TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Jan. 12, 2015) – EnerCare Inc. (TSX:ECI) and EnerCare Solutions Inc. (collectively, "EnerCare") are pleased to announce that the amendments to the Consumer Protection Act (Ontario) pursuant to the Stronger Protection for Ontario Consumers Act, 2013 ("Bill 55") will come into force on April 1, 2015. EnerCare has been a strong supporter of the Ontario Government in its quest to substantially enhance protection for Ontario consumers with its introduction of Bill 55 and is pleased that Bill 55 will soon be in effect. Bill 55 is a direct response to aggressive and deceptive door-to-door water heater rental sales, which ranked second on the Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services' consumer complaints list in each of 2013, 2012 and 2011.
Among other things, Bill 55 provides the following changes in respect of direct agreements for the supply of water heaters:
- Doubles the existing 10-day cooling-off period to 20 days, providing consumers with more time to consider their decision;
- Subject to certain exceptions including where the consumer initiates contact with the supplier, bans the delivery and installation of water heaters during the new 20-day cooling-off period; and
- Provides new consumer protection when the rules are not followed, such as requiring the supplier to reimburse the customer for all cancellation, return or removal fees when the 20-day cooling-of f period is not observed.
Concurrently with the coming into force of Bill 55, new or amended regulations under the Consumer Protection Act (the "Regulations") are also to come into effect. Among other things, the Regulations require the following in respect of direct agreements for the supply of water heaters:
- Companies must confirm sales by making scripted and recorded telephone calls to the customer, subject to certain exceptions including where the consumer initiates contact with the supplier; and
- Enhanced disclosure, including the requirement to include mandatory cover pages and the comparable retail price, rental rate, total amounts payable under the contract and any termination charges.
"EnerCare applauds the Ontario government's commitment to enhancing consumer protection", said John Macdonald, President and CEO.
EnerCare believes that Bill 55 is a strong enhancement in consumer protection that will provide necessary protection for its customers and greatly assist with EnerCare's continued efforts to combat attrition in its water heater business. EnerCare is in the process of considering what changes will be required to its business practices as a result of the Regulations and the impact that those changes may have on its business.
Certain statements in this news release are forward-looking statements, which reflect management's expectation regarding EnerCare's growth, results of operations, performance, business prospects and opportunities. Such forward-looking information reflects management's current beliefs and is based on information available to them and/or assumptions management believes are reasonable. Many factors could cause results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking information. These factors include risks associated with the failure to realize the anticipated benefits of Bill 55 and risks associated with compliance with the Regulations. Although the forward-looking information is based on what management believes to be reasonable assumptions, EnerCare cannot assure investors that actual results will be consistent with this forward-looking information. Except as required by applicable securities laws, EnerCare does not intend and does not assume any obligation to update or revise the forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
EnerCare is one of Canada's largest home and commercial services companies with more than 900 employees. EnerCare provides water heaters, furnaces, air conditioners and other HVAC rental products, protection plans and related services to approximately 1.1 million customers. EnerCare also owns EnerCare Connections Inc., a leading sub-meter provider, with metering contracts for condominium and apartment suites in Ontario, Alberta and elsewhere in Canada.
Source: EnerCare Inc.
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