Exposing deception within the air duct cleansing business – KTVI Fox 2 St. Louis

ST. LOUIS – Cleansing air ducts is a grimy job, however Mitchell Stonebarger is well-equipped. Along with mud and particles, Mitchell needs to get rid of deception within the air duct cleansing business.

“So long as the web is round, there’s all the time going to be a problem,” he stated.

Stonebarger says this newest challenge includes others posing as his firm on Fb Market.

“These folks had been sending out quotes and when folks requested what firm they had been, they’d say HyperAirDuctCleaning.com,” he stated.

Stonebarger says he’s caught folks previously utilizing his firm’s images and movies with out permission to advertise their very own companies.

“However this explicit state of affairs was totally different. So, I made a decision to arrange a sting,” he stated.

Mitchell responded to a Fb advert and booked an appointment for the corporate to come back to his good friend’s dwelling. Mitchell confirmed FOX 2 his trade with “Alan Ralph” on Fb Messenger. It particulars the proposed pricing. When he asks to view the corporate’s web site, the person replies with a hyperlink to Mitchell’s firm’s web site!

“I used to be type of shocked they even confirmed up,” Stonebarger stated.

On the day of the job, Stonebarger’s digicam was rolling. He shared the video with us. The technician arrived in an unmarked automobile with Tennessee plates.

“Once I walked into the door, I noticed her down there selecting aside the furnace and speaking to Tim. The up gross sales had already begun. They had been speaking 1000’s of {dollars},” he stated. “Initially they stated $199. I simply requested her, ‘The place’s Hyper?’ She’s like, ‘We contract for all of the air duct corporations.’ I’m like, ‘I’m the founding father of Hyper. I began it. I don’t know who you’re, and we actually don’t contract with anyone.’”

Stonebarger says the technician put him on the cellphone together with her boss.

“I’m like, ‘What firm are you? Who’re you with?’ He stated he was only a contractor for different duct corporations,” he stated.

Stonebarger had Chesterfield police on web site for security.

“There wasn’t a lot (police) might do. He was simply speaking to her on the aspect, getting her data,” he stated. “There wasn’t something they may do about it as a result of it’s only a civil state of affairs.”

Stonebarger appears like there’s not a lot he can do to forestall this from taking place once more.

“All I can do is simply warn the general public and allow them to know that we don’t promote on Fb Market. We don’t promote on locations like Craigslist. We’re largely referral based mostly. Good work and good ethics have saved us in enterprise,” he stated.

FOX 2 contacted Fb to ask the way it works to deal with conditions like this once they’re reported to the corporate. We’ve but to obtain a response.

When hiring somebody, suggestions from household and associates, on-line evaluations, and Higher Enterprise Bureau scores, are good beginning factors. You’ll be able to all the time ask staff coming to your house to indicate you identification proving they’re who they are saying they’re. That is perhaps a pink flag if they will’t or gained’t present it.

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