Avoiding the Carpet Cleaning Scam – Guidelines for Selecting a Professional Carpet Cleaner

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With the media relating horror stories of trusting customers who respond to low-price carpet cleaning specials only to become victims of unethical cleaners who refuse to honor advertised price, intimidate the consumer and do poor quality work, it is wise to do the research and ask questions before hiring a carpet cleaner.

Bait-and-switch operators are prevalent in many industries, carpet cleaning included, but that doesn’t mean all carpet cleaners are rip-off artists.  The IICRC/CleanTrust (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning & Restoration Certification) released a list of guidelines to assist in selecting a carpet cleaning service.

  • Price: If an advertised price sounds too good to be true – it is!! Often carpet cleaners advertise low prices to get their foot in your door.  Low price usually equals low quality.  A professional carpet cleaner must cover expenses (license, taxes, insurance, wages, quality tools, etc) and make a profit, which means they cannot drive to your home for $5.95, much less clean a room of carpet when they are there.
  • Quality: Never should price of the cleaning services be the sole criterion for selecting a carpet cleaner.  A price that sounds high may not be signaling a rip-off.  Quality work deserves a quality price.
  • Truth in Advertising: Read the fine print in advertising specials to find out what is exactly included and request a firm price in writing before the work begins.
  • Certification: Professional firms require certification of the technicians through certification organizations such as the IICRC or through comparable franchise or independent training and testing organizations.
  • Experience: The years of experience a firm has, combined with the formal training programs, contribute significantly to the experience and proficiency of its employees.
  • Knowledgeable: Professional firms employ and train technicians who have the ability to answer basic questions regarding carpet performance and maintenance, as well as spotting and cleaning.
  • References: Consumers should ask for references from previous customers and they should consult friends, family and business acquaintances about reputation of cleaning firm they are considering.  Do not hesitate to contact the Chamber of Commerce and Better Business Bureau.
  • Method: Ask the cleaner which method of cleaning will be used and the advantages/disadvantages of this method compared to other methods
  • No Pressure: Technicians must be courteous and willing to take the time to thoroughly explain the cleaning and to answer all questions.  The consumer should never feel pressured.

There is no single criterion for selecting a carpet cleaning service.  Several combined factors must be considered in the selection decision.  Do the research, be wise in the decision and you will get the desired results.