Complaint: First Complain: Bait and Switch Air Care USA said they'do a COMPLETE air duct SYSTEM cleaning with unlimited vents, for $149, as advertised in Angie's List - *************************************************************************** When they got here they said that the "SYSTEM" cleaning only included vents/returns (other companies include furnace cleaning as part of the SYSTEM cleaning). The person said he'd include the furnace cleaning for another $120, and tried to add more services adding to over $400. At that point it was a clear case of bait and switch and pushing unnecessary services. I asked to only do the vents Service - Our vents don't close. In the past, when companies do the cleaning, they cover the vents to avoid the dust from inside the vents to come inside the house. The company didn't cover several of the vents, and for those that they covered, they used ill-fitting, dirty foam, that left many gaps. Now the whole house smells like dirt and dust. In addition, I checked some of the ducts with a boreoscope (inspection camera) only to find a lot of dust and cobwebs in the "cleaned" vents. Some of the vent covers are also covered by dust. Finally, without authorization, he cut a hole in the return line by the furnace.
Desired Settlement: I would like a refund, and cost of repairing any further problems caused by their poor service (including, but not limited to the unauthorized cut in the return line, or dust problems in the house caused by them pumping dirt into the house)
hey, so ***** purchased a deal on angieslist for $149 which included unlimited vents for cleaning just the ducts only as the Ad states......so ***** called to schedule the appointment and during the process we told her that we would check her air handler on the furnace for free as we inspect all customers heating system(vents,furnace,filter,dryer etc) as we are the professionals. When we arrived at Ms. ***** home we walked the system starting with counting up all the vents in the home, we then both went downstairs where her furnace was and then she opened the door to her garage and as doing this every day we smelt a rodent problem a very strong rodent problem which i brought to her attention and she replied we been dealing with rodent problem but we have a company taking care of that. we then proceed to her furnace so i could inspect the air handler compartment and the blower was dirty i showed her on the spot, at this point i recommended that she should have her blower cleaned, yes its a additional $120 just a option no pressure. then i checked her filter it was way pass due and we offer a washable filter that's a little bit more money then a average paper filter but its lifetime as she (needed one) once again no pressure.....Because of the rodent problem i recommended that we should sanitize and deodorize the system which cost $5 a vent. i then wrote down exactly what i recommend for her system she passed on everything and just wanted the ducts cleaned so we went on with our business more then happy to do just the ducts what she paid for. So we got to work and then ***** begin telling us how to do our job for one she didn't like the foam pads that we use to cover vents to plug off the system, she had a problem with us cutting into her return-line below the furnace as the previous company never cut into it(Meaning they didnt do it right). as she thought it would void her furnace warranty which it doesn't that's her mistake but she not the professional so that totally fine. all said in done it went every well even the rodent smell was gone, i showed ***** all the debris which was alot about a 5 gallon bucket worth. She paid us and we left. later that night she called complaining that we bait and switched her, saying there was never a rodent smell, and we tried to sale her unnecessary services, which we didnt, we were just trying to show her the correct way of having it done(other words what she needed on her home).......... and if you look on angieslist we have two deals one which is $149 for ducts only and another which is $375 that includes the ducts,furnace,sanitize........ she also said she took a picture with her cell phone not a inspection camera and saw a little bit of debris in the return line which i replied i would be more then happy to come out and fix the problem and she said no and started getting very rude so we hung up the phone as were not going to listen to her bitch us out. i know this email is very complex and confusing in a way but she lives in a very old Seattle home and if any duct cleaner says they will get 100% of the debris out is totally lie to you. You just cant with old Seattle homes we come close but you just cant because of the way they build them in the old days. Not to be rude but if she wants her home to be clean and smell clean she should clean it as it was very very dirty. We did our job correctly and for a great price. she paid for the basic and wanted the premium at the same cost.
Please call me for any questions as im not the best computer person im old school.
Thanks Jim ************
I am rejecting this response because:Wow…where to begin?
Yes, Mr. J***** said he smelled a rodent in the garage. I told him I was surprised because we have regular maintenance done bi-monthly, and I’d mention that to the pest control company. We DON’T have a rodent problem – we've had preventive care for over 10 years precisely to avoid a rodent problem. What Mr. J***** was smelling was the litter from our new kittens – placed right above the garage. Mr. J***** insisted that he had vacuumed at least one mouse, and yet when he showed me the dirt he claims was all from our house, there was no mouse and no rodent droppings. Rodent problem crossed out.
Cleaning – Offer was for Air Duct SYSTEM cleaning – All the companies we've used in the past iclude furnace cleaning as part of their standard “basic” system cleaning – because it is not safe to only do the vents. If If you look for a definition of AIR DUCT SYSTEM, it always includes the furnace (or whichever element is blowing air, eg. AC) as an element of the system. If this was not the case, his ad should have said "Ducts Only". Here are some references with the definition: http://www.dictionaryofconstruction.com/definition/duct-system.html http://www2.iccsafe.org/states/oregon/07_Mechanical/07_PDFs/Chapter%202_Definitions.pdf http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/airduct.html#what_to_expect (BTW – this EPA article gives a check list of what to expect for a basic cleaning, and Mr. J***** failed to do most of them).
His ad also said that the service includes cleaning all vents individually, but this wasn’t the case. He plugged in the vacuum onto the furnace, and blew air in two of the return lines. The heat vents were NOT individually cleaned. He sucked the superficial dust from the ducts, and disturbed the particles inside the vents, sending a lot of material INTO the house.
I took pictures with both a regular camera and a borescope (I can only attach 4 pictures, so the first 2 are examples of the dust left behind - something that can be removed with a house vaccumm cleaner, so there is no reason it should be there after a professional cleaning).
FILTER – He offered to sell me a permanent filter that is NOT the size of the filter used by our furnace (our filter is over 4 inches in height, he was offering one measuring approximately 1 inch). When I pointed that out, he said that wasn’t a problem, because he could screw the filter into the furnace. He also mentioned that the filter just needs to be washed, and can be placed back even before it dries. I told him I didn’t want him doing ANY modifications to our system, and declined the filter. I subsequently looked for information on the manufacturer's website, and they advise against both of his recommendations (using a filter that is the wrong size, and placing it back before it is completely dry, as it may cause mold problems).
SANITIZING – I told him I would read on it, and found an article from EPA recommending against it: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/airduct.html#upright%20indoor%20system%20graphic When I told him that he just shrugged me off said he knew better because he had been doing this for 18 years.
HOLE IN OUR RETURN – He made a hole without authorization, and after I had specifically told him I didn’t want him modifying our system in any way (after he offered to screw in the filter). He also claimed that was the only way to access that part of the vent system, and went on about how the previous company couldn’t have done a good job without cutting a hole, and that HE was the one doing the job correctly. This also proved to be false, as you can access that compartment by simply removing filter – which is over 4 inches in height and 16 inches wide (see attached picture, which shows the inside of the compartment, easily accesible by removing the filter - you can also see the hole AirCare made).
Additional issues not included in the first message:
• Trash introduced and left INSIDE our ducts - Mr. J***** and his assistant left a large foam pad (over 15 in length and over 4 inches wide ) INSIDE one of the ducts (see attached picture). This is the type of material they use to “seal” the vents. The dirt and grime you see were already there. It seems unsanitary to use an absorbent material, that is already saturated with dirt, when cleaning air ducts. It seems dangerous to leave it behind inside the ducts!
• No information provided re: of License/Bond/Insured - Aircare claims their business is licensed, bonded and insured, in person and on their website - http://www.aircareusainc.com/ However, none of this information is available on the website, or receipt. I found the license number through the department of Labor and Industry, but there is no information of bond or insurance.
* They didn’t cover floors or furniture, and dragged the air hoses and dirty material over our wood floors, rugs and furniture.
I spent hours cleaning dust that came into the house as a result of AirCare USA poor work, and have had to schedule the company we’ve used in the past to do a proper cleaning.
(I am having trouble including the attachments - I will try to send them in a separate file)
There was a lot of debris vacuumed from our vents – a lot more than it should
have come out after only 2 weeks of having our system “cleaned”
But, unlike the claims of AirCare, they explained that they can’t show us what
dust came from our house, because it all goes into a BIG BAG (just like AirCare
has). Unless it was a bag that was totally empty before our house, it is
impossible to tell which dust comes from which house.
****So ************** uses a truck mount which has many filter
bags and a huge container that holds the debris, so yes correct they can’t show
you what comes out of your home as there many homes in there…we didn’t use a
truck mount on yours we used a gas portable which has one bag and open nice and
************** verified that there was no need to make a hole in the return –
it is easily accessible when you remove the filter – and you can see how much
debris they removed (see picture on email).
***Explain to me how they cleaned your return line then as a
truck mount has a 12x12 circular adapter that they use to connect to the duct work
that will not connect to a filter box(16x25x4) as that what it look like in the
picture. You say that there was a lot of debris left in the duct work right
there under the furnace. Right were a 5000 cfm machine was hooked up. As the
owner of this company do you really think I left debris right at
The filter AirCare offered is a poor quality filter, and problems would
have been compounded with the poor fit and drilling holes
into our furnace. It would have been, in the best of cases, $65 gone down the
****Just so you know that’s a filter box that separate from your
furnace two different things and it looks like a 16x25x4 in your pic so no we weren’t
going to make changes to your furnace at all we were going to put 3 sheet
screws in place to make the filter fit in place nicely, filter poor quality
shoot our filter alum not a paper throw away but you declined on that product
so no need to discuss it….and if you would have giving it a chance and cleaned
it properly you would have found that it’s a great filter.
The chemical AirCare uses doesn’t work if the ducts really need sanitizing
(e.g. if there is mold growing inside), spraying with some chemical that is not
intended for ducts does nothing to clean the ducts
But it can have side effects. You are introducing some chemical into the system
that distributes air all over your house. For people with sensitivities, it can trigger
allergic reactions (to the chemicals used), or other undesirable side effects.
***You declined on this product no need to discuss it, but can you tell me what we
actually use to sanitize the ducts. you claims ours doesn't work.
– Dust on one of the heating vents that was just“cleaned”
***Look like rust coming through the paint not dust
We did more than research – we called back our regular, trusted company, whose REGULAR
PRICE for ducts and furnace is $268+tax. We had to clean our ducts because we
suspected poor cleaning – and we were right – see above. AirCare’s “special”
price is a bait and switch hook to sell unnecessary services.
****Im pretty sure that not their regular price but it can change anytime but hey they beat us by a $1
We are done here you will not get a refund from us. When it comes to ****** ****** if they don't even hook up proper to the return line, their work nor opinion matters to us when is come to the the debris they showed you they grabbed some out of the truck and showed you debris to help cut us down as you were probably bad mouthing us to them the whole time. Job was authorized and signed off and done proper so have a nice day
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It is obvious that no matter how much proof I provide, they will deny that they did anything wrong. Their angry tone and their twisting of facts makes me feel I got off easy by throwing just the $150 we paid down the drain, and I'll be happy if they never get anywhere close to my property or anyone I know.
I am rejecting this response because:
Lets state some facts.
a) They still haven't provided information with their license, bonding and insurance numbers (they've repeatedly claimed they have it, but haven't provided them yet).
b) The picture attached showing what ****** ******* got in the return, was after they vacuumed and cleaned our system, and this is what accumulated in the return only, a mere 2 weeks after Aircare claimed they thoroughly cleaned our system.
c) There is currently no debris in the return line (that part that AirCare claimed was not accessible unless they made a hole, but it is clearly accessible by removing the filter). If he wants to find out how ****** ******* cleans it, he is welcome to contact them.
d) Filter - his claims are different than what the manufacturer recommends (not using a filter that is the wrong size - and that includes the "height" of the filter).
e) Sanitizing - the fact that he offers something that can potentially have bad side effects (e.g. trigger allergies in people with sensitivities with the chemicals) is worrisome. I lucked out by declining the service, not because he explained the potential side effects, but because I was skeptical of what he was offering. When I called ****** and asked if they sanitize their ducts (without even mentioning this service had been offered to us) they say they don't precisely because of sensitivities to chemicals. This statement is supported by EPA, so the mere fact that AirCare tries to push this as "must if you want to have clean ducts" is of concern.
f) Picture of vent - it is not rust. I could send a picture of the clean vent, but he has ignored all the other pictures proving the deficiencies in his work, so I'll refrain until I know that sending the extra picture will be useful.
g) $268 is their regular price for repeat customers with the number of vents our house has. He is welcome to check with them. The fact that AirCare has the same price as a "special" and does an vastly inferior job is of concern.
h) As of bad mouthing - it was AirCare who kept saying every 5 minutes that whoever did our job before them had done an awful job and had done it improperly. ****** didn't get that debris from their truck, but it is interesting that is the way AirCare thinks.
i) ****** also cleaned all the dust left behind by AirCare right on the return grills (we took those pictures within hours of Aircare leaving), and I personally extracted a 15x4 inch piece of dirty foam from INSIDE a duct. AirCare has not yet responded or taken responsibility for these.
I hope we never ever ever have to interact with AirCare again. An unethical company that does a really poor job.
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