Tips N Chat Throwback #21: "Bait and Switch Firm Fined $30,000"

This week’s featured Tips N Chat Throwback post is from the July-August 1981 issue of Tips N Chat. Remember to check back every Thursday for a new throwback post!

A Phoenix, Arizona firm advertised their carpet cleaning special of $11.95 prior to doing the job. The firm would then make disparaging comments about the special and sell a more expensive service. The firm also offered a customer satisfaction guarantee. According to a suit filed by the Arizona Attorney General's office, the firm wouldn't correct any reported problems or take care of shoddy work.

Wayne K. Brown and Jacqueline Aguayo, operators of Springtime Fresh Carpet Cleaners of Phoenix, Arizona admitted the charges, as well as admitting they would sell their clients a protective coating for the fibers, but would actually spray on a solution containing water.

Along with the other charges, Brown and Ms. Aguayo also admitted to misrepresenting their company as Sunshine House Carpet Cleaning. Sunshine is owned by Donald Kristofferson, long time SCT member who operates a known and respected cleaning company based in Mesa, Arizona.

Brown formerly operated the defunct Anderson Carpet Cleaning and Dyeing Co., located at the same address. This firm ran into trouble earlier for the same illegal practices. $15,000 of the total fine represented costs and fines from a preliminary injunction order in 1979.

This firm is no stranger to Tips N Chat or to SCT with their tactics being the subject of previous complaints. Their misleading advertising has been discussed in Chapter meetings, and Kristofferson had reported the misrepresentation of his firm by Springtime Fresh telephone solicitors who also reportedly claimed SCT membership as well as IICUC Certification.

Prior to Anderson Carpet Cleaning settling in Phoenix, they operated a company in Hawaii. Their advertising and work habits caused a good deal of trouble to SCT members Leith and Jean Anderson, who founded Deep Steam Carpet Cleaning in Hawaii. With Leith being a fourth-generation Hawaiian, and the Anderson family being so well known, it was easy for a potential customer to be confused and call Anderson Carpet Cleaning when they wanted Leith Anderson.

Tips N Chat is happy to report that after almost ten years of misrepresentations, the State of Arizona was able to take punitive action against this operation. In addition, a word of encouragement to the Leith Anderson's o' Hawaii and all the other legitimate carpet cleaners whose integrity and professional image was tainted along the way by the shoddy ethics of Brown and Aguayo.

Michael M.
Marketing Coordinator
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