I was chatting with another carpet cleaner (who shall remain anonymous) the other day about pricing. His web page had a large section devoted to avoiding "bait and switch" companies who advertize a low price per room to get in the door, and then increase the price on you later. He was insistent that the people who did business like that were pretty horrible people, and I agreed. He then went on later in the conversation to tell me about how the jobs he cleans are never for the price listed on his web page, That the jobs are usually almost double of any stated prices he has. I called him out on this and asked how is this different then "bait and switch!!" He explained that he always told people the price of the job BEFORE he started to clean (even though it's double of what they were expecting) He viewed this as an up-sale, not bait and switch....
It's sad that the companies who seem to advertise "no bait-and-switch" are the ones who "upsell" the most.
I understand that there are services that a carpet cleaner offers that require an extra charge, I charge more if a customer adds another room, rug, or upholstery. But this cleaner was habitually charging way more if the carpet was "heavily soiled" a term used to say that the carpet actually looks dirty, which is the reason you call a carpet cleaner in the first place. I think that this is the more common bait and switch then a surprise at the end of a job.
I used to get frustrated that the prices I advertize are in the same range as others, but I kept getting calls that my over the phone quote was so much less then every ones else. Now I realize that this is because other cleaners raise their prices quite routinely and advertise low prices just to get calls. It's no way to build customer loyalty.
The prices on my web page are my real prices, customers can expect to pay this and nothing more. No nonsense pricing combined with prompt professional service and a 100% guarantee, makes our customers happy.