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RIP-OFF #1: Unbelievably low price. (Followed by ‘Bait and switch’)  To some degree all of us are attracted by low price because we want to work within a budget.  Some carpet cleaners use price as the bait for their false and misleading advertising.  They offer a cheap price - usually $10.00 to $15.00 per room and then, once they are in your home, they pressure you into buying “add-ons”. It’s as if you were buying a car and finding the dealer was charging you extra for the tyres and steering wheel.  Carpet cleaning is not as cheap as some unethical carpet cleaners would like you to believe.  Fortunately this practice is not common in Timaru.  However be very careful to ask what size room the price is for as some carpet cleaners advertise a low price but have fine print specifying a very small room area.

Dual process hot water extraction carpet cleaning describes the process of pre-vacuuming with a powerful dry vacuum-cleaner, then pre-spraying with a concentrated pre-conditioner, followed by hot water extraction.

This is the method recommended by Standards New Zealand in NZS 3733:1995 for a full restorative clean.  Unfortunately some unethical carpet cleaners often use dual process as a bait and switch technique.  Here’s how it’s done: first they ‘bait” you with a basic cleaning (single process) at an unbelievably low price.  Then when you call, they try to “switch” you to more expensive dual-process cleaning.  If you don’t fall for their switch and choose their basic service, you’ll be likely to receive poor workmanship using little or no chemical and they will not guarantee their work

RIP-OFF #2: UNSUPPORTED CLAIMS. “This Cleaning Method is the best”.  You’ll read this in almost every ad.  You’ll hear this from almost every carpet cleaner.  Remember this:  The method that’s best for you is the method that achieves your goal.  If all you want is a method that dries quickly, then a method that takes a long time to dry isn’t the method for you.  So before you choose a carpet cleaner, identify your objectives.  Then select the method that best achieves these objectives.

RIP-OFF #3: OUTDATED BELIEFS. “HOT WATER DAMAGES YOUR CARPET”.  Years ago people believed this was true because they had heard of carpets being damaged by cleaners who didn’t know how to properly clean using hot water.  Today we know it’s false.  By washing then rinsing your carpet with hot water, your carpet is thoroughly cleaned - in the same way that the person who showers and then rinses off the dirt and soap will be much cleaner than the person who takes only a sponge bath.  Obviously, each carpet cleaner will be biased toward his own method.  Each method does have advantages.  I suggest you look at what the carpet manufacturers say.  Shaw Industries, an American firm who are the world’s largest carpet manufacturer, recommends only hot water extraction.  The New Zealand Standard also recommends hot water extraction as the only method for a full restorative clean.

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