Duct Cleaning Scam
Earlier in 2018 Ontario banned door-to-door sales for duct cleaning. What they were finding was that where there are a lot of reputable companies offering this service there were also many scammers using the "bait and switch" method. This is where the scammer sucks in a victim by offering incredibly low prices on duct cleaning, then after they come in and "inspect" the ducts they upsell and use fear-marketing tactics to convince the victim that they need to spend more.
Reputable companies were suffering in Ontario as people started to lump those companies in with the scammers. Getting your ducts cleaned is an important thing to do every 3-5 years or so to help remove the buildup of allergens and potentially harmful spores that can affect your indoor air quality, but people were starting to fear that no matter who was doing the job they were going to be bilked out of their hard earned money.
A reputable duct cleaning company is easy to spot among the scammers. First of all, they won't cold call someone. If you do get someone calling you offering unbelievable deals on duct cleaning services don't engage them, don't give them personal information then register a complaint with the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). You can also have your phone number on the National Do Not Call List.
Secondly, they won't go door-to-door soliciting sales. Data provided from the Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services revealed door-to-door heating, air and water services sales collectively generated 7,058 "complaints, incidents and inquiries" in the last three years. Servicing and sales of water heaters, water treatment devices and purifiers and furnaces had the most complaints.
Such statistics aren't available for Manitoba, but we know that duct cleaning companies are still making the rounds selling services door-to-door. Should anybody come to your door common sense should prevail...don't let them into your home under any circumstances, try to get as much information about the company as you can by looking at their van etc, then contact the Manitoba Consumer Protection Office.
Thirdly, reputable duct cleaning companies won't advertise in Facebook community groups. They may use Facebook ads which are a totally different thing, but even then be sure to confirm their website and other business details are legitimate. Sometimes scammers will slightly change the name of a reputable company (for example, instead of the reputable Corner 2 Corner Cleaning, they could go by Corner TO Corner) in the hopes that people won't notice, so it's important to read everything carefully.
Other things to be wary of when you're approached by a duct cleaning company are things like do they show you results right then and there? Will they take a before and after picture with you there so you know that it's not a pre-photographed duct? Do they put their estimates and all other work done in writing? Do they insist on you paying cash so you can "get a better deal"? Do they have testimonials and reviews to back up their work or can they provide references? Bottom line, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.