Cordova woman says she was duped for hundreds of dollars in an air duct cleaning job with fake photos

Duct cleaning company used fake photos to upcharge service, scams customers

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A warning from a Cordova woman who claims a local company showed her bogus photos to run up a big bill at her house.

Zabreta Tyson says she ran across a Groupon ad from “Premier Air Duct Cleaning” advertising a service to clean air ducts for just $27.00.

“Like I'm saving a lot of money, so that's what attracted me to the Groupon,” said Tyson.

Tyson says when the technician came to her home and went into her attic she says he found something was terribly wrong.

“When he first walked in, he went to the attic and started coughing and saying we had mold and mildew,” said Tyson.

She says he provided a photo of what he said was her air ducts. It showed a severe build-up of mold that he says was being spread throughout her new home.

The original $27 fee soon ballooned to $700.

“I did hesitate, but you know since the picture showed a vent of mold I said well I better get this done while this guy is here,” said Tyson.

Within a matter of minutes Tyson says the technician finished the job, even providing a new picture of her shiny and mold-free air duct.

A look at the time stamp on Tyson’s text message shows he finished the job in seven minutes.

“He just rushed out the house and didn’t say goodbye,” said Tyson.

Tyson said after a closer examination of the pictures she noticed this was not the same air duct.

After doing a quick Google search, Tyson noticed that the picture the technician claimed to be her air duct was actually a stock photo.

WMC Action News 5 found an air duct cleaning company in Raleigh, North Carolina, using the same photo.

“I felt really stupid. Actually I felt bad. I was angry,” said Tyson.

The Premier Air Duct Cleaning has an "F" rating with the Better Business Bureau. There are 15 complaints from customers in the last 36 months, 14 of those complaints are unanswered.

“So if they don’t respond to 14 of their other customers they may not respond to you if you have a problem as well,” said Nancy Crawford with the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South.

Crawford says it’s important that customers vet companies before hiring them.

The owner of the company didn’t return our numerous phone calls or emails, so we went to the address listed on the website and Tyson’s receipt which took us to a residential neighborhood in Munford, Tennessee.

No one answered the door.

Tyson has this message for customers.

“Even if I don’t get my money back, I just really want the word to get out to know that this guy is taking advantage of people and if you get something on Groupon or anything like you should really do your homework,” said Tyson.

Groupon sent us a statement saying in part:

“We’ve removed the company’s Memphis ad from our marketplace and any viewers who were unable to redeem their Groupons or had a subpar experience with this merchant can reach out to us for a refund.”

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