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Local Carpet Cleaner Does a Messy Job, Leaves Consumers Out of Luck


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Local carpet cleaner does a messy job, leaves consumers out of luck

Master’s Carpet Care’s spotted record shows why consumers should research beforehand

AUSTIN, Texas - Nov. 30, 2011 — After almost a year, the frayed edges of carpet in Merrie Tomlinson’s house no longer fray her nerves. They do, however, serve as a reminder to research who she’s dealing with when looking for services, courtesy of Master’s Carpet Care.

“I learned my lesson,” she said. “I just wouldn’t recommend them to anybody, and that’s where I left it.”

Tomlinson hired the Austin company to stretch her carpet, and she said workers did not measure correctly and cut the edges too short. Then, she said, the man who performed the work asked for much more than the price the company had quoted over the phone.

Better Business Bureau recommends consumers avoid Master’s Carpet Care. The company earned an F-rating with BBB for failing to respond to consumer complaints, provide accurate contact information or cooperate with BBB on advertising issues.

Master’s Carpet Care displays the BBB logo on its website and advertising despite not having authorization to use the BBB trademark. The company is not accredited.

Most of the six consumer complaints allege the company did subpar work and was difficult to contact about their dissatisfaction.

Tomlinson said she should have given up on the company after representatives missed two appointments. She said each time, she and her husband, both in their 70s, moved much of the furniture in the house to allow for the work to be performed. Both times, the company made excuses and scheduled another appointment.

She said she was willing to continue working with Master’s because the company had quoted a good price and she had seen the BBB logo on its Yellow Pages advertisement.

When workers finally showed up, it was hours after the scheduled time, and the charge was much higher than she was quoted. After failed attempts to resolve her dispute with the company, she filed a complaint with BBB.

The company responded to Tomlinson’s complaint by denying she had ever been a customer. The response called her a “liar and a thief,” which was the most it offered to any of the customers who complained to BBB. Hers was the only complaint Master’s responded to.

Jeanne Glorioso, another dissatisfied customer, said Master’s employees generally treated her well, but consistently lied to her. She was trying to get a $40 refund because the company overcharged her for its service.

”They were nice, but they never did anything,” she said.

The company advertises a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee, but never clarified the terms of that guarantee, despite a request from BBB.

She said several times, employees promised her a refund check that she never received. She tried to mail a certified letter to the address on the company’s website, but the letter came back undeliverable.

BBB investigators encountered a similar problem when attempting to contact the company about its pattern of complaints, advertised claims and misuse of the BBB trademark. The address listed on the company’s website is an apartment complex in Austin and needs a unit number, which Master’s does not provide.

After months of trying to contact the company, BBB finally reached a representative by phone in September. The man who answered said the owner on file, Randy Thompson, no longer worked there and that Chris Pruett had purchased the company. He gave a new address and expressed a desire to work with BBB to repair the company’s reputation.

However, mail sent to the new address also came back as undeliverable and calls from BBB for more information went unanswered. BBB never received verification of the new ownership.

Glorioso got a different answer about the company’s ownership around the same time. She said Thompson told her over the phone that his brother David owned the company.

The pattern of complaints and BBB investigators’ experience dealing with Master’s Carpet Care shows a lack of transparency, poor customer service and subpar work.

Glorioso said she will be more diligent next time she hires any company.

“My advice is to check the Better Business Bureau website before you hire anybody,” she said. “Don’t take for granted what (companies) put on their website.”

To help consumers find the right carpet cleaner for their home, BBB offers the following tips:

Get the specifics on service. Find out what the company considers "extras." Moving furniture, pre-treating spots and cleaning heavily soiled areas may cost an extra fee. Ask about a company’s satisfaction guarantee and get the terms of that guarantee in writing.

The lowest price may not always be the best price. Affordability is important, but extremely low prices should also set off warning signals. Once the workers arrive in your home, they may suggest a more expensive treatment for the cleaning. Ask exactly what is included in the price and be sure to get it in writing before the crew begins any work.

Ask about the employees. Find out if the company uses its own employees or sub-contracts the job out to other companies. Ask if the company is bonded and insured. Get the name of a supervisor or company representative to contact if the crew damages the carpet or other items in your home.

Start with trust. Visit www.bbb.org to research the company before agreeing to its services.

To check the reliability of a company and find trustworthy businesses, visit bbb.org.

About Better Business Bureau:
BBB's mission is to be the leader in advancing marketplace trust. BBB accomplishes this mission by creating a community of trustworthy businesses, setting standards for marketplace trust, encouraging and supporting best practices, celebrating marketplace role models and denouncing substandard marketplace behavior.

Businesses that earn BBB Accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization's high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB is the preeminent resource to turn to for objective, unbiased information on businesses and charities. 

Contact BBB serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin at (512) 445-4748.


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