KUSA - The 9Wants to Know investigators put three air-duct cleaning companies to the test to see if advertised deals were the deals they delivered.
Together with the Better Business Bureau, 9Wants to Know identified three companies. Each had an "F" rating with the BBB.
"These are companies that didn't want to cooperate with us and seemed to have the most problems with advertising and complaints," BBB Spokeswoman Megan Herrera said.
9Wants to Know rigged a 1,600 square-foot home with hidden cameras to hear their sales pitches.
Imperial Cleaning charged $140 for 10 vents. The company kept its word.
Fresh Air offered $39 air-duct cleaning on Living Social. After several calls, they couldn't schedule the cleaning until April.
"It's a problem if you pay for it now and can't get it scheduled in a reasonable time," Herrera said.
The Finest Duct Cleaning said it would clean ducts for $40. The offer included unlimited vents, one main-line duct, one return line and furnace cleaning.
When the company arrived, an employee told us we had more lines than the offer allowed.
He told us cleaning would cost $360.
If we wanted to only get the $40 offer, the employee told us we'd have to still pay extra to have access holes drilled in our vents.
Each hole would cost $25, The Finest Duct Cleaning employee told our undercover producer.
"You should never put an advertisement out there that you don't intend to honor," Herrera said. "It's outright unethical."
She suggests customers check out a business' reputation online at www.bbb.org.
The cost of typical air-duct cleaning for a house will cost more than $300, AAA Quality Air Duct and Carpet Cleaning owner Christophe Samarou said.
Samarou's company won the BBB's Torch Award. The award recognizes businesses with high quality and high customer service, Herrera said.
Listen to other tips from Samarou:
One federal government agency says not everyone needs to clean their air ducts.
"If no one in your household suffers from allergies or unexplained symptoms or illnesses, and if, after a visual inspection on the inside of the ducts you see no indication that your air ducts are contaminated with large deposits of dust or mold ... having your air ducts cleaned is probably unnecessary," the EPA website says.
Read more at http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/airduct.html.
Have a comment or tip for investigative reporter Jace Larson? Call him at 303-871-1432 or e-mail him
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