Awhile back we wrote an article on how to avoid being scammed when hiring a carpet cleaner. At Linton's Carpet Cleaning we try to focus on the positives (well almost always) as much as we can.
So in most cases we focus on the positives of our service. We focus on the quality of our cleaning, the safety level of our cleaning, our dedication to terrific customer service, and our fair and honest prices. And all of that is important.
In this article, however, we are going to focus on something a bit negative in tone and that is because we think it is really important for you to know.
And what we are going to focus on is how to avoid being rippled off by GETTING THE RIGHT TYPE OF CARPET CLEANING QUOTE IN VANCOUVER.
If you were calling us for the first time what do YOU think is the first thing you should do when you talk to us?
Ask Us To Give You A Quote!
The very first thing you should do when hiring any carpet cleaning company in Vancouver, Wa. (or anywhere) is to ask them for a quote.
But not just any old quote, but preferably an on-site FIRM WRITTEN QUOTE! Why? For a number of good reasons.
Let' go over them.
Think about this: You contact ABC-XYZ Carpet Cleaning and tell them you want some carpet cleaned. They are, most likely, going to ask you right off the bat how many areas you need cleaned.
You tell them living room, dining room, hallway, and let's say two bedrooms.
They will probably ask you how big each room is and you tell them, even though you are not sure.
Now the next question from them is probably going to be how soiled the carpet is. You tell them moderately soiled.
They should then ask you what type of carpet you have. You tell them, even though you might not be sure, that you have cut pile nylon.
If they are even remotely close to being competent they should then ask you about the type of stains you have in your carpet.
You tell them, even though YOU really do not know what the difference is between a stain and a spot. But let's say that you tell them you have four Kool Aid stains and a couple of other spots or stains.
They should then ask you if any of these stains are pet urine. And while you think you know, you are not sure and you tell them you believe a couple of them are pet urine stains.
They then ask you what part of town you are in. You tell them you live in the Hazel Dell area or wherever.
They give you a price and you do one of four things:
1. You say GREAT, let's schedule a time.
2. You almost pass out because the price they quoted was much higher than you expected.
3. You think the price is too high, but you really want your carpets cleaned so you try to negotiate.
4. You are not happy paying what they are quoting and you hang up and decide to call another company.
And if you do decide to call another company you end up going through the same Carpet Cleaning Quote Song and Dance Routine. It is very
popular from what we hear!
In most cases hiring a carpet cleaning company this way is...
TOTALLY THE WRONG WAY TO DO IT!
Not only is it wrong from YOUR side of it, but also from the carpet cleaners side of it!
Now we are going to go over why this very typical scenario is not good for YOU and probably not good for the carpet cleaner.
Since we are writing this article for YOU, a potential customer, and not our competitors (although a number of them will be reading this and learning ;))
let's go over why getting a quote like this is not a good idea for you, the
Why The Above Scenario Leads To Unhappy Customers
1. If you want a company to honestly quote a price they need to see the carpet! While this is not always possible, it should be the goal.
How in the world is a carpet cleaning company going to accurately quote a carpet cleaning job if they have never seen the carpet to be cleaned?
In most cases they cannot accurately quote the job so they are going to give a big broad range of prices. In the above example of living room, dining room, hallway, and two bedrooms of moderately soiled carpet with four Kool Aid
stains and maybe two urine stains, you are probably going to get a HUGE
And the company is going to do this to protect themselves from under quoting
the job. So in the Vancouver area you would probably be quoted anywhere from $200 up to $350, depending on what you said the size of the rooms were.
Think about that!!!
Do you really want to schedule a carpet cleaning job where you are not sure if you are going to spend $200 or up to $350 - or more? Most people do not want to do that.
The prices we are showing you here are very realistic and could certainly be in line with good, high quality carpet cleaning.
But wouldn't you want to know the price going in? Or at least know a price range that is closer than $150 away from each other? Most likely you would.
2. Now the carpet cleaner shows up and they find out that what you said was
moderately soiled carpet is NOT THEIR VERSION OF MODERATELY SOILED CARPET!
Many times customers will tell the carpet cleaning company over the phone the wrong information. And in many cases, but not all, they are being honest. To them the level of soiling they see is moderate or however they described it.
But they are not professional carpet cleaners!
They don't understand what different levels of soiling really are and what it takes to PROPERLY clean those levels of soil.
A carpet with three years of built up soil might seem like moderate soiling to the customer, but to a professional, who is intent on delivering high quality carpet cleaning, the carpet could very easily be seen as having a huge soil load.
This, just by itself, can entirely change the scope of the job and what has to be done to get the carpet cleaned properly.
3. But let's say the description of moderate soil was accurate, but the staining issue was not accurate. The customer failed to realize that dark areas were not just dirt, but coffee stains.
The urine stains they described were accurate but there was also a fair amount of urine odor!
The coffee stain issue is probably not a huge thing, but it is a thing! And it takes time to get coffee stains out so that could affect the price.
The big one here is the urine odor! Urine stains with odor simply cannot be cleaned using regular carpet cleaning techniques - at least if you want a good end result and don't want your home to smell of pet urine as the carpet is drying.
Also, the Kool Aid stains were not actually Kool Aid stains, but just spots that were sitting on top of the fibers and NOT in the dye sites of the fibers. So in this case there would be no need to charge extra for getting out the Kool Aid stains because they could easily be cleaned out using regular cleaning techniques.
This would SAVE YOU MONEY - but since the cleaner did not see that through the phone they quoted a higher price because of the Kool Aid stains. Not good for you.
3. So the degree of soiling was NOT what the carpet cleaner was expecting and the staining issue was not accurate and there is also another problem: The room size you gave them was wrong! The rooms are larger than you described. Oh oh. We can now see steam coming out of the cleaners ears.
If we had a dollar for every time a customer gave us (in most cases accidentally) the wrong room sizes we would have enough money to take a very long vacation. It happens regularly. As we said; most customers do not
give wrong room sizes on purpose, they just don't really know the size of the rooms or the size of the room area to be cleaned.
Did you notice the little nuance there?
Many times the room size is different from the actual area in the room to be
cleaned - and this can benefit you if the carpet cleaner is honest. But there
are also issues with furniture, even if the furniture is not to be moved.
Cleaning in and around furniture can take up a lot of extra time if the area is very cramped and hard to manuever in. Also, a good professional carpet cleaner will go slower and be more cautious around furniture. Their job is to clean your carpets, not nick up your furniture.
All of the above issues are important when a carpet cleaner is going to quote a job. If the carpet cleaner shows up at your door and finds that the job to be close to what they were told on the phone - they usually have no problems with honoring their price - even if the job is not exactly what they thought it would be.
But when the carpet cleaner shows up at the job site and the job is NOT what they were expecting this is when things can get uhhhh - let's say a bit interesting.
You now have a customer that expects a certain price and
you have a carpet cleaner that is not happy about having to clean for that price because the job is going to take them longer than they thought it would take based on the information they were given over the phone.
Not getting the right type of carpet cleaning quote many times causes problems.
So how do you solve this issue and make sure YOU, the customer are protected?
You have the carpet cleaning company give you a FREE ON-SITE WRITTEN QUOTE!
Is it really that simple? Yes, as far as getting a good accurate quote it is that simple. And there are some advantages for both you and the carpet cleaner.
Let's go over them.
When you decide to get a carpet cleaning quote in Vancouver the very first thing you should do is ask if they can give you an on-site quote. The purpose for doing this is three-fold.
1. You give the cleaner a chance to see the actual job and what it entails. This usually leads to much more accurate quotes and far less confusion on price.
2. You get a chance to actually see the carpet cleaner and get a feel for them. Some companies have one person dedicated to just giving quotes and that is not the person that will do the cleaning. But in most cases the person that is going to do the cleaning will also be the person that is giving you the quote.
Being able to see the carpet cleaner in person, and getting a feel for how they conduct themselves, is important.
Are they a person that respects your home? Do they put on booties before they enter your home so they do not track in additional soil? Are they polite?
Do they pay attention to detail when they look at each area to be cleaned? Are they wearing a uniform or at least looking kept up? Do you feel comfortable around them? These things are important.
3. You might be not have even thought about this one. If you ask a carpet cleaner to come to your home, or place of business, and they do NOT want to do that what does that tell you?
In MOST (but not all) cases it tells you that YOU and the potential job you are giving them are NOT important enough for them to take a little extra time
to meet you, check out the job, and give you a written quote.
Do you really want to hire a carpet cleaner that is NOT willing to give you a FREE ON-SITE QUOTE? We can tell you from experience that hiring those type of carpet cleaners is, many times, a mistake.
Now, there are going to be certain instances where the carpet cleaner is probably going to balk at giving you an on-site quote.
The two most common would be the following:
1. The job site is a long ways away from them. Let's say that you are an hour or two drive time from where the carpet cleaner's office is. In this case the company might not want to spend two hours driving back and forth to quote a job they are not sure they are going to get. This is understandable.
2. It is a very small job that falls within their minimum pricing and you have assured them there is no major soil load, staining, or urine odor issues. In this case they might just quote their minimum with the caveat that if the job is FAR different from what you mentioned there would be an additional charge.
In most cases issue number two is not going to be a factor. Not wanting to drive hours to give a quote is usually the top reason a good, honest, reputable carpet cleaning company will not want to give a quote.
But in most cases the company should have NO problem giving you an on-site quote. No problem at all. If they do not want to give you an on-site quote you should probably just move on to another company.
What about YOU not wanting a quote before you decide to hire a company?
The ONLY time you should do this is if you simply do not have enough time, the time between the phone call and when you want the carpet cleaned is super tight (like within 24 hours), or if you have total confidence the company is a good honest carpet cleaning company and that they are not going to play any pricing games with you.
There are many good honest companies that will come to your home and do a great job and charge you fairly.
Unfortunately there are also FAR too many companies that seem to just love to play pricing games. Getting a FREE NO OBLIGATION ON-SITE QUOTE is the way to go.
You have to be confident that they will show up with emough time on their schedule to do a GREAT job no matter how difficult the job might be and that they will price fairly.
Once you have scheduled a job, moved some furniture, taken the time from your day to be there (if that is what you want), you have to be confident the carpet cleaner is not going to gouge you on the price because they know you do not want them to leave without getting your carpets cleaned.
The bottom line is this: When you are getting a carpet cleaning quote in Vancouver do your best to have the cleaner come to your home or place of business and give you a FREE, NO OBLIGATION QUOTE on all of the cleaning you need done.
In the short, medium, and long term you will be much better off.
We thank you for reading this article. If you need a carpet cleaning quote in Vancouver, Wa. or the surrounding areas please call us today. We will be more than happy to come to your home or place of business, take a look at the job, answer all of your questions, and give you a FIRM WRITTEN QUOTE.
And we always stand behind our quotes.
Get a Carpet cleaning Quote In VAncouver, Wa.
At Linton's Carpet Cleaning we offer FREE-No Obligation WRITTEN QUOTES - and we always honor our quotes. We never play pricing games. Give us a call today to schedule a quote.