Friday, December 11, 2009

Furnace Company Foolishness

Ran across American Fresh Air through ValuePak coupons offering $75 furnace duct cleaning. Came in, high pressure sales technique to 84yo depression era woman results in leaving w/ check for $700.00. And didn't consult the customer named on the invoice (moi) despite my being readily available by phone. I am unamused - sufficiently so that I am willing to act on it.

Representatives of American Fresh Air left external doors standing open at ground floor level, unplugged power to a server room and took down two web & mail servers, the core of my local network. 2nd Mail server going down killed outgoing e-mail for employer. Just for icing, the "techs" unplugged, and left unplugged various other electrical devices w/o consulting w/ homeowner.

Between security issue (open doors), actual damages (servers down), inflated prices, high pressure sales techniques American Fresh Air has engaged in sufficiently questionable practices that stopping payment has already occurred that the question of where we go from here becomes critical.

When I've hired an ATTORNEY they've cost less, on an hour for hour basis. When I've had a MD on hourly, it cost less. $350/hr for two furnace techs with no parts replacements seems a bit much when hiring an attorney to come in and clean furnace ducts would be $100/hr less, in my experience.

Given American Fresh Air's results on Yelp, recounting a similar tale again and again with various customers, I'm surprised that they haven't merited media coverage, AG investigations, or other severe business-impacting adventure. Sadly, I only "Yelped" after the fact...discovering their history a bit too late. Silly me.

I'm not sure whether to merely blog and yelp about it, approach the licensing board, talk to the BBB, call the cops on an "irish traveller" scheme, chat w/ the office of the State AG with passing mention of elder abuse and consumer fraud, get KOMO4 News problem solvers involved, do a general press release, or just file a class action - or all of the above. Their representatives comments and actions this morning will seriously affect my decision. I am *not* a happy camper.

I do suggest that avoiding this organization if at all possible should be a priority for prudent consumers. In the meantime, however, it's off to inquire whether they care to try and stay my hand.

7 comments:

Farm.Dad said...

Keep us updated . I will just point out that if you dont spank a puppy in a timely fashion it will continue to shit on the floor tho .

Anonymous said...

Call KOMO

D.W. Drang said...

Hmmm, we got hit up by an Irish father and son team last spring about re-paving our driveway. Deal was too good to be true. Did a reverse search on phone number on the card they gave me, just listed as a cell phone, no entries anywhere for the firm name, no L&I number...

"I think we'll wait to do the job."

PD says we do have a "Gypsy problem" here, as soon as I said "wonderful Irish brogue" he nodded and rolled his eyes...

Those "traveling people" songs are nice when you're sitting in Kell's or The Giants Causeway (now A Terrible Beauty) and sipping a Guinness, but there's a reason they're distrusted in the UK...

Christina LMT said...

Wow. Go get 'em, Gay_Cynic!

Lokidude said...

Z, all of the above. Release the hounds, and take no prisoners. I really hate bullies and cheats, in case you couldn't tell.

williamthecoroner said...

Do EVERYTHING. And then threaten armed violence to these assholes. Cry "Havoc" etc. etc.

Anonymous said...

I can recount what a neighbor of mine in MI did, some years ago, when this sort of thing was perpetrated upon him: 1) He contacted ValPack (the discount coupon folks)and apprised them of events, with advice that he intended to bring suit upon them if they did not remove all possible references to fraudulent "firm" immediately and henceforth; 2) Prior to that, he enlisted the aid of a friend with a house about 3 miles away, and, when the "Irish family" arrived at friend's abode, he, friend and their Rugby football team a) substantially dismantled the "service truck" and b) offered to substantially dismantle the "Irishmen" if they did not instantly fork over remuneration in cash (which they used later for several rounds at their favorite after-game bar).

The "Irish" involved, from my understanding, have not been seen or heard from since...