Report: #120441


  • Submitted: Tue, November 30, 2004
  • Updated: Sun, June 29, 2008
  • Reported By: Houston Texas
    3230 Commander
    Corrolton, Texas

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

Kiwi Services stained my carpets the first time they came, and my previous pet stains got worse. Called and scheduled a second visit so they would get rid of the blue stains they made, and they did, but they couldn't get rid of my pet stains. I paid almost $400 for a horrible service and the stains reappeared when the carpets were dry again.

Called again to schedule my 30-day warranty re-do and they said I had already had my re-do the second time they came to remove the blue stains they made the first time. I called them many, many times being told they were going to call me back, they never did.

When I finally got a hold of a supervisor, he agreed on sending people to try to remove the pet stains for the third time, but warned me that there may be a fee associated with the removal.

I am so upset! This has been the worst service ever!!! I wish I had read reports of this company before I hired them.

Houston, Texas
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 11/30/2004 09:40 AM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 UPDATE EX-employee responds

re: Roger

AUTHOR: None - (U.S.A.)

Roger, (and everyone else reading this)

This is Chris, the technician who responded above.

I want to say first that many years ago (2005) I tried to defend the company I was working for. I felt that loyalty to the company and loyalty to my customers was the only ethical approach. I want to apologize to everyone for my comments, although I believed them to be accurate at the time. While most comments were and still are accurate (pH levels etc) I want to clear a few things up.

You are absolutely right when you said I 'was' stuck between the 'coupon guys' etc. etc. I was brainwashed and basically trained to slam steam cleaners. I really didn't have experience with steam cleaning at the time other than a few weeks with a company that had me working with a Panther 10 (the cheapest and weakest steam cleaner available for those who are reading this). I left Kiwi shortly after those comments were posted and began cleaning on my own. At first I used the bonnet method until one day I got tired of people asking me "where does the dirt go" and showing them a slightly dirty bonnet. This became an issue because it was now MY customers and MY company reputation on the line.

Since then I've purchased a Panther 27 (the most powerful that ChemTex makes) and I cannot believe the night and day difference I see in the quality of my work. I am also now certified by the I.I.C.R.C. in Carpet Cleaning, Upholstery Cleaning and Water Damage Restoration.

I am sorry for all of the lies I use to tell the Kiwi customers about steam cleaning, how it soaks the pad, causes mold and mildew and other untrue statements. I honestly believed what I was saying so please don't think I mislead people on purpose.

Since my own company name is now on the line I strive to give the BEST quality I can. I can't believe how much dirt I was leaving in the carpet with bonnet cleaning and claiming that carpets are clean. I can't believe I use to charge extra for spots that a steam cleaner can (and typically will) remove immediately with no extra effort.

My first realization when I started cleaning carpets on my own is how much Kiwi dilutes the chemicals before giving them to the technicians. I didn't understand how to properly apply UPT with a hydroforce in order to treat pet stains. The UPT (or UPS) they gave us was so watered down that it was ineffective and didn't even have that distinct smell. To top it off we were told to dilute it even more in the field.

The enzyme treatment was the lowest grade on the market and all the while I thought it was supposed to be a light light pink, almost clear. Come to find out it's almost a DARK pink when not diluted beyond the point of non-use. Furthermore enzymes are most effective for the first few hours after activating them with hot water. It's no wonder why the treatments are not effective when Kiwi mixes their chemicals in the beginning of the week and they sit on the truck for several days. There was another product called Neutracide that Kiwi uses. When we got it, it was basically clear. The product is actually supposed to be a dark green color.

I think the problem lays with how they paid the managers. They gave them a bonus based on profit margin. While this is fine, one manager refused to even order chemicals at one point in time to raise his pay. He'd tell us to go out in the field with a half full arsenal of cleaners. Combine this with the bonnet cleaning method and it's a recipe for re-do's and customer complaints.

Regarding the dark traffic areas and other problem areas like that, I just thought they were permanent. I would make excuses as to why they didn't come clean and what is sad is that I actually believed what they told me.. that this is the way it is. I'd use so much POG to try to get traffic areas out that the whole house smelled like a gas pump. And to top it all off I LEFT the chemicals in peoples carpet. I feel so terrible for that but I didn't know any better. Now I understand that the water in a steam cleaner is meant to rinse out the carpet completely. I guess it's not a big deal because the POG was cut heavily with mineral spirits and that was also pretty much non-effective. Now I use POG for what it's meant for.. PAINT, OIL and GREASE. And it's RARE that I have to use it since I use high quality prochem pretreatments.

(For those reading POG smells like gasoline and is one of the most unpleasant products to work with or have in your home. It should be used only when ABSOLUTELY necessary and completely rinsed out of the carpet).

I know understand the level of experience that you have and I feel like I've moved from the level of worker to professional carpet restorer. I've been steam cleaning for about 2 years now, on my own, and I NEVER charge extra for spot removal. When I do have to charge extra for pet odor treatments I apply it the correct way which is concentrate in a hydro-force set to 1:9. I rinse out the UPT and then apply the high quality disinfectants (not the enzymes Kiwi uses) I can only imagine what kind of mix ratio I was getting using Kiwi's treatments. 1:32? 1:64? I didn't know any better. I didn't know any better. I didn't know any better. (and no-one at Kiwi does either).

They thrive on the ignorant, customers and technicians alike. I wouldn't even call them technicians. They are guys off the street who don't know anything about anything. It's rare to find a carpet cleaner at Kiwi because anyone with experience will laugh and walk away. At least I would now that I know what I know. If I applied for a job cleaning carpet and they told me I was going to be working with a buffer, I'd walk right out of the interview.

Still, it was a stepping stone for me. I see now that this is my career so I am thankful to Kiwi for showing me what I DON'T want to do and thankful to guys like Roger for showing me what I DO want to do.

Cheers my friend!,
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#2 UPDATE Employee

Roger I respect the experience and tactics you use to clean carpets

AUTHOR: Chris - (U.S.A.)

Roger, before this turns into a "thread" and gets removed by the editor let me just say one thing. I respect the experience and tactics you use to clean carpets and you sound like someone who knows what he is doing. However I have some steam cleaning experience and I know first hand the power of BOTH systems.

One thing you said that absolutely makes sense is that "cleaning is chemistry". Exactly! It's not about how powerful your equipment is, it's about how you treat the carpet whether removing oils, dirt, protein, sugar, browning, urine or any other type of possible damage done to carpet. Dry cleaning is based on exactly that idea, CHEMISTRY!


and FYI, I merely used the term "Oriental rug" to illustrate the value of the rug. I had one particular case in mind (however I've seen a few) where it was infact an Oriental valued at $15,000, cleaned on a $7,000 woodfloor by one of our competitors, Dalworth. The customer was very reluctant to let me clean the rest of her orientals and even showed me pictures of the damages.

After demonstrating my abilites on her wall to wall carpet and a half hour of explaining our delicate process for orientals, solutions we use, knowledge, experience and care, she allowed me to clean, disinfect and protect every oriental in the home. The customer was so pleased with the service that I was asked to return four month later (before easter) to reclean them and again before Christmas. Since then she has been one of my many regular customers and I clean her wall to wall carpets, orientals, upholstry and wax her wood floors on a regular basis.
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#3 Consumer Comment

No Debate I do not wear the carpet out before the homeowner does.

AUTHOR: Roger - (U.S.A.)

Chris, I do not understand your cleaning background. From some of your postings. It looks to me that you are still stuck between the coupon guys, and some moderatly experieced guys. I remember the days that I was in your shoes. I have no intension of making fun of you, other than sharing some of my own experiences. My last post did not show on this sight. But I will say it again. There is life after dry cleaning. I would like to share with you that not every area rug is a oriental. They come from all over the world. Alot of so called dry cleanables, are not dry cleaned. They are wet cleaned. Dry cleaning is a Joke. Animal/human urine can very alot along the PH scale. Alot of area rugs can be cleaned on a wood floor, if you know what you are doing. Now let's explore hot water extraction. I hate to say that as large as Houston is, that I may know less than 10 techs that know how to operate a truck mount. You have to understand that cleaning is Chemistry, and not how powerful your unit is. If You saw how I clean carpet, You would throw that buffer in the trash, and never look back. If You search through this site will understand the method of my madness. I have cleaned against IICRC trained techs that tried to bamboozle me with all of thier knowledge, AND PUT THEM TO SHAME. Most of these so called Highly eperienced IICRC techs posting on this site, were probably in elementary school when I started cleaning carpet. I am very troubled by the fact that some companies advertise that they have the most powerful truckmount equipment wich is BS to me. Cleaning is chemistry. You do not Have to use brut force, or scub a stain into submission. For your info, I only use 300 lb.s @ 160-180 degree heat. I do not wear the carpet out before the homeowner does.
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#4 UPDATE Employee

Re: Roger I am not going to turn this into a debate

AUTHOR: Chris - (U.S.A.)

Roger, I want to take a minute to reply to your responce but I am not going to turn this into a debate on what method is better. First let me make it clear that this is the same person who originally replied to this complaint, I was logged in under a different username at the time because I wanted to file a ripoffreport on a company I'm having trouble with. I did not want to use my real name or location because I did not want the report to effect any possible resolution with the company. Out of curiosity I typed in the name of the company I work for and filled out a rebuttle. I signed the rebuttle with my real name but when posted it removed my real name and inserted the account name and location. I asked the webmaster to change this numerous times but never recieved a reply.

Anyway, if you've tried the bonnet method you will know that the stains you mentioned ARE REMOVED on a regular basis. It is not due to a 300 PSI suction or 275 degree scorching hot water that is sure to weaken fibers and completely eliminate all stain resistant coating on carpets. It is due to properly treating them. I'm sure that you are able to burn out about 10% of pet stains with water tempatures that high but can you remove red kool aid stains that way or the remaining 90% of pet stains? No. I am sure you know why since you have 28 years experience but I will clarify anyway.

I am sure you know know what PH is but in case you do not it stands for power of hydrogen, ie. measure of acidity. When you get a permanent stain on your carpet it is due to an imbalance of the PH. It is not due to the carpet being dirty otherwise regular cleaning will remove it. It has nothing to do with dirt or oil. Urine has an extremely high acidity and has the potential to permanently change the PH structure of the carpet. It is only through PH reversal that a DISCOLORATION such as this can be cured. There is a very big difference between a stain and a discoloration and what you mentioned, 90% of the time is discoloration.

Bonnet cleaning is a very delicate process and does not damage carpet. Furthermore there is no residue left of the carpet therefore the carpet does not "get dirtier quicker" after cleaning. I agree in some cases a steam cleaning is in order, such as 15 year old carpet used in a mechanics shop that is full of oil and has never been cleaned but in a home with normal traffic??

Would you throw a $2000 suit in the $.75 washing machine because it needed a cleaning from normal use?? Of course not. You would take it to the dry cleaners to ensure it is cleaned without excessive heat or potential damage.

As delicate as it is the bonnet method provides a very efficant cleaning. How many times have you had to scrub the kitchen counter top to get it cleaned?? I am sure every person in the world understands the power of a good scrubbing! Imagine getting down on your hands and kneese with 200 lbs of scrubbing power. Wouldn't that do a much better and safer job than running the kitchen sprayer on hot over the counter? Of course it does!

It is impossible to demonstrate, especially over the internet how one method is better than the other because frankly they are both good methods and I believe both methods get the carpets just as clean. The only thing you have to consider is the consequences of each method. On one hand you have a very rough method that is proven to damage carpets, especially with frequent use. But it gets the carpets clean. On the other hand you have a method that is proven safe and effective and dries in about 20 minutes. It's really up to the customer to decide what method is right for them. As technicians all we can do is educate the customer.

However, most importantly neither method is effective in the hands of an inexperienced technician. I've cleaned up a lot of messes left by steam cleaners who did not know what they were doing including pad replacement from oversaturation and mold removal. I've seen steam cleaners clean ORIENTAL RUGS ON WOOD FLOORS damaging both the rug and the floor. I've seen a great deal in the 7 years I've been in the field and heard even more in the additional 3 years I worked in the customer service aspect of the industry. One fact remains however, for every unsatisfied customer there are hundreds of satisfied customers and if both methods are run properly by experienced technicians both can and will be equally effective and produce customer satisfaction.
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#5 Consumer Comment

Dry or Bonnet systems VS . Truckmount Extraction Method

AUTHOR: Roger - (U.S.A.)

I have 28 years experience as a carpet cleaner, and I want someone to show, and prove it to me that dry cleaning is state of the art. Alot of bad things happen to a home owners carpet. With a little common sense I want to pick this confusion apart. The next time you wash your hair I would like for you to get the car buffer from the garage, apply your favorite shampoo, scrub like hell and let dry. Voila! you look like Cher! Nieve carpet owners will panic and use anything on thier carpets to remedy a problem, only making things worse. Homeowners and nonexperieced carpet cleaners use several types of cleaning agents to remove stains that create one hell of a residue that cannot be extracted. Pet stains, sugar, and residue Cannot, and will not be removed by a buffer type cleaning system. I would like for someone to challenge me with this, so I can open my next can of worms.
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#6 UPDATE Employee

Pet stains are acid based stains and require an acid based treatment.

AUTHOR: Mike - (U.S.A.)

I have been an employee and field technican of Kiwi Services for almost 7 years now. I filed a rip off report about another company and decided to put Kiwi in the search engine. I am responding and acting soley on my own without the authority of the owner of any supervisor.

Regarding your complaint I am very sorry to hear that you were unsatisfied with the service and it sounds to me as if the technician who serviced your home was not very experienced unless you are not filing complete information in your report.

Pet stains are acid based stains and require an acid based treatment. The general cleaning comes with the super spotter treatment which is a citrus based cleaner. In some cases this will remove some pet stains but it is impossible for anyone to predict what can and can't be removed without working on the stain.It is even more impossible for someone to predict that over the phone when you book an appointment.

We do charge extra pet stain removal because with proper treatment we are able to get out many stains that other companies will simply tell you are permanent.

This treatment cannot be included because our prices are so low already that adding this extra cost to the cleaning plus the labor it takes to perform this process mulitple times would affect pricing for everyone. Is it fair for you to pay for rust stain restoration or water damage restoration when you don't have any of those problems??

There are three steps taken to treat pet stains. The first would be a topical treatment to remove the browning caused by the stain. The second is a disinfectant to remove the bacteria causing the oder and the third is to either inject the padding with disinfectant if the odor is deep or remove the old padding, clean the concrete and carpet front and back and replace the padding.

This is a very lengthy and labor intensive process and can double or triple the amount of time it takes to do a general cleaning. Without this process being performed noone can gaurantee the removal of pet stains or odor and gaurantee that the stains will not reappear.

Reappearing stains are a deeper problem in the backing and padding of your carpet. There have been cases where customers have REPLACED the carpet but did not replace the padding or clean the concrete beneath. Pet stains started resurfacing on the brand new carpet.

If the technician who arrived did not explain the procedures and give you a "pet stain sheet" containing information then that was the fault of the technician. I am sure he was either new or is no longer with us.

When a technician gets a cetain number of complaints or "re-do's" they are either sent back to training or terminated. Judging from the blue stains that were left I am assuming he was a new techician probably on his first or second week in the field. (although I can't imaging what causes blue stains since nothing we carry is blue). I am not making excuses for this however I am simply explaining what is most probable in my opinion.

The way I work is first I will evaluate the carpets and determine if anything extra needs to be done. I point out ANYTHING that may be a problem and write out an estimate of what it would cost to address the concerns of the customer. I explain that I will try the general cleaning first but if the citrus cleaner does not remove the problem then we have other option. At this point I ask the customer if he/she would like me to begin the general cleaning.

This is the way the technicians are trained to operate when on the RARE occasion they run into something that may be a problem. You cannot judge an entire company by one employee or representative because for every bad employee there is a hundred willing to do whatever it takes to make you happy.
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