3OYS: Phoenix family outraged over carpet cleaning 'bait and switch'

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- Paul and Kathie Ellis have been busy moving into their new home.

"We've been here now two weeks," Paul Ellis said.

But before moving out of the home they were renting, they were required to have their carpet professionally cleaned.

"My wife said, 'Well, wait a minute. We got an ad in the mail that was $5 a room for carpet cleaning,' " Paul Ellis recalled.

That ad they received from Arizona Carpet and Duct Cleaning offered carpet cleaning for "any size room" at just $4.95, which the Ellises thought was a great deal.

"It was a three-bedroom house, so it would be three bedrooms, two living rooms and a hallway," Paul Ellis said. "I was thinking 30 bucks and even if you doubled it to 60 bucks, I was gonna be OK with that."

However, once in the house, employees with Arizona Carpet and Duct Cleaning said that the carpet needed additional cleaning because it was fairly dirty. Kathie Ellis, who was home alone at the time, went along with it. But when the bill was presented, it was no where near $5 a room. The total cost came out to $416.

Paul Ellis, who was at work during the cleaning, said he immediately called the company.

"To me, it was obviously bait and switch. They advertise one thing and give you something else and charge you much more for it," he said.

Paul Ellis claims the company was dismissive and told him to talk to his wife, since she signed off on the deal. Angry, he contacted 3 On Your Side.

A 3 On Your Side producer contacted Arizona Carpet and Duct Cleaning and spoke with Ray Czumaj over the phone. We wanted to see if he was interested in looking into the issue and possibly coming to a resolution, but that was out of the question.

Czumaj asked on what grounds we were going to do a news report and said he would contact his attorney.

He went on to say that Kathie Ellis did sign off on the charges, and he couldn't understand why she and her husband were upset with a $416 carpet cleaning bill when they expected to pay around $40.

"There's no bait and switch. There's no hidden costs. All the prices are right there on the coupon. We've done nothing wrong," Czumaj said.

He said he would sue 3 On Your Side and the Ellises over this news report.
"I hope that they do take us to court. I'd really love to see a judge look at the receipt and the flier to see what these people do," Paul Ellis challenged.