Here at Machado Environmental, we see ads every few weeks about the “newest” offering in blow-‘n-go duct cleaning. These “low-ball” duct cleaners are nothing new. Scam artist has been around forever. What’s going on here?
The consumer is starting to wise up, due in part to television, newspapers and Internet reporting which expose this latest consumer scam. Another source of information regarding these low-ballers is NADCA, the National Air Duct Cleaners Association in Washington D.C.
The way these companies operate will be familiar to anyone who has had the misfortune of meeting up with a slick operator at a used car lot, a “buy now” stock opportunity or even the barker at a carnival.
These duct cleaning companies charge a nominal fee for a claimed whole-house duct cleaning. But are we surprised they do a very poor job of it? The adage, “You get what you pay for” surely holds true here.
Usually, these duct cleaners see the low-ball price to the gullible consumer, send a serviceman to the consumer’s house and leave in a short while, claiming they’ve cleaned the whole system. The same job, if done correctly, should take at least 4-6 hours.
NADCA reported on an investigation that took place in Florida, where the investigative team set up a scenario in a home, placing marbles in strategic locations in all of the ducts. When the duct cleaning company arrived with its small portable vacuum cleaner and went to work. After they were done (an hour later), had been paid and left, the investigative team checked and found that the marble was in the exact place where they had been left. The ducts had not been cleaned at all!
In this report, NADCA’s phone number was given out to consumers to call and receive names of legitimate, certified members near them.
We believe that many legitimate duct cleaners cringed when they heard the negative reports about duct cleaning. We sure did! Because every time we get a call from a consumer who’s seen one of these ads and they want to know if they can get their ducts cleaned for the nominal fee, we tell them that it costs more to get it done right. People who can understand the saying “You get what you pay for” and really do want a well-done, standard duct cleaning job will usually schedule with us. But at times it can be an uphill struggle.
We get many Customer Satisfaction Surveys back week after week from customers who are satisfied with the service they received from us.
The moral of the story: Be sure to question a deal that is “too good to be true,” because it always is.