Letter to the Editor

As seen in Cleanfax Magazine, 2007

Let me start by saying I’ve been in this industry since 1985 as a cleaner, and since 1999 as a micro-manufacturer and distributor.

I can’t tell you how sick and tired I am about hearing about carpet warranties. What a bunch of baloney. The carpet manufacturers are in it to make money just like the pharmaceutical companies. The end result isn’t always very consumer-based, meaning it’s about the money.

When is the last time you had a customer bring up their warranty? Or even know about or understand it?  The last time for me was at a large nursing home about five years ago. They were told – believe it or not – that if they hot-water extracted their printed, cut pile nylon product that it would void their warranty. After six months, they no longer cared about the so-called warranty. What’s my point? They trusted me enough to clean the carpet properly and thought that this would be worth their precious warranty sacrifice.

In relation to the number of yards of carpet sold, I wonder what is the amount of carpet that warranty claims are filed on and of that amount how much of that carpet is actually replaced under warranty? I would image it’s very small.

Again, the mills want to make money. That’s well and good, but at what costs to us? Hot-water extraction is and probably always will be king. However, the No. 2 method – bonnet – and maybe very soon encapsulation, is slowly trying to be removed by the manufacturers.

Does it really damage the fiber? I have not seen this in my two decades of experience. I run both hot water and low moisture. Or could it be that if they can remove the No. 2 methods of carpet maintenance, they can shorten the life of the carpet, which in turn sells more carpet.

Is this more politics than science? Or maybe about the few getting in to see the bosses at these mills and selling their system as best. Or maybe it comes from, the same people that sell political correctness that you should accept something that you know in your gut is wrong.

Take a carpet and a shoe. In most cases, a hard form of rubber that without lubrication is dragged or slid over the carpet. Let’s not mention the force of the person’s weight times their speed, and the amount of time per hour/day in any given location that this occurs, and this is acceptable for carpet fibers.

Now the manufacturers want to remove a method that uses a relatively soft pad that is lubricated, and on the carpet in any one given area maybe a couple of seconds per month – and this is harmful?

Don’t worry about these so-called big issues just because you read about them in some magazines.  Don’t let these people impose their will on you. The sky isn’t falling and there are tens of thousands of us and only a few of them. There will always be dirt to be moved and you will always have a job for people who don’t know or care about a warranty that in the end does little for them.

Do we need to be educated, absolutely! Should we hear about the newest fads in our industry? Sure, why not. Should we lose sleep over it? I won’t. How about you? Remember, as professional cleaners we spend a lot of money. When I spend my money I don’t let people tell me how I must spend it. I’m in control.

Don’t be afraid to let your distributors know there are certain things you won’t accept and let them pass it back up the food chain.

We need the carpet manufacturers but they also need us, otherwise tile and wood will start to cover more and more surfaces, cutting into their profits.

by John H. Klucznik, Founder of Bonnet Pro and Key Floor Care

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