Don’t be fooled by misleading pitches for no-cost upgrades
OTTAWA, ON — The Competition Bureau is urging consumers to be wary of deceptive tactics used by door‑to‑door salespeople trying to get you to sign a contract for a new water heater or heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system.
These salespersons frequently offer so‑called “no‑cost” upgrades, when this is often not the case. They may misrepresent themselves as your current supplier, a local utility or municipality, when they are none of the above.
Salespersons can also pressure you to accept an urgent inspection of your water heater or HVAC system, and sign a contract with them on the spot. However, these salespeople may be working for private companies unaffiliated with your current supplier, or are in no way connected to a government agency.
Once you enter into a long‑term contract, it is often too late to get out of it unless you pay exorbitant cancellation fees.
Here’s how to avoid getting caught in this situation:
- Do not sign a contract under pressure or make any commitments to the salesperson before doing your own research;
- Ask the salesperson for photo identification that shows their full name and the name of the company they work for so you know who you’re dealing with;
- Do your own research on the company, consult your local Better Business Bureau and in Ontario, check the Ontario Ministry’s Consumer Beware List;
- Check with your current supplier to verify if you have any obligations under your existing contract; and
- Know your rights before you sign any contract at your door by visiting consumerinformation.ca.
If you have been approached by a salesperson using deceptive sales tactics, turn them away at the door and submit a complaint to the Bureau (add link to complaint form) and/or to your local Better Business Bureau.
- November 2014: Competition Bureau Strengthens Competition in Ontario’s Water Heater Industry
- December 2012: Competition Bureau Takes Action to Support Competition in Ontario’s Residential Water Heater Market
Source Competition Bureau