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Price vs Value – A Case Study



This is a very interesting letter we received from a great client.  On her own she compared our company, Professional Carpet Systems, with another one (we’ve changed the name).  It really proves the point of price vs value.  We hope you enjoy.


Project: Carpet Cleaning – A Comparison of 2 Firms operating around the central CT Area -Comments:

Two firms were contacted in the third week of June 2008 and asked to provide a quotation for the cleaning of a kitchen, half bathroom, lounge, stairs, landing and a master bedroom. It was explained that there were seven people occupying the house including 5 children and a cat.  The 2 firms contacted were Professional Carpet Systems (a franchise of an international flooring specialty service company) and ABC Company a local company based out of South Windsor.

Both companies were equally pleasant, professional helpful, and courteous when contacted and both offered cleaning appointments with just a few days to wait.

However, the prices quoted were radically different.  PCS costing around 130% more than ABC Company.

Both firms were asked to come and provide their cleaning services. Since PCS offered a 100 square feet free trial offer they were taken up on that offer and scored exclusively on how they performed in cleaning that area. ABC Company was scored on how well they performed in cleaning the remaining 600 square feet of carpet.



Two PCS male personnel arrived punctually wearing PCS logo uniform. They introduced themselves courteously and spent around fifteen minutes measuring the carpet area, looking at where there were stains and asking questions about the origins and ages of the stains. They confirmed their quotation and then asked about which area of carpet they could demonstrate their services on as the trial area.

The area PCS was asked to clean was the most substantially stained and soiled area of the household. It is the area of the living room leading in from the front door and where the TV is situated. All the members of the household walk through, sit, play, and eat in that area daily. That area of carpeting was spotted with a multitude of different types of stains ranging from different stains from foods and beverages.

PCS took five minutes to get their equipment set up. Their tank remained in their truck, which was parked in the driveway and they used their engine to heat it. They brought a sprayer and first sprayed a thin layer of detergent upon a section of the carpet and then used a steam cleaner combined with suction device attached to a long hose which lead back to the truck.

PCS spent around thirty minutes on the 100 square foot area. They worked through small sections of carpet methodically and thoroughly covering around 8-10 square feet at a time. In each area they worked on each stain individually as well as performing a general clean. At the sides of the carpet they paid special attention to removing the black edge soil and even cleaned the baseboards.

The transformation from a much stained and soiled section of carpet to a light beige almost pristine section of carpet was close to miraculous. There was almost no evidence of the former staining or soiling except for the very faint remains of a small red stain.

The PCS personnel accepted without any argument or pressure the refusal to enter into a contact to perform any more cleaning and packed up their items and left the house pleasantly and courteously even offering to supply a booklet on how to remove spots and stains from carpets between cleanings.

The carpet took around six hours to fully dry and on inspection looked very clean and much brighter in color.


ABC Company

ABC Company was initially scheduled to start cleaning at 12:30pm but after a request to move the time forward the start time agreed to come at 11:30am. The change in time was agreed pleasantly and with helpful courtesy. However, despite the rescheduling, the solo ABC Company cleaner arrived very close to 12:30pm as initially scheduled. The cleaner was pleasant and as well turned out in a logo bearing uniform.

The ABC Company cleaner viewed the areas that he was due to clean but showed little interest in the stains; instead he exhibited much more interest in the few pieces of furniture to be moved.

Set up took around thirty-five minutes with the cleaner bringing his tank close to the front door and plugging into an electric outlet of the house. He then proceeded to fill his tank with hot water and waited for it to heat up further.

Cleaning started in the kitchen and proceeded swiftly, the cleaner claimed to have finished cleaning the kitchen, Half bathroom, and the remaining half of the living room after around fifteen minutes, most of which he worked without supervision. Upon very close cursory inspection it was clear that the cleaner had not cleaned any of the edges and upon request the cleaner made an attempt to vacuum up some of the crumbs in those places but grumbled that he should already have finished his work for the day and it was unreasonable fussiness. The cleaner made little attempt to remove stains in those places despite being requested to. He said that his equipment did not enable him to remove stains or soil around the edges.

At that point the cleaner was told he would receive a large tip if he put his effort into performing a good clean. The cleaner stopped grumbling and moved upstairs again proceeding to work swiftly without supervision and claiming to have finished the upstairs master bedroom and landing after around ten minutes. The cleaner then claimed to have cleaned the stairway after another five minutes but after being prompted that the stairway still had grime showing on it he made some further effort spending another five minutes on the stairs. The cleaner then stated that he had spent almost twice as long as scheduled in the house and that he could not do anymore. When asked about Teflon coating that had been paid for in addition to the cleaning he said that was in the liquid that he used.

After being paid $130 for the cleaning and a $30 tip the cleaner said a courteous thank you but did not supply a receipt, he left the premises pleasantly but forgot to take a container with him.

The carpet took around twelve hours to dry and on inspection looked somewhat cleaner and brighter but most of the stains were just as evident and the edges were still very grimy. In several areas including around the toilet and behind the door the cleaner had quite obviously failed to perform any cleaning at all since the area was completely dry.


A week later:

The area PCS cleaned is still clean and spot free. The area that ABC Company cleaned is now showing many of the spots and stains that initially seemed to have been eradicated in the cleaning. In the lounge there is a stark difference between the two sections of carpet. With the areas that PCS cleaned looking appreciably brighter than the area ABC Company cleaned.



PCS are more expensive but provide a truly professional service actually eliminating stains and soil and thoroughly cleaning the carpet.

ABC Company provides a service similar to that which you can obtain using a cheap home system. However, because they restrict the time of their cleaners so dramatically, they have no time to tackle any stains so the effect is much less impressive than when a household cleaner cleans his own carpets. The spots they appear to remove at cleaning annoyingly pop back up. Also, because ABC Company apparently fails to provide the equipment necessary to do sides and edges, those remain disappointingly grimy.


In summary if you need a carpet properly cleaned it would be well worth the extra money to use PCS. If you can’t afford PCS just buy a home system and do the cleaning yourself.

Report from Sarah Hougie

Central Connecticut

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