Doodlebuggers Fireplace, Grill & Outdoor BBB accredited business profile
Doodlebuggers Fireplace, Grill & Outdoor BBB accredited business profile

How to Avoid Chimney Service Scams

Most chimney companies work hard to learn the trade and provide trustworthy service to their customers. A few “companies,” however, are only in business to make a quick buck at your expense.

Doodlebuggers Fireplace, Grill & Outdoor Store of Pensacola, FL, and Destin, FL, would like to give you some tips on spotting, dealing with and avoiding being taken in by chimney service scams.

Avoid Chimney Service Scams in pensecola flKey targets of scams

Chimney service scams often center on chimney cleaning, repairs and inspections. Fear and urgency are almost always part of the scam.


Scammers play on a homeowner’s fear, which isn’t hard to do when you’re talking about the very real dangers of chimney fires, carbon monoxide poisoning and structural collapse.

A common scam tactic is a free inspection. You get your inspection, and the next thing you know, you’re being told that your chimney is about to cause a house fire that will destroy your home if you don’t let the company clean the flue.

Fear tactics are also used for other chimney services, and they often start with a free or reduced-cost inspection.

Low price

Scammers haven’t invested the time and money in their training and development that legitimate chimney professionals have. For this reason, you’ll see chimney scams advertised with extremely low prices and impossibly fast completion times. For example:

  • “We’ll clean any chimney for just $39.99”
  • “Complete chimney rebuilding in just one day”
  • “Bundle and save: get a new chimney liner, masonry repair and complete chimney cleaning for just $199 – this month only”

Common signs that you’re dealing with a scam artist

Watch out for these signs.

  • Services pitched by telephone, often from a 1-800 number
  • Unexpected calls from your “utility company” or “city code-enforcement department”
  • High-pressure tactics to get you to act quickly
  • A deal that sounds too good to be true
  • Company rep talks a lot, but you understand almost none of what he or she is saying
  • They discourage you from getting a second opinion
  • Worker shows up in an unmarked vehicle and in normal street clothes
  • Requests that payments be made in cash or wire transfers

The right way to hire a chimney company

Legitimate chimney companies aren’t hard to find and hire. Here’s the right way to do it.

Ask around

Talk with friends, family and work associates about good chimney companies they’ve used in the past.

Confirm credentials

A professional chimney company will have proof of insurance and a city business license. Many companies require their technicians to be certified. Common certifications include those from the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), Certified Chimney Professional (CCP), and the National Fireplace Institute (NFI).

Get references

Have the chimney company provide you with at least three references that include local names and contact information of past customers. Follow up on these references.


Demand a written contract that shows what will be done and what the cost will be.

Schedule your maintenance in okalossa flLegit chimney services

Doodlebuggers is a professional chimney services company with established locations in Pensacola, Florida, and Destin, Florida. We’re CSIA-certified and are happy to provide all the references you need before we work on your chimney.

We have marked work vehicles, and our technicians wear official Doodlebuggers uniforms. We carry full, verifiable insurance and are licensed to do business in the State of Florida. All our work will be done under a written contract.

Avoid a scam by calling a qualified chimney expert today at (850) 477-1151 in Pensacola, FL, or (850) 243-0154 in the Destin, FL, area. You can also get in touch with our handy contact form.


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