Don't Get Soaked - Just Say No to wet carpets and scams!
You have probably received coupons in your local paper advertising cleaning services at costs too good to be true. When the company arrives, you find that though they had advertised a certain low price, your bill is much higher due to upcharges, add-ons, and other hidden fees and costs that weren’t made clear to you. This scam is called “bait & switch,” and it is an unscrupulous tactic used all too frequently among cleaning companies. By learning more about this tactic, you will be able to recognize bait & switch companies and avoid them.
Bait & Switch
Bait & switch is a fraudulent practice used by many carpet cleaning companies who advertise a certain price, then add hidden fees to arrive at a much higher cost for your final bill. The customer is “baited” with the promise of a low-cost service, then finds out too late that the product or service has been “switched” by the company in a way that can be downright unfair to the customer.
Companies who choose to scam customers with bait & switch tactics may also be cutting corners by watering down chemical solutions, and paying their employees by the job, rather than by the hour. The best way to protect your home and save money is to avoid these companies altogether.
Here are some red flags and the reasons they most likely indicate a company operating with bait & switch tactics:
Ridiculously low price: A good rule of thumb with cleaning pricing is that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Pushy salesmen: Once the technician arrives at your house, they want to upsell and add on as much as possible to the job and will use intimidation and hard sell tactics to do so.
Quotes are given by room, rather than square footage: A company may bait & switch you by offering a deal of several rooms or areas to be cleaned for one low price. It’s only later you find out that linen closets and foyers constitute rooms.
Employees are paid by commission: Another reason to be wary of quotes given by room rather than footage is that often companies just want to get a foot in the door before adding on and suggesting additional features to each cleaning job. If an employee is paid on commission, that employee will try to add on as many features and expensive cleaning products as possible to boost the final bill.
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