(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced today a settlement with Rob’s Cleaning Service, which also used the names “Ductman” or “The Ductman.” In April, Attorney General DeWine filed a lawsuit against the business charging it with multiple violations of Ohio consumer laws.
“We received complaints from dozens of consumers about this business,” said Attorney General DeWine. “But the owner worked with us to reach an agreement where the company will pay restitution and conduct business in compliance with Ohio’s consumer laws."
Rob’s Cleaning Service and owner Robert Kimberly, according to the June 12 consent judgment order, will pay $7,500 to the Attorney General’s Office in consumer restitution and an additional $2,500 to the Ohio Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Enforcement Fund.
The Columbus-based company provided duct, ventilation, furnace, and appliance cleaning and repair services. Consumers who called Rob’s Cleaning Service would usually be given an estimate on the work requested. However, when company employees arrived at their residences consumers were often told that additional work was needed, or that the work discussed on the phone would cost much more than the estimate they received.
Consumers said they were pressured into accepting these services or they were billed for services they did not want. In some cases, consumers were told after a brief inspection that their ventilation contained mold or bacteria that needed to be cleaned at a considerably higher cost than they had been quoted for a duct cleaning.
Rob’s also did not provide consumers with a notice of the right to cancel the transaction within three business days. Instead, the company completed work within that three-day period.
DeWine offered Ohio families the following tips to protect themselves in such transactions:
- Be skeptical of claims about the health benefits of duct cleaning. These claims may be unsubstantiated by scientific and medical communities.
- Research companies and get written estimates from several businesses before paying a duct cleaning service.
- Ask for references. Check with the Ohio Attorney General's Office and the Better Business Bureau for any complaints filed against the business.
- Be aware that Ohio currently does not require air duct cleaners to hold special licenses.
- If a company claims that mold has been found, conduct a visual inspection yourself. Unless a substantial amount of mold is visible, cleaning may be unnecessary.
- Confirm the presence of mold in your air ducts with another source. Don’t rely solely on the in-home test the air duct cleaner may conduct.
Check with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for guidelines on having your air ducts cleaned.
Consumers who believe they have been treated unfairly by Rob’s Cleaning Service, or any other business, should file a complaint at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov
Rob's Cleaning Service
Dan Tierney -- 614-466-3840
Mark Moretti -- 614-466-3840