Albuquerque air duct cleaner disputes homeowner's damages claim

Albuquerque air duct cleaner disputes homeowner's damages claim

Member complaint

I hired Clean Sweep of Albuquerque, New Mexico, to clean the air ducts in the house. After a two-hour complete inspection, they elected not to clean the air ducts because of what they presumed might be issues involving mold. They sent a bill for $149, which I disputed. They canceled that bill, rescheduled the work after changing their mind about the condition of the air ducts, and cleaned them with a Rotobrush.

The return air ducts, which are metal, survived, but the supply air ducts were made of Sonotube and lined with mylar, and the Rotobrush slashed and damaged them beyond repair. I had to shut down the forced air system entirely.

Clean Sweep has refused to discuss this situation or accept any responsibility for the damage. They say the air ducts are original to the house and I cannot prove another company didn’t ruin them previously. I want a $355 refund.

Terry McKay, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Provider response

We’ve done hundreds of air duct cleaning jobs and this is the first complaint we’ve ever had accusing us of damaging a customer’s air ducts. We aren’t responsible for the condition of the customer’s ducts. We didn’t have any visible or physical evidence that we caused damage to the ducts during cleaning.

We use a soft-brush cleaning system. If our brushes caused damage, we’d have known because we would’ve pulled debris from the ducts during cleaning. The customer has Sonotube ducts, which is a cellulose, cardboard-based material that’s known to deteriorate and become damaged over time, especially when exposed to moisture. When the customer originally spoke with us, she said she smelled mold every time the air system came on. This may support the fact that moisture was a factor in the deterioration of the Sonotube over time.

In addition, other vendors cleaned the customer’s ducts prior to our service. The customer’s claim that we changed our minds about needing to clean her ducts at the original appointment is false. After visually showing her the dirty condition of her ducts, she confirmed she wanted to schedule a new appointment to clean them. As a courtesy, we didn’t charge her for two hours of labor for the original inspection, since she had us return to clean the ducts.

Paul DeDomenico, managing member

Status

Stalemate

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