Answer: The answer to this question is complicated. By including the word “ethical” in their advertising, some carpet cleaners are hoping to gain your trust, and hoping you won’t notice the questionable value you’re getting for their services. The notion of ethical cleaning is just the latest American-based MULTILEVEL MARKETING program used to lure carpet cleaners, in exchange for the PROMISE OF HIGHER PROFITS. The phrase “ethical cleaning services” has been trademarked by these marketers. However, trademarking doesn’t guarantee ethical practices!
Mancuso’s has actually earned by adjudication the Better Business Bureau Torch Award For Ethics**. By proxy, we first set the standards for ethics in the carpet cleaning industry.
SEVEN SIGNS OF AN ETHICAL CLEANER
- Use of the Benchmark Standard for Thorough Cleaning. For carpets, cleanliness is benchmarked as applying water at sufficient temperature (minimum 140 degrees Fahrenheit) under sufficient pressure (200 to 300 psi) and at a sufficient volume (3-4 gallons per minute), and simultaneously extracting 90 to 95% of the soiled water. The volume of hot water used must exceed the weight of the yarn in order for the yarn to be bench marked as clean. In addition to this flushing of the yarn, the cleaning technician must agitate the carpet face to assist in the removal of soiling. This is a critical component of ethical cleaning, and one which is often side-stepped by carpet cleaners, who claim they are “letting the chemicals do the work.”
- Use of Properly Apprenticed Technicians. Too many times, carpet cleaners are trained through 12 hour/2 day courses provided by carpet cleaning chemical and equipment manufacturers, and are coached through the final exams. Then they receive a token certificate. This often results in carpet cleaners who learn their skills at your expense. In this industry, there’s the good (well trained and professional), the bad (poorly trained but don’t know it), and the ugly (poorly trained and don’t care). An ethical cleaning is much more likely to come from a company who offers extensive training, upholds a reputation in the community, and continually upgrades their skill and knowledge.
- No Coupon Baiting or Telephone Solicitation. Coupon baiting is an unethical practise featuring “special” prices that end up costing you two to three times the coupon price. Professional trades don’t solicit by calling you at home, so carpet cleaners who use this annoying marketing technique are neither professional nor ethical.
- Apples and Oranges: The Charging of Home-Base Business (HBB) Prices. Most carpet cleaners are home-based, so their fair market prices should be reflected in 40% lower pricing than a storefront business. HBBs just don’t want you to know that, and will try to charge you the same as a store front business!!
- The Proper Use of Fibre Protectants. You might be surprised to know that many carpets don’t benefit significantly from having fibre protectants (also called “Scotchguarding”) applied. An ethical carpet cleaner explains what benefit (or not) you can expect to receive from a fibre protectant on your carpet.
- No Fear Tactics. Some carpet cleaners try to convince you that you should get your carpets cleaned every few months for the health of your family, or that a carpet cleaning will improve your indoor air quality, or that you should let them clean your furnace ducts for the same reason. Ethical practices for normal cleaning of your carpets should not be paired with dire warnings about your family’s health.
- No Fake Guarantees. An ethical carpet cleaner is not necessarily the one that offers a guarantee to reclean the carpet if you’re not satisfied. These “guarantees” come with a high price up front, so that the cleaner is still guaranteed to make big money, even if you call him back two or three times. An ethical carpet cleaning comes with an up-front discussion of your specific cleaning issues (should you have any) and a realistic appraisal of what a carpet cleaning can and can’t do for your situation at a fair market price.
For more information on all of these topics and issues, please visit us at our website at www.mancusocleaning.com