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Carpet Inspection

By Michael Hilton

In unusual cases, when you have carpet problems and need to file a carpet claim with the carpet manufacturer, an unbiased, third-party carpet inspector may be called in to provide a carpet inspection and detailed report. The carpet inspector, by design, does not favor one party over the other and is asked to make a determination as to the true cause of the carpet problems.

During my tenure as a manufacturer's representative, I made all of my own inspections. During this period, I made over 600 inspections. During the latter years, many carpet manufacturers turned inspections over to third party inspectors, because it made dollars and sense, to keep their salespeople in the field selling.

There are a number of inspection certification firms, that certify or train carpet inspectors, but the best inspectors seem to split time between carpet cleaning and carpet inspection. There are many exceptions to this rule though.

The carpet industry, as a whole, neither endorses or discourages the use of a third-party inspector as you might guess, but if a situation ever ends up in a Magistrate Court, the view of the third-party inspector becomes the rule of law.

If you've read our filing a carpet claim section, the typical chronology goes something like this.

  1. The consumer contacts the local carpet retailer or Dalton, GA carpet wholesaler. The local retailer should send out the salesperson to evaluate whether the claim is justified and has merit. In my experience, a high percentage of carpet claims are installation-related, and since the retailer sub-contracts installation, this is much like asking the house cat to babysit the family hamster. An ethical retailer should immediately fix the problem without further involvement by any secondary parties.
  2. Inevitably, the claim ends up with the manufacturer. A Dalton, GA carpet wholesaler typically contacts the installer you hired to examine the installation to make an inspection and/or contacts the carpet manufacturer's claims representative for an inspection. The local carpet retailer contacts the manufacturer at this point.
  3. The next step is variable, depending upon the manufacturer, the local manufacturers representative is dispatched to make a determination. This may be necessary, but is typically not recommended. This may sound strange, but let's face it, manufacturers representative of today are not the true professionals of old. Manufacturers moved away from seasoned carpet professionals in the 1980's in favor of recent college graduates. In the old days, we true professionals knew the product and its characteristics. After the StainMaster launch of 1986, carpet manufactures found they could hire 4 recent college graduates for the cost of every carpet professional. This is much better than finding a carpet inspector in India, though.
  4. Sometimes rather than step 3, a third party inspector is dispatched to make an unbiased determination. This is the preferred method of operation.
  5. At this point, patience is required. It may take 6 weeks for the inspection report to be processed and a final determination is established. If it takes longer than 6 weeks, my advice is "be firm but congenial" in making enquiries into your claim. The inspector can't help because his job is completed, but "losing it" will make you appear as a hard-case and human nature will make things harder to be resolved rather than easier

Who Pays the Carpet Inspector?

That Depends. The party making the request of the inspector usually pays for the inspection. It is perfectly acceptable for the inspector to demand payment (if the consumer makes the request) upfront. This is self-protection. I remember flying to Baton Rouge in 1994 to make an inspection for a large hospital there. I had out-of-pocket airfare, food and lodging, and rental car expenses. The complaint was manufacturing related and the manufacturer ended up replacing hundreds of thousand of dollars in carpet, but it took me over 4 months to receive reimbursement for these expenses. From that point, the requesting party sent me airline tickets, paid for my food and lodging, and inspection expenses before I left sunny Dalton, GA.

In some cases, when the claim resides, not with the manufacturer, but the retailer, the consumer may pay for inspection expenses. If the inspection is found in the consumer's favor, it is perfectly acceptable to request that the retailer reimburse the consumer for these expenses.

Where do I find Carpet Inspectors?

There are a number of competing certification services in the market. I do not list them because I always leave someone out and I get hundreds of emails from their certified inspectors who want to know why XYZ is listed and they are not.

We will provide, over time, a listing of carpet inspectors by state within this section, who request that they be listed. We do not charge these inspectors for listing on our site. Therefore, we do not perform background checks, do not make recommendations.

About the Author
Michael Hilton was the original creator of Carpet Buyers Handbook. Having owned and operated a carpet wholesale company, Hilton has a vast knowledge about all-things carpet related as well as other types of flooring.

Other Helpful Links
Carpet Claim Form
Carpet Inspection
Keeping Records of Your New Carpet Purchase
THIS ARTICLE IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' WITH NO WARRANTY OF ANY KIND. THE AUTHOR, THE SITE OWNER AND ITS AFFILIATES ASSUME NO LIABILITY FOR ERRORS OR OMISSIONS CONTAINED THEREIN OR FOR ANY USE OF THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS DOCUMENT. The article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice.