Beaumont, TX -- July 18, 2012 -- The Better Business Bureau Serving Southeast Texas warns consumers of the business practices of CleanaVent (Coastal Environmental), an air duct cleaning company located in Sebastian, FL (800-664-5322), who is soliciting Southeast Texas consumers. According to consumer calls made to the BBB, the company uses deceptive tactics to mislead consumers into paying several hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of dollars for air duct cleaning services.
Customers are attracted by low advertised prices, generally through print advertising or telephone solicitations, for air duct cleaning services from $25 for a "whole house cleaning" with $7 for each additional vent. These ads/offers often include a depiction or description of a giant dust mite and descriptions of bacteria and unhealthy air quality.
Once the company's sales agents are in the consumer's home, they lead the consumer to believe he or she has a serious mold problem and that it will take hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars to have the mold removed. The sales agent adds charges for treatments, inhibitors, electrostatic filters, and ultra violet lights. One local customer was presented with a bill for over $2,000. When she questioned it, the company lowered the charges to $216 after learning she could not afford the higher charge.
In addition to these unethical tactics, consumers were urged to purchase electrostatic filters in the price range of $200. In some cases the filters were never delivered. Others report they paid over $600 for an ultra violet light to assist in warding off mold growth; however, the ultra violet bulbs only last a few weeks to a few months and the company would not assist with replacements.
BBB of West Palm Beach, FL where this company is located, has issued an F rating for this business based on its receipt of 83 customer complaints, of which 43 are unanswered by the company and 11 remain unresolved as of 7/18/2012.
This company is also operating under the following business names: VacuVent, Vacu Vent, VacuVent Indoor Air Quality Specialists, Clean Air by Design, VacuVent Franchising, Inc. and Coastal Environmental, LLC
- Always Check with BBB First. Before setting up a visit, check the company out with your BBB. Ideally, the business will be Accredited by BBB or at least have a good rating. Pay close attention to the name of the business you're researching because questionable companies often choose a name that is similar to an existing business that has a solid reputation. To check a company's marketplace performance and obtain the firm's BBB rating, visit www.southeasttexasbbb.org
- Get a Second Opinion. If a duct cleaner indicates that you have a mold problem, get a second opinion. Mold remediation can cost thousands of dollars so you'll want expert advice on how to take care of it.
- Look for the Fine Print. Ads and contracts may contain fine print, which the business may think will absolve them from honoring their advertised price. Always ask plenty of questions and get to the bottom line of what it's going to cost you before you sign on the dotted line.
- Consumers who place charges on their credit card can dispute the charges with the credit card provider under the Fair Credit Billing Act.
- File a Complaint with BBB. If you believe CleanaVent has misled you, you may file a complaint with BBB by visiting http://southeasttexas.bbb.org/. Even if BBB isn't able to resolve the issue for you, the complaint can serve as a warning to other consumers about the company's business practices.
To find a trusted air duct cleaning service accredited with the Better Business Bureau Serving Southeast Texas, visit www.bbb.org or call 409/835-5348 or 855/BBB-SETX.
As the leader in advancing marketplace trust, Better Business Bureau® is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Every year, more than 87 million consumers rely on BBB Business Reviews and BBB Wise Giving Reports® to help them find trustworthy businesses and charities across North America. Visit http://www.bbb.org for more information.