Columbus - 
Legislation designed to protect consumers from air duct cleaning scams passed the Ohio Senate today. State Senator Kevin Bacon (R- Village of Minerva Park) sponsored the measure after a series of investigative reports in Ohio that uncovered some air duct cleaning providers who misled consumers by charging unnecessary fees for services.

"While there are many air duct cleaning vendors that perform their work with honesty and integrity, the questionable practices of others endanger the credibility of the industry as a whole," Bacon said. "My bill seeks to ensure that consumers can have confidence in the services they purchase as well as the companies performing them."

The Better Business Bureau received more than 58,000 inquiries nationwide last year regarding air duct cleaners. Under Senate Bill 338, companies would be required to register with the Ohio Department of Commerce before advertising or performing their services. The registration would include proof of insurance and a history of work experience. Vendors would have to display their registration number on all vehicles, ads and other documents associated with the business. Consumers would be able to search and verify a vendor's registration using an online database.

The bill also prohibits performing services without a written contract and misrepresenting whether dangerous substances such as mold are present in vents or duct lines. Violations of these provisions would fall under the Consumer Sales and Practices Act.

"This bill specifically addresses the practices used by illegitimate businesses, and will help promote quality air duct cleaning services by reducing confusion in the market and promoting the good practices typically used by legitimate businesses," said John Schulte, Executive Director of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association, who testified in support of the bill. "This problem is not limited to Ohio, and the approach taken in Senate Bill 338 to better regulate the air duct cleaning industry in this state can serve as a model for others."

Senate Bill 338 now moves to the Ohio House of Representatives for further consideration.
Senator Bacon represents the 3rd Ohio Senate District, which encompasses northern and eastern portions of Franklin County. For more information, please visit http://OhioSenate.gov/Bacon.
 
 
 
  
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