No one wants a dirty carpet. Carpets can store several indoor air pollutants, according to the EPA, as well as several pounds of soil and mold that can cause health risks. In fact, as many as 2,000 dust mites can live on one pound of carpet dust.
At the very least, carpet owners should hire professional carpet cleaners every 12-18 months to thoroughly clean their carpets. But when yu’re hiring carpet cleaners, you always run the risk of getting caught in what legitimate carpet and rug cleaners call “bait-and-switch” schemes.
Usually, bait-and-switch schemes involve unusually cheap carpet cleaners who offer to clean rooms (or several rooms) for an extremely low price. Hiring carpet cleaners like this will seem like a great idea until they show up and cite dozens of hidden costs.
Some bait-and-switch cleaners will claim that the advertized cost was only for traffic lanes, or that it 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. Usually these schemes target seniors who are more susceptible to hiring carpet cleaners who use high pressure tactics and promises that are too good to be true, but they can go after anyone.
Bait-and-switch carpet cleaners are likely to arrive in a non-company vehicle, without a uniform, and won’t present business or certification cards to prove who they are. Anyone who shows up like that should not be let into your home.
When you look to hire local carpet cleaners, ask them plenty of questions, and pay attention to their answers. Ask about specific certifications and licenses that apply to your area, and find out how long they’ve been in business. Request a list of references, and find out if the company screens their employees.
If any answers put you off, or if the cleaner dodges a question, find someone else. Go with your cut and avoid deals that seem too good to be true and you should find a carpet cleaner you can rely on.