Ohio AG sues air duct cleaner

Bryan Cohen Apr. 9, 2012, 1:21pm


COLUMBUS, Ohio (Legal Newsline) - Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine filed a lawsuit on Friday against a Columbus-based air duct cleaning business and its owner for allegedly engaging in multiple consumer law violations, including shoddy work and misrepresentation.

Employees of Rob's Cleaning Service LLC allegedly gave consumers an estimate over the phone, but after arriving at the consumer's house, they would say that additional services were required or that the cost would be much higher.

"This business used a classic bait-and-switch scheme," DeWine said. "It advertised low-cost vent cleaning services, but regularly sold consumers more expensive services that cost several times more than the advertised prices. It also used high pressure tactics and failed to provide consumers with cancellation rights."

Rob's Cleaning Service LLC advertised appliance, furnace, ventilation and duct cleaning and repairs. The business also used the names The Ductman or Ductman. Consumers usually contacted Rob's Cleaning Service after viewing an advertisement.

Employees of the business allegedly used scare tactics to induce consumers to pay hundreds of dollars for the removal of mold that was never confirmed or even existed.

There have been dozens of complaints filed about Rob's Cleaning Service and Ductman with DeWine's office and the Better Business Bureau, and DeWine said that additional consumers may have been affected.

The business and its owner allegedly violated Ohio's Consumer Sales Practices Act and Home Solicitation Sales Act. DeWine is seeking permanent injunctive relief, civil penalties and full consumer restitution.

Robert Kimberly, the company's owner, was also named in the lawsuit.

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