The word ‘scams’ in the title might have alarmed some of you so let us start by clarifying that the overwhelming majority of carpet cleaning companies – like Brilliance Carpet Cleaning – are honest, legitimate, and will provide a service that is professional and excellent value for money. Now that we have the disclaimer out of the way let us turn now to operators for whom we use the words carpet cleaning company very loosely.
They may have carpet cleaning equipment, and to an extent, they will clean carpets for you, but it is the way that they operate and sell you their services that is the problem. One of the most common is what is known as a bait and switch scam. If you have never heard of this term before, let us explain what it means.
First, bait and switch is not unique nor specifically an issue relating to carpet cleaning, and in fact, we are sad to say that it is a tactic used in just about every business sector and industry you could imagine. The way it is used is the ‘bait’ comes in the form of an offer or a promotion that you might think seems too good to be true. The simple fact is you would be right.
Because the offer is so good, people purchase it, but when it comes time to deliver the promised service or product they offer relates to, they are never what was promised. Some examples of the ‘switches’ are:
- Refurbished Product Instead Of A New One
- Inferior Product Not As Described Or Pictured
- Incomplete Product
- Inferior Service
- Hidden Extras Requiring Additional Payments
You should note that this is not the same as taking money and then delivering nothing, as that would be theft, however, that is not to excuse anyone who does this. They are effectively cheating the customer who buys their product or service by not delivering what was promised or demanding additional payment in order for the customer to receive what they thought they were paying for in the first place.
To avoid being caught out by a bait and switch scam related to carpet cleaning in particular, there are some simple steps and precautions you can take. The first is to simply use some common sense when it comes to any offers you are made. In other words, if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
Second, check to see if the company looks and operates like a proper business should. Does it have a website, business cards, and a legitimate brand? Also, is their quote written and fully detailed? If yes, then it sounds like a company you can trust, but do not stop there. You could also check details such as how long they have been in business and even visit their premises to confirm they are a legitimate business.
Any professional carpet cleaning company is likely to have certification or are members of their trade and industry associations. They are also likely to be able to show that they have liability insurance which will be crucial should there be any accidents when cleaning your carpets.
Most importantly, you also want to check out the reviews on their website, and also be prepared to ask them if they have any current or past clients they can refer you to for a further testimonial as to the professional service they provide.