To avoid potential headaches and disputes, the BBB advises the following steps customers should take when hiring a carpet cleaner.
• Be sure to check out businesses with the Better Business Bureau at 1-800-646-6222 or bbb.org.
• Ask about potential changes that could affect the final cost of the service upfront.
• If you have a new stain, you can call your carpet cleaning company for advice before you try do-it-yourself methods or over the counter products. Feel free to ask any questions you may have about the carpet cleaning process.
• Review your carpet warranty before you have professional cleaning work performed. Be advised that certain types of cleaning products and equipment may void your warranty.
• Carpets will look better and last longer if you have them cleaned regularly. Carpet manufacturers recommend annual cleaning. A reputable cleaning company will provide excellent results.
• Remember that price does matter. While no one wants to be overcharged, extremely low prices should also set off warning signals. Companies advertising very low prices may be practicing 'bait and switch' advertising. Once the workers arrive in your home, they quickly push a more expensive treatment for the cleaning or refuse to conduct the cleaning at the price advertised. Ask exactly what is included in the price and be sure to get it in writing before the crew begins any work.
• Ask your technician ahead of time what they do or do not move or if there are any extra charges for this service.
• Try to be at home the first time you work with a new carpet cleaning company. Be sure to identify trouble spots before they arrive and point those out to your technician.
• If a business offers a service or satisfaction guarantee, be sure to ask them to explain how they define "guarantee".
• If a spot reappears after cleaning or there is any other problem with the cleaning, you should call within two weeks and a reputable company will address the problem.
• Ask the cleaning company if they sub-contract any work. If they do, ask for the name of the company conducting the work in your home so you have an opportunity to research that company before you agree to the service.
• Ask family, friends and neighbors for personal recommendations.
The mission of the Better Business Bureau is to be the leader in building marketplace trust by promoting, through self-regulation, the highest standards of business ethics and conduct, and to instill confidence in responsible businesses through programs of education and action that inform, assist and protect the general public. We are open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Contact the BBB at bbb.org or 651-699-1111, toll-free at 1-800-646-6222.