Let me start this article off by saying that the majority of carpet cleaning companies are run by good ethical people. Like every other profession on the planet though, there will be some bad apples. This article will give you the knowledge to identify theses bad apples and see through their carpet cleaning scams.
The basic carpet cleaning scam is called a "Bait and Switch". In this scam, the carpet cleaning company will try to get into your home with an incredibly low price. Usually they will charge only a few dollars per room. They have no intention on honoring this price however. Once they are in your home, they will raise the bill by charging you for extras. They will point at the dirty traffic areas and say that you need to have them preconditioned or they need to do a special dual process treatment on it. If you have a pet, they will undoubtedly try to force a pet pretreatment on you even if you have no pet stains on your carpet. They may even say that you need to have protection applied or your carpet will be ruined. All of these charges can add hundreds of dollars to your carpet cleaning bill. Now, all carpet cleaners will probably try to sell you extras, that is their job. What separates them from the scammer is the way they sell. Bait and Switch carpet cleaners push often unnecessary products through fear and intimidation. They make you think your carpet will be ruined without the extras. They also can make it difficult to say no. Do not underestimate the intimidation factor of two 200 pound men in front of the average housewife.
Avoiding The Scam
It is not hard to avoid being a victim of "Bait and Switch" if you recognize the signs. If you get a coupon in the mail and the price is too good to be true, it probably is. A carpet cleaner can not stay in business only charging $ 4.95 per room. Advertising costs, equipment costs, supplies, fuel, insurance, etc all add up. To stay in business a cleaner must make between $ 80 to $ 100 an hour. Average carpet cleaner The Cleans about 600 square feet an hour so the average home with 1200 square feet of carpet would have a carpet cleaning cost of $ 160 to $ 200. Prices may vary slightly depending on the level of service that the cleaner offers, but that is the average. You should also read the fine print on the advertisement or coupon you have received. Look to see if there are extra charges for preconditioning, etc. In addition, check to see if there are room size restrictions. Some companies will charge you extra for rooms over 100 square feet. The only room in your home under that square footage, is probably your closet. Most legitimate cleaners will set the room size limit at somewhere between 200 to 300 square feet.
Bait and Switch carpet cleaners are a black eye on the carpet cleaning industry. Hopefully this article has given you the knowledge to avoid unscrupulous carpet cleaners so that your next carpet cleaning is a pleasant experience.