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20 Oct 2019

Oregon AG files lawsuit, claims air duct cleaning companies mailed deceptive ads

A lawsuit claims the Vancouver-based operation mailed 20 million print ads and made over 11 million unwanted robocalls to Oregon residents

 

PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon’s Attorney General filed a lawsuit against an air duct cleaning operation for allegedly mailing deceptive advertisements and making illegal robocalls.

“These calls and mailers were incredibly deceptive—not to mention obnoxious,” said Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum.

The lawsuit claimed U.S. Air Ducts, its owners and their associated companies violated Oregon’s Unlawful Trade Practices Act by promising customers a “seasonal special” in print advertisements. Once in the home, technicians would use high pressure sales tactics to get consumers to spend hundreds of dollars for a complete cleaning, a fake VIP membership and services the company couldn’t perform, according to the complaint filed in Multnomah county.

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16 Oct 2019

Technician Checks Out Picture of Scantily Clad Woman While He Was Supposed to Be Cleaning Air Ducts

Chief Investigative Correspondent Lisa Guerrero and the Inside Edition I-Squad put air duct service people to the test in the fourth installment in a special series of investigations.

Inside Edition rented a house in Montclair, New Jersey, for an entire month, tricking it out with more than a dozen hidden cameras and then calling in the fix-it guys to see what would happen.

For the fourth installment, we enlisted air duct-cleaning experts from the National Air Duct Cleaners Association, Mark Zarzeczny and Anthony Paterno, who have a combined 50 years of experience, to fully inspect the home’s air ducts.

“Basically, you just need a basic air duct cleaning,” Zarzeczny told Guerrero.
With hidden cameras everywhere, the house is rigged to see every move anyone inside can make. All of the live footage is transmitted to a remote command post on the first floor.

Guerrero made appointments with companies offering great deals on air duct cleaning. Would they provide a good service or charge us for things we didn’t need?

One man worked for a company offering an $88 special. He entered the home, lugged a big vacuum inside and started cleaning.

“He’s not going the full length of the ducts,” Guerrero noticed from the command post as she watched the footage.

“Exactly, he’s working hard, but it’s very substandard work,” Zarzeczny agreed.

For $50 more, he said he’d clean the big ducts in the attic. He brought up the vacuum but Inside Edition’s hidden cameras showed he never cleaned any of them.

“He charged you extra for the main trunk lines,” Zarzeczny told Guerrero.

“Which he didn’t do,” she replied.

Instead of cleaning the ducts, the cameras caught him looking at a provocative picture of a woman on his cellphone.

Guerrero then revealed her true identity to the man.

“I’m Lisa Guerrero with Inside Edition, did you do a thorough job today?” she asked the technician.

Full read and video please visit Here at Inside Edition

05 Oct 2019

Customers left with $1000+ bills after responding to air duct cleaning ad

Several customers complain they ended up with a bill of more than $1,000 after responding to an advertisement promising air duct cleaning for $39 and furnace service for $99.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Several customers complained they ended up with a bill of more than $1,000 after responding to an advertisement promising air duct cleaning for $39 and furnace service for $99.

“I think they saw an old woman with glasses and a cane and think: ‘Oh boy, a sitting duck,’” explained Sharon Berg of Mulino

Berg said workers from US Air Ducts & Builders left her with a bill for $1,250 after an hour-long service call in late November. She had planned on paying far less for the promotional offer.

“I think they should have warned me and given me some type of an estimate. I would have said, ‘There’s the door,’ because I couldn’t afford that,” said Berg.

The Vancouver-based company offered to cancel her five-year VIP membership and reduce her bill, although US Air Ducts & Builders is still demanding roughly $500. Berg is disputing the charges.

The company sent her to a collection agency.

A KGW investigation found 16 consumer complaints about US Air Ducts & Builders to the Washington Attorney General’s office since 2017. Seven different consumers have complained to the Oregon Attorney General’s office about the company.

Public records show several customers complained about aggressive sales tactics and excessive bills.

“As soon as they walked through the door, they were telling me that I needed more. I had a bad coupon. I needed the better coupon and let me tell you all that we can do,” explained Reanna Blair of King City.

Blair said she felt pressured to buy the “VIP Package” for $1,794, instead of the $39 air duct cleaning she had seen in a promotional advertisement.

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