John Shulte, Ex. Dir. NADCA -Dateline NBC Expose/ Bait & Switch

Air Date: 2-04-2011|Episode 195

This week NADCA Executive Director John Shulte joins us to discuss HVAC cleaning issues and the recent Dateline NBC expose on duct cleaning scams...

Full Description:

This week NADCA Executive Director John Shulte joins us to discuss HVAC cleaning issues and the recent Dateline NBC expose on duct cleaning scams. A recent press release from NADCA describes the segment as follows: “The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) participated in an undercover investigation by Chris Hansen and Dateline NBC to expose companies that use bait and switch tactics to take advantage of consumers. The investigation culminated in a segment that aired January 30, 2011, featuring NADCA President Buck Sheppard as the industry expert. After witnessing one of the scam operators in action, Sheppard was taken aback. “It was amazing how unscrupulous some people can actually be,” he noted.”

Z-Man’s Blog:

Bait & Switch advertising

On January 31, 2011 Air Duct Cleaning Scammers were exposed on national television. The National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA) participated in the undercover investigation by Dateline NBC to expose companies that use bait and switch tactics to take advantage of consumers. IAQradio appreciates John Shulte (Executive Director of the National Air Duct Cleaner’s Association) for pinch hitting while our scheduled guest Buck Shepard (President of NADCA) tended to a business emergency. Both John and Buck were onsite when the segments were being filmed. John’s comments about the behind the scenes making of the show were engaging.

Bait and switch advertising occurs in retail sales, consumer lending, service businesses such as duct cleaning, carpet cleaning, etc. The bait is an alluring low price and the switch happens when the salesmen claims that the low price product isn’t available and tries to persuade the customer in spending much more. The 16 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations ) Part 238 defines the terms and provides the basis for determining if a sales offer is bona fide, interestingly including the use of compensation plans which penalize salesman from selling the low price offer.

Nuggets mined from the show:

· When something seems too good to be true it likely is.

· Consumer’s need to do some research on the product or service they are purchasing and check company references.

· Trade association’s often have member codes of ethics.

· Consumer’s need to resist being coerced into.

· If it doesn’t feel right, get a second opinion.

· Do the right thing, even if the customer isn’t looking the hidden cameras may be recording.

Glenn Fellman’s observed that the trade of HVAC systems cleaning maybe coming of age, as the Dateline segment didn’t comment on the validity of the duct cleaning as a service but rather the firms who were cheating consumers.

The financial predators that prey upon and victimize the elderly, many of whom suffer from health problems and are on limited incomes, are particularly despicable and worthy of our scorn.

Z-Man Signing Off

 

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