RIP-OFF #1: UNBELIEVABLY LOW PRICE. To some degree, all of us are attracted by low price because we want to work within a budget. But some carpet cleaners use price as the bait for their false and misleading advertising. They offer a cheap price--usually between $10.00and $15.00 per room--and then, once they’re in your home, they pressure you into buying “add-ons.” It’s as if you were buying a car and found that the dealer was charging you extra for the tires and steering wheel. Carpet cleaning is not as cheap as some unethical carpet cleaners would like you to believe.


 RIP-OFF #2: BAIT AND SWITCH. Dual process carpet cleaning describes the process of shampooing or heavy preconditioning, followed with hot water extraction cleaning. Unfortunately, unethical carpet cleaners often use dual process as a bait and switch technique. Here’s how it’s done: First they “bait” you with a basic cleaning (single process) at an unbelievably low price. Then, when you call, they try to “switch” you to the more expensive dual-process cleaning. If you don’t fall for their switch and choose their basic service, you’ll likely receive poor workmanship using little or no chemicals, and they will not guarantee their work.


 RIP-OFF#3: UNSUPPORTED CLAIMS,”THIS CLEANING METHOD IS THE BEST.”  You’ll read this in almost every ad and hear this from virtually every carpet cleaner. But remember this; the method that’s best for you is the method that achieves your goal. If you want a method that dries quickly, then a method that takes a long time to dry isn’t for you. So before you choose a carpet cleaner, identify your objectives. Then select the method that best reaches those objectives.


 RIP-OFF #4: OUTDATED BELIEFS, “HOT WATER DAMAGES YOUR CARPET.”  Years ago many people believed this was true because their carpets were damaged by “technicians” who didn’t know how to clean properly using hot water. But today, we know it’s false. By washing and then rinsing your carpet with hot water, your carpet is thoroughly cleaned—in the same way that a person who showers and then rinses off the dirt and soap will be much cleaner than the person who takes only a sponge bath. Obviously, each carpet cleaner will be biased toward their own cleaning method. And each method does have advantages. So I suggest that you look at what the manufacturers have to say. Shaw Industries, the largest carpet manufacturer in the world, recommends hot water extraction for cleaning carpets. Many of the other manufacturers are now making the same recommendation. See what the warranty for your particular carpeting requires in order to keep the warranty in effect.