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common scams to watch out for

So, you have decided to get your Carpets and/or Upholstery professionally cleaned, great decision! You Jump on Facebook or Google to search for a company and you see "3 Rooms for $80" or maybe its "5 Rooms or a 5-Seater lounge for $99" What an amazing deal! That price is so great that its almost too good to be true, I have some bad news for you. Let's dive into this a bit deeper.

Bait & Switch 

So, you think we are expensive compared to others? read exactly why and also help protect yourself from scammers.

When consumers look for a product or a service, unfortunately the first thing they notice is the price, we are hardwired to look for great deals. Companies that use the "Bait & Switch" tactics know this and use it to their advantage! So, what exactly is this tactic and why is it so bad for the consumer?

The way this scam works is very simple, a business advertises a service well below the market average, when a potential customer notices the price, it instantly grabs their attention and will normally result in an enquiry. The person you message is friendly and with a very minimal amount of information passed on, the job is booked in! So quick and easy, 3 rooms for $80, can't beat that.

But, there is much more to the story. What you were not told is that the very basic tasks that are required to actually clean your carpets properly, are not included in that amazing deal. Pre-vacuuming, Deodorizing, stain treatment & Chemical Pre-treatment are all an additional charge, the service will consist of either hot water extraction with no chemicals, just plain old tap water or a process called encapsulation where they spray down a chemical then buff/scrub the carpet with either a brush or a bonnet pad. Normally the technician is in and out within 20-30 minutes.

 

If you are happy with the $80 for this service and think you will simply pay this amount, think again. The second the technician walks in the door, the high-pressure sales tactics start. Some common phrases that will be used are along the lines of:

"To complete this properly I really need to perform a pre-vacuum of each room, this will be $10 extra each room"

"This carpet has some stains and spots that need special chemicals, I can add the chemical for $5 extra each room"

"To help stop smells and kill bacteria I can add an antimicrobial Oduor treatment for $15 per room"

So, the original quote was $80 but after all these additional charges the new cost will be $170 + GST, in my example I only used the 3 basic extra charges they add on, the actual list of additional charges that will be attempted to be added is much longer.

Think you can simply say no to all these charges? well, the technicians are very pushy and employ scare tactics in order for you to agree, here is an example of what I mean when I say scare tactics "If you do not add the extra chemical, the carpet will look the same and it will be a waste of time" so basically what this professional has told the unexpecting customer is pay for the extra treatments or the results will be terrible, majority of consumers won't question someone who is meant to be a professional, especially when they are in the house!

Most people have no idea what should be included in a professional carpet cleaning service, so here is a list of the absolute bare minimum of inclusions needed to do the job correctly:

1) Inspect the carpet, conduct a burn test to identify the fiber type if cannot determine visually. Use a UV light to check for possible urine contamination.

2) Pre-vacuum each area thoroughly to remove as much dry soil as possible, vacuum in corners where the carpet meets the skirting to remove debris.

3) Apply specific spot treatments to problem areas (if applicable) then spray ALL AREAS with the selected pre-treatment chemical to emulsify and break down dirt and oil.

4) Scrub/agitate the carpet to work the chemical deep down into the fibers (satisfactory results can be achieved without agitation but to achieve a proper deep clean agitation is necessary)

5) Extract all areas using your truck mount or portable extractor

A very common tactic that is used to get more money out of the customers is to claim stains will not come out unless specific chemicals are used, this is a complete lie. Some stains do require separate treatment (Blood, Urine, Mould, Rust, Dye) but majority of the stains will come out completely with only a chemical pre-spray which is applied prior to extraction, no special treatments are needed.

At Keeping it Fresh Carpet Cleaning, we do not use any type of bait and switch tactics. We will ask some specific questions about your carpet or upholstery and also ask for photos, once we have all this information, we can accurately quote your job and you can ensure the price will not increase. All of the processes mentioned above are included with every single one of our bookings.

In the past 2 years we have only increased the price twice, after inspecting the carpet we found very high levels of urine present which meant we needed to add an extra charge to cover the labor and chemicals. But don't stress, low/moderate levels of contamination will be included in our quote.

So, I am sorry to burst your bubble but the cheap quotes normally are simply too good to be true. If you want to avoid this happening to you be sure to ask the business for a detailed list of exactly what is included for the quoted price (Pre-vacuum, Pre-treatment and extraction should be a minimum) you should also read any terms and conditions very carefully, check the companies reviews and social media pages.

The easiest way to avoid all this and also get the best possible results is to simply book with Keeping it Fresh Carpet Cleaning.

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