Thursday, April 30, 2009

Let's Go For a Ride

My husband and I are terrible consumers. 

We are gullible and trusting--hence, I think we often get taken for a ride.

Today we had a duct cleaning company come on out to our house to clean our vents and air ducts. I chose them because we had a coupon from them that they would clean any number of vents, any sized house for a flat rate. Granted, it was an excellent rate, but still . . . I believed it to be true.

The guy came out, looked at all our vents, and then announced that it would cost four times as much as the coupon. Of course, when pointed out, my husband saw that in microscopic print where it said that the price would depend on the number of vents etc.

Okay so David tells the guy, umm, no thanks. And then the guy says, well, you owe us for the service call, or they could do the vents on the main floor and we'd get "something" for our money. 

So just now I looked up what air duct cleaning entails, because I wanted to see if the guy had actually done anything.

Turns out that the EPA says there is no definitive answer whether duct cleaning is necessary. It is their opinion that duct cleaning should only be done if you visible mold growing on your vents, you have a vermin problem, or your vents are spewing particles of dust and debris (visibly) into the air.

Umm, we didn't have any of those problems. And yet, we totally believed our regular furnace service man when he said it would improve the air quality in our home. We were so proud of ourselves when we found this company in the ValuMailer and their cost was substantially less than our heating and cooling company.

But apparently, for our money we got nothing. According the EPA web site, the service guy didn't do any of the things he was supposed to do.

So, yep. We were taken for a ride. And it was not a pleasant one.

When will we learn to do business cautiously? Well, we're half way through our life and we still haven't learned, apparently--so perhaps, never? *sigh*