Are You Getting Ripped Off?

A very sad reality the chimney industry deals with is the existence of bait-and-switch con artists who are trying to rip you off. They usually show up or call quoting a $40 sweep and end up quoting thousands of dollars after they “find” problems with the customer’s chimney. When they “reline” the chimney to fix the problem, a lot of times they only stick a short stub of a liner in the top to make it appear the repair has been performed. In reality, all they’ve done is take thousands of dollars of the victims money.

Here is a great article on the subject.

For someone not in the industry, I think the folks at the above link have done pretty well. Just a couple corrections in my opinion:

  • I would probably panic if my chimney had 1/4 inch of creosote built up. The standard I’m familiar with is 1/8 inch.
  • Their three levels of inspection aren’t quite accurate, but close enough I suppose.
  • Carbon monoxide is rare, but possible in wood flues, but it is a very real danger in oil flues.

Common sense can be your very best tool to protect yourself from these scams.

  • If it sounds too good to be true….. The article is pretty spot on with their pricing info. With fuel, vehicle maintenance, insurance etc $40 doesn’t nearly cover expenses.
  • Make sure the sweep is CSIA certified. These sweeps are reputable and have had to do a lot of training and passed some very difficult tests. Scam artists don’t do this.
  • Ask for references.
  • Be suspicious if they are from out of state. A lot of these scams are done by companies who have to travel quite a long ways to get to a place they are not known.

If you find yourself in this situation call the police and have them make a report so the company’s name is on file.
A lot of people do indeed have issues with their flue which need attention, but the practice of a lot of sweeps is not to give quotes until an inspection and report have been done. This report will have photos and usually a video scan of the flue has been done. Then a quote is issued to the customer. If you are looking at expensive repairs, get multiple estimates with details on what each includes. Then you can weigh cost versus service and parts received and make a decision.

So folks, keep an eye out and if something doesn’t feel right call someone. Have a great day!

First Thing

John RantaJohn Ranta
17:01 22 Mar 24
They arrived on time, worked quickly and showed me the results. Prfessional throughout. jr
william greenwilliam green
23:21 14 Mar 24
Really helped me out can't say enough good things highly recommend!!!! The young man that came to my home was very knowledgeable and friendly great attitude all around answered all my questions and left me stress free best of all left no mess.🤙🏻🤙🏻
Michael Dell'OrtoMichael Dell'Orto
18:39 14 Mar 24
Jaime ConleyJaime Conley
17:13 14 Mar 24
Sarah GilliattSarah Gilliatt
01:46 13 Mar 24
A very thorough and careful job done! Thank you.
Larry CookLarry Cook
15:11 07 Mar 24
I wanted to give 5 stars but they are very busy which meant I had a good wait for both the inspection/cleaning, then for a quote on repairs and then for the repairs. Their prices seemed a little high to me but I have nothing to compare with as they were highly recommended by someone I trust and other companies had plenty of negatives reviews which kept me from getting additional quotes. I am happy with the work and they promptly returned to fix a mistake that had been made. Chris the inspector, Jennifer in the office, and Alex and his repair crew were all pleasant and took the time to answer all of my questions. Alex and his crew even took their shoes off (it was winter) before entering my house without even being asked! So if you are not in a rush and want to ensure you chimney is as safe as possible then I think you'll be happy with Black Moose.
Rebecca DeFuscoRebecca DeFusco
22:35 21 Feb 24
After a recent sweep of our chimney, it was discovered that our flue tiles were cracked. Black Moose techs were hard working, detail oriented and professional! Nice jobs guys! See you next year for my cleaning!
Karen CKaren C
14:52 14 Feb 24
Excellent I highly recommend Black Moose Chimney and Stove; Kelly and Liam are awesome, they did a great job. Extremely professional, arrived early, went through everything with a fine tooth comb ensuring pellet stove was thoroughly cleaned. They also were respectful of my home, conscientious and cleaned up after themselves. Made sure stove worked prior to leaving and told me to call promptly if anything came up afterward. Will definitely use them again.
Denise ClarkDenise Clark
16:32 31 Jan 24
We've had Black Moose clean our chimney for a number of years.But recently, we had an emergency situation at our home involving our chimney & oil furnace flue, which was caked full of soot from a malfunctioning furnace. They came & cleaned out both flues in no time, even going up on the roof with snow on it! They cleaned up after their work in the interior rooms where the oil furnace and the woodstove are located. Great work. Reasonable prices. Very nice people. You can't go wrong with Black Moose.
Joe GJoe G
18:30 24 Jan 24
Goods: The technicians know their business, very efficient in cleaning/inspection along with cleaning up after the 'dirty work'.Others: Communications could be more effective. Despite early coordination about scope of work (multiple flues within same chimney) the estimate provided did not reflect this and the final invoice was significantly more than the estimate provided.Quote for follow-on chimney relining was significantly more than that offered by other companies in the area (and far more than neighbors experienced for similar work accomplished by other companies)