News 4 investigates air duct company not living up to its advertisment

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by Chris Nagus / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on February 6, 2013 at 11:56 PM

Updated Thursday, Feb 7 at 11:28 AM

(KMOV.com) -- The coupons arrive in the mail: $50 for an air duct cleaning. But when their crews arrive at your house, the price goes up if you really want your air ducts "cleaned."

Cindy McComb of south St. Louis County got one of those coupons from Pure Air. She told News 4 “they left a bigger mess than when I started”.

McComb agreed to pay an upcharge of $399, but for that she expected them to actually clean her ducts. After the Pure Air crew left her house, she said it was covered with dust and her ducts were still clogged with debris.

To get an idea how the company performs their services, News 4 set up several hidden cameras inside an Oakville home and put Pure Air to the test.

The technicians brought in a bunch of equipment, and it made a bunch of noise, but when they tried to charge our producer more than $300 she said she only wanted the $50 coupon cleaning. Within an hour they were done cleaning the 2,800 square foot home. 

So when the crew came out of the home, News 4’s Chris Nagus asked them what our producer got for 50 bucks.  They said they did the best they could for $50.

Before Pure Air arrived at the home, we had the house inspected by Patty Clisham. Clisham is the owner of DUCTZ, the award winning and nationally recognized duct cleaning company.

Last year we had Patty inspect a home in Crestwood when we put a different air duct company, US Air Ducts, to the test.  That company was accused of charging a disabled woman more than $2,000 off a $50 coupon.  But when we tried to confront the crew, they ran off and drove away, dropping equipment out of the back of their vehicle.

US Air Ducts went out of business and then the company’s assets were purchased by Pure Air.

Patty inspected their work again for the home in Oakville.

“They did not do anything beneficial for the duct work in this home at all” said Clisham.

Clisham says the crew did exactly what anyone could do. They stuck a vacuum down the vents and gave it a few swipes.

Clisham says she hates these coupons because the offer is impossible. Proper duct work cleaning takes several hours. Plus, on a home the size of the Oakville house, it would cost more than $800.

So Chris Nagus called Pure Air managers for answers. In an email they admitted their advertising was confusing, and said they’re changing their ads. They also said the technician who cleaned Cindy McComb’s house was fired and other than purchasing the assets of US Air Ducts, they are not affiliated in any way.

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