Residential and commercial carpet and tile cleaner serving Central Florida

(352) 508-4556

Carpet Cleaning Scams are on the Rise

"When it comes time to cleaning your carpets, how can you make sure no one walks all over you?"

In a Dateline NBC Hidden Camera Consumer Alert, a consumer by the name of Larry Gerdis simply wanted to get his carpets cleaned. He had his carpets cleaned every year, so when he received a coupon in the mail for "5 rooms for only $49.95", it seemed like a great deal. He expected to pay a little more for a staircase and a couple of extra rooms, but when the company arrived, he was shocked.

Instead of the price listed on the coupon, Larry was quoted a price over $300. The company told him it was necessary for him to add on a number of extra services if he really wanted his carpets cleaned. Larry politely explained that his carpets really weren't that dirty and was stern in insisting the company do the job for the advertised price.

The so called "cleaning job" Larry was left with was deplorable. "It was a terrible job", Larry said disappointingly, "the carpets didn't come clean. I was very disappointed in it".

The tactic used on Larry Gerdis and on unsuspecting consumers everywhere is called "bait-and-switch".

A bait-and-switch scam works like this: a carpet cleaning company advertises cleaning a roomful of carpet for an unbelievably low price. When they arrive, they inform you the price they quoted is only for certain areas like traffic lanes and includes little to no cleaning chemicals. So you agree to pay extra for chemicals and areas beyond their limit, and the final bill ends up costing you hundreds of dollars.

Bait-and-switch scams are especially targeted at the elderly, who are more likely to trust someone who "promises" to give them a good deal and be intimidated by high-pressure tactics.

So how can you protect yourself from a bait-and-switch scam?

The best protection against bait-and-switch is to be informed of the carpet cleaning process before the cleaner arrives at your home.  Do a Google search or call a few cleaning companies and inquire about their process.  If the company you've contacted cannot answer simple questions, move on to another cleaning company.  Don't let price fool you when you choose a company. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

What questions should you ask?

  • Are you certified in carpet, rug or upholstery cleaning?
  • How many years has your company been in business (the longer, the better)?
  • Is your company a member of a professional cleaning trade association?
  • What steps will be included in your cleaning process?
  • What kind of chemicals will you use?
  • How long will it take for the carpet to dry?
  • When can I walk on the cleaned carpet?
  • Do you have a business license?
  • Do you carry insurance?

After your questions have been answered and you've chosen a company to clean your carpets, remember that you still have the final say in the matter.  A bait-and-switch tactic could also be used by companies who advertise what seem to be more realistic prices, then send employees who are not professionally trained. A thorough cleaning should include the following processes, and if it doesn't, you're not receiving quality work:

  • Pre-vacuuming with commercial equipment
  • Normal general spot removal
  • Pre-conditioning heavy traffic areas
  • Extracting suspended soil
  • Grooming the carpet pile
  • Offering fabric protection
  • Taking steps to ensure drying in a reasonable time

All professionally trained cleaning companies should adhere to the IICRC (Institution of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration) Cleaning Standards and follow the steps listed above.

Another tip to make ensure your cleaner is trained: ask him what type of carpet you have and listen to his answer. If he can't identify your carpet as olefin, wool, nylon, etc., then he's not a certified carpet cleaner. Don't fall for this bait-and-switch either. These are people that you need to trust in your home.

Having a trustworthy, trained, certified technician clean your carpet or upholstery is important, not only for your safety and peace of mind, but also for maintaining and extending the life of your carpet.

Return to Blog

What Your Neighbors Say About Gator Clean

I hired Gator Clean to clean my carpets, home air ducts, and dryer duct and vent. Danielle and Kelly were pleasant, cheerfully answered my many questions, and did a thorough job. My carpet is old (10+ years) and had not been cleaned in a few years due to COVID; it ended up looking nicer than I expected! I was especially impressed by how careful they were with my possessions (e.g., covering things to protect them from dust that might fall from a ceiling vent) and how well they cleaned up afterward. This was my first experience with the company and I am impressed!

Mark Witwer
April 26, 2022

Review from Google

Review from Google

When I called Gator Clean, I left a message inquiring about their services and pricing. I received a return call with 10 minutes. I found the prices and availability to be better than other companies. They came out within a week and cleaned my air ducts. They were ON TIME, FRIENDLY, and PROFESSIONAL. They explained the entire process, did a fantastic job and cleaned up after ducts were cleaned. Other companies need to take lessons from their staff! Highly recommend Gator Clean.

Brenda Sutton
February 10, 2022

Review from Google

Review from Google

I contacted Gator Clean to clean our dryer vent. Daniele was professional and set the appointment for the next day. She and Kelly arrived on time, very conscientious of our home. Cleaned our dryer vent and cleaned up behind themselves! Quick and efficient. Will definitely be using them again in the future!

Lora Tarleton
January 27, 2022

Review from Google

Review from Google

PROMPT, HELPFUL SERVICE - VERY INFORMATIVE FOR TIPS AND ABOUT THE PROCESS OF HOW THEY CLEAN THE DRYER VENT. HIGHLY RECOMMEND AND WILL USE AGAIN. THANKS DANIELLE.

Jaimee Hibbs
January 20, 2022

Review from Google

Review from Google

Danielle and Kelly did a great job

Wayne Gill
December 29, 2021

Review from Google

Review from Google

The latest from our blog.

Easy tips to keep your carpet clean this Summer.

Easy tips to keep your carpet clean this Summer.

Warmer days are finally here. The sun is shining brighter and longer, the children are home from school, and the laid-back, relaxing feeling of summer fills the air. This time of year brings warm memories of time spent outdoors, hot dogs on the grill, and lounging by the pool. It also brings an increase in allergens, humidity, and dirt to your carpets.

Finish Reading This Post

Estimated reading time: 1 minute, 52 seconds

Cost Factors in Cleaning the Air Ducts of a Florida Home.

Cost Factors in Cleaning the Air Ducts of a Florida Home.

The cost of maintaining a home can add up pretty fast. Unlike renting, homeowners are solely responsible for repairs and upkeep of the various parts of their house. Some maintenance issues are more pressing than others, leaving many problems to simmer on the back burner. This has the potential to create a more giant headache out of issues you thought weren't that big of a deal.

Finish Reading This Post

Estimated reading time: 1 minute, 23 seconds

How NOT to clean a tile floor.

How NOT to clean a tile floor.

Keeping a tile floor looking clean and new is not always easy, especially when you live in a busy household. Sometimes you may just want to take the quick and easy route, but that's may not always be the best for your tile floors. 

Finish Reading This Post

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 34 seconds

Gator Clean

Gator Clean is a residential and commercial carpet and tile cleaning company, serving Lake, Sumter, Marion and surrounding counties.

(352) 508-4556

  • mastercard
  • visa
  • discover
  • cash

Normal Business Hours:
Monday-Friday 8am to 7pm
Weekends by appointment