"bait and switch"
A sales tactic in which a bargain-priced item is used to attract customers who are then encouraged to purchase a
more expensive similar item.
"Bait and Switch" is used in many aspects of the service and sales industry. Whether it’s automobile commercials
or sales ads for your local appliance stores, it’s a practice the public deals with daily. Many unethical carpet
cleaning companies would have you believe that carpet cleaning is cheap. Although having your carpets
professionally maintained on a regular basis can save you money over time, the process of professional carpet
cleaning itself requires very expensive equipment used by certified and experienced personnel. Below we have
listed a few tactics that are commonly used in the carpet cleaning industry in order to get a foot in your door.
1. Coupons, Coupons, Coupons....
We see them in our newspapers and mailboxes every single day. Although coupons are a great marketing tool,
watch out for those that seem too good to be true. If a coupon is offering to clean your whole house or several
rooms for one low price, beware. The price usually represents the minimum amount they will charge for
undersized rooms. Sometimes it doesn’t even include the detergent. Have a large room or a carpet that’s actually
dirty? Well, that will cost you more!
2. Dual Process Cleaning
Many companies will bait consumers with a low price over the phone, only to try and sell them on a more
expensive dual process cleaning when they arrive to your home. The ploy is: you can get their basic cleaning for
the price quoted on the phone, or you can get their "Super Duper Deluxe Cleaning" for a price that is probably
nowhere near the original estimate. When calling for estimates, be sure to ask if they offer different cleaning
packages and the prices of each. They’ll often be called something like "Our Clean, Cleaner, and Cleanest
Packages". I guess the idea is, if you don’t pay them what they want, they’re only going to, "kind of" clean your
carpet. A good carpet cleaner will do a deluxe job for every customer, not just those that give in to pressure
Free Carpet Protector
Stain resistors and fabric protectors such as Scotchgard™ and Dupont Teflon® are a great way to be sure your
carpets maintain their appearance after a professional cleaning. However, they are not cheap. Currently a gallon
of professional grade Scotchgard costs over $45.00. Beware when a carpet cleaner is trying to bait you with a
promise of free Scotchgard. It’s very unlikely they would just give it away, which means they’re probably just
spraying water. Some cleaners will even try to convince you that the Scotchgard is in their cleaning solution. Both
Scotchgard and Teflon can only be effective if applied after the cleaning. Fabric protectors should cost from
$28.50 to $35 per area. If a carpet cleaner insist they are giving it to you for free, ask them to let you watch them
mix it and see what their reaction is.
Fortunately there are several honest, professional carpet cleaners around to choose from. Just be sure to ask
some basic questions. All businesses need to turn a profit to operate, so consider that when you’re being sold on
an unrealistic price. And remember, if it sounds too good to be true.......it is!
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