Duct Cleaning Scams
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Rip-Off Duct Company Gets Shut Down
Here’s an interesting story about a company in Boston who advertised air duct cleaning services and then once in the customers’ homes, proceeded to rip them off by using high pressure sales tactics to upsell additional services and products that were not even delivered.
The story says that people were sold electrostatic air filters and ultraviolet light air purification systems, which in themselves are good things, however, the company somehow pressured people to prepay for these items and additional services that they would not receive.
The company has been ordered to pay restitution. Part of the agreement states that should the company, which ceased business operations in August 2008, re-open, they would be required to change their business practices to ensure future consumers are provided with open and honest communication and that merchandise will only be paid for after delivery. Why would anyone expect anything less?
My guess is they’ll be back, working under a different company name. We’ve seen the same type of thing happen here in the Toronto area.
If you see an ad or get offered an air duct cleaning for your home that you know is priced well below market value, you can bet that there will either be extra charges or poor workmanship or both. At least that’s one thing they can guarantee you. So why waste your time and your money? This applies to any type of service, not just duct cleaning.
When you need your air duct system properly cleaned, call us at City Duct Cleaning. We are a very reputable, award-winning company and we treat all our customers with the respect they deserve.
Telemarketers and Air Duct Cleaning
Telemarketers can sure be so annoying at times. They call for everything, and duct cleaning is one of those things that I personally get the most calls about. And windows too. And the banks trying to sell their insurance or credit cards… those guys are relentless too.
At City Duct Cleaning, telemarketing is something that we DO NOT engage in. Just about everyone already knows about duct cleaning these days, and if you need our services for whatever the reason, we are always very easy to find.
The people who offer you duct cleaning by telemarketing to you almost exclusively want to sell you a whole house special… something that sounds really cheap over the phone, but then turns out to be something quite different once they are in your home.
One thing worth mentioning also, is that duct cleaning companies who offer whole house specials tend to be among the biggest ripoff companies in this industry. We’ve seen many such companies come and go since we opened for business in 1987, and will be happy to see these crooks go as well. You should always do some homework before you hire anyone to do any work in your home no matter what the service might be.
The best and safest way to handle those calls is to just say no to every telemarketer who calls, and if you DO want such a thing or service, then go and seek out that service for yourself. And don’t worry about passing on that special “deal”. You just did yourself a huge favor by saying no.
Here are some suggestions about how to handle those annoying telemarketers and even junk mail too.
Beware of Whole House Specials
Lately we’ve been hearing more and more complaints about “whole house specials” and reading about them on the internet too. Whole house specials are advertised in the Toronto area for anywhere from $99.00 to $120.00 or $130.00. It just depends where you look.
Bait and Switch is a common rip-off tactic that has been around for many years and it is also being used by some duct cleaners in our area as well. They lead you to believe that you are going to get the ducts in your entire home professionally cleaned for only $120.00, but of course, once they are in your home they hit you with all kinds of stories, extras and price increases. That $120 can easily turn into a bill of over $500.
These are the same people who quite often refer to themselves on the internet as “industry leaders”, and clearly misrepresent themselves by saying they have been in business for X number of years when that is not true. Anyone can say what they want on their website to make themselves sound better than they really are, and we’ve been noticing an increase in that type of behaviour recently. It’s almost criminal really, and there should be a way for the legitimate companies in their respective industries to report such deliberate misinformation when they see it. The internet is a good thing, but unfortunately it is also another way for some people to lie to you without doing it right to your face.
Here is an example of an advertised “whole house special” that was being used in the U.S. The owner was eventually forced to stop using this truly misleading advertising, because no one ever did get their ducts cleaned for the low price he was advertising.
Any company who really thought of themselves as being an industry leader would not use such tactics because what they are doing is hurting the industry not helping it.
There are, unfortunately, some scam duct cleaning companies in the Toronto Area, but there are also many honest people too. If you are considering having your air ducts cleaned, there are some ways that you can protect yourself: