Watch KCRA deliver an eye opening report on companies offering “discount air duct cleaning” and fraudulently claiming customers have “deadly toxic mold” that needs removed.


A warning from the Better Business Bureau for Northern California homeowners about one kind of cleaning service. They have thirty complaints now about companies offering to clean home heating and cooling ducts for next to nothing, but as KCRA 03’s Tom Duhain reports, you don’t get anything except grief.


ANDREA ST. CLAIRE [Homeowner]:
So it’s this one right here… (showing Tom Duhain an upstairs ceiling vent).


TOM DUHAIN [KCRA03 Investigative Reporter]:
(Voice Over) Andrea St. Claire, explaining what happened after having discount duct cleaning. Andrea responded to a coupon ad like these, offering cheap vent cleaning. Andrea said the technician used a pen-sized testing device just like this, which instantly found “deadly toxic mold.”


(Remembers her reaction to the technician’s claim) What does this mean? I’m paying you for a $60 air cleaning. (She recalls the technician’s answer) Well, in order to get the deadly mold out, it’ll be like $575 for you to, for us to go through, clean everything…


Andrea said no, and complained to the Better Business Bureau, which investigated.


BARRY GOGGIN [Better Business Bureau]:
And there’s no way this tester can confirm that you have mold.


The B.B.B. [Better Business Bureau] found that this tester pen was designed to measure residual protein on commercial food processing machines.


They’re using these kinds of tactics to induce people to buy additional services, and that’s, that’s where they’re making much more money.


The B.B.B. found that six companies were doing very little cleaning, but a lot of high pressure selling. Robert Oaks of Sacramento learned that the hard way.


ROBERT OAKS [Homeowner]:
I basically paid $69 for them to try to sell me a very hard sell of about $500 worth of useless services.


The Better Business Bureau says you should pay between $300 and $500 for professional duct cleaning. The B.B.B. is now offering guidelines to help consumers avoid air cleaning scams- for that go to and look for a link to the report.


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