NEWS RELEASE MP Cheryl Gallant issues Consumer Alert July 19 2016

Don’t be fooled by misleading pitches for no-cost upgrades

I am drawing attention to a recent warning issued by the Competition Bureau about deceptive door-to-door sales of water heaters and heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems.

It seems every summer my office receives calls from constituents about someone going door-to-door trying to sell some unwanted product or service. This summer is no exception.

Last week there were kids knocking on doors in Pembroke. Under no circumstance do you let these people enter your home.

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 contact MP Cheryl Gallant.

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