cleaning crew working from your home, there is so much that could go wrong. You can have anything from scratched furniture to broken accessories. It is therefore very important for you to insist that the crew be very careful while handling the carpet not to damage any of your property.
3. Are you done yet?
This is more of a question than a comment but if you want things done right you will have to ask. If the cleaners are taking longer than they had promised, then you have every right to complain. This mainly applies with offsite cleaning where there are unusual delays in the delivery after the carpet has been cleaned.
4. Don’t use allergenic or irritating chemicals
This applies whether the carpet is cleaned at home or offsite. The last thing you want is to be left with the irritating stench of cleaning products. If you have a problem with any particular smell, you should notify the crew immediately and request for them to use an alternative if possible.
5. You missed a spot
Yep. No one wants to hear this; but sometimes it seriously needs to be said. If you are working with a thorough and experienced crew of professionals, then chances are that you won’t have to express such sentiments. However, if you are working with amateurs or professionals who got unlucky, it is important to point out such mistakes.
6. I liked/didn’t like your work
Finally, it is important for you as the client to always give your feedback after the cleaning session is complete. If there was something you didn’t like, make sure to vocalize your concerns in order to have them addressed and if possible reversed. If there was something you liked, it is also important to let them know. This is especially important if you wish to work with them again and again. That way, they will know exactly how you like things done and will ensure that every cleaning session meets your expectations.
After all is said and done, the success of the carpet cleaning session is as much in your hands as it is in the professionals. First things first you need to make sure that you settle for the very best carpet cleaning service within your vicinity and more importantly within your budget. The second thing is to be constantly vigilant keeping an eye out for con artists after your hard earned money. Finally, interact with the crew. Ask questions. Share your thoughts and opinions about what you want. Whatever you do, never go into business with the cleaners blind and clueless. This leaves your vulnerable and significantly reduces your chances of getting full value for your money. In a nutshell, with all this information, you should be guaranteed results that more than justify the monetary investment you made to get you carpet cleaned.