Carpet "Bait and Switch"
Fletcher - Carpet Expert & Consumer Advocate
and switch scam is a simple but easy scam
for most unscrupulous carpet dealers to get away with, it's where the
customer orders a carpet with a certain face-weight and density, and then a lesser-grade or quality is delivered. Many carpet styles come in several grades where it is
difficult to tell them apart. Most homeowners can't tell the difference
between face-weights and may never know they have been scammed.
example, there may be three face-weights available in a certain carpet style
like 38, 40 and 42 ounces. The carpet salesperson may show you the 42-ounce carpet
and then deliver the 38-ounce carpet thinking you will never know the
difference. The salesperson then can make more commission on the sale
because the cost is less for the lower face-weight carpet.
only one sure-fire way to guard against this common carpet scam, and that is
to keep the original carpet sample until your new carpet arrives and check
them side by side when they deliver your new carpet. It's also
important to have the exact name of the carpet style and specific
face-weight of the carpet you ordered written down on the invoice or bill of
carpet dealers won't let you keep the carpet sample more than a few days, if
at all. They may say that it is their only sample and they need it to show
other customers who are interested in seeing it. If this is the case with
your carpet dealer, you can always take the time to write down all the
information on the carpet sample and compare it to the paperwork that
arrives with the carpet you ordered.
you are suspicious about their actions or think they are trying to hide
information from you, then you may want to buy carpet from another dealer.
Two Rolls of Carpet are Exactly Alike
you know, the carpet sample and the actual carpet that the manufacturer
delivers to you may not be exactly the same. There can be some minor color
variances and some slight differences in the feel or look of the carpet.
This is normal and should be expected. Don't freak out if there are some
minor differences, but if there are obvious differences in the face-weight, color
or texture, you should not allow them to install the carpet until you are
completely satisfied that this is the same carpet that you ordered.
Easy To Forget What You Ordered!
looking at dozens of colors many homeowners become dazed and confused. It's
quite common for some homeowners to forget what color or style they ordered by the
time their new carpet actually arrives. It may take several weeks for your new carpet to
arrive from the mill and often times, many homeowners aren't sure what color they
actually ordered. This is why it is very important to write down all the
specifications about the carpet you ordered, the style name, color number,
face-weight, and anything else that is shown on the label.
same holds true for the padding you order. You need to know the type, style,
thickness and density of the pad you ordered. That way there can be no
confusion when the actual pad shows up to be installed.
What if they deliver a different quality
than I ordered?
Q. What happens when the carpet comes in and it does not
appear to be the same type, style, weave, or loop?
I just purchased some nylon Berber carpet. However,
the weave or loop is much larger than the sample and I have concerns
about the nylon pulling. I like the smaller loop. The larger looks like
the yarns have been snagged or pulled.
Sometimes mistakes are made and the wrong carpet is sent
out from the mill. This is not a scam, just a mishap and it is not a common occurrence.
On the other hand, some unscrupulous carpet retailers may
try to do the old "switcheroo". For example, you order a 42-ounce
carpet and they deliver a 38-ounce carpet hoping you don't notice the
difference. On a big job they can easily pocket hundreds by ordering a
slightly lower grade than you originally selected.
About My Carpet Buying Guide
If you suspect the style or color is not quite what you
ordered there may be a simple explanation. I find it is often true that
homeowners forget which carpet they finally selected. After looking at
hundreds of samples it can be mind boggling! If you are sure that your
memory is accurate and something is just not right, then you must go on to
the next step...
You need to read your carpet
warranty and get your hands on the original carpet sample that you
ordered from. If you have ordered carpet from a carpet retailer and the
carpet does not closely match the carpet sample, you have every right to
refuse the carpet. You should expect to get the same carpet quality,
style and color you ordered, so contact
the retailer and ask them to look into it.
If there is a noticeable
difference they should reorder the carpet and there should not be any
additional cost to you. However, if the difference between the
actual sample you ordered from and the carpet you actually received is within reasonable
you may not have a valid claim. The manufacturer's warranty typically
says that there may be slight variances between the carpet sample and the
actual carpet that is delivered.
You have to prove, (with the help of
your carpet retailer) to the carpet manufacturer that the carpet is
significantly different than the original carpet sample in order to win your claim. This can be very difficult and time consuming. This is
one of those common carpet scams I discuss in my Complete Carpet
Top Ten Carpet Information Pages:
History of Carpet
Bait and Switch Scam (You are here)
to Choose Carpet
Your Level of Foot Traffic
Fibers 1 Nylon and Olefin
Polyester and Sorona®
Carpet Dealer Directory
Complete Carpet Buying Guide