You have probably seen the coupons coming in your mailbox through ValPak, money mailer or even in your newspaper, for really cheap carpet cleaning. Some of them are for as little as $4.99 a room, believe it or not, or often though advertised 5 rooms for $69 or similar.
The thing is these coupons are normally not what the company really charges when they get into your home. So, this is important to realize that this is often times something called “bait and switch”. But not all the time! Sometimes, they are sincere, cheap cleaning companies, but what you need to remember is you get what you pay for.
If they are giving you cheap cleaning, what you’re going to get is cheap cleaning with very cheap labor, very cheap chemicals and very cheap equipment.
Back a few years ago, NBC dateline and ABC’s 20/20 did some exposes on “bait-and-switch” carpet cleaning. They actually did behind-the-scene interviews, or they put cameras behind the scenes, and they found out what these companies were really doing, and what happened in about 90% of these situations.
A home owner would call in respond to a $5.99 per room at or a whole house for $69 this type of coupon, and then once they got out to the home, they looked at the carpet and said, “well, this carpet is really soiled. This is not going to be covered under this particular type of plan. What you going to need is our deep scrub system, or you are also going to need a deodorizer or you also going to need this or that.”
And then the price turns from $69 for the whole house into three or four or five hundred dollars; and then once the home owner bonked at the price, then the cleaning company would after say, “Oh, if you don’t like the $500 price, how about $300?”
They will actually bargain with them, but it will always be a price a lot more than what was actually originally intended to be paid by the home owner; and the other really bad part about this is for the companies that actually did start to do the cleaning at the coupon price, if they did if the home owner just insisted that they clean for the coupon price, some of the cleaning companies would leave the home and refuse to do the job at all.
Some of the cleaning companies would stay and do a very poor job on the cleaning. The others wouldn’t use chemicals at all and would admit that they don’t use chemicals at that cheap price. How can you clean a carpet without using any cleaning agents at all? Or they would do the job with a very cheap grocery store rental type of cleaning equipment. In other words, they would not do a professional job for the price.
What the shows concluded was that the IICRC, the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, which is the largest certification board in the carpet cleaning industry, recommends this for cleaning:
They recommend that the carpet be vacuumed before the cleaning is done. However, not many of those companies, if any of them, vacuumed on either the ABC or NBC dateline shows. After that carpet is vacuumed, pre-spotting is supposed to be done. And finally, steam cleaning is the most recommended method of carpet cleaning. Many of the coupon cleaners used cheap grocery store type portable steam cleaning equipment.
Although it is highly recommended by most carpet manufacturers, but not imperative, after steam cleaning, grooming should be done. As well, something needs to be done with air movement for drying. Usually the use of turbo air movers is used to dry the carpet out. This is what the IICRC recommends. None of these bait-and-switch companies did any of those services except for the bare bones minimum of just steam cleaning. They didn’t do all of the steps involved to give you a good carpet cleaning.
Yes, you get what you pay for when it comes to hiring a carpet cleaning service. Don’t be fooled by bait and switch.