In Your Corner: Soggy Saga

In Your Corner
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EDMOND, OKLA. - Andre'e Reutlinger feels beaten down!

“I'm telling the truth and they're treating me like I'm lying,” she said.

Her soggy saga started with a routine steam cleaning.

She says Sears Carpet and Air Duct Cleaning ruined her carpet.

“My house was livable, fine and safe, until [they] came in and steamed my carpet,” Andre'e said.

She's convinced it was mold and says whatever it was it made her and her seven children sick. 

Natasha, Breanna, TJ, Ali, Katie, Cody and Justin all suffer from a disability or illness.

The oldest, Natasha, has chronic lung disease.

Andre'e said, “We had to ambulance her to the emergency room where they had to put her on a breathing machine, in ICU."

She claims Sears and its insurer, State Auto, keep low-balling her on a settlement offer.

State Auto Insurance spokesperson, Kyle Anderson, said, "We appreciate [KFOR's] efforts, but it is our policy not to discuss individual claims in public forums."

Sears spokesperson, Larry Costello, told the In Your Corner team, "through State Auto, it has offered the customer $10,000 as a goodwill gesture. While the customer chose not to accept it, we think it was a fair offer. Beyond that, we can't comment further as this is now a matter of pending litigation."

Andree wants them to also reimburse her for out-of-pocket expenses she incurred while the family was displaced.

Until she can afford new carpet, the children must brave the dangerous conditions.

“It's real hard in a normal home with no sickness and no nails to raise a family and when my kids like to sit down and eat popcorn and watch TV and they have to sit on cold concrete, that hurts me.

Andre'e also tried filing a claim with her insurer. That didn't go well. They threatened to cancel her policy, so obviously she didn’t follow through with the claim.

She says the $10,000 offer doesn't even cover the new carpet, all her out-of-pocket expenses and other repairs to her home. We'll keep you posted on things.

Better Business Bureau Tips for hiring a carpet cleaning company:

* Do Your Research. Check any carpet cleaning company's BBB Business Review before signing a contract. Look at the company's rating, how they have responded to past customer complaints and any advertising issues they may have had.

* Understand which type of cleaning service you need done. There are multiple types of cleaning services that can be performed, from steam cleaning, to dry cleaning, to carpet shampooing. Make sure to ask which service is best suited for the type of work you need done.

* Get an estimate in writing. Always ask the company to provide a written estimate prior to any services being performed. Make sure the estimate includes all services that will be done and all areas that will be cleaned.

* Ask for proof of insurance. As accidents can happen, to protect yourself, always ask the company to show you their proof of insurance.

* Ask Questions. Do you need to have the furniture moved prior to the company arriving? Sometimes an additional charge will be applied if the company moves your furniture. Will the chemicals affect any pets, people with allergies, or anyone with asthma?

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