Big Red Carpet Cleaning by John Vogt

Have you ever heard of the saying “its just business, its not personal?”  That statement could not be further from the truth in this city.

Anchorage is still a relatively small community and people here like to develop a relationship with people they do business with.  If you do a great job then word will travel fast.  Should you do an awful job then your bad reputation will travel even faster.

Hey, its me John Vogt

I started this business back in 2004.  I bought the business from a guy who was doing well but wanted to leave Alaska.  He could not take the cold weather.  Originally, I had purchased this business for my younger brother.  It was not my intention at all to run it.  I have over 50 rental properties in the Anchorage area (at the time I had 30) and I also wanted to have the equipment to clean my own places out whenever somebody moved.

Well, my brother found out that he hated carpet cleaning.  He lasted a couple weeks and then quit.  I had spend tens of thousands of dollars on a brand new business for him and he just walked away. Talk about being angry!

Never being the one to let anything fail that I am associated with I paid another carpet cleaner in Anchorage to show me how to do it.  I went with him a couple times on his jobs and he showed me what to do.

The first thing you notice in this business is how difficult it is.  It is not easy.  There is a lot more to it than just pushing a special wand around.  After the typical four room house I am dripping with sweat.

Since then I have tweaked some things.  I tested out various chemicals to find out which ones work the best.  I have learned how to get wine, blood and dirt spots out of a a carpet.  It seems that with every passing year I am able to add to my tool belt a little.

When people think about us they think mainly, and for good reason, about getting their carpets cleaned. That is not inaccurate but we also do more than that. We do more than that.  Big Red does carpet cleaning, steam cleaning and rug cleaning.  We are known as carpet cleaners, rug cleaners and steam cleaners all in one.

Know What You Are Getting BeforeHand

Don’t you hate it when you think you are paying one price for a service (usually the one they advertised) and it turns out to  be another.  I used to work for a cable company and this would routinely be the case.  We would advertise $99.00 for a bundle package but after you included the boxes, modem, taxes and fees it would be more like $126.

Now when it comes to some additional costs like taxes and regulatory fees most companies cannot help but to charge their customers for that.  Anchorage does not have sales tax but if they did a company offering any goods or services would have to pass the cost along.

Watch Out For Carpet Cleaners Who Bait You With Low Prices

But many companies that offer carpet cleaning services make it their standard business practice to advertise extremely low rates and then add on to that price once they are at a person’s home.  Its like the quick lube model.  Come in for a routine cheap oil change for $19.99 and end up leaving with a $200.00 bill.

Why can’t people practice ethical and transparent business practices?  Why can’t we live in a world where we are told exactly what to expect and exactly what we are going to get? Is that wishful thinking?

When it comes to carpet cleaning here is what I would like to state, for the record:

  • Everyone has the same costs.
  • Everyone more or less uses the same chemicals.
  • Everyone uses the same machines, some newer than others.
  • Everyone has to pay taxes.
  • Everyone has storage space and warehouse payments.
  • Everyone has vehicle and insurance payments to make.

I am not trying to sound like a violin at all.  I am trying to appeal to your logical side.  If we all have the same costs then how can one person charge more than half the costs of the other guys and make money?  How can one company charge $49.99 for three rooms when everyone else needs to charge triple that amount.

Several things: either he will be out of business soon, doesn’t have insurance or is planning to do the old bait and switch tactic.

Do yourself a favor and do business with a cut & dry carpet cleaning company.  If not me then someone else.  We have all been talked into getting a seemingly cheaper deal only to find out later that we paid more than we thought we would.  Everyone has heard the saying that you get what you pay for and yet many of us forget that sometimes.

Its February and winter is in full swing.  Most residents are not getting their carpets cleaned during this time of the year. Most feel that they are just going to get dirty again in a matter of days.  My peak times are spring and fall season. Call me if you have any questions or would like to get a free estimate for your house, condo, town home or apartment. I primarily do new move outs or move-ins and try to stay away from homes with a lot of furniture.

When you call me you can expect me to be straightforward and explain exactly what you are going to get.  I do not care what everyone else charges and have no interest in being the cheapest. My goal is to give people excellent service at a fair price.  Its worked for me so far.  I’m also a very funny guy and will on occasion do a five minute stand up routine for you when I come by :)

John Vogt

Big Red Carpet Cleaning

3701 Clay Products Dr

Anchorage, AK 99517

Carpet Cleaning Prices

When we first started off our deal was 3 rooms for $99.  That was back in 2003 and it worked great.  Unfortunately if I still had those prices I would be out of business quick.  Now the special I offer for vacant places is the first 2 rooms* and a hall for $100. Carpets and rugs with spots or stained carpets as well as Exceptionally dirty carpets may cost extra. Call for carpet cleaning pricing. Area rugs made of wool or exotic materials, we can refer you to someplace that specializes in that. Its still a great deal and we can negotiate if you have any special requests.

As I stated in another post I would be very suspicious of carpet cleaning companies charging really low rates. You can be sure that they are indeed using a “bait and switch technique” and you will be paying a lot more at the end of the day.  Sure there are specials out there and during the year I routinely give them.

But there is no way you can get three rooms for $45.  I do not care where you are there is no way.  This is a scam!  I do not care if you live in Anchorage or Houston no business can operate with those prices.

If you would like to have your carpets cleaning by a professional with no extra BS please call us. 907-727-3849

(*Up to 150 sqft each room)

Avoiding Anchorage Carpet Cleaners Who Are Unethical

In Anchorage, along with every other city in the US, carpet cleaning and rug cleaning is one of the most competitive industries to be in.  There are quite a few people doing it and there are a lot of people who need their carpets cleaned.

Many carpet cleaners anchorage come and go in this particular niche.  A large percentage of the local carpet cleaners will do anything they can to get a new customer. Some of them are less than ethical (ie. the bait and switch).  The more informed you are as a customer the better position you will be in.

The bail and switch technique, as mentioned earlier, is a common trick many local carpet cleaning companies in Anchorage use.  What is it?  Since the market is competitive there is tremendous pressure to beat the other guy’s price.  A business will advertise really low rates to get people to call them and schedule appointments.  Later on though they are charged something completely different.

Keep in mind that when you see an extremely low rate there is most likely something up.  No full size home in Anchorage can have its carpets cleaned for less than $200.  If you see a lower price then you are setting yourself up if you fall for it.

You can find a lot of reviews about companies online.  The BBB is a great place to look.  I love that organization though I refuse to join.  I just cannot see paying almost $500 a year to be part of their “elite” organization. If it were a little bit more reasonable I would jump on it but they are gauging small businesses.

Here is some further advice.

When you call us, or any other carpet cleaner, do not just ask how much they charge.

Spell out in detail the job you need them to do.

This includes

  • how many rooms you have
  • spills? stains?
  • if you  have pets
  • when was the last time you had your carpets cleaned
  • where you live
  • time and date you would like the service done

Only after you give a carpet cleaning Anchorage business all the necessary details can he give you an honest and fair quote you both can live with.  It is not pleasant at all when I am given HALF the information I need to make an honest estimate and I end up having to raise the prices later because I found out there was more to it then I realized.

Hopefully you have been educated by this post, or tirade, and will be in a better position to pick the best carpet cleaner this city has to offer.

Speaking of bait and switch, this is the reason I do not trust phone books.  They do kind of the same thing.  A large phone book company (3rd largest) in Anchorage called the Ram has been caught in alleged advertising fraud.  Apparently they told their customers, small businesses, that they were going to distribute a certain amount of phone books.  Well guest what?  They lied.  To cut costs they reduced their books by half and did not bother to tell anyone (wonder why?).

Ah, the old bait and switch…..

I guess the more things change they still always stay the same, even in Alaska.

New Industrial Carpet Cleaners from Daimer

Amazing!  In a carpet cleaning news article I recently read Daimer has released a new industrial carpet cleaning machine that can get ice cold water up to 210 degrees (98.9 Celsius) in five minutes.

Wow!

It usually takes my machine way longer than five minutes for all of the water to fully heat.  I did not even know that Daimer made carpet cleaning machines but apparently they do.  Wondering where in Anchorage I can get one of those machines and how much would it cost.

They also include a large amount of want, auto dump (saves a lot of time), auto re-fill, extended length, and several solution chambers. It is also supposed to speed drying by two hours.