What Is Bait and Switch Carpet Cleaning and How to Avoid It
In this article, we are going to take a look into what exactly ‘bait and switch’ is, some of the ways these fake carpet cleaning companies will try to convince you they are legitimate, how you can spot them and how you can make sure you hire a legitimate company.
To help you better identify this kind of carpet cleaning con, Let’s start by taking a look at the short answer as to what bait and switch is.
What is a carpet cleaning bait and switch? Bait and switch carpet cleaning schemes refer to rogue traders who entice customers to pay what appears to be a very low price to clean carpets while adding on extra charges which should be standard procedure such as cleaning products, carpet drying, and spot cleaning. Such schemes are illegal.
Everyone wants a beautifully clean, fresh and expertly cleaned carpet. Outdoor debris from clothing and shoes can become deeply ingrained into carpet fibres.
This creates a huge amount of allergens that can adversely affect a high percentage of people.
However, when you’re in the process of hiring carpet cleaners, you can put yourself at risk at being conned by carpet cleaning scamming companies more commonly referred to as ‘bait-and-switch’ schemes.
Now we’ve helped you to understand what these rogue trading cleaning companies are attempting to do by offering services which aren’t what you would expect from a reputable cleaning company, let’s look into the ways they may try to hook you in with an extremely attractive price.
Too good to be true
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is!
If someone is offering to clean your carpets for a very low but attractive price such as £20 per room, or maybe £80 for a whole house.
Although at first it seems like a great proposition, once you begin adding up their costs such as keeping a vehicle on the road, travelling to your home, buying and maintaining their equipment, purchasing cleaning products, paying for advertising, training and all the other things it takes to run a business, it can seem to be an offer that doesn’t look legitimate.
Unusually low prices
It’s not uncommon for bait and switch schemes to involve unusually cheap carpet cleaners who offer to clean single rooms, several rooms or even your entire house for an extremely low price.
If prices are too low, it’s important to question what they may not be doing, or where they are obviously cutting corners.
Perhaps their equipment is outdated and cheap? Or poor quality products which might cause damage to your carpets and upholstery. Maybe they aren’t properly trained to undertake professional carpet cleaning work.
It could also be that they are missing out on essential steps in the cleaning process to save time, which could mean you will get poor results. The sad news is, it may be a combination of all of the above.
Some bait-and-switch cleaners will claim that the advertised cost only relates to main traffic lanes, or that the price you need to pay for the service, doesn’t include cleaning chemicals. Other scams may offer to clean a large number of rooms for a low rate, only to reveal that closets, hallways, and foyers count as rooms.
Once the hidden bills are added up, you could find yourself owing hundreds of dollars for work that should have cost much less.
Seniors can be prime targets
Often these schemes will purposefully target seniors and older members who are more susceptible to hiring carpet cleaners who use high-pressure tactics and promises that are too good to be true.
Often seniors can be very trusting of sales pitches and often don’t have anyone they can ask for a second opinion when requiring work to be done in the home by tradesmen.
However, these scams aren’t only aimed at the elderly. They will target consumers of any age.
Bait-and-switch carpet cleaners are likely to arrive in a non-company vehicle, without a uniform, and unlike their professional counterparts, won’t present business or certification cards to prove who they are.
When you look to hire local carpet cleaners, ask them plenty of questions, and pay attention to their answers.
Find out how long they’ve been in business. Request a list of references, and find out if the company screens its employees.
If anyone attempts to enter your home without the look of a professional cleaning company, do not let them into your home.
If any answers put you off, or if you feel your questions may be passed off or dodged, do not continue with their services and look for a more reputable hire. Listen to your gut feelings and avoid any carpet cleaning deals that seem too good to be true.
Experts recommend carpets are professionally cleaned regularly
Keeping your carpet vacuumed at least once a week can help to keep carpet germs and nasties at bay.
However, in order to keep your carpet looking its best and keeping your home free from allergens, experts such as interior designer Robin Wilson, whose business focuses on hypoallergenic homes, recommends that your carpet should be deep-cleaned with a professional service, every 6 to 12 months.
So, we’ve looked at some of the many ways you may become a victim of a bait and switch carpet cleaning scam.
Now let’s look below at some important ways you can protect yourself from this growing scam and make sure you only hire a reputable, expert carpet cleaning company, who will clean your carpets with high-quality products and guarantee to make sure all carpets in your home are cleaned to a professional standard.
How to avoid carpet cleaning bait and switch schemes?
Make sure the advertised prices include everything that should be done for a professional clean. Double-check before you part with any money, those important essentials are included such as:
- Vacuuming before the clean
- Cleaning products
- Rinsing grooming and drying
- Spot and stain removal
- Moving furniture and other items before the clean
Advertised prices which are no reflection of the final cost, while then adding on ‘extras’ for standard procedures is the essence of ‘Bait and Switch’ and is illegal.
Ask for references
Internet reviews are a good start but it can be easy for rogue traders to fake reviews on social media. Look for plenty of reviews given over months or years, rather than just simply a few weeks, and make sure it also includes some recent ones within the last few weeks. These should preferably be on consumer confidence sites.
Check professional certificates
Ask to see certificates for professional training. Unfortunately, it is fairly easy for anyone without qualifications to buy a carpet cleaning machine and advertise their services as a professional carpet cleaner. Make sure whoever you hire really is a professional.
Contact a professional carpet and upholstery cleaner
Making sure you hire a reputable carpet cleaning company who are fully insured and passed extensive background checks.
Get in touch with us here at Regency Cleaners and you’ll receive a guaranteed prompt professional carpet cleaning service.
Our certified and trained technicians use:
- Pprofessional hot water extraction equipment for carpet and upholstery cleaning.
- All furniture such as chairs, sofas, and tables are moved prior to and placed in their correct home after cleaning.
- Furniture protectors may be used to cover large, unmovable pieces.
- Same-day appointments may be available. Call us to learn more
Do your carpets need a fresh new look for the fall, holiday period or just a little TLC at anytime at all? Schedule an appointment today!