• Tom McKee

Bait and switch carpet cleaning

Updated: Aug 5, 2019



So the old “Bait and Switch” scam still exists in the carpet and upholstery cleaning industry!

The practice of baiting customers has been around since carpet cleaning itself and clients looking to employ a carpet cleaning business need to beware!


A great deal that sounds too good to be true costing very little can end up turning into pressure sell that costs you hundreds!

Everyone can be at risk but elderly and vulnerable people seem to be the target market.

These con men are very good at what they do and that doesn’t include carpet cleaning! Often confusing their victim with talk of super powerful chemicals that cost more and using scare tactics to sell.


How Does it Work?


The Bait


The scammers normally put a flyer through your door with an offer that is too good to be true. It could be an advert in your local newspaper or on a local social media marketplace.


Here's the bait:

Any 5 Carpets Deep Cleaned for Only £50.00

No extra charges. Any Condition. Any Size. Call Now!


The Switch


Once the criminals are through your door they can apply the switch. Here are some examples:


“I’m sorry Mr Jones but your carpets are wool and we need to use a special detergent. The coupon price doesn’t include wool carpets.”


“You have a bad case of carpet mites. If we do not spray insecticide today your carpets will be ruined.”


“You have Berber carpets Mrs Thompson. They cannot be wet cleaned. We need to use a special process that is not covered by the coupon price!”


“Your carpets need a pre-clean Mr Smith. If we do not pre-clean then they will be damaged!”


You can bet on one thing. The coupon price doesn’t exist you just can't clean for such a low cost and remain in business! In all examples the conman will be looking for a big up sell.


How to Avoid the bait and switch


The simplest way is not to book it in the first place if its too good to be true then it usually is! If you are sucked in simply say “NO” and demand they leave. If a flyer comes through your letterbox and the offer is too good to be true then trust your instinct. Always ask a carpet cleaner, who gives a quote, is there any other costs and extra charges. Always ask for a total price before they start working.


Genuine Reasons to Charge More


There are times when a quotation is increased. Genuine reasons include incorrect description provided by client, infestations such as carpet moths, beetles and fleas, additional areas, additions such as rugs, very heavily soiled, thick pile carpets that require more time to get perfect, the treatment of pet stains and odour, that large nail varnish spill that will require specialist spotting solutions an hour to remove before cleaning begins, etc.


A professional carpet cleaning company will always discuss additional charges before they start. A genuine carpet cleaner will not pressurise you understanding if you cannot afford the quoted price.


Do your research ! Bad companies eventually get bad reviews. Take a look on google before you start calling.


We would love to clean for you! To arrange a pre-cleaning inspection and quotation please contact us on - Ayrshire - 01294 231405 or 07885698524




We are based in Irvine, Ayrshire