TIGARD, Ore. -- This is the time of year when your mind may turn to spring cleaning. But watch out for cleaning companies that may be playing dirty by taking your money and not doing the job.
Martin Douglass of Tigard ran into one of these companies on Amazon Local, called All Services Pro. The company offered a chimney cleaning service for $49. Douglass said he purchased the offer and the chimney cleaner showed up at his house the day before a dinner party.
"He went on the roof and he did his stuff and said the chimney was extremely clean," said Douglass.
But when Douglass started the fire next the day, before the dinner, there were problems.
"The room filled up, it just filled up with smoke, just really, really quick," said Douglass. "It was amazing how fast it will up with smoke."
Douglass said the chimney had not been cleaned and was full of soot.
"What a mess!" said Douglass. "It was filthy. Hard to get off anything."
Douglass said he tried to call All Services Pro to get the cleaner back out to do the job and to get the company address, but they hung up on him and eventually blocked his number.
Douglass said that he could not file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau without the company's address.
The KATU Problem Solvers called the company and found that the company representative would not give an address, denied getting any complaints and hung up on our calls.
We found that the company goes by a number of different names, including All Services Pro, All Service Pro, Air Duct Cleaning and My Air Duct. It not only offers chimney cleaning, but also gutter cleaning, air duct cleaning, dryer vent cleaning and pressure washing.
We scheduled a chimney cleaning and an All Services Pro crew came out for the appointment. However, when the crew saw the KATU cameras, they left immediately in a van with Pennsylvania plates.
Douglass said he is not happy with the cleaning company. He said he thought he was buying a service from a company in the Portland area.
"It was Amazon Local. It was a local company I thought I was using," said Douglass. "I believe in supporting local business people."
An Amazon Local spokesperson said that not all of its deals are local, but refused to say how many complaints this company has received.
Douglass said Amazon local refunded his $49. However, he said the All Service Pro cleaner told Douglass he had to pay an extra $25 cash to the cleaner for him to go up on the roof to work on the chimney, and Douglass has not received a refund for that.
Here are things you can do to protect yourself from companies like these, that often go by different names and spring up on coupon sites:
- Do not purchase the offer until you have checked out the company.
- Search for complaints on line.
- Check with the Better Business Bureau for complaints, but do not assume if the company has no complaints with the BBB that it is trouble-free.
- Look for an address on the company web site. If you do not see one, call the company for the address. Pay attention to how they respond to your request and verify the address online.
- Check with friends, family and co-workers for recommendations about companies they have used.
- Watch for extra charges after you have already purchased a deal.
- If you have a problem, file a complaint with the coupon site.