Consumer Advice – How to avoid rogue traders in the carpet and upholstery cleaning industry

Here are ten simple consumer advice tips to help you avoid the most common mistakes when choosing a carpet and upholstery cleaning company:

Don’t fall victim to “Bait and Switch” – very cheap “special offer” prices are often too good to be true.  This is a common tactic used by rogue traders; you take the “bait” of cheap prices and make a booking, but once they are in your home the price soon rises as they “switch” you using various tactics including add-ons like pre-treatments, stain removal and deodoriser or saying that the room is “bigger than expected” or “dirtier than expected so you need the special clean not the standard clean we quoted for” Bait and switch is illegal and should be reported to Trading Standards.  Bonne Fresh Clean will always confirm the total price for the complete job and the price you are quoted will always be the price you are charged, with no hidden extras.

Don’t fall victim to “Splash and Dash” – sometimes things sound like a bargain but are they really offering Value For Money? For example if a carpet cleaning company are offering to clean three rooms for £50 ask yourself how thorough that clean will be? After all every company will have to pay for a van, fuel, advertising, cleaning solutions, equipment, insurances etc. etc. so how long do you think this company will actually be in your house actually cleaning? A hour? Two? Lets just say 1.5hours, so that’s 30 minutes per room? So, that cannot include the very basic carpet cleaning steps; moving the furniture, pre-vacuum, pre-spray, agitate, hot water extraction. So which step/steps are they missing out? Will the carpets be clean? Will rapid re-soiling occur? Will the carpets be damaged?  The same examples are true of upholstery cleaning, a three piece suite cleaned for £50 should ring the same alarm bells.  Bonne Fresh Clean offer Value for Money, we will tell you as part of the quote how long the cleaning will take, ask other companies this question so that you have full transparency of the likely Value for Money.

Only use industry accredited companies – carpet and upholstery cleaning may sound simple but it isn’t, it requires knowledge and expertise if it is to be carried out successfully and safely.  The best way to ensure that the company you choose has the required knowledge and expertise is to use a member of TACCA (The Approved Carpet Cleaners Alliance) or NCCA (National Carpet Cleaners Association) – it is not possible to be a member of these industry association unless you have the necessary knowledge and expertise.  Bonne Fresh Clean are members of both TACCA and NCCA

Make sure you have a full postal address and landline phone number – if a company’s advertisements and literature don’t tell you their full postal address ask yourself why? What are they trying to hide? Will you be able to contact them again should there be a problem? Bonne Fresh Clean display a full address and landline phone number on all advertisements and literature and of course its on our website too!

Ask questions before you make a booking – just a few simple questions will help you make sure you are choosing a professional company. Are you members of TACCA / NCCA? Do you have full liability insurance and can you prove it? Is your carpet cleaning method hot water extraction? Do you test my carpet to see what it is made of before you clean? Are all of your operatives fully trained and hold valid NCCA Certification? If the answer to any of these questions is NO do not book.  Ask Bonne Fresh Clean these questions, the answer is YES to every question.

Check drying times – unprofessional equipment or using professional equipment incorrectly leaves carpets and upholstery too wet, which is extremely bad for the fibres/ fabrics, leading to potential browning, mould and nasty smells.  This is generally caused when the removal (extraction) of the cleaning and rinsing solutions is not good enough, generally due to underpowered equipment.  If someone turns up with an inferior looking machine or one that looks like its been hired from a DIY store you will NOT get the best possible clean for your carpets and upholstery and it is very likely that they will be left too wet.  Bonne Fresh Clean use powerful modern professional equipment, carpets will be dry in 3-4hours, upholstery is dried using air movers to ensure it is dried quickly.

Don’t fall for claims of “guaranteed stain removal” – it is a simple fact that its impossible to remove all stains. Professional training and equipment is required to give the best possible results.  There are many different factors which will impact the outcome, not least what the stain is, what the carpet / upholstery is made of and what has been done to the stain since it happened.  At Bonne Fresh Clean we tell our customers that we will do everything within our power to remove the stain or reduce its appearance.  And of course we are trained and experienced in stain removal and have the necessary equipment and cleaning solutions.

Remember trust is key (people choose people) – would you let an uninsured, unaccountable, unprofessional tradesperson into your home? Cleaning carpets and upholstery is a time consuming job involving mutual trust. We move your furnishings and personal belongings and regularly find your “lost” items behind furniture and down the back of upholstery.  Bonne Fresh Clean regularly work in homes whilst the homeowners are out, we are totally trustworthy and treat your home with respect and integrity.

Don’t ignore your first impressions – does the company you are thinking of booking give a good first impression? Smart van?  Full van livery? Smart operatives?  Clean uniforms? If not what is this telling you about the likely quality of their work? Trust your instincts, first impressions count. At Bonne Fresh Clean we have all of the above, don’t accept anything less.

And finally – lets not forget the basics – Was your phone call dealt with efficiently? Did you know who you were talking to? Was the information given clear and concise? Was the quote given a total price with no hidden extras? Do they have references from existing customers that you can verify?  If the answer to any of these questions is NO then consider carefully before booking.  When you call Bonne Fresh Clean the answer to every one of these questions is YES.

If you have any questions about our Consumer Advice and how to avoid rogue traders in the carpet and upholstery cleaning industry please get in touch and we would be happy to help. Call Karen on 01454 436001 / 07774 908410

For a free quote with no obligation and no hidden costs call Karen on 01454 436001 / 07774 908410 or get in touch using the form on our contact us page.