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New law will protect us from aggressive door-to-door sales

(NC)—Aggressive and deceptive door-to-door water heater sales tactics have become a growing problem in many Ontario communities.

New legislation in Ontario passed at the end of 2013 will bring greater consumer protection from misleading door-to-door sales practices for water heater rentals once regulations have been put in place.

The Stronger Protection for Ontario Consumers Act, 2013 does the following:

• Doubles the existing 10-day cooling-off period to 20-days and bans the delivery and installation of water heaters during this period.

• Provides new consumer protection when the rules are not followed.

• Allows for rules requiring companies to confirm sales by making scripted and recorded telephone calls to the customer.

While these legislative changes will enhance consumer protection, they are currently not in effect and consumers should still remain mindful of misleading door-to-door sales practices, especially when the deal sounds too good to be true.

When approached by a door-to-door water heater salesperson, EnerCare Inc., a leading provider of energy efficient products, recommends some dos and don'ts to better protect yourself.

Do:

• Get additional expert opinions or estimates from your water heater provider, when door-to-door salespeople assert that a replacement product is needed,

• Ask the salesperson for contact information and a copy of their sales materials and contract to review before you make any decision. Be wary if the salesperson is hesitant to leave behind such information.

• If you feel pressured or threatened, ask the salesperson to leave.

• Always ask the salesperson for identification and which company they represent. Many consumers are unaware that government agencies and organizations, such as Direct Energy, do not promote the exchange of water heaters door-to-door.

Don't:

• Don't let the salesperson into your home.

• Don't show the salesperson your existing contract, monthly bills or any personal information.

• Don't sign a contract until you have read it carefully and understand it thoroughly.

• Don't be fooled by “too good to be true” offers.

You can learn more about how to better protect yourself at www.FactsBeforeYouAct.ca.

www.newscanada.com

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Attention editors: This article is for distribution in Ontario only.


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