Avoiding a Bait & Switch
It’s only $49* or $99* for the whole house? All too often many local based carpet cleaners use this method. They need the phone to ring; so they promise low, unrealistic rates. Then once they arrive in your home to complete the carpet cleaning, they quickly start adding up additional fees because most carpet cleaning companies are commission based, so they’re leaving your carpets soaked and smelly and you frustrated.
This is an all out scam and very misleading, if the price sounds to good to be TRUE, it’s simply not TRUE!
Scammers are more common than most of us would hope. Although the majority of businesses are honest, you can usually find deceitful people in any industry, carpet cleaners included.
We all wish it wasn’t true, but there are some people out there that are just looking to fool honest consumers out of their money with carpet cleaning scams.
In today’s guide you’re going to learn how to identify unethical practices to avoid getting ripped off. Don’t get taken by scammers with suspicious advertising and unprofessional equipment. Arm yourself with these tips to protect your wallets and beautiful carpets from misleading tricksters.
Let’s jump right in.
Wow – that super low discount just can’t be beat!
It’s almost like it’s too good to be true…
Bait and switch is a common illegal practice and one of the most often used carpet cleaning scams. It begins with a company advertising prices that are so much lower than any competitors’ that it will always seem like too good of a deal to pass up. But if you take a step back and give it a second glance, you’ll notice that there MUST be a reason why the price is so low. This is the bait, and it looks mighty appetizing.
Avoid getting hooked by asking quality questions. If you feel like you’re not getting direct answers about their cleaning process or how they price their services it should throw up a couple red flags. The truth about low prices is that the company is either cutting corners somewhere (bad equipment or unskilled employees) or they were looking to fool you with the switch.
The Way They Pull This Carpet Cleaning Scam Off Might Surprise You
The second half of this scam happens once you’ve agreed with a price and the cleaner shows up for your appointment.
There are actually a number of common excuses that scammers tend to use, but ultimately they are going to make a point to say that you need more done than what was previously agreed to.
These excuses will go something like:
You have a special type of carpet that requires a more complex cleaning method.
Your carpet stains are “extra stubborn” and require XYZ expensive product.
The price costs more for “Deep Cleaning” or you carpets are heavily soiled and the basic service won’t work.
The price quoted was only for traffic lanes, so cleaning the entire room costs more.
Adding service charges, soap charges, equipment charges, etc.
Your rooms are odd shapes or too big, so it costs more.
Any other previously un-discussed charges that show up out of nowhere.
The problems with these carpet cleaning scams really start to occur when you refuse to pay the additional add-ons. Opting to only pay the ‘introductory’ price will force these scammers to resort to their ‘Basic’ service that will essentially be the equivalent of only spraying water on your carpets. In the end you’ll be paying for a service that leaves your carpets no cleaner than when the swindlers arrived.
If you find yourself in this situation, refuse the service. You can’t win when you’re dealing with dishonest companies that bait and switch their customers using these carpet cleaning scams. Also keep in mind that you can protect yourself beforehand by doing some digging to find certified companies with good reviews on multiple review platforms.
XYZ Carpet Cleaners show up at your house and really seem to be in a hurry. They fire up their machine, give your carpet a quick once over and then come to you for payment. Of course you can pick out a few trouble areas that look like they need a little more work, but the cleaners tell you that “their soap is still fighting the stains and the carpet will look like new before long”.
Now, you know deep down that those stains aren’t just going to disappear on their own after your carpet dries, but the cleaners are going to try to put your mind at ease. They’ll tell you that if the stains are still there in a few days, you can just call them and they’ll come back. Sounds fair enough. After all, some tough stains need a few passes to remove, right?
So a few days go by and just as expected the stains haven’t disappeared. You decide you’ll take them up on their offer and have them come back to get the stains out like they promised to the first time. You realize this time that they seem to be in much less of a rush and, against all odds, get those stains out completely. HURRAY!
Here’s Where Things Get Sketchy
Then they come to you again for payment.
Shouldn’t it be covered under some sort of warranty? Well, if they were an honest company, then yes, they would have some sort of warranty or satisfaction guarantee and would re-do these areas as part of the original agreement. But some companies instead choose to make money with shady practices like this.
They would rather mislead their customers with deceitful tricks than provide quality work for a fair price, which is why you need to avoid these kinds of companies like the plague.
This one usually starts with an unexpected knock on your door. You answer it to find what looks like a travelling salesman with a carpet cleaning machine and an offer to clean any room in your house for free.
Now, we all know that nothing in life is free, but sometimes we just can’t resist. So you invite the salesman to clean your living room, and after about fifteen minutes you can tell that he’s done a decent job. Then out of nowhere, he offers to clean your furniture in another room for free too. Well why not?
As he finishes cleaning the additional spots, you can’t help but stand by for the sales pitch. But it never comes. The man thanks you for your time, packs up his machine, and leaves you with your two freshly cleaned rooms. But was it free? Where was the carpet cleaning scam?
Instances like this are usually opportunities for thieves to case your home. They get a chance to look around and see if there was anything they like, and if so they’ll come back within a few weeks to break in. Sometimes we just need to know when something sounds too good to be true and say “No Thanks”.
Don’t become another victim of shady or dishonest carpet cleaners. The best way to protect yourself from these scammers is to research companies online and always ask good questions. If you’re informed about their carpet cleaning process before agreeing to anything, you’ll be able to spot shady business practices right away.
Price alone should not be a reason to choose a carpet cleaning company. That’s where many people fall into carpet cleaning scams. If a carpet cleaner really is as cheap as they claim to be, you have to wonder where they are cutting costs.
Not every company uses the same techniques and equipment. Check websites and reviews or search them on sites that are made for consumer protection to ensure they aren’t known for carpet cleaning scams. In the end, check for the three R’s – Reputation, Reviews, and a Real 100% Satisfaction Guarantees.
Some Good Questions to Ask Before Booking an Appointment
What type of formal training do you have?
Has your business been around for a long time?
Where can I find consumer reviews for your company?
Is your company drug, alcohol and criminal free?
Are you insured and licensed?
Can you explain your cleaning process and everything that is included for that price?
How long does it usually take for the carpet to dry after you leave?
Do you offer complete customer satisfaction guarantees?
Can you verify that your cleaning solutions are safe for my family and my pets?
Very disappointed! Was quoted $56 for 29sqm plus $3 for every square above that.
Our 2 bedroom apartment was measured at 45 sqm but when the guy arrived (2 HOURS LATE, he called 5 minutes before the booked time to say he was running behind) he stepped out 50sqm said the promo will no longer apply and charged $150!!! I’m no maths genius but $56 plus $3 on an extra 20 squares would still only be $119 max???
Very dodgy company that told me if I don’t pay cash I would get charged 10% GST… so basically they’re admitting straight to our face to dodging tax 😳
Old machines Left the carpet in a worse state than what it began. Wanted it over and done with to get our bond back so after arguing in my own home wish I had of read reviews on this company before booking 🤦🏼♀️
DO NOT RECOMMEND!!
At Super-Clean PRO, we want you to love the way your carpet looks and feels. Our aim is to consistently bring you high quality services for a fair price. We’re not happy until you’re happy and always guarantee your satisfaction.
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