Friday, March 20, 2009

Carpet Cleaning Scam

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.


karenf said...

Man I hate those calls too. I just hang up when I hear it, the #5 doesn't work, they just call and call... I wish I had a vacant lot to send them too, what a good idea!
I'm really glad for Claire, she scares away most of those pesky salespeople.. but sometimes they are so pushy that they don't hear the dog, or the children in the background screaming, or crashes somewhere in the house.. sheesh! Some days I just open the kitchen window and say "please leave or I will open the door, my dog dog doesn't like strangers!"

Andy said...

So, I'm agog. Did anything transpire?

Anonymous said...

I have the same problem here in California, and I unfortunately do not have a vacant lot to send them too. They have repeatedly called me over the last 8 months I have lived here. I have requested to be taken off the list at least 3 times, and the last 3 times I tried to make an appointment and got 3 different generic company names and a bogus phone number once. Who are these people???? I think I will file a police report too, maybe it is just a way to get into someone's home...

WeCleanLasVegas said...

Thank You for taking the time to write your article on Carpet Cleaning Scams. I Managing Member of Mayberry’s LLC or Mayberry’s Maids here in Las Vegas Nevada and Time After Time I see the Carpet Cleaning Company Following our cleaning crews, come in and FRAZZLE the customer. The customer is usually moving out in this Scenario and has a budget, they will see a sign attached to a phone poll or stuck in the ground promising $7 to $10 dollars per room, But when the Carpet Cleaning Company arrives Look Out the price sky rockets with This Chemical or That Procedure we have seen customers get overwhelmed and sometimes Intimidated into signing up. A job that they budgeted for $200 or $300 becomes quickly $500 and sometimes $700. After seeing this over and over again I asked my pears in the carpet cleaning business why they do business this way ? The answer was simple and without pause or being articulate “ That’s the way its Done” than I began to ask more questions of them like “If you used every chemical you have in your arsenal how much would you have to charge per room to make a modest profit“ The answers varied from cleaner to cleaner but the census was about $40 per room. “Why don’t you advertise $40 per room” I asked the Cleaners “Because That’s Not The Way its done” I get it people are use to seeing these advertisements for $5 and $10 per room and It will be a difficult sell ! to be up front with the actual price will shock people at first It’s a long and difficult road ahead for us But, If you would please check us out at http:/ and give me any feed back you have this is my answer to Bait and Switch campaigns.

Gil Sirimarco
Managing Member
Mayberry’s Maids
(702) 474-MAID (6243)

And Introducing January 2010
(702) 240-RUGS (7847)

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Carpet Cleaning Naperville said...

I have heard a lot of stories like this. Just my advice, before you let anybody in to your home, make sure that you are actually dealing with the person they say they are.

Anyway, when choosing a carpet cleaner, ask your friends around; they might know a trustworthy cleaning company. Recommendations are always helpful. Also, always look for a truthful and devoted cleaning company like this carpet cleaning Naperville, Illinois company.

Hope those scammers won't bother you anymore. Stay safe!

Eileen said...

Wow. That wasn't nice at all. How's the complaint going? Did the police got those people behind it? I have rugs in my house, and I myself have done few carpet cleaning. Long Island is kinda chilly this past week. So we want to put a thick floor cover near the fireplace. Good thing I have contacted some really good and credible Long Island cleaning services. I hope you won't get a call from those customer service anymore.

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Rebecca Foster said...

I really hate those scam. They're very annoying indeed! That is why I inquire first before choosing any carpet cleaning services or other cleaning stuffs.

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Karly Mittens said...

As a service provider I am sorry for your experiences. It destroy the business. Unfortunately these times, 80% of the carpet cleaning industry is not licensed. One of the important problems is that soon after cleaning, the carpets are left wet and will take days to dry up. This is a real anxiety about rentals as when tenants stop houses, the houses can be locked up for some days or weeks which increases the unbearable smell.
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Anonymous said...

You don't need to be near a vacant lot — give them the address of the local police station.

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المثالي كلين وزد said...

اهلا ومرحبا بك عزيزى العميل فى شركة المثالية تيوب للخدمات المنزلية الشاملة فنحن نقدم خدمات كثيرة منها خدمة تنظيف المنازل والشركات والمؤسسات والفلل لما لها من اهمية كبيرة لدى اصحابها وللاطلاع اكثر على مميزات الشركة وخدماتها اضغط على هذا الرابط
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وايضا لدينا ركن خاص لتنظيف المجالس والكنب والسجاد والموكيت والستائر وجميع الفرش الموجود فى المنزل بالاضافة الى تنظيف اساس المنزل والبلاط والحوائط وجميع محتويات الغرف
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وسنعرض عليكم خدماتنا عبر الرابط التالى
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فلا تقتصر خدماتنا على عملية التنظيف فقط ولكن لدينا خدمات كثيرة نقدمها من خلال شركة المثالية تيوب للخدمات المنزلية منها خدمة مكافحة وابادة الحشرات ابادة فورية دون العودة مرة اخرى ولمعرفة كافة خدماتنا ستجدها على هذا الرابط
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فالحشرات امر خطير ومزعج للغاية لما تحملة من ميكروبات وجراثيم خطيرة تتسبب فى نقل العدوى الى افراد المنزل وخاصة الاطفال فهم اكثر عرضة لذلك لضعف المناعة لديهم
وللاستعلام عن خدماتنا والاتصال بنا ادخل على الرابط التالى وستجد كل ماتحتاج اليه
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كما نقدم خدمات الكشف عن تسربات المياه وتسليك المجارى وشفط البيارات ولدينا فنيين صرف صحى متخصصين فى الكشف عن التسربات باحدث الطرق والامكانيات المتطورة ولمعرفة المزيد عن خدمات الشركة اتبع هذا الرابط
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فعند الاتصال بنا سنرسل اليك المندوب الخاص بالشركة ومعه العماله المطلوبة لمعاينة المكان ومعالجة الانسداد الموجود فى المواسير عن طريق شفط المياه من البيارة وبعد ذلك تقوم العمال بالنزول الى البيارة لتسليك المواسير من الرواسب الموجوده بها ولمعرفة المزيد اتبع هذا الرابط
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ابراهيم عيسى said...

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من طبيعة الخزان أن يتم تثبيته فوق أسطح المنازل و من هنا فهو يكون عرضة لأشعة الشمس و هي عامل كبيرة لنمو البكتيريا و الفطريات داخل مياه الخزان كما أن طبيعة بيئتنا الصحراوية في المملكة العربية السعودية التي يكثر فيها هبوب العواصف الرملية تلعب دورا كبيرا في احتمالية تلويث مياه الخزان بالغبار و الأتربة.
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