We have a cute little black dog as you all know. Between that cute little black dog, two busy people (me and Jen), our cheap tan carpet got pretty dirty over the past year. It needed to be cleaned.
Jen and I debated about hiring someone to come clean our carpets or just renting the machine and doing it ourselves. Cleaning the carpet ourselves seemed like a ton of work; we had to rent the machine and go pick it up, buy the chemicals and then pray we did not screw anything up while operating this fangled device. Ooooooooorrrrrrrrrr….. we could find a coupon in the paper that boasted a price less than we could rent the machine for, and they do all the work! A no brainer right?
A quick call to “--------” Carpet Cleaning and we were set. They were to arrive Tuesday between 10am and 1pm. A convenient three hour window where Kenny could stay home and get some homework done while the carpet genie swooped in and poof, clean carpets!
10 am - no carpet cleaner and no phone call, no problem.
11am - carpets still dirty, Kenny still doing homework in the peace and quiet.
Noon - Kenny hungry, Jen hungry, Pilot gets to go for a walk. Carpets all alone.
1pm – lunch is done, phone rings, carpet cleaner running 30 minutes late.
2pm – Kenny and Pilot on couch watching Judge Judy, TV volume set to normal.
2:45pm – phone rings again, carpet cleaner needs to confirm address, but claims to be on his way!
3pm – a ghetto van pulls up outside the house. It is mostly white, but the sliding door seems to be from another vehicle, one that used to be blue. There are no markings on the van, but Kenny has sneaking suspicion that this is the fabled carpet cleaner.
A man emerges from the van wearing blue Dickie’s pants and a matching blue Dickie’s shirt, neither of which are anywhere close to clean or presentable; they are maybe thread bare at best. He announces that he is indeed the carpet cleaner and asks what I want done. “Uh, I need my carpets cleaned…?” I answer.
I take him on a quick stroll through the house showing him the areas to be cleaned and then remind him that we have the “5 rooms for $29.95” coupon and yes, I understand there is a $5 travel charge.
Let’s paint the picture real quick. The man is older with thinning grey hair worn long to hide the thinning. The hair is greasy and sweaty from a day of lugging carpet cleaning supplies. He smells, well, he just plain ole smells bad! From like 5 feet away bad! Sweat, BO, and maybe a hint of poor hygiene for several decades. He also might be a little slow upstairs from sniffing carpet cleaning chemicals all day every day. When he was writing up the paper work, I saw him drool on himself (note – I almost vomited at that point).
So the man follows me through the house noting the rooms which needed to be cleaned and then he returns to the living room where he marches over to the couch and sits himself down right in the middle of it! I froze. No, he did not just sit on my couch, my couch… Yes, this dirty, smelly man is now taking the liberty of plopping his dirty butt on MY clean couch and acting like it is his right to be sitting there. No asking, no glance up at me, nothing. Just a plop and into his precious clip board paperwork.
After about three minutes he looks up at me. I am still standing there aghast, my jaw is somewhere around knees, and maybe a tear in my eye. He proceeds to tell me that the machine that the coupon is for does not do a very good job and that I really should use the truck mounted unit instead. Plus, he tells me I need to pre-treat the carpet and get some other blah blah blah.
“Uh, okay,” I say stunned, “how much more is that?”
“Two hundred fourteen dollars,” says he.
“I’ll stick with my coupon.”
He lumbers off to his truck to get the “low-end cleaning machine” and starts the process. He gets a five gallon bucket and walks into our guest bathroom to fill the bucket with some water from the bath and using that to fill the machine. He only slopped about half gallon on the carpet while filling it (please note the sarcasm of that sentence). Somewhere in there, I ask how long will this take? About 30 minutes, but I can get it done in 20. Great, that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
Finally, the machine is filled, the hoses run and it is making noise. The man starts in our master bedroom. He finishes the room in about 5 minutes and then approaches me again.
“I need to use your restroom” he informs me.
“Uhhhhhhh…..” gasp, gasp, gasp
No, it cannot be. First the couch and now this? Maybe he just drank too much coffee….Nope, 5 minutes have gone by! Are those floaties? Vomit for the second time this afternoon.
It is now 4pm. Twenty minutes of actual cleaning, forty minutes of paperwork, prep work and potty work. He leaves.
I feel violated. This man came into my house. MY HOUSE. I feel dirty and ashamed. I feel cold and naked. I feel all alone in a dark world.
They give you a small three hour window. They charge less than you can rent it for. All you do is make a call and there they are. So easy, so nice. Lies! Deception!
The moral of this adventure: CLEAN YOUR OWN DARN CARPETS!
Remember this: Rent the machine, take the time some Saturday afternoon and clean your own carpet. You will not regret it. You will not save time, you will not save money, you will not be happy if the others do it!