Received two solicitation calls from 847-454-5871. Call times were at 6:01pm and 6:50pm. At 7:06pm, the caller returned my call but from phone 847-418-0128. The caller was selling air duct cleaning. I was in the market for this service. We agreed that a sales person would visit our residence.
John Bielaga arrived 20 minutes late He was driving a GM car (1998/99 Oldsmobile, Pontiac, or Buick Regal) with Wisconsin license plates. I showed him the furnace room, he counted ducts on the first floor, and I gave him the number of ducts on the 2nd floor. He calculated a price for the air duct and dryer vent cleaning. He showed slides of their process, which made sense to me.
He indicated if we sign a contract today, he could guarantee the duct cleaning would be completed the end of the month. I did receive a phone quote from a local duct cleaning service. The prices were comparable but the first open spot was several weeks later. So I signed the Tri-State D.U.C.S contract. John did provide a list of satisfied customers for us to call. We agreed to a 3:00-5:00pm time slot on a certain date. John asked for a deposit of $120.00 to hold the spot. I wrote a personal check made to John Bielaga. The business card was not Tri-State Ducts but Tri State D.U.C.S. I did Google Tri State Ducts but did not find Tri State D.U.C.S. I did find it peculiar there was no business address or last names for John or his partner, Tim.
On the appointment date, I called John mid-morning to confirm they were still planning to do the cleaning. He didnt have an exact time but believed the 3:00-5:00pm time slot was still good. I told him I had to take a half vacation day and if things changed to call me. The appointment time came and went. At 4:29pm, Tim called to say his truck broke down and couldnt keep the appointment. We agreed to reschedule to a Saturday. I asked Tim to arrive between 07:30 and 08:00am as I had another commitment at 10:30am. Tim assured me he would be finished by 10:00.
Three days prior to the appointment, I called Tims cell, 847-665-9553, to reconfirm the appointment. He answered and assured me he would be at our residence early morning and be done by 10:00pm.
On Saturday, Tim never shows. I call Tims cell 847-665-9553, the office - 847-219-0999, and 847-418-0128. Messages are left. No return calls are made. I left at 1040am for my appointment. I called John, 847-630-5560, at 1145am. He answers and I shared what happened. He said hadnt spoken with Tim and would investigate. I told John, I want my deposit back. There would not be a third reschedule.
I called John on Tuesday, November 22nd asking about the status of my refund check. He indicated Tim was at my house early morning but I never answered the door. I indicated that comment was a lie. He said I have to discuss with Tim. At this time, John told me to stop calling him. If I didnt stop calling him, I would "live to regret it". I called Tims number and the office several times, left messages, none have been returned. I immediately sent an email to the email address on the business card Tristateducs@gmail.com. The email came back as undeliverable account does not exist.
I called my local police department seeking guidance. The policeman suggested filing a complaint with the Illinois Attorney General Office Consumer Fraud Office. This complaint was filed as was one with the state of WI.
I also learned of this website. Much to my glee both John Beliega and Tim Ebert had two complaint filed against them for fraud and failure to pay employees. TV station, Fox 6 in Milwaukee, ran a clip on the fraud being perpetrated by John Bielaga, Tim Ebert, and a third partner, Chris Miller and their firms.
I called four people on the customer list John provided. Tri State D.U.C.S did clean their ducts. However, I wonder how good a job they did as they didn't show photos of the ducts before and after the cleaning. Two customers reported Tri State DUCS having equipment problems during the cleaning process!!! I explained what happened to me and directed them to the Ripoff Report website. I asked them to not recommend Tri State DUCS to their friends as they ripped me off.
What I want to know is why the states of WI and IL allow these individuals to perpertrate this fraud? I sent a copy of my IL fraud claim to the local police departments. I also found two John Bielaga's living in the Milwaukee area. I called both phone numbers. John P's number was disconnected. John A never answered. Spare yourself the agony and avoid dealing with Tri State DUCS or Air. They are a fraud.