In response to growing complaints from consumers about high-pressure or even fraudulent sales techniques, the Ontario government has banned the unsolicited door-to-door sales of furnaces, water purifiers and a range of other household appliances.
Ontario is the second province to take such a step, following Alberta. Violations could lead to maximum fines of $50,000 or jail time for individuals, and $250,000 fines for corporations.
This will be welcome news to the numerous readers who have advised us of being targeted by aggressive and deceptive sales people in recent years.
(A couple of years back two of these guys showed up at my door to tell me that there were “serious water-quality issues” in town, and offering to test my supply. It was fairly satisfying to be able to reply, “Gosh, that sounds bad — I’m the editor of the local paper, can I do an interview with you about this situation? Wait, I’ll go get my camera.” After exchanging startled glances they muttered something about “checking with the boss”, and disappeared fairly quick. Never did see them again.)
Here’s the complete press release from the province.
Starting March 1, 2018, Ontario will ban unsolicited, door-to-door sales of certain household appliances to better protect consumers from aggressive and misleading contracting at home.
Businesses will only be able to enter into a contract in the consumer’s home if the consumer has contacted the business ahead of time and invited them into their home for the purpose of entering into a contract. Contracts that are in violation of the new rules relating to door-to-door contract solicitation will be considered void, and consumers will be able to keep the goods and services with no obligations.
The new rules will apply to:
- air cleaners
- air conditioners
- air purifiers
- duct cleaning services
- water filters
- water heaters
- water purifiers
- water softeners
- water treatment devices
- bundles of these goods and services
In addition, businesses will be required to keep a record of how contact with the consumer entering the contract was made, and all contracts signed in the home for these goods and services will also have a 10-day cooling-off period, allowing consumers to cancel the contract for any reason without penalty.