In May 2015, WHNT News 19 exposed a carpet cleaning franchise for using pet stains as a tool for high pressure sales. We set up hidden cameras and had a "customer" ask the local Oxi Fresh technicians for a quote.
They gave a much higher dollar figure in person than they did on the phone, citing all the pet stains.
Only problem... it was a pet-free house. We just had a pair of dogs in the backyard as decoys.
That's just a taste of the kind of up selling WHNT News 19 found.
"Forty minutes of haggling, one hour of down time, total cleaning time 25 minutes, with everything caught on camera," said Carrie Marchese.
So you'd think Oxi Fresh would be pretty mad at us, yeah?
"First of all, I just want to thank Channel 19 News for doing the investigation and bringing this to our attention. When we first saw the video, it was disheartening, as it doesn't represent our brand, our core values, or what we stand for at Oxi Fresh," said Oxi Fresh Founder and CEO Jonathan Barnett,
Turns out Oxi Fresh says this technician's actions were evidence of a franchise owner gone rogue.
But they didn't just tell us-- they filed a federal lawsuit in Colorado against the franchisee.
"Because of your investigation there at Channel 19 News, we did do our own investigation, and the result was terminating Randy Butler's franchise there in Huntsville, Alabama," said Barnett.
The lawsuit claimed these high pressure tactics were just one way the franchisee violated the agreement with the home office in Colorado.
Oxi Fresh says the lawsuit is settled now, and they're looking to the future.
"We want the opportunity to show customers there in Huntsville what Oxi Fresh truly is about," says Barnett.
They say they intend to choose their next franchise owner for the area carefully. To make sure the new franchise lives up to the brand.