Get carpets cleaned without cleaning out wallet

Published On: Jan 09 2013 01:46:18 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 09 2013 11:21:04 PM CST
HOUSTON -

Whether it's on TV or on the radio, it's hard to miss those ads for bargain prices on carpet cleaning. But can you really get the advertised price? Local 2 Consumer Expert Amy Davis has the dirt on how to get your carpets professionally cleaned without cleaning out your wallet.

Wendie Zeller loves her dog, Joe, but hates the tracks he leaves behind. So when she saw a professional carpet cleaning deal, she didn't think twice.

"Good price, I needed the bedrooms done and for four rooms, so I just bought it," Zeller said.

Zeller even had a coupon. But when the cleaner showed up, the price suddenly skyrocketed. They tried to "up-sell" her on so-called deep cleaning and pre-spray treatments.

"I said, 'Normally I thought a cleaning was a deep cleaning.' He said no, they'd have to do that and that would be extra. I just said 'Well, just go ahead and do a regular cleaning,'" Zeller recalled.

Angie Hicks with Angie's List has a warning for consumers.

"You'll see a lot of deals out there that you could potentially take advantage of, but you want to know what you are getting for that price. Does it include hallways? Does it include stairways? What size of a room? It may say three rooms of carpet, but it doesn't say how big of a room of carpet, so make sure you are reading the fine print," Hicks advised.

To avoid extra charges, Hicks said to insist on a written, detailed estimate on what the company will do for the advertised price and to never be shy about sharing your needs.

"Do you have pets? Do you have kids? Do you have special areas that need treatments because you've had spills? The more information you give them, the more prepared they can come to do the actual project in case you need special cleaners for some difficult spots," Hicks said.

Chris Stone has been cleaning carpets professionally for over seven years. He suggests homeowners ask a lot of questions up front to save money down the road.

"If they are willing to come give you a free estimate, give you all the options upfront, then you can make an educated decision on what you want to purchase. The key questions you need to ask them is, 'Are these all the options that I have upfront or will there be any more costs that you will try to sell me while you are here cleaning my carpets?'"

Before you hire any company, make sure they offer a guarantee. A good company will come back to your house to clean spots that reappear within a short period of time.

Professional carpet cleaners recommend you have your carpets cleaned between once a year and every 18 months.

For more carpet cleaning tips, visit Angie's List.

Angie's List's tips to avoid getting scammed:

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