Since we all like free stuff we thought we would discuss the advent of the free Home services advertising that we have been seeing of late. We have seen an increase in advertising that is offering customers free home services or at least very heavily discounted services. Are they real or just a hook to catch unwary customers? In most cases, they are just a ploy to get you to call them and setup an appointment.
Once the salesman is in your home to give you a free quote, you will be told that your home needs much more help than the free offer can deliver. The salesman will be very kind and sorry that you didn’t call them much sooner so they could give you the lower price the problem or dirt has reached a level that he cannot honestly do the service unless he does it right and then proceeds to give you a quote for a much higher fee.
One popular example of this is the carpet cleaning commercial for a small fee they will do three rooms and show you that they are good providers. Now this may not include all companies, if you have been serviced by one, please let us know we will let everyone know about them. But in the cases, we are familiar with your carpet will need several extra services at additional prices. When they get out to do the work and survey the rooms to be done they give you the news that it is much more than you were told or can believe. And they use the fact that they are there to pressure you to get it done with them for that price or get a poorly done carpet. If you cancel the appointment there is a fee you still must pay. If you aren’t convinced by that move to accept their increased fee, then they just work on your feeling of guilt until you get rid of them or give in.
Then there is another one that says that they install new flooring in your house for fifty to eight percent off. In this one at least they come out and give you a quote first. If you want the cheap flooring that was offered in the ad then indeed you can get it done for that price, but you are really paying full price for the material they just make it look like the same price as the good stuff and then discount it for you to look like you are getting a deal. Of course, if the flooring is carpeting then they didn’t mention the padding that needs to be installed below it to make it feel good and work well. The cost of it is high and of course you will want the premium version which is more that the carpet, but it will improve the life of the carpet and make it seem much more luxurious than it is normally. In either case your bill is much higher than you can afford.
While these ads are usually misleading at best, we did see one ad that was sent out a while ago where a service truly did deliver what was promised to the potential customers. The add said that the cleaning service would come out and clean their house with up to a four-hour service for a flat rate of one hundred dollars for the first twenty-five new customers. The idea of the company was to get a chance to show how well they work and acquire some new customers for their business. The add worked wonders, they got two hundred fifty calls in the first day and they scheduled the twenty-five lucky customers into the slots they had set aside for this offer in their service schedule.
They apologized to the remaining customers and offered to schedule them to a later service for a preferred rate of fifty dollars per hour. The normal rate in their city was seventy-five an hour so they felt this would be a suitable compensation. They scheduled another one hundred clients to this expanded offer. The remaining callers could not work out a schedule that they could live with or would pay the slightly increased fee. So, half the callers were scheduled and they went out at the prescribed times and did the service they committed too. In a several of cases they did more than the customer ever hoped for considering the price.
The house cleaning service was rewarded with seventy-three new clients form the group and the calls they are getting for new service is up by twenty percent from what it was before the offer. I talked with the owner about how they felt about the offer and they responded that they were Leary of it when it was proposed but they had several staff that were not fully utilized and agreed to give it a try before they let the extra people go due to lack of business.
Now they are happy to have been able to do it and with the business increase they are looking to expand rather than let people go. When I asked if they would consider a similar offer in the future, they quickly responded yes, but they needed to add and properly train staff first to keep up with their business before the would consider financing another growth spurt like the one they have received from the offer.