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CARPET CLEANING BUSINESS USES BAIT-AND-SWITCH, PREATE SUIT ALLEGES

 HARRISBURG, Pa., May 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Attorney General Ernie Preate Jr. today charged that a Philadelphia carpet cleaning business uses bait-and-switch tactics and other illegal practices to clean out consumers' wallets.
 Named as defendants in a suit filed in Philadelphia County Common Pleas Court by the Attorney General's Bureau of Consumer Protection are Z.H. Carpet Cleaning Corp., 2200 Michener St., Philadelphia, and its treasurer, Zion Halili, of Hollis Hills, N.Y.
 The company, which also operates under the name Premium Carpet Cleaning, advertises that it will clean any size room for as little as $6.95, according to the suit.
 "But we allege that company representatives come into consumers' homes and try to sell more expensive services to the consumers," Preate said.
 The suit alleges that the defendants charge substantially more for the additional services than other local carpet cleaning companies.
 The suit claims that company representatives sometimes demonstrate a "deep scrub" service by cleaning an area of the rug in the center of the room.
 "As a result, if the consumer decides not to purchase the service, he or she is left with one clean spot on the rug," Preate said.
 The suit also alleges that the defendants sometimes charge consumers for services they were never authorized to perform and that they fail to honor their warranties.
 "Some consumers complain that their rugs remain soiled, are wet for many days, have an odor, and were otherwise not cleaned to the customer's satisfaction," according to the suit.
 Deputy Attorney General Sherri Glantz Patchen of the Philadelphia office of the Bureau of Consumer Protection said the bureau received complaints from 15 consumers who paid the defendants a total of $4,244.
 The suit asks the court to order the defendants to make restitution to consumers and to pay civil penalties for violations of the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law.
 /delval/
 -0- 5/11/93
 /CONTACT: Jack J. Lewis, assistant press secretary of the Office of Attorney General, 717-787-5211, or at home, 717-657-9840/


CO: Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:

MP -- PH011 -- 6978 05/11/93 11:02 EDT
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Date:May 11, 1993
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