This week’s featured Tips N Chat Throwback post is an open letter to all carpet cleaners regarding advertising practices. This ran in the First Quarter 1977 issue of Tips N Chat, the “magazine published for the benefit and enjoyment of on-location carpet cleaners”. Remember to check back every Thursday for a new throwback post!
OPEN LETTER TO ALL CARPET CLEANERS:
Advertising... Keep It Clean
The accompanying article about a carpet and upholstery cleaning business accused of false advertising and unfair business competition brought to our attention the need for the professional carpet cleaner to build a good name and standing for his profession.
Professional carpet cleaners need to beware of following "bait and switch" advertising factions who toss around fraudulent statements just to catch the eye of the consumers. If a carpet cleaner advertises to clean a carpet for $8.00, then he should charge only $8.00. If he really wants $20.00 for the job, then he should advertise the fee as $20.00.
The type of false advertising referred to in the news article has been discussed and discouraged by the Carpet Cleaning Trade Association Council. Similarly, representatives of various major trade associations are encouraging their members to advertise legitimate prices for legitimate jobs.
Unfortunately, the people who fail to practice good advertising tactics are, for the most part, business people who aren't members of professional groups. Evidently, they don't realize the trouble they cause for others.
Ed York, Executive Director of SCT, in a special message to SCT members encourages them to take a copy of this article "Carpet Cleaning Firm Accused of False Advertising" to their local newspapers and business associations to make it clear that their own advertising will not follow the accused carpet cleaner's example, but will be completely honest and above-board. As mentioned before, the professional carpet cleaner must do everything he can to promote a good name and honest relationship with the consumers.
Transcribed below is the aforementioned newspaper article:
Carpet Cleaning Firm Accused of False Advertising
Santa Ana - The District Attorney's Office Thursday filed a consumer fraud lawsuit against a Santa Ana carpet and upholstery cleaning business, alleging false advertising and unfair business competition.
Named as defendant in the civil action filed in Superior Court was Ben Timmons, doing business as Carpet Masters.
According to the complaint, Carpet Masters falsely advertised that the firm would clean a carpet for $8 when the minimum charge actually was $20, and that the firm would clean the carpeting in a house for $29.95, when actually this price applied only to a one-bedroom residence.
The lawsuit seeks $2,500 in civil penalties for each violation of state laws and an injunction prohibiting future violations or any price advertising not accompanied by clear descriptions of any conditions or limitations.
~ Ed York (1977)