duct cleaning scam

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
duct cleaning scam
Tue, 09-03-2013 - 7:58pm

Those in Ontario have probably heard of the Duct cleaning scam. There is a tele-marketing company in Pakistan, pretending to be in Toronto, calling and trying to arrange duct cleaning in your home.  If you agree, you have some "fly by night" idiots come to your home (if they show up) and pretend to clean your ducts and then charge you lots of money.

They do not take no for an answer and are not stop by the "no call list". They are not in Canada so they ignore any requests to "not call again".

Anyways, they called "yet again" last night. I thought I would have some fun.

I let the young man do his pitch and then asked where was he calling from.

"Toronto", he said. Did he know where I was?  He answered "Ottawa, Canada". He added that they do work in Ottawa.  (If he was really in Toronto, he would not added Canada unless he was a total  idiot. People in Toronto do know that Ottawa is in Canada.). I then asked if he knew how far Ottawa is from Toronto. I could hear him typing (i.e. checking the internet) and then he answered 300 miles.

Well, I said, miles is not what we use in Canada. I do not understand "miles". So, I asked him again.. how far is Ottawa from Toronto. He keep saying 300 miles, this went on for several times. I then asked him if he was younger tham 60? 50? 40?  Any young person living in Canada would not use miles.

The kids were home and they were laughing hysterically.

I know.. I bad.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-24-1997
Tue, 09-03-2013 - 8:58pm

Good for you!  I would have done the same.  Knowing me, I would have asked the caller, if the distance is 300 miles, how long would that take driving?  And given the price of gas, how much would you charge for duct cleaning?  After he gives you the cost for cleaning, I would then say, well, we have a service in town that does it for 1/2 the price.  Then hang up.  By the way, a true Canadian would know exactly how long it takes from Toronto to Ottawa.


Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Wed, 09-04-2013 - 9:02am

Hee - LOLOL but what a pain!

Avatar for nora_mcl
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-30-2011
Wed, 09-04-2013 - 9:50am

Oh You ARE bad-but what a hoot. I answered one of their calls hesitantly because it was the same number a short time ago that was an obscene phonecall (a call that was all 0's). Gee-I hadn't had one of those for a LONG time! I thought I was out of their age range!

When I told Mike about the call (to have our air ducts cleaned-not the other)-he said maybe we should have it done?NO-not from someone who can barely speak English. Now I know that we can have fun with it-anyone who knows where our village is will have to be genuine! I usually am too polite-& say "No thank you" & hang up.


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Wed, 09-04-2013 - 10:05am

Yup, Gold.. a true Canadian, especially someone living in Toronto would know. I was thinking of asking that question.  Even someone who has been in Canada for a short time, would have answered the question in how many hours it takes to drive.Gee, I could have had more fun with that one.

After I got off the phone, I realised that a better question would be "why are you calling today at 8pm?", Did he know what today is (it was Labor Day Monday)? How come his company is open today? I could have let him dangle for a few minutes with that one.

I think the next time they call, I will  pretend to be hard of hearing and say quoi? every few minutes and switch back and forth from French to English.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Wed, 09-04-2013 - 10:48am

Nora, I tried the polite route but after been called several times in one week (once three times in a day), the time to be "polite" is long passed. Did you report that obscene phone call?

 I was actually thinking of giving them a made-up address or say the address of the local OPP (now that would be funny) but they would only call back and harass me even more. 

I have a rule of thumb. Anyone who tries to sell me anything on the phone or at my door-it is an automatic no, except it is a service I am very familar with (i.e. Student Painters or a well-known landscaping firm that hires kids in the spring) and they are at the door.

I am glad you answered the phone and not Mike. Their "offer" is too good to be true. But be prepared, now that they have called you, you are on their list. They will call you again.

Avatar for deenow17
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2004
Fri, 09-06-2013 - 12:14pm
Way to go, I love it. I hate these calls especially the one from India telling me that there is a problem with my computer & they need to access it to fix it. I worry about those who don't know better & just let them get access as the caller makes it sound so serious. Dee
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2013
Thu, 11-14-2013 - 3:18am

In recent years air duct cleaning industry has become a multi million dollar business. Here in Calgary, Edmonton all over in Alberta every day home owners are bombarded with information from companies claiming that duct cleaning can “reduce heating bills” and “improve air quality”. Recently however serious concerns have arisen as to the actual benefits air duct cleaning provide.

In its report the EPA stated that the only time home owners should consider professional cleaning of domestic home heating ducts is if they have what it terms “gross problems” such as “mold growth, vermin infestations or excessive dust or debris”. Despite that however every year millions of home owners across North America spend hundreds of dollars getting their ducts professionally cleaned.

According to industry experts the best way to maintain and look after your home heating system is by having it regularly serviced by a qualified technician and frequently maintaining and/or changing the return air filter.

Edmonton, AB ( info@mightycleanducts.ca )
(780) 488-0692