How to avoid a carpet cleaning scam! Here’s 5 red flags

There are scammers and rip-offs in many industries, and carpet cleaning is no exception.  Luckily, there are many reputable, reliable and trustworthy companies out there as well.  When you are looking for the best carpet cleaning company in your area, what should you look for?  Here are some of the most common carpet cleaning red flags and How to avoid a carpet cleaning scam!

  1. Pre-spray is not included.

Pre-spray is another word for soap.  It is also called pre-conditioner or shampoo.  A good carpet cleaner will spray this on your carpet and allow it to dwell before he starts to rinse and extract with his truck-mounted extraction equipment.  The reason it needs time to dwell is because it needs time to dislodge and suspend soil making its removal much easier.

If pre-spray is not included in the price of your carpet cleaning, beware!  The carpet cleaner is planning to arrive at your house and “bait and switch” your services.  He cannot get your carpets clean without soap, so he will not honor the price you were quoted in advance.

There are legitimate products that may be recommended to you at the time of service in addition to the pre-spray.  Things like pet treatments, odor neutralizers, degreasers and carpet protectant spray are different from pre-spray.  Reputable companies may make recommendations for you to use other treatments in addition to the included pre-spray.  But the basic neutral cleaning shampoo should not be extra!  If you want to learn how to avoid a carpet cleaning scam, avoiding companies that charge extra for neutral shampoo is an obvious red flag!

  1. Bad (or no) reviews

Any company that has been in business for any length of time has accumulated online reviews.  If the company you are working with has no reviews there are two possible reasons.  They are either brand new to carpet cleaning or they change their name frequently to avoid letting you see their bad reputation!  Either way beware!  Service businesses in general are prone to get bad reviews occasionally, so don’t rule out a company because of a couple of bad reviews.  But the overall score should be better than average.  Here’s a great place to find a carpet cleaner with good reviews:  Yelp

  1. Too-good-to-be-true prices

Wondering how to avoid a carpet cleaning scam?  No surprise here, if it seems too good to be true, guess what?  A great carpet cleaning company is going to bring tens of thousands of dollars of equipment to your home.  They screen and train their employees and they use quality products.  If you think you can get all of this for $10 per room then you are crazier than they are.  No business can stay around if they lose money every day.  Use a little common sense here.  If the price is too cheap something is wrong.  The price you were quoted was a lie, the equipment they are using is terrible, or they are not using any of the tools and products necessary to do a good job.  Do yourself a favor, do not pick a company just for price.

  1. No Guarantees

If a company does not stand behind their work, run!  When making your appointment ask them if they have a customer satisfaction guarantee.  If a carpet cleaning company is proud of the work that they do and if they excel at exceeding customer expectations they will not hesitate to offer you a 100% money back guarantee.

  1. Poor Quality Equipment

Truck-mounted equipment is best.  It costs many thousands of dollars and requires a van to carry it, but you can expect the best carpet cleaning companies to come with truck-mounted equipment.  They can’t reach high rise buildings because there are hoses that must reach your carpet from the van parked outside.  But if you are in a single family home, 1st or 2nd floor apartment, or small office, you should demand truck-mounted equipment.

We at pride ourselves on exceeding expectations, using the best equipment, and telling you upfront what to expect your charges to be.  Please don’t fall victim to less ethical carpet cleaning companies!

To learn more tips and tricks about carpet, tile and upholstery cleaning please visit our blog.

What are your thoughts?  Have you ever been scammed by a carpet cleaning company?  Do you have other tips about how to avoid a carpet cleaning scam?  Comment below to share your experience!

Ashley Aakre is the owner of Sir Carpet, a carpet, tile and upholstery cleaning company that services all of Maricopa County, Arizona.  

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