Year-Long BBB Investigation Yields Troubling Findings in the Air Conditioning Duct Cleaning Industry
Thanks to the Sacramento BBB for this Study and Findings
July 20, 2010—West Sacramento—The Better Business Bureau released today, troubling findings from a series of investigative shoppings in a segment of the furnace and air conditioning duct cleaning industry.
The BBB focused on companies using direct mail to advertise duct cleaning services in the price range of $45-$80.
“It is our opinion that thorough and effective cleaning can take several hours to complete at a cost of $300-$500,” said Barry Goggin, president of the BBB serving northeast California. “We wanted to find out what the companies actually did for the $45-$80 they were advertising.”
The BBB’s findings were based on seven “shoppings” covering six different companies, and from the evaluation of 29 consumer complaints against the same companies the BBB shopped.
FINDINGS AND TIPS HERE
GYMS BE AWARE OF CALLS FROM
Reports of Use of High Pressure, Accusations to Gain Accounts
The following scenario was brought to BBB’s attention regarding the above-mentioned company by a regional gym:
I received a phone call yesterday at our Downtown club from a man identifying himself as Peter. He claimed that he had several complaints regarding our equipment cleaning procedures. He stated that it was reported to him that we used paper towels and a non-compliant disinfectant for cleaning (in plastic spray bottles.)
I disputed his claim, since we do not use paper towels anywhere on our fitness floors. He further stated that he was reporting us to the Washington State Dept of Health and to the Secretary of Health.
He “warned” me that the Health Dept would be visiting our club in the next 3 days. I was very concise in letting him know these “complaints” were false. He came across as arrogant and authoritative. At one point he stated that Washington State had the “highest rate of West Nile Virus, this year, in the nation.”
He provided me with his business number and concluded the conversation by saying his name was Carl Johnson, I said, “I thought you said your name was Peter. He said “No, that’s my assistant.”
I immediately went to my operations manager, told him the whole story. He called the number and got a recording. He thought they said the business name was Fit Life. The recording also provided Eastern Standard Time business hours. I called a few minutes later, and the man who answered said the business name was “Fit Wipes” and that they sold disinfectant wipes. He told me Carl had probably called me from out in the field.
The story gets better.
I called the number again this morning and started to register a complaint with the man who answered “Fit Wipes.” Within minutes of reporting what had taken place yesterday, he said, “Our name is Fit Wise and we handle equipment.” He stated that he didn’t know a “Carl Johnson.” When I stated that his company had confirmed that Carl was an employee, he hung up on me.
BBB NOTE: The person who relayed this scenario contacted the Department of Health and that office confirmed that there have been no cases of West Nile Virus in WA state in 2010.
WARNING TO MASSAGE THERAPISTS: Beware Credit Card Scam Attempting to Book “Massage Package”
A supposed “Kenneth Hill” from England attempted to scam a local massage business by inquiring about booking a “massage package” using fraudulent or soon to be fraudulent credit cards to make the transaction.
Red flags? All correspondence was done by email only, with broken English. Questions posed by the business to the scammers were overlooked and not responded to. The scammers only wanted to get the business to the point where they did exactly what the scammers would say to do with a series of credit card charges. BBB calls this “playing bank” with you. Once a potential transaction heads in this direction, consider it a red flag.
The next biggest red flag is when the scammers state anything about “overpayment charges” being put on a credit card, for example, where you keep a portion for one reason or another, and then send the rest here, there, or anywhere. Another red flag!
“NOTCH BABY” MAILING CONTINUES TO CIRCULATE
Know The Facts About This Mailing
TREA aka Senior Citizens League
LATEST WORK AT HOME SCAM PACIFIC PUBLICATIONS of WA
Pacific Publications using the known websites of www.pacificpubs.com and www.funsimplework.com is a company that is advertising through various papers throughout the country for work at home opportunities.
Consumers send in their $42 only to receive no information or they receive a booklet on other work at home companies they can contact to find work stuffing envelopes, assembling products, etc. This is as standard a work at home situation as they come.
BBB says beware, and do your homework before agreeing to pay upfront for work-at-home materials that may not be good for anything but lining the bottom of your birdcage.
CONSUMER TIP FOR JULY: HIRING A LAWN CARE SERVICE
To learn more about lawn care, contact the following: