LAS VEGAS - If you have children, chances are you also have carpet in your home.
Matt Ballard's children learned to crawl and walk on their carpet. His youngest child will soon explore the home, so Ballard decided to have the carpet cleaned. He found a deal online.
"It was a special for forty nine dollars for three rooms," he said.
Ballard made the appointment, and a cleaning crew arrived. Before they performed any work, however, they wanted to do a test spot on a small square of carpet.
"After they did a test spot, it was going to be more than just a regular cleaning," Ballard said.
That would cost him more money. "Four hundred dollars to clean less than six hundred square feet of carpet," Ballard said.
He declined the offer and told the crew to leave. Instead of quickly exiting, Ballard said they wanted to negotiate.
"They came back and said it was going to be two hundred and sixty nine dollars," he said. "I told them, ‘You're still really out of line.'"
Ballard said the crew continued to offer lower prices.
"They said, ‘Well, if you pay cash, we can take another hundred off,'" he said. "It sounded a little shady to me."
The negotiations went on for a few more minutes. In the end, Ballard got his carpets cleaned for $125. He paid with a credit card.
"It took them about thirty minutes. I looked it over, and it looked fine," he said.
8 on Your Side wanted to know why the company wouldn't honor the $49 price. 8 on Your Side called the number on Ballard's invoice. The business' name on the invoice was Carpet Cleaning Services.
After some digging, 8 on Your Side discovered the company is actually Silver State Carpet and Stain Masters LV. The company has two websites and two coupon deals. According to a supervisor with the company, the $49 deal is for steam only - no shampoos or chemicals. When those products are needed, the work costs more.
The supervisor said the company would honor the $49 deal to anyone who wants it. That wasn't Ballard's experience or the experience of 64 others who reported this business to the Better Business Bureau. The company received an F rating with that organization.
"I wasn't going to be intimidated by them for sure," Ballard said.
Despite having to negotiate a lower price, he is satisfied with the cleaning and the price he paid. He says he learned a valuable lesson. Next time, he says he plans to research a company thoroughly before he hires it.
If you want to avoid a similar situation, there are steps you can take. First, get multiple bids from several companies for any work you need to have done.
Second, the cost of your carpet cleaning should be calculated by square feet, not by number of rooms. A typical cleaning costs approximately 20 to 30 cents per square foot, though some companies may charge as much as 50 cents per square foot.
Finally, make sure the company is certified by verifying its certification with the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification.
If you have a problem you want investigated, call 8 on Your Side at 702-650-1907.