How to Protect Yourself: Carpet Cleaners
Source: The Florida Attorney General's Office
When arranging for carpet cleaning services, consider the following:
Research the company
Find out how long the company has been in business and research its past successes and failures. Call your local Better Business Bureau, your county consumer affairs agency and government agencies like the Attorney General’s Office, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the Federal Trade Commission to determine whether any complaints or lawsuits are pending.
Ask for references
Find out if the company belongs to any trade associations like the Better Business Bureau or Chamber of Commerce, and ask the association whether the company is a member in good standing. Get the names, addresses and telephone numbers of other persons in your area who have used the company's services and ask what experiences they have had.
Get the specifics in writing
Ask exactly what is included in the price, such as whether the company will move furniture or just go around it; the type of machines or systems the company uses (shampoo versus some other systems); and whether the company charges extra for stain removals, heavy traffic areas, or protectants. Find out the time required for the cleaning job and what warranty the company offers on its services, including whether you will be compensated for damage caused during cleaning. Be sure to get the all-inclusive price as well as all assurances and promises in writing.
Be wary of "too-good-to-be-true" claims
Be wary if anyone associated with the company makes an offer of any extremely low price for a large amount of work – there may be hidden costs. Get several estimates.
If a company representative wants to demonstrate a cleaning product or machine, make sure it is done in an inconspicuous place.
Be the boss
Do not give your credit card number or bank account number to the company until it is time to pay for the cleaning. It doesn't hurt to have someone else along to be a witness to your discussions with the company and the quality of the work it performs for you.