If you bought or inherited a house with a lot of carpeting in it, or have installed wall to wall in your home, you will no doubt find yourself at some point pulling out your smartphone or tablet and searching for “carpet cleaning near me”. It makes sense. And with Google’s new emphasis on delivering relevant local search results you’re likely to come up with a number of local carpet cleaning companies. But that doesn’t mean you should simply choose the first one on the list and go with it. Searching for “carpet cleaning near me” is just the start of the process. To make sure you wind up with a company that will serve you well you’ll want to take the following additional steps.
- Ask for proof of insurance - If you choose someone to clean their carpets and they are not insured and they end up destroying all the carpets in your house do you know who will end up paying to have them replaced? That’s right. You will. If one of the carpet cleaners falls down your stairs while working in your house and they are not insured do you know who will wind up paying their medical bills and much more? That’s right. You will. A professional carpet cleaning company will have full liability and workman’s comp coverage. So, no insurance, no deal.
- Ask for references - If they passed the insurance test that’s great. Now ask them to provide references. Nobody expects they’re going to refer you to disgruntled customers. But that’s okay. What you want to know is if there are any satisfied customers out there. If the company cannot produce references, or if the references they provide all lead to disconnected phones or wrong numbers, you should take a pass and look for a different company.
- Ask about experience - We understand that everyone has to start somewhere. But you don’t want your beautiful antique Persian to be somebody’s first job. Ask them how long they have been in business and, just as important, how long they’ve been in business in your area. They may have been in business for a few years in Indianapolis but got run out of town for ruining everyone’s carpets. So ask them how long they have been cleaning carpets in your town. Also, ask about the experience of their carpet cleaning crew members.
- Ask about background checks - You’re about to open your home to a crew of strangers. The same home where you store many of your valuables and where your kids live and play. It’s important that you know who you’re opening the door to. Professional carpet cleaning companies that value the safety of their customers are careful who they hire. Minor infractions like speeding or disorderly conduct are not deal breakers. But assault with a deadly weapon, sexual assault or breaking and entering are. Ask if and how they screen their new employees.
- Check with the BBB - The Better Business Bureau exists to help ordinary folks determine whether or not a company is reliable and does quality work. If a company doesn’t have a BBB profile you should be suspicious. If they do have one you want to look at what others have to say about their work and whether or not they’re being sued for anything. The BBB will keep a record of such lawsuits. Keep in mind that any company that has been in business for a while will wind up running afoul of someone and may even end up in court. That by itself doesn’t mean much. What you’re looking for is a pattern. Such as whether they are sued regularly for defrauding customers or damaging property.
- Note their presentation - So you searched for “carpet cleaning near me”, asked one of the companies in the search results to stop by for a chat and a guy showed up in a 1988 Nissan Sentra. Okay. You asked for a business card and the guy has one but it only has his name and phone number. You asked what kind of equipment he uses and he was vague and seemed to stumble over the answers or tried to redirect the conversation. You asked if he conducts background checks on employees and he said “Don’t worry. I do all the work myself.” You should thank him for his time and choose someone else.
- How do they treat you? - When you had the company rep in to look at your carpets were they constantly excusing themselves to take phone calls? Did they seem distracted? Did they listen to what you want or tell you what you need? Did they seem more intent on selling you additional services than cleaning your carpets? A professional carpet cleaning company gives each customer their undivided attention.
- Ask for a written estimate - Any professional carpet cleaning company that has been in business for a while knows how to produce reliable estimates. If the carpet cleaner is reluctant to do so, or promises to email an estimate later but never does you should take a pass. Unfortunately, there are individuals and companies out there whose only interest is in not getting pinned down so they can pad the bill with phantom charges.
The Final Word
Don’t be fooled by hustlers posing as professional carpet cleaning companies. For reliable, affordable, high quality carpet cleaning every time do what more people in Boulder do: call Steve's Carpet Care.