2.”Color Brighteners”. As a long-time carpet cleaner, this is a questionable term, as cleaning any fabric has a tendency to brighten it when dirt is removed. This could be referring to optical brighteners that are more commonly used in laundry detergent. The use of optical brighteners is discouraged by carpet manufacturers as they tend to strip away any built-in stain protection and may void the manufacturers warranty.
3.”Dust Mite Control”. While it’s true that some dust mites will be removed from carpet during an extraction cleaning process, controlling them is another story because dust mites cannot be eliminated and will always be in your home. This company is walking a legal fine line by using this terminology. Unless they are licensed pest control operators, they really have no legitimate right to use the term “dust mite control” to describe their carpet cleaning service.
4.”Furniture Moved And Replaced”. Within reason, all carpet cleaning companies will move some, but not all furniture, and put it back. Listing this is a feeble way to build the value of something that should always be included without having to mention it.Now, lets get down to the nitty-gritty of this ad and take a look at the finest, smallest print on the page:
I commend this company for having the graphic artist at the ad agency place this part of his coupon directly under the pricing portion- at least it is a bit more likely to be read by the consumer in this position. Even so, it doesn’t make it any less misleading or confusing. This is where this company (and companies who advertise similarly) can really get you on the price of their services once they arrive at your home. If they attempt to raise their price and you object, they can always say that any additional services that might possibly cost extra were stated in the ad. Sadly, that allows them to get away with not being labeled as a “bait-and-switch” business. We all know that the only reason to print these additional services so inconspicuously is in the hope that you won’t read it before scheduling an appointment with the company.
Again, let’s break this section down. This company makes available a “corrective cleaning method” for “heavily soiled carpets” that is priced between .22 to .30 cents per square foot. Here again are words that I’ve only seen used in low-price carpet cleaning ads: “corrective cleaning” (some ads use the term “dual process”.) Clearly, the “standard maintenance steam cleaning” advertised for $6.95 doesn’t include this, which makes me think that if you only have them do the “standard” cleaning it would be a mistake and would need “correcting”.
If I were to call this company, somehow, after they give me their “full analysis” I can’t help but think that they’re going to determine that my carpet is “heavily soiled” and will need the “corrective cleaning” method. I don’t know how they arrive at the pricing for this additional method, but I have a feeling it’s going to be .30 cents a square foot, not .22. If that’s the case, a small 10 X 10 room will cost me $36.95 ($6.95 advertised price + .30 cents per square foot = $36.95). If my room is 15 X 20, an average size for a typical living room & dining room- it’s going to cost me $103.90 ($6.95 X2 for the LR/DR + $90.00 for the .30 cents per square foot “corrective cleaning.) If you called for the 5 room special and based it on a living room & dining room with an average of 300 square feet and 3 small 10 X 10 bedrooms you are now looking at paying $214.95- that’s $34.95 for the advertised special plus $180.00 for the “corrective cleaning”!
And it could get worse. Look further into the fine print in this section. It states that berber carpet is another .20 cents per square foot. Based on the scenario above, that adds another $120.00 to the bill, making a total of $334.95- ten times more than the advertised “special”! But wait- it gets even worse- if you want them to clean your carpet with truck mounted equipment (which most reputable carpet cleaning companies already use for their services) it’s going to be even more- so much more that they don’t even mention the price for it in their ad. If your rooms are any larger than what I’ve used as examples (and most are) you could be looking at an outrageous bill to get your carpeting cleaned, and with a company who operates this way you’d certainly have to question the quality of the work.
There are other red flags in this ad- words and terms purposely used by the advertiser to work in their favor, not yours. Beware of terms such as “as little as”, “starting at”, “most fabrics” etc. These are all designed to be used as a way to release the advertiser from committing to the advertised price.
I’ve been in the carpet cleaning trade for fourteen years and have seen countless low-ball price companies come and go in that time. I have never used deceptive ads to promote my business and am proud of that. I offer truck mounted hot water (steam) extraction cleaning of carpet, tile floors, upholstered furniture and area rugs. When you need a good carpet cleaner, I invite you to call Trojan Carpet Care at 626-393-5965. I’ll quote you a fair price on the phone that won’t change when I come to your home.