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Chem-Dry review: Scam and cheating

T
Author of the complaint
10:50 am EDT
Review updated:
Resolved
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I must agree with virtually all of the negative comments left on this site by 'disgruntled' former Chem-Dry franchisees. That Chem-Dry's spokesmen would choose to (feebly) answer all of the complaints lodged here by former franchisees by trying to marginalize them by labeling them in such a way pretty much sums up their attitude: Arrogant.

I purchased two Chem-Dry franchises back in the early 1990's; one in Florida and one when I moved back to New Jersey. Every step of the way, Chem-Dry put obstacles in the way of allowing their new franchisees to see a profit. Whether it was the vastly over-priced cleaning supplies they FORCED you to use (which were no better--and in some case, inferior to--than those offered at general supply houses. Even worse was the way they saturated 'your' franchise area with other naive saps. This inevitably led to bad blood between ALL of the franchises in the area that I did business within, and also resulted in price wars that hurt everyone.

Bottom line is, Chem-Dry makes it easy and attractive to get INTO the carpet-cleaning business, but their follow-up bleeding of their franchisees via over-priced supplies and other fees is really a sin. To read that they intend to now take a percentage of their franchisees' earnings is outrageous. They have NO national advertising program almost 20 years ago, and not much has changed right up until today. Turn on your radio and TV; you hear and see plenty of Stanley Steamer and even Rug Doctor commercials. How many CHEM-DRY commercials have you heard or seen? That's right: ZERO.

And for years they provided their franchisees and the potential customers for Chem-Dry with all of the negative advertising you could want about steam-cleaning. 'It DROWNS your carpets'; 'It ruins the backing and padding'';'It takes DAYS to dry'; 'Carbonated cleaning is superior to hot water'.

All lies. Obviously, since Chem-Dry itself embraced the 'hot water' method of cleaning some time ago. Oh well, there went any shred of truth that the carbonated method was superior I guess.

I, too, would like to belatedly apologize to all my steam-cleaning competitors and to the public at large for all of the false, pejorative things I ever stated about other cleaning methods, thanks to the propaganda and lies put out by Harris Research, Inc. and Chem-Dry.

If you are looking to get into the carpet cleaning game, the best advice I can give is for you to buy an existing steam cleaning business, pay the owner a little extra to show you the ropes and sell you the customer lists, and utilize all of the many online resources to purchase high quality, cost-effective carpet and drapery cleaning products. By judiciously researching all of the different machines and products out there, you should be able to put together a nice little carpet cleaning company for under $40K, a reliable, used van or pickup truck with cap included.

I eagerly await the day when the state and federal governments for once and for all crack down on Chem-Dry for their insidious business practices.

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Resolved

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17 comments
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A
Oct 14, 2019 10:47 pm EDT

"The UN franchise Franchise " a historical quote!

A
Oct 14, 2019 10:45 pm EDT

Franchisee takes almost ALL risk as a business owner but is in a management position. Hmmmm, American dream? It's not what it use to be "The franchise franchise " LOL.

C
Oct 04, 2017 11:07 am EDT
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

Can anyone help us? We own a franchise and hoping to not declare bankruptcy...

C
Apr 27, 2022 2:49 pm EDT
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

Hello did you ever receive help on this? I am going through the same thing and hoping for some insight!

G
Apr 08, 2016 9:12 pm EDT

I also was a diehard Chem-Dry owner in the Northern States. It all went down hill after the original owner sold off. I originally bought into the Chem-Dry franchise because it was fairly low cost and you could work your own hours part or full time. With each turnover to investment companies I was on the 3rd more rules were added to your conract. Fess raised, my insurance tripled in price and Chem-Dry only has a couple insurance adgencies that will allow their rules to aplly so your stuck. I got out a few years [email protected]@k Chemdry. they owed me over 2k for corporate work I did but never paid it because I didn't hand over my custhey owed me for tomer database! That's mine! Then to top it off I send them back the proprietary machine I bought the 1500 that was well not refunded because I didn't give them my database again. So [email protected]@k Chem-Dry. your patent has expired years ago which is why you switched to steam cleaning. I have a 4k customer database you will never see and I am finally making money after getting out of this sorry excuse for a franchise.

C
Oct 04, 2017 11:06 am EDT
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more
Replying to comment of Ginohio

What did you end up doing to get out? We're dealing with them right now...

E
Sep 27, 2015 6:20 am EDT
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

I owned a Chem-Dry franchise in Australia. Unfortunately, it has been the biggest regret of my life. I paid a set monthly royalty fee of nearly $500 for which I received very, very little. Soon after purchasing their over priced start up package and "exclusive" chemicals (which were no better than locally bought products), I realised that I was out on my own, I was forking out advertising $$$ to promote their brand out of my pocket.

My advice to anyone thinking of getting involved in carpet cleaning is: invest in a training course or two, then buy your own gear. Instead of paying rip off royalties for next to nothing, put that money into building your own business and not lining the pockets of some silver spooned rich kids who couldn't give a monkies whether you make a living or not.

Beware, chem-dry have burnt so many hard working people, one day it's going to catch up with them, I don't know how they sleep at night.

C
Oct 04, 2017 11:05 am EDT
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more
Replying to comment of Exchemdry

Did you have to declare bankruptcy? We're going through this and wondering if there's any way to fight them?

As a former franchise owner--I can tell you that we worked hard, in no way were we ever given a break by chem -dry: They wrote us letters that we had to have people staffing our home office. You cannot have a answering machine. I found that they get you on program and then there is no support system in place.

No ads, no referrals to help you out don't do it unless you know a good bankruptcy attorney.

K
Jan 11, 2013 7:34 pm EST
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

LS01, Perma25 and Dleibo are you all talking about AA Chem-Dry of North Jersey - Dan Kramer. I have also had a problem with him fabricating what he said at time of starting work and receiving inflated invoice for work that was never done. Now being threatened with collections. Would love to know if all having problem with same guy and what you've done about it - [email protected] Thanks.

P
Jan 10, 2013 4:50 pm EST
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

To dleibo and LSo1. I am also going to court against Dan. Please contact me! [email protected]

L
Jul 29, 2012 6:31 am EDT
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

To dleibo...I would love to talk. I just e-mailed you, and hope you will contact me ASAP

D
Jul 28, 2012 9:06 am EDT

I am having a similar experience with Dan that is going to court. I would love your help!
Please contact me at [email protected] ASAP!

L
May 26, 2012 12:21 am EDT
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

Please...please...please! Stay away from this company! AA Chem Dry of North Jersey, Hewitt, NJ especially! They are way too expensive and unscrupulous, which unfortunately I found out after they performed "emergency" services while using scare tactics, making me feel I did not have the luxury of comparing prices - afterward learning they double the price for EVERYTHING!). The owner, Dan, totally took advantage of the knowledge that I was recently faced with living alone, and leading me to believe he will be able work with you based on what your homeowners policy would cover - but just planning to use that information to price the job. When all was said and done, he led me to believe that the cleanup AND carpet replacement would be easily covered with the insurance coverage, but in reality only covered the cleanup. PLUS carpet replacement was to cost $3000+. NOTE: The pricing received later from several local competitors was half the cost, and they indicated they work toward saving your carpet, if possible, and then will re-install. After trying to work with them and negotiate a settlement for a year, with no success, they do not budge and insist on ripping you off. Totally disgusting! Learn from my mistake and STAY AWAY!

O
Feb 28, 2011 11:10 am EST

Interesting there offering franchise deals here in Australia just seen an advertising for chemdry franchise on tv, . thank god for the internet

C
Sep 28, 2009 7:54 pm EDT

I have a question about PURT. Since you owned a franchise, can this product leave stains? I had my expensive mattress cleaned by ChemDry. About 3 months ago, we noticed a bit of a yellowish tinge to our mattress. Now, it is obvious. Where ever this product was sprayed on our mattress, the mattress is yellow. The lady I spoke with and I had a communication error or something. She incorrectly wrote something that she is assuming that I said.
I would like to get some information on this product called PURT. If you have any, I would appreciate it.
Thanks,
CM

K
Jul 30, 2009 6:40 pm EDT

I had my carpets chem dried about a year ago and just couldn't figure out if my eyes were starting to go or if our carpet was yellowing. Day in and day out as I would vacumn, I noticed the yellowing was in very distinct circular motion, as if a chemical or cleaner had been put on the carpet from a bottle in a circular motion. We have a beige varigated carpet color and it was hard to distinguish at first but I finally figured it had to be from when our carpets were last cleaned by chem dry. The yellowing was very obvious when I moved a piece of large furniture that was in place when it was cleaned.
Do you have any insight on the chem dry process?

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20 complaints
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