Is That Deal Legit or a Scam?
Recently on Facebook, there have been multiple posts in various local groups that have touted an amazing deal when it comes to cleaning your air ducts. Some members of those groups after digging deeper into the person posting found little to no legitimacy to their business or deal. Ultimately determining it was most likely a scam. A lemon of a deal.
Bait & Switch Are The Most Common Scams
The most common we’ve seen is less than a $100 coupon. You may have seen them before, for only $89 or even $59 they will come and clean your air ducts. What they are not telling you is that the average home takes between 3 and 4 hours to clean. If you have a business that is insured and has typical costs such as fuel for the vehicle, not to mention paying people for work you can quickly begin to add that the math doesn’t add up. Unfortunately, it’s pretty common for upsells in these instances that would cost more than a typical duct cleaning. The average duct cleaner for the average home in Utah would average may run about $250-$500 depending on how many registers, square footage, number of furnaces, or other factors.
Often they end up coming out to your home and doing an inspection, maybe running their vacuums and then telling you it will end up costing $1000 or more. We like a good deal as much as anyone but if it sounds cheap, there is a reason for it.
Fake Businesses Are A New Scam
We say fake business because it appears to be an individual posting about the cleaning service. They may be real, although from slightly outside the service area. After looking at the profile, they seem to have almost identical images, and their profile is new. There’s little to no information about the business. In our day and age, there is usually something out there about a business. Whether it’s a website, a Facebook page, Google reviews, or even just the state business registration, even start-ups should have information out there. Anyone can do a search online for air duct cleaning pictures and can post them as their own. That’s why its important to find unique information about any business.
How Do You Know It’s a Real Deal?
That’s a good question. How do you know if a business is real, or if it’s a scam? Here is some information you should look for:
- A business name, address online. Even a home-based business should have an address that can be found usually on Google, Facebook, state registration, or a website.
- Who’s posting it? Even companies that pay for someone to manage social media should have a little history and information that could show that they have a direct connection to the business name and even link back to their site or page with contact information.
- Look at a Facebook page. The cost for a Facebook profile or page is the same $0. It stands to reason that if they are advertising by posting to a Facebook group that they should have a page that shows their contact information and content to show the history of being around more than a week.
- Look for reviews or recommendations. Online reviews from legitimate profiles show validity to a company. Text only reviews that do not link to a 3rd party site like Google, Angie’s List or anywhere can be made up by anyone.
- Ask for a quote with a service agreement. Most service-based contractors will have some legal writing to what they will do in conjunction with what the customer’s responsibilities are (i.e., pay at the end of the job, deposits, legal disputes, etc).
Taking time to do some research for even a few minutes can save a big headache and prevent a possible scam. We’ve seen what has been posted in our local Cache Valley groups and find it great that the members are looking out for each other. We always recommend doing the research.
Even if it isn’t us coming out to clean your air ducts we wouldn’t wish a scam on anyone, especially with the way this past year has gone.