I'm sure you've all had those phone calls where a computer calls and offers you a great deal on carpet cleaning. I get them about 1-2 times a week and we don't have a single carpet or area rug in our home.
Several times I have tried to press "5" to be removed from the list but the calls have continued. A few times I have actually pressed "1" to talk to a representative and make an appointment. When I got to a person I have asked for their phone number, company name, or a supervisor I can complain to but they always hang up on me but sometimes they yell at me first.
I read online about someone in Nevada that actually made an appointment and gave them the address of a vacant lot across the street, then waited for the trucks to appear so that he could get the name of the company. Lucky for me I have a vacant lot across the street!
So, when I got the call today from caller ID: "CUSTOMERSVC 408-335-7149" I looked forward to trying this out. I pressed "1" to talk to a representative and was nice as sugar as I made an appointment for the 5-room house across the street (really the vacant lot, are you following me?). The total was quoted at about $150 and they'd throw in the hallway for free! I made the appointment for Thursday afternoon. I asked a reasonable question, "who should I look for; what company will be doing the cleaning?" She told me they work with local companies and it would be a company called "Deluxe" but it may be someone else.
I started to feel sorry for her and the poor carpet cleaner they would send so I said, "that's really all I wanted to know" and she caught on and said, "Oh nice one, Mrs. Halliday, but I'll send someone to your house at [my address], anyway, and you'll be billed!"
Big deal! They won't see a red cent from us. I should have known better than to feel sorry for them.
I called the only business in the county that deals with carpets, an area rug cleaning company called Deluxe. They had no idea who these people are and they have been the victims of many complaints. They said they've even gone so far as to call the police and they asked me to do the same and to also please let them know if I find out anything so that they can get this resolved. Apparently, this is causing them a lot of complaints and grief and they are worried about their reputation.
I called the Campbell Police and filed a complaint. Officer Kelly called me back and he was VERY nice. He said he would be working Thursday and will keep an eye out if he isn't otherwise occupied and that I could call if someone does actually show up to clean my nonexistent carpets. He said he'd also like to know who was behind this, but suspects if they do show up, it will be in an unmarked van. He also is concerned about how the woman handled my call, that it might be more than just an effort at getting carpets cleaned - some sort of more complex scam.
For instance, he said that there were people going door to door offering carpet cleaning deals. He was suspicious of that after he noticed a few odd things about them so he made an appointment to check them out further. It turns out that it's Kirby salesmen trying to find out which houses have carpets and had $$ to spend so they can try to sell them vacuums and such. Not illegal, but perhaps somewhat unethical. At your carpet cleaning appointment, they send out Kirby salesmen to give you the spiel and presentation. I've had those door to door carpet cleaning offers, too, but since I have zero carpets and no area rugs, they are very easy to turn away. When the boys were smaller, all I had to do was answer the door with a baby in each arm and it conveyed a very clear message to the solicitor that "I have NO TIME FOR YOU!!" Now that they are bigger, though, it's tough enough for me to lift just one baby, let alone two!
I have a police report number, but I have a feeling this may have been the last time I'll hear from those particular carpet cleaning scammers for awhile. This may be the best way of getting my number removed from their call list.