How To Avoid Carpet Cleaning Scams In SW Florida

Carpet Cleaning Scams

Sadly, the carpet cleaning world in SW Florida has a few scam artists that would have consumers believe their “cheap” price for carpet cleaning is also the” best method.”  How could this be? 

This does not even make sense but to a select group of discount shoppers, seeing or hearing a “low” price for carpet, tile, or upholstery cleaning, is like music to their ears.

If you’re meticulous about keeping carpets tidy, healthy, stain-free, and within warranty, you know the benefit of a professional carpet cleaning service. Unfortunately, carpet-cleaning scam artists try to take advantage of homeowners with high-pressure sales or bait and switch tactics.  They’ve also carved out a niche market for coupon shoppers and renters who could care less about the quality of cleaning; after all, they do not own the home or apartment, why choose a quality carpet cleaning that might cost twenty dollars more?

If you are looking to hire a pro, become familiar with the process and watch out for these three common carpet cleaning scams.

The “unbelievably low prices” scam

You will hear this one from coupon marketers, claiming to offer the lowest price in town.   These people also create “fake” reviews on sites such as Yelp, Google, and Yahoo because these sites do not verify reviews.  These people want consumers to believe they’ll receive a thoroughly exhaustive cleaning, just as good as the best guy in town for about half the cost.

Their coupon will offer an “unbelievable” price such as $9.95 a room or a whole house of carpet cleaning for $99 or less.  Some consumers hear these unbelievable prices, believe all carpet cleaners are the same and tell the person on the other end of the phone to “sign me up!”

Believing all carpet, tile, and upholstery cleaning companies are the same is like assuming a Steak from Ruth Chris is of the same quality as one found at your local buffet joint.

Once these companies schedule an appointment and are inside your home, the price suddenly starts to increase — because you have thicker than average carpet, your rooms are a strange size, or there are certain types of stains in your carpeting that will require additional labor, you need a deep scrub, etc. Regardless of what you initially agreed to, the price suddenly spirals out of control, and you find yourself paying for services you do not need or want.

The fix? Before responding to any coupon deal, or before inviting any contractor into your home, do your homework.  Check with Angie’s List (Angie’s List is FREE) and the Better Business Bureau.  These two organizations do not accept “anonymous reviews.”  If you post a review using one of these nationally recognized organizations, the poster MUST provide identifying information and backup proof as to their claim should a business deny what’s in the posting.

You can also speak with neighbors or friends, inquire as to the methods they will use to clean your carpeting, tile, or upholstery, and get their guarantee IN WRITING!

You should also inquire as to their professional certifications and industry organizations they belong to such as the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) or the International Carpet & Rug Institute (CRI).

If they are not rated with the BBB or Angie’s List or if their company is not certified, WHY NOT?

The “best method” scam

There are several standard methods for carpet cleaning. The most popular is steam cleaning, which uses hot water and a chemical detergent. Clean water and detergent are pushed into your carpet using high-powered tools, and dirty water is pulled out using a vacuum.

Steam cleaning, or otherwise known as Hot Water Extraction, is the Number One method for carpet cleaning as recognized by ALL MAJOR CARPET MILLS and any other process of cleaning merely delivers surface clean results.

Some carpet cleaners offer the “dry cleaning” method.  This type of cleaning uses a minimal amount of water and chemicals to pull surface dirt out of your carpet and refresh the fibers.  It does not provide deep cleaning.  Basically, the carpet cleaner will go into a client’s home, mist some cleaning solution onto the carpeting and use a buffer to “surface” clean the tips of the carpeting.  When they’re finished the carpeting looks good UNTIL the contaminants that were deep-set in the carpet pile now work their way to the surface.

Some companies will try to scam you by claiming to use the “best” method available. The problem? There is no such thing. What works best for your carpet depends on its age, material, pile, and the amount of cleaning it requires.

The “surface clean” scam

Of all the carpet cleaning scams, this one requires homeowners to be the most diligent. Even seemingly reputable companies try this trick occasionally, though sometimes they do not do it on purpose.

It all starts innocently enough; you contact a company, have them come and do an estimate, agree to a time and a uniformed employee comes to your door. You vacate the house and return when the carpet is dry only to find that your stains return within days, and none of the surfaces seem particularly clean.

What happened?

There are two possibilities. First, your contractor may have faulty equipment, which didn’t push enough water in or suck enough out. It is also possible the contractor made no real effort to clean your carpet, instead, doing only a quick surface clean before packing up and moving on to the next job.  The surface cleaning scam allows a carpet cleaning company to run in and out of your home very quickly.  The more homes they can do a day, the more money they make.  Don’t let this happen to you.

To avoid this scam, do your research. Read reviews of local companies on trusted sites like Angie’s List or the Better Business Bureau, and check out this company’s reputation online.

What to look for in a professional carpet cleaner

When hiring a carpet cleaning company, make sure to get a specific rate per room or per square foot, and ask about the preferred cleaning method. Ask if their company is certified by the IICRC and are their employee’s background checked on an annual basis.  Moreover, again, DON’T BE LAZY, check them out online.

It is incredible to us how someone would invite a contractor into their home based on some low-ball offer and give no thought as to if the technician is a convicted child molester or thief.   Yes, we have seen that happen locally in SW Florida.

Tru Clean is a Certified Partner with the prestigious Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) and the International Carpet & Rug Institute (CRI).  In addition, we are A+ rated with the Better Business Bureau and a five-year-in-a-row-winner of the coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award.  Our technicians are background checked twice a year and we are fully licensed and insured.

For more information about Tru Clean Surface Care, please visit us online at or call us anytime at 239-541-4888 – Lee County, 239-206-1935 – Bonita Springs, Naples, and Marco Island or 941-621-2198.  You can also visit us on Facebook at

For your peace of mind – thoroughly vet any contractor you invite into your home.  Your safety could depend on it.

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