When an at&T residential carpet cleaner was fined $2.3 million, the company had an easy explanation for why: It’s a $15 billion company.
At& ;T residential electric services (AT&.;T) owns and operates a fleet of residential carpet cleaners that provide carpet cleaning services to hundreds of thousands of homes across the country.
But over the past few years, AT&%;s residential carpet industry has seen a series of fines, including $2 million and $2,000 fines issued in the New York state apartment complex of the same name, as well as a $1.2 million fine levied in the same New York City building for a residential electric service provider that also provided carpet cleaning and water service.
AT<s residential electric bills were cited by regulators for a range of problems, including poor performance, poor installation, and inadequate wiring, as part of a nationwide investigation by the Federal Trade Commission.
The company’s residential carpet-cleaning service, which began as a pilot program in the early 2000s, was then expanded into a full-fledged fleet in 2009 and 2010, with more than 100 million carpet cleaning customers, according to a recent analysis by the New Jersey Coalition Against Residential Sludge.
At< ;t residential carpet services are part of AT>s business model, which has been characterized as “revenue-generating,” a strategy that focuses on the delivery of high-quality services at a low cost, the New Yorker reported.
“The average cost per carpet is $10, which is $1,000 to $1 and $1 to $2 less than the industry average, which for carpet cleaners is about $15,000,” said Matt Janszewski, AT &s director of public affairs.
“That’s not the way to make money.
It’s not even the way it’s supposed to be.”
While AT&t has faced some regulatory scrutiny in recent years, the carpet industry generally has avoided scrutiny, with the company’s response often focused on the value of the carpet cleaning service.
A recent analysis of AT <t residential electric customer satisfaction by the Consumer Federation of America, which focuses on consumer protection issues, found that the majority of residential electric customers “felt they were receiving service that was satisfactory, reliable, and affordable,” with some finding that the carpet service was “extremely affordable.”
In 2016, ATA also analyzed AT&>.;s residential water and carpet services and found that “the average cost of the service was $20 to $30 less than AT&s average.”
AT&tt;s carpet cleaning fees were also reported to be the highest of any service provider in the country, according a study by a group of public interest groups that included the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
“In recent years AT&ct;s consumer-service fees have skyrocketed, even outstripping the inflation rate,” the Consumer Union said in a report on residential carpet service fees.
The AT&ts residential carpet clean service is a model for the industry, said Michael D. Smith, a senior policy analyst for Consumers Union.
“We should be focusing on the costs to consumers,” Smith said.
“You don’t have to make $15 million to be profitable.”
AT >t declined to comment on the complaints and fined the company a total of $2.,039,500 for carpet cleaning in New York, New Jersey, California, Texas, Virginia, Maryland, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania, the report said.
AT &tt;t did not immediately respond to an inquiry from The Washington Post.
AT;s service providers, including AT&;t, were fined for a variety of problems in the past, including installing faulty wiring and a faulty wall system, as The Washington Report previously reported.
In 2011, AT;t was fined for an “unjust and unlawful” $10 million fine for failing to install a “vacuum-cleaner” in a residential unit.
In 2015, AT AT&ft;s Residential Electric Services (TES) was fined more than $2 billion for billing more than 2 million residential customers for inadequate electrical service.
In 2016 and 2017, ATAT>, Inc., a subsidiary of AT;T, was fined an additional $1 billion and $500 million respectively for the same violations.
ATAT &.;s response to the residential carpet problem was largely focused on changing the way the carpet is installed, as the New Statesman previously reported: “Our carpet cleaning program provides clean carpets that are installed in accordance with the industry-recognized industry standards, such as high-efficiency, moisture-absorbing, and corrosion-resistant tiles.”
In response to questions from The Post, ATBT&”s chief marketing officer, Jason Sorenson, said that AT&at carpet cleaning was a “top priority” and that AT &at carpet service provided “