Trusted Referrals & Accurate Information Regarding Duct Cleaning
26 Apr 2019

Calgary business owner claims fraudulent duct cleaning company using his name, confronts owner

WATCH: The owner of a Calgary furnace servicing company took matters into his own hands to investigate a business he says is using his name. He arranged an appointment with the suspected fraudsters and Global News caught the encounter on camera. Jill Croteau reports.

Right from the beginning, Calgary homeowner Robert Samaska said he was suspicious when he says he received a random call from a person who said they worked for Alberta Home Services, looking to schedule a furnace cleaning.

He alleges the company said it only accepted cash as payment and offered the service at a flat rate deal.

“I knew right off the bat they were flaky at best.” Samaska said.

Samaska said he used a service provided by Alberta Home Services in the past but was concerned about the legitimacy of this offer. He tells Global News he called Calgary-based Alberta Home Services, and spoke to Grant Carlson, the legitimate owner of Alberta Home Services. That’s when he was told the company doesn’t call clients to offer special promotions.

Samaska and Carlson decided to put their scepticism into action and made an appointment with the hope of confronting the crew of the other business using the Alberta Home Services name.

READ MORE: Calgary father warns of unsolicited door-to-door sales after being left with expensive contract

Global News joined Samaska and Carlton at the southwest Calgary home when an unmarked van arrived with what appeared to be scarce equipment to do the job. When the people in the van were confronted and questioned by Carlson, along with Global News crew, they sped off.

WATCH: Global News questions manager of suspected fraudulent Calgary furnace company


Samaska told Global News he’s worried unsuspecting homeowners might fall for the claims of the apparently fake company and be taken advantage of.

Carlson said he’s frustrated with the frequency of this scam.

“It does drive me absolutely berserk,” Carlson said. “With 36 years in the industry and investments to security and insurance and licensing and accreditation, this gives our industry a bad name.”

“To see a one-truck chuck pretending he’s us is really embarrassing.”

Carlson said he’s filed a complaint with the Calgary Police Service’s fraud unit. The City of Calgary said if officials can track down the allegedly illegitimate company, it can investigate the possible absence of a business license.

Global News tried calling multiple numbers associated with company claiming to be called Alberta Home Services but the numbers were not in service.

To see the video please click here > https://globalnews.ca/video/rd/1454820931616/?jwsource=cl

20 Feb 2019

Maryland man wary after job advertised at $99 costs him thousands

 – A Maryland man says a fast-talking trio who specialize in swindling senior citizens came to his home – all thanks to a newspaper ad for air-duct cleaning.

The air-duct cleaners came to the man’s Fort Washington neighborhood for what was supposed to be a $99 job – instead is cost thousands.

While the ad in the Washington Post indicated that the crew would clean your vents – but Bill Butler says the men who showed up in a Sears truck did anything but that.

The man came up with a litany of new things he said Butler would need – including two lights for $600 apiece.

Butler says the men used intimidation tactics – telling the 74-year-old and his wife that they were in danger of becoming infected from mold and mildew.

The tech also made Butler pay before getting to work.

“We have Sears cards but the Sears cards were old, we’ve been with Sears for 50 years and he said, ‘Well these cards aren’t working, can I have your Social Security number.’ I said, ‘No you can’t have my Social Security card.’ He says ‘Do you have another card you can use,’ I said ‘Yes, I have a Visa,’ he got approval and at that point shut everything down,” Butler said.

Butler says nearly $6,000 was charged to his card.

“It is crazy, especially because my daughter talked to someone out in Kansas and they have the same type of the business and the most they charge for anything is $500,” Brenda Butler said.

For Butler, the experience was eye-opening

“It was a sham.  I fell for, I feel bad for myself but you know what when I stop and think about it, that this company is doing now,” he said.

Consumer Advocacy group Checkbook.org says air duct cleaning is unnecessary.  The Butler family is considering retaining an attorney.

Sears has responded to FOX 5, confirming that the crew is associated with their company. They say Butler has been offered a full refund while they investigate the matter.

Sears offered the following statement:

“At Sears, the satisfaction of our members is our top priority. Our member solutions team has looked into Mr. Butler’s issue and is working to resolve the issue by providing him with a refund. We hope he remains a loyal Sears customer.”

Source: http://www.fox5dc.com/news/local-news/maryland-man-wary-after-job-advertised-at-99-costs-him-thousands

14 Feb 2019

More homeowners say air-duct-cleaning crew scammed them following FOX 5 report

RINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, Md. (FOX 5 DC) – Prince George’s County police are asking residents to call them if they feel they’ve been scammed by a Sears air-duct cleaning crew’s tactics.

Several residents say they saw an air-duct-cleaning ad promising that the job would be done for $99 – but ultimately they paid thousands.

After FOX 5 talked to one man whose bill ballooned from $99 to nearly $6,000, several residents contacted the station saying the same three men had done the same thing to them.

Ironically, while FOX 5 was interviewing Bill Butler in Fort Washington, the air-duct cleaning crew was busy at work on their next victim.

Cheryl Clark lives about seven minutes away from Bill Butler and his family – they’re strangers but they share a similar experience.

“I should have realized at the time what was going on but I just didn’t,” Clark said.

Like Butler, Clark says he saw the $99 Sears air-duct cleaning ad in the paper and made an appointment on Wednesday morning.

The same three men who showed up at the Butlers’ home also knocked on Clark’s door.

“They didn’t even look at the vents, they just went directly to the furnace and pulled the furnace thing down. There was a little rust in there on the coils and there was a little soot which everybody has I’m sure but he told me it was mold,” Clark said.

She says that less than an hour later, she was billed more than $5,000.

“They gave me two UV lights, they said I had to have that to keep the mold out of the furnace system. That was $600 apiece. Installation of the lights was $200 and that consisted of a little tiny hole, drilled into the furnace duct and plugged into something and that was it,” Clark said. “They said the sanitizer was $400. I found out that came from a spray can, a $12 spray can. The fogger system to treat the bacteria was this little machine — that was $2,000.”

Checkbook.org Executive Director Kevin Brasler says the crew is defrauding these people.

“You have companies out there that are engaging in this bait and switch tactic where they say it’s $99 and then they always find something and it cost thousands of dollars to initiate the repair,” he said.

“That’s fraud, that’s actually a crime to do that.”

But he added there’s a larger issue at play.

“The fact is the vast majority of homeowners never need to have their ducts cleaned. It intuitively makes sense, but the fact is that the testing that’s been done in this industry is that cleaning the dust out of your ducts doesn’t have any benefit to you,” Brasler said.

After learning about FOX 5’s story, Sears offered Butler a full refund.

Clark is hoping for the same resolution.

Sears says they are re-evaluating their operating procedures.

The company also offered FOX 5 the following statement:

“The satisfaction of our customers is our top priority. While we have standard procedures in place for the diagnosis of each customer’s situation to ensure they understand the product and services and the associated costs, we are listening to our customers in the D.C. area and are taking immediate action to address their concerns.

Going forward, any work that costs more than $499 will require a coordinator from our office to speak directly with the customer to further explain the benefits of the service and ensure they understand and authorize the service and payment. In addition, tomorrow we are also beginning ongoing training with our 35 D.C.-area Carpet Cleaning and Air Duct Cleaning franchise associates to ensure that our high standards of customer service are being met now and in the future.

Anyone who has a concern about Sears Carpet Cleaning and Air Duct Cleaning can call 800-586-1603 to speak with a national customer care representative.”

Source : http://www.fox5dc.com/news/local-news/more-homeowners-say-air-duct-cleaning-crew-scammed-them-following-fox-5-report

19 Aug 2018

Beware ‘Blow-and-go’ Scams

For their own peace of mind, home owners should get their heating an cooling systems cleaned by members of NADCA, who must comply with a strict Code of Ethics. Some homeowners have been taken by what’s known as “blow-and-go” air duct cleaning—but you don’t have to be. These companies charge what seems a nominal fee but do a very poor job. They may ask you to pay extra for unneeded services and even pretend to be members of NADCA.

Before you hire a business you should see their DC Rating score. visit here.

08 Aug 2018

Dishonest individuals offering duct cleaning on Facebook community groups

Dishonest Duct CleaningRecently more and more people in the US and Canada are falling for Facebook community group scams. Dishonest individuals are creating multiple listings, and they share ads that entice people with the low prices and amazing promises. Unfortunately, when something seems too good to be true, it most likely is. Most of these listings are created by a person that lacks the equipment, professionalism and manpower needed to deliver high-quality results.

Most of these companies that create these Facebook community group listings tend to promote their services in many areas, even if they only cover a single city. They just end up traveling to other cities to get more work. But the problem is that they work on volume, not quality.

How does this affect you?

The regular duct cleaning will take anywhere from 3-5 hours. However, these companies provide you with a faster cleaning that they say it’s very comprehensive and complete. Yet if they spend only 1 hour or less on duct cleaning, you can imagine they are unable to cover everything. In fact, many times a lot of dirt is missed, and is now awake and will gradually effect your indoor air quality.

These scammers are mostly focused on very populated areas like Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal for example. The idea, as always, is to know exactly what you are getting into. Most fake businesses like these create Facebook listings to appear trustworthy. They simple copy and paste false information about their services, some of these individuals will also pretend to represent a reputable local company. But if you want to work with a team of experts, the first thing you want to do is verify their information.

Is there a way to avoid scammers?

As you can see, there are plenty of dishonest practices, and these tend to show which companies are reliable and which are just trying to scam people for money. The best thing you can do is to visit https://nadca.com/, as here you will be able to find professionals that are fully certified to provide duct cleaning services.

Another good resource is our website https://www.ductcleaning.org. Which gives you immediate access to some of the best duct cleaning professionals in your area. There are plenty of tools you can use to stay safe, so the last thing you want is to deal with any scammers.

True duct cleaning professionals don’t normally showcase their services on Facebook community groups. If you see a low priced duct cleaning listing on a Facebook group, you should be on high alert. Another red flag is that most of these Facebook group listing won’t share any company name or phone number, if they do provide a business information most of the time it’s cloned from a legit practice. The last warning and the most obvious red flag is out of town duct cleaners. (why do they travel so far???) You can read more about this on another website with a similar article Facebook community groups are targeted by dishonest companies.

A lot of people fall for these ads because they offer lower prices when compared to qualified professionals. But it’s important to hire only qualified professionals using resources like NADCA or DuctCleaning.org. This way you can be sure that you work with a true professional and you get the job done properly at all times!

27 Mar 2017

BBB slaps Memphis carpet/duct cleaner with F-rating for multiple complaints, aliases

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) – The Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South issued a warning about a Hillshire/East Memphis duct cleaner for using multiple aliases and generating hundreds of consumer complaints. Service Medics, 6658 Knollfield Drive, has earned the BBB’s F-rating. According to the bureau, the company offers carpet-cleaning and duct-cleaning services through coupon or social media […]

10 Mar 2017

Angie’s List: Avoid an air duct cleaning scam

With air conditioning season about to start, many Tri-Staters are considering having their air ducts cleaned. While there are reliable, qualified duct cleaners out there, there are also scammers who use low prices to get in the door and then scare homeowners into expensive and possibly unnecessary work. In addition to the scam question, some […]

17 Aug 2015

Ottawa business trying to protect its reputation from a fraudulent duct cleaning company

A long-established local business has called in the police to help protect its reputation from a fraudulent duct cleaning scam that has apparently conned dozens of people in the Ottawa area.

Advanced Air Quality Duct Cleaning, which has been in business for more than two decades, is being misrepresented by another company that claims to be Advanced Air Quality and offers to do duct cleaning at a cut rate price of about $150 when, in reality, the average cost for these jobs is between $350 and $500.

“We have become aware of another company pretending to be Advanced Air Quality,” company chief executive Rick Wiles said Monday. “Consumers are being harassed by telemarketers using aggressive and vulgar tactics.”

Ottawa police have begun a fraud investigation, but in the meantime, they’ve issued a public warning against Ottawa-area residents being taken in by the fraudulent company.

“Clients are solicited through telemarketing efforts and appear to be spoofing the phone numbers, as if they were calling as Advanced Air Quality Duct Cleaning,” police said. So-called spoofed numbers conceal their real calling location.

With a resident’s agreement to have the service done the callers come to the home — apparently they are using an unmarked white cube van with Ontario plates — and go to the basement and pretend to do the work, police said. A short time later they claim to be finished, collect their fee, and leave. The resident soon finds out the work wasn’t done.

“They (the scammers) are doing virtually no work. They are simply taking people’s money,” said Wiles, who became aware of the scam when his firm started receiving complaints about poor service. People are understandably upset, but since his firm had no record of the client’s ostensible contract, there was nothing he could do.

Wiles is concerned the scam could affect Advanced Air Quality’s business.

“We’ve worked hard to build our reputation and it can be very quickly destroyed over a couple of months if this isn’t stopped. People are mad because the job has been done poorly and they think it is us. This comes back on us, on our reputation.”

Wiles figures he knows who’s behind the scam, and he’s filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, Consumer Protection Ontario, and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission.

The CRTC is familiar with the issue. In late March, the CRTC issued $149,000 in fines against nine companies linked to illegal telemarketing calls about duct cleaning services. The companies, all based in the Greater Toronto Area, used foreign call centres in Pakistan, India and the United States that disregard the national do-not-call list for the telemarketing.

The companies identified by the CRTC included, among others, Toronto Breeze Air Duct Cleaning Services and Aqua Duct Cleaning Services. The CRTC issued a “notice of violation” and a $40,000 penalty against Ali Tariq and Toronto Breeze Air Duct Cleaning Service. Tariq was also named in another notice of violation — and penalized another $9000 — against Aqua Duct.

Wiles, meanwhile, has his own public warning. Noting that Advance Air Quality never uses telemarketers, its trucks carry the company name, and employees wear uniforms, he says: “If you have unknowingly booked a duct cleaning appointment with these fraudsters we recommend you not let them into your residence.”

And then, police say, call the organized fraud squad at 613-236-1222, ext. 5433.