Not too long back, a current client of ours was calling our office for the first time. Her voice became animated as she relayed her story to me. "I locked myself in the car, outside MY home, and called my husband to come home from work because these two big carpet cleaner guys would NOT leave my house!" she said in an incredulous tone. "My husband arrived and confronted them and they finally agreed to leave once we paid them a $60 "appointment fee", and now we have a GIANT splotch of carpet in our living room that is collecting dirt and turning dark from where they purposefully sprayed their cleaner stuff BEFORE they told me I'd need to pay a much higher price than I was quoted!"
I could hear the irritation in her voice. Sounds like some sort of a nightmare, right? Or maybe you're thinking this is an embellishment, perhaps an exaggeration for sake of a blog? Nope. Unfortunately for her, this was an actual client of ours who called us to help after she had been victimized by a prominent, multi-state carpet cleaning company here in Ls Vegas (name shall be withheld to protect the guilty) that employed one of the most common carpet cleaning scams- the "bait and switch."
Personally, I've seen a many a scam in my 9 years in Las Vegas, and with about 10,000 new residents expected in 2019, scammers in a variety of trades and services are just licking their chops for some of those fresh, delicious, Las Vegas newbies! So, rather than let you get chewed up and spit out by your coupon carpet cleaner, I'm going to give you a few free tips on how to spot scammers in Las Vegas. After all, I'd rather you call a no-"bull" carpet cleaner first (that's some high-level marketing there, folks) than sit in your own, sad carpet cleaning solution splotch calling Noble Carpet Cleaners after you got worked. So without further ado, here's my top tips to identify and avoid Las Vegas Carpet Cleaning scams in 2019!
1. Look for the Vegas "Bait & Switch"
It's just like getting a coupon in the mail that says "4 ROOMS ONLY $69!" and the guy who shows up to your place tells you it's a hell of a lot more than that. ...but in Vegas! All jokes aside, this is the most common form of scam in Las Vegas. In fact, many carpet cleaning companies in Las Vegas have based their entire business strategy around this scam! We've seen it before, so why do people keep falling for it?
For starters, every business owner desires more new customers to call their office, book online, or come through their door than the competition.
...And every customer desires to pay the least amount of money possible for the service or product they want.
Owner's Desire + Customer Wants = "Bait 'em with lowest prices out there!"
Let me tell you some insider knowledge... No carpet cleaner in town is going to want to professionally clean 4 rooms for $69. Not with the correct tools and appropriate solution. It takes us anywhere from 1.5-2 hrs on average to clean 4 rooms properly. At that rate, they wouldn't be making enough money to pay the coupon mailer, let alone stay in business. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Especially in Las Vegas!
The easiest way to avoid this scam is to ask your carpet cleaner what they include in that price. Proper cleaning solution, some level of agitation (raking, brushing, scrubbing), and hot water extraction are the basic steps most carpet cleaners use. If any of these elements are missing, your carpet will be nowhere near as clean as it should be, if at all. Often times, the scammer fails to mention that they do not include basic necessities like cleaning solution in their deal. Be aware.
- What do their BAD reviews say?
As a business owner, I'll be the first to tell you that bad consumer reviews aren't always indicative of the performance of a company. Some bad reviews may be vindictive, others may be the result of miscommunication between the business and customer. But generally, if you know how to read them, they can give you a pretty good idea of the scams you may encounter or the bad or inconsistent service they provide. Remember, some businesses bribe their customers with discounts or free areas in exchange for positive social media reviews. I'm no muck-raker, but it really does help to go to the lowest opinions of your peers when deciding on a carpet cleaner. Trust me, many customers have informed me they researched Noble in this very manner!
- Get a full price estimate BEFORE your service appointment
"Sir or Ma'am, I've got to come look at it first." Sure. Sometimes. But if you have accurate numbers for amount of carpet and tile you have, the carpet cleaner has a VERY accurate idea of what they are going to want to charge you for your carpet! For example, it's not too difficult to give a general price quote for 3 bedrooms and stairs in a 1600 sqft home. I've cleaned 3 bedrooms + stairs in literally HUNDREDS of homes this size in Las Vegas. Trust that they have also. Obviously not all estimates are easy to do over the phone, but if they can't at least give you a ballpark figure for routine services, you might be cruisin' on a non-refundable ticket to scam city! Your best bet is to find a carpet cleaner that lets you book your service online and actually lists the prices out so you can see your true cost, like this.
I hope you've enjoyed reading some of these tips! They were very fun to write and I'm certainly happy to answer any questions you have about carpet cleaning, Las Vegas, or Noble Carpet Cleaners.