Something We Don’t Need: A Retailer Playing Loose with Facts on Eliminating Allergies
The headline reads, “Eliminate Allergies With Beautiful Hardwood Flooring.” The opening sentence proclaims that the store owner knows the many benefits of hardwood flooring versus carpet, followed by, “His expertise was reinforced by a recent phone call from a customer suffering from allergies. The customer indicated he wanted to remove the carpet, hoping that would help.”
The carpet had been installed over a 26-year period. Not exactly new. I don’t know if you are ready for this statement from the retailer: “The customer was shocked to see the filth and dust cloud that appeared as the 1,500 square feet of carpeting was removed. It was a breeding ground for billions of dust mites and quite a few silverfish and insects as well.” Obviously the store owner has great eyesight, because he could see dust mites.
And then came his happy conclusion: “Shortly after removal of the carpet, the customer felt and looked like a different person. Gone were the bags under his eyes, his face looked brighter and he smiled a great deal more. He eagerly asked that the rest of his carpet be removed as soon as possible.” The store owner said he feels he has “participated in the healing of this customer,” adding, “he was a patient diagnosed and treated with a dose of hardwood flooring.”
I shared this publicity release with several people in the industry — all of whom are involved in wide spectrum of floor coverings, including wood and carpet. Have to tell you they are all as disturbed as I am by this kind of selling tactic. And I assume you are, too. All asked whether the carpet in question had been regularly vacuumed and professionally cleaned (if ever) during its extremely long life. All considered this release to be a misrepresentation. Some called it an advertising hype.
Pat Fell of L. Fishman & Son summarizes the feeling of many of us, saying, “I doubt that the carpet was the sole source of the problem. Silverfish, and other insects?? This customer had a moisture problem, to say the least. Possible mold and mildew. Regarding the “cloud of dust,” CRI 105 clearly states that carpet should be vacuumed prior to removal to eliminate this problem.
Ed Korczak, executive director of the National Wood Flooring Association, voices an opinion shared by the majority in the industry: “ I believe all products should be sold on the basis of the advantages they deliver and not by making negative comments about other products.” We couldn’t agree more. Success is achieved by selling floors that fulfill the decorating desires of the customer and deliver satisfactorily performance.
We invite your comments. You can e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org or write/fax us at 22801 Ventura Blvd., #115, Woodland Hills, CA 91364; (818) 224-8042.