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BBB Study Finds Bad Advertising In Air Duct Cleaning Industry

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Consumer Investigator Jodi Brooks talks with Jay Bishop, owner of Imperial Cleaning. (credit: CBS)

Consumer Investigator Jodi Brooks talks with Jay Bishop, owner of Imperial Cleaning. (credit: CBS)

DENVER (CBS4) The Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Denver/Boulder released a new study that showed that air duct cleaning companies often engage in misleading advertising. The study looked at 62 companies, and reviewed websites, print advertising, coupons, and online promotions.

“They bait you in with this low price, but once they’re there, they’re switching you to a much higher price,” said Megan Herrera, spokesperson for the BBB.

As a result of the study, the BBB asked 21 companies to change their advertising, 3 of the companies did not.

“If you don’t comply or respond to our concerns with your advertising, you’ll end up with a BBB F-rating,” Herrera told CBS4.

“I am very surprised they gave me an F-rating,” said Jay Bishop, owner of Imperial Cleaning LLC.

The Imperial Cleaning LLC advertisement offers “whole house air duct and carpet cleaning” for $242, but then in fine print the ad says “5 rooms and 10 vents”.

“Some homes may be more than 5 rooms and 10 vents,” said CBS4 Consumer Investigator Jodi Brooks.

“That is correct,” Bishop replied.

“So it’s really not the whole house,” Brooks said.

“It is not the whole house and we have talked to the BBB about the whole house deal,” Bishop said. “And they want me to change that. But in a lot of cases it is the whole house.”

Imperial cleaning has just 2 complaints with the BBB. The F-rating is a direct result of the advertising issue.

“We take advertising issues very, very seriously,” Herrera said.

RELATED: BBB News Release

The Finest Duct Cleaning Incorporated and Sea Breeze Air LLC are the other two companies that got F-ratings due to this study. Both offer similar ads. Finest Duct Cleaning offers a “Residential Air Duct Cleaning” package for $34.99. Sea Breeze Air offers a Groupon for $39 which includes unlimited supply vents. Neither company could be reached for comment.

The bottom line for consumers is do your homework before hiring a company to clean your air ducts.

- Compare costs.

- Know that air duct cleaners do not require a state license.

- Check the National Air Duct Cleaners Association to see who is a member and who’s not.
RELATED: More Reports By 4 On Your Side Consumer Investigator Jodi Brooks

- Written for the Web by CBS4 Special Projects Producer Libby Smith

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