Watch out for empty promises from gutter cleaning companies
GRESHAM, Ore. - Alan Stoebig used to clean his gutters himself, but these days the 70-year-old says he feels less spry.
"I'm not as young as I used to be and I just don't feel comfortable about going up and moving around on the roof," Stoebig said.
JNine Pro Services called Stoebig last year about its gutter-cleaning service.
"You don't want to fall off or break your leg or worse," said Stoebig.
He paid the company $850 for a year of cleaning before the rains came. Stoebig said the service was never done.
"I heard this funny sound when water was coming over the edge there," he said.
Stoebig said his gutters were overflowing with sticky, leafy muck. Water seeped into his basement and damaged his life's collection of at least 10,000 books.
JNine didn't return his calls, Stoebig said.
"He never returned one of my calls, either by email or regular mail or phone call," he said. "It really is a very disappointing matter for me."
Stoebig is one of many who have complained about JNine Pro Services. The company also offers moss and pest control.
The Oregon Department of Justice sent JNine a warning letter after people complained that the company was calling and falsely claiming that they needed to get bug treatment because the state put out an alert on carpenter ants.
The Better Business Bureau gave the company an "F".
JNine's owner, John David Moore, has a long history of complaints. But finding him is not easy.
The address he lists with the state is a trailer at a park and the people living there said they don't know anyone by that name.
The Problem Solvers discovered that Moore opened another business in Portland - West Coast Home Pro. The business also offers services for gutters, moss and pests.
A crew from West Coast Home Pro came to a Problem Solvers' decoy house to treat it for rats, but they didn't have a required pest control license.
Calls and requests to speak with Moore about the company were not returned.
Here's what you can do to make sure you get the service you pay for:
Ask for a license number. Companies don't need a license to clean gutters, but they do need one for pest control.
Check out the company online. Does is have an "F" from the BBB?
Watch out for a lowball estimate designed to lure you in.
Don't say yes before you research the company.
Don't pay for a year of service before you know how the company works.
Stoebig said it will cost thousands of dollars to salvage the books and repair the basement.
"When they say they provide a service and they don't do it, what's the purpose of the service in the first place? Especially when you're paying the money."