5 On Your Side

5 On Your Side gets complaints about air duct company

Posted July 9

— WRAL’s 5 On Your Side has received complaints of repeated telemarketing calls and ballooning bills. They're tied to an air duct cleaning company.

Some viewers are angry about what happened after they agreed to the low cost service offer. For example, a Holly Springs couple was ultimately charged 25 times the initial quote. But most of those who complained just want the calls to stop.

“It was so frustrating to me. I was just trying to figure out any way to make them stop calling me," said Raleigh resident Shelly Bohn, who says Indoor Air Quality ignored her repeated requests. “They would just laugh at me, or make jokes or say ‘yeah’ and hang up.”

Frustrated, Bohn did something unconventional.

"I made the appointment,” she said.

When the crew showed up to her house, she handed them a letter demanding that they stop calling her.

“As he started reading it, I picked up my phone and said, ‘And here's a picture of you getting the letter,’” Bohn said.

The crew quickly took off in their unmarked van. Bohn says they stopped calling after she threatened to sue for harassment.

Holly Springs couple Bette and Joe Jankowski say they hired the company to check out their air ducts and air conditioning.

“(The worker) said, ‘Look at this … You’ve got mold and mildew,’” Bette Jankowski recalled. “He said, ‘Well, we're in bad shape. This has all got to be cleaned up.’”

The Jankowskis gave the OK for the cleaning and say they were stunned by the final bill.

“Our $59.95 service call ended up being almost $1,500,” Bette Jankowski said, adding that the worker wanted the payment in full right then. “He really argued about it.”

The man finally accepted $300 and agreed to let the family do a payment plan for the remainder of the bill. The Jankowskis say they feel scammed, especially after another company said their ducts had not been cleaned. The couple hasn't heard from Indoor Air Quality since.

"It's not fair. It's not right,” Bette Jankowski said.

According to the Better Business Bureau, Indoor Air Quality goes by several names, including Green Air Care. They have an "F" rating. WRAL’s 5 On Your Side talked to the owners in California, who said they stopped doing business in North Carolina because of "too many problems,” saying the BBB and competitors gave them a bad name.

North Carolina's Attorney General is investigating and recently issued an alert about Robo Calls and Air Duct Cleaning Scams.

"It's not fair, it's not right,” Bette Jankowski said.

The Jankowskis feel scammed, especially after another company said their ducts had not been cleaned. The couple hasn't heard from Indoor Air Quality since.

As for Bohn, the company stopped calling after she threatened to sue for harassment.

So, is it even necessary to clean air ducts? The Environmental Protection Agency says there is no scientific proof that cleaning prevents health problems or that dirty ducts cause the air in your home to be dirty. However, if you have visible mold in ducts that you can see with a flashlight or debris coming out of air registers, experts say to get them cleaned.

According to the National Air Duct Cleaners Association, a quality job should take two pros using specialized tools eight to 15 hours to complete. For a 2,000-square-foot home, it should cost between $400 and $1,000.

20 Comments

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  • remer54 Jul 16, 8:34 a.m.

    I have updated my do not call on the registry, I have sent emails to the AG office with the numbers on my caller id. They can use any phone number too show up on your id I have had 000-000-0000, a Ciayton number and a person first and last names. I have also had the id showing that I was calling myself.I had got to the point of when they called I would wait for someone to pick-up and then I would tell them do not call me anymore that did nothing they still callaed the last one that I told not to call me anymore told me to ------------%%%% I ask him what did you say and he said the same thing and laughed at me. I have two current complaints with the AG. I then did some research on one of the numbers when I pulled the info up there were lost of numbers close to this one and some had anywhere from a few complaints too hundreds on a number. Why cant they stop this. If they cant stop the robo calls then go after the phone companies for allowing people to get phone numbers.

  • michelle31 Jul 14, 10:48 a.m.

    This company has called me a million times. They always call on my cell phone, which is my work line. I usually hang up but one day I pressed the button to be connected to a human. When the man answered, I told him that I was not interested but I did want them to stop calling me, particularly because it's on my work phone. The man responded something really sarcastic, and I said that the calls also use up my minutes because it's my cell phone. He then said "You said it's your work phone. LIAR." Then he hung up on me.
    I was completely FLABBERGASTED at his comment. I tried calling the number back that showed up on my phone but the number didn't really exist. I don't know how they do that!

  • jdpridg Jul 11, 3:01 p.m.

    What a coincidence. I had never heard of this "service" before, until this morning I saw one of these vans (this company) parked outside an office building on six forks near the Colonnade. I don't know why I was so struck by the van, but 6 hours later I'm reading about their scam.

  • geoherb1 Jul 11, 11:58 a.m.

    Robo ad calls should be outlawed.

    — Posted by djofraleigh

    They are. Unfortunately the Attorney General's Office and the Federal Communications Commission haven't been able to put all of these people out of business. They're playing whack-a-mole. As soon as one outfit is closed down, another two pop up.

  • djofraleigh Jul 10, 5:18 p.m.

    Robo ad calls should be outlawed.

  • ncguy Jul 10, 2:48 p.m.

    often times they show you pictures and say they are your duct work and they are not.

    then they show you after pictures and they are clean- still not your duct work.

  • Frank Downtown Jul 10, 12:27 p.m.

    Air ducks are make of aluminum which is naturally antibacterial, by the way.

  • momofthree16 Jul 10, 12:20 p.m.

    The AG is always quick to issue "warnings" about scammers, but they do nothing about it! The Attorney General is absolutely useless! I'm not sure what his actual duties are.

  • davidhartman Jul 10, 11:12 a.m.

    Why would anyone ever need such a 'service'?

    Simply change your air filters regularly.

    Also, most... View More

    — Posted by davidhartman

    i thought same until a family member in the business showed me. if you have vents by windows,... View More

    — Posted by heard-it-all-before

    I have homes that are 19 & 12 years old. All the ducts look as if they were brand new because I use high-quality filters & change them regularly.

    Oh, I also have pets. :)

  • research9 Jul 10, 10:49 a.m.

    Saw a coupon mailer for them and had my airducts cleaned after I purchased a foreclosure that has sat empty for awhile. The price was like $70 or something and the guys show up with this ridiculous vacuum that they hooked to a register for ~30min. They "inspected" our AC coil and said we had mold and needed to be properly cleaned for a modest $700. I told them I didn't need that at this time (our unit was old and most likely getting replaced). They continued to harrass me about how sick I was going to be from all the mold. At this point, my husband told them to politely leave our house. I'm glad these crooks are being exposed.

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