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If you own a home you should have a professional carpet cleaning service come to your house at least once a year (two times a year is better) but with the economy this is not always possible. You want your home to be as clean and neat as possible (hopefully) and getting your carpets steam cleaned is one of the ways you can do this.  Vacuuming just gets up the surface dirt but professional carpet cleaners make your carpets totally clean.

Now, I want to start off by saying that most carpet cleaning companies are totally legitimate.  They work hard and many of them charge under the standard rate (a friend of mine who owns a Tacoma carpet cleaning company is one of them).

Cleaning someone’s carpet is hard work, especially when you have to move furniture around, and you will usually see these technicians sweating from head to toe once they are done. Unfortunately due to competition and the desire to make more money many local carpet cleaning companies have resorted to less than honest tactics in getting clients.

Its called the “bait and switch method” and it is a real popular thing to do in this industry.

Here is what the process involves:

First, you advertise a really low rate.  This could be on Craigslist, in the newspaper, the internet, radio, television, or any other advertising medium.  It usually says something like “3 rooms for $59.”  Who is going to resist that price when the standard rate for three rooms is $100-$120 depending on the size and if there is furniture or not.

Second, the customer bites.  This is not a service most people like to get.  Unlike entertainment, food, and drink they get their carpets cleaned because they have to.  And because it is not a luxury item many people want to deal “deal” possible. Ah, bargain hunters.  Perfect candidates for the “bait and switch” technique.

Third, the technicians come out and do the job.  Unfortunately, before they do the work the story changes.  It could be for a variety of reasons.  They usually have a list of them.

Some of them include:

  • Bigger area than you stated
  • Hallways not includes
  • Service charge
  • Deal “expired”
  • Does not include fee for moving furniture
  • You were misquoted

The reasons are endless but the result is the same. Homeowners usually get this service done before a big event.  Maybe they are planning a huge social gathering at their house or maybe they are going out of town and want the carpets cleaned before they leave.  Either way, nine times out of ten they will not want to set up another appointment with another carpet cleaning company.  Especially if they took off from work to meet them.

Fourth, and finally, more than likely the homeowner will reluctantly pay the higher price instead of wasting more of his or her time.

Its done more common than people think.  That special for $49 will easily be $249 before its all said and done.

Here is the solution.

Find a reputable company and find out what the going rate is in your area.  Any company that charges under $100 is most likely going to do a bait and switch.

Local carpet cleaning companies have to pay

  1. their employees
  2. rent
  3. for cleaning supplies
  4. fuel
  5. insurance
  6. business licensing fees
  7. taxes (self employment and federal)
  8. vehicle maintenance
  9. etc

Business owners can only pay all those items and finally themselves if they are averages $100 per job minimum.  So when you see deals that are bellow that you should beware.  Nobody is in business to loose.

Again, find a carpet cleaning service that is established, trustworthy, and charges reasonably with all of their fees and rates upfront.


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