I have recently dealt with a Door-to-Door sale complaint, which may be a representation of many consumers' stories about misleading or/and false statement made by salesperson, particularly in the energy sector.
The Door-to-Door salesperson usually convinces consumer that a huge saving off from the current gas or/and electricity billing, which can be offset by renting the high-efficiency furnace and air conditioner, with a 10-year lease.
Misleading claim #1: The salesperson confused my client by comparing his current gas or/and electricity billing with the monthly rental fee which cost is comparatively less. However, his monthly expense should include the rental fee of equipment(s) PLUS monthly energy consumption charge. Comparing the rental fee with energy consumption is like comparing apple with orange, which is totally irrelevant.
Misleading claim #2: The cost of financing the equipment over a 10-year term may cost more than paying that equipment up-front.
The salesperson also made a false statement to my client that Ontario Power Authority's paying $1,300 for the new furnace and air conditioner results in no rental fee and installation cost.
Misleading claim #3: Ontario rebate for installing a high-efficiency furnace around $250, while a rebate of around $250- $400 for a certain air conditioning system.
If any consumer becomes a victim of the above-mentioned misrepresentation, what right does he or she have to cancel the contract? The Consumer Protection Act protects consumer who buys or rents equipment in the energy sector.
As a consumer with a purchase of more than $50, you have the right
- To cancel a contract within a 10-day cooling-off period. For water heater contracts, there is a 20-day cooling-off period
- To cancel a contract for up to 1 year after you signed it, if the business or salesperson who you signed your contract with has made a false, misleading or deceptive statement
- To cancel a contract for up to 1 year, if the agreement doesn't meet all requirements of Ontario's Consumer Protection Act, and don not have clear information about your rights in the contract or the cover page
My suggestion for any consumer to a Door-to-Door sale is not to sign the contract on spot, and inform the salesperson that you need more time to read about it before signing prior to any installation. Furthermore, you can go to the Consumer Beware List to check any previous complaint against the energy company (http://www.ontario.ca/page/consumer-protection-ontario). In addition, you can check with friend, neighbor or/and relative to see whether anyone has heard of or any prior experience with the company. Also, you should check if there is any associated charge(s) in relation to the cancellation fee or removal of equipment(s) when the lease will expire. Finally, notwithstanding that the terms and conditions of the contract are provided, it will raise a Red Flag if the wording is in such fine print that cannot be read clearly.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be construed as a legal advice, but strictly for information only in this entire website. Please contact Trustworthy Legal Service for your independent legal advice in your particular situation. The first consultation is also required prior to my retainer of your case.
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