Unfortunately, Duluth Carpet cleaning companies have gotten a negative stigma attached to the industry by conducting an unethical practice known as baiting and switching.
The Baiting Part: The baiting part consists of getting their foot in the front door by offering you specials that are hardly too good to believe, or promising miracles cleaning performances to carpets that are probably better off replacing. Essentially, they are taking advantage of people who are in desperate predicaments by getting their business by offering amazing rates.
The Switch: As you may already know, when you take the time to book an appointment, you probably re-arrange your whole calendar so you could be home when a technician arrives. It's fair to say that you are pretty much committed to going with the said company and this is the logic that goes behind the baiters and switchers. They realize that canceling or re-scheduling is not the best option and they figure, "Hey, since we're already here, why don't you just pay the extra fees that we're charging you and just be happy?"
The trick is that once a technician ( Or salesperson, you could say) arrives at your home, they start upcharging for every stain they encounter, or add more to the fee because of larger than normal sized rooms. So by the time they finish their walk-through, your price over the phone has sky-rocketed to an outlandish overpriced fee.
How can you be prepared for bait and switching?
Look for the following warning signs:
You see them in mailers and on-line. Those carpet cleaning specials from unknown carpet cleaning companies. Most of the time the specials sound too good to be true. Look up the company before calling them. Do your research. Check for reviews.
Although there are many carpet cleaning companies that use this method of charging, some of them have ill intent. Here’s how it works: a consumer calls to get an estimate for a living room, dining room and a hall. The company tells them about a special they have for (3) rooms for $69.95. That sounds like a good price, right? It is.....until they get into your home.
What they fail to tell you on the phone is a room is any area under 200 square foot. Since your living room is 250, they’ll have to charge for another room. Oh, and since your hall is "L" shaped, that’s going to count as (2) areas as well. And by the way, that coffee spot you have in the dining room, that’s going to require a pre-spotter to get that out and that’s going to be an additional cost too.
Do you see where this is leading? Always insist on an estimate based on the total square footage you want cleaned. It is the most accurate method in the industry. Obtaining the square footage of your rooms is really quite easy and a good company will be able to help you with it right over the phone. Not to mention, you will only be charged for the areas of the room you want cleaned. If you don’t want your bed moved, why should you have to pay for the whole room? If you do decide to use a company that charges by the area, be sure to ask what the maximum is for one area and if there are any additional charges for extras such as spot removal or heavy traffic areas.
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