Time for spring cleaning! Watch for carpet cleaning scam

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INDIANAPOLIS — Spring has officially arrived and after such a crummy winter, part of your spring cleaning might be the carpet.

But there is something you need to know about hiring carpet cleaners before you call for help.

“Anybody with a pulse and a pickup truck can call themselves a carpet cleaner,” said Tom King, owner of Sani-Bright Carpet Cleaning in Indianapolis.

“In the state of Indiana, there’s no licensing for carpet cleaning. There’s no licensing nationally for carpet cleaning. There’s only the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC), which is the national certification you can get.”

And not everyone claiming to be a professional carpet cleaner in central Indiana has gone through training and certification.

“In fact, there’s a lot of guys in the city that will go out and rent portable equipment and don’t have $70,000 truck mounts and they’ll show up at the home. You see that in Craigslist-type ads and you even see that with some of the guys in the coupon packets.”

King says a major red flag can be the cost.

“The first thing is pricing. Guys that are advertising unreal low prices.”

Also check the reviews.

“And it’s OK to see a little bit of bad. We have over 500 “A” reviews out there and we have a couple that aren’t as great as we’d like them to be, but overall they’re great and that’s what you want to look for.”

“Make sure and ask are you a certified firm and are your techs certified and how long have they been doing what they’re doing?”

Also ask about a warranty. Sani-Bright offers a ten day warranty. King says it’s important that any company you call is willing to back up their work.

The Indiana Better Business Bureau says you should keep these tips in mind when hiring a carpet cleaning company:

  • Review your carpet warranty before you have professional cleaning work performed. Be advised certain types of cleaning products and equipment may void your warranty.
  • Find business reviews on carpet cleaning companies on BBB’s website.
  • Price does matter. While no one wants to be overcharged, extremely low prices should also set off warning signals. Companies advertising very low prices may be practicing “bait and switch” advertising. Once the workers arrive in your home, they quickly push a more expensive treatment for cleaning or refuse to conduct the cleaning at the advertised price.
  • Know what items the company does or doesn’t move and if there are any extra charges for this service.
  • Ask these questions: Are halls and closets considered part of a room? Does the company use household water or power sources, or do they use their own water?
  • There is no licensing for carpet cleaners in Indiana, so you may want to ask if the company is bonded and insured.
  • Hide any valuables in a secure place.
  • Once hired, request the company test the cleaning method on an unseen area. Be sure you understand all instructions.

Check out Sani-Bright Carpet Cleaning’s Facebook page here.

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