Strengthening Protection Against Aggressive Door-to-Door Sales
Ontario Government Introducing New Consumer Protection Reforms
Ontario is taking steps to provide consumers with more protection against aggressive, high pressure, door-to-door sales tactics, especially for the sale of water heaters.
As part of its plan to strengthen consumer protection, the province intends to introduce legislation that, if passed, would impose new rules for dealing with door-to-door sales fairly, including:
- Doubling the existing 10-day cooling-off period to 20 days for water heaters, providing consumers more time to consider their decision
- Banning delivery and installation of water heaters during the new 20-day cooling-off period
- Creating rules requiring companies to confirm sales by making scripted and recorded telephone calls to the customer and that key contract terms are disclosed in clear, easy-to-understand language
- Providing new consumer protections when the rules are not followed, such as requiring the supplier to pay all cancellation fees when the 20-day cooling-off period is not observed
These proposed reforms would help protect the rights of consumers while furthering the new Ontario government's commitment to building a strong economy and a fair, safe and informed marketplace.
- The Ontario government received more than 3,200 written complaints and verbal inquiries about door-to-door water heater rentals in 2012, the second most common source of complaints and inquiries.
- A recent Angus Reid survey of Ontario homeowners found that 57 per cent felt pressured into making a purchase or signing a contract for goods or services when approached at their door. Thirty-five per cent of those Ontarians who made a purchase ended up regretting that they had done so.
“By focussing on door-to-door water heater sales, we’re taking action on an important consumer concern, and protecting Ontario’s families, seniors and newcomers when they make purchases at their front doors.”
“Good businesses in Ontario should not have to compete with bad actors. Our goal is to increase consumer confidence all across Ontario. Confident consumers help build a fair, safe marketplace – and a stronger economy.”
“We are pleased the Ontario government is moving towards better protection for consumers when they are dealing with water heater salespeople at their front door. It’s important that consumers understand their rights and are careful when signing contracts.”