Furnace probe subject opens new company
Published Friday, May 4, 2012 8:28AM PDT Last Updated Wednesday, February 26, 2014 2:15PM PST
The subject of a CTV hidden-camera investigation into unscrupulous tactics in the furnace repair industry has resurfaced under another name, months after his company's Better Business Bureau accreditation was revoked.
The Steele on Your Side probe last fall showed technicians from Burnaby's Pro Ace Heating and Cooling trying to upsell a CTV producer on pricey parts that weren't needed.
During the probe, an "Ace" technician suggested a $500 fix on a furnace that was deemed "in great working condition" just minutes earlier by an independent furnace expert.
The BBB pulled the company's accreditation shortly after the story aired, citing unresolved customer complaints. Pro Ace appealed the decision in February, but was not allowed to have its accreditation reinstated.
CTV News has learned that owner Ali Soroush has opened a new furnace company called Canadian Standard Heating and Cooling, that operates out of the same Henning Drive office as Pro Ace.
The company sold several discounted daily deal coupons for $29 furnace inspections on sites including Groupon, Dealfind and Social Shopper until it was outed online as being the same furnace company exposed by CTV News.
Social Shopper immediately cancelled the most recent deal after several people wrote concerned messages on its discussion board.
A customer service representative said the decision was made after "further research" and "information received from loyal customers."
"Due to ongoing negative comments being posted on our discussion board while this deal was live we made the decision to remove the merchant's deal from our site. This was done to protect both our branding and the merchants," a rep named Alexis told CTV News in an email Thursday.
Social Shopper said it would offer refunds for anyone who purchased the voucher.
In a telephone interview with Lynda Steele Thursday, Soroush defended his actions and said he wasn't trying to mislead customers.
"I'm not going under with what happened to me. But is it my intention to open another company and go rip people off? Of course not."
Soroush said he has since fired the technician who appeared in our hidden camera investigation.
"I'm protecting myself, I have a lot of experience and I worked really hard," he said. "I don't want to fall because some people or some stupid technicians come and make mistakes. It's not me. I'm an honest, family man -- businessman."
Every Friday Lynda Steele dips into the CTV mailbag and answers a handful of questions. Watch tonight for an exciting update about the SAINTS animal charity.