There are some strangers you do not want on your doorstep—including aggressive door-to-door furnace and water heater salespeople looking to take advantage of homeowners’ goodwill. These salespeople may try to pressure you into making on-the-spot decisions and can be evasive in answering questions about what they are selling.
“We continue to see aggressive door-to-door salespeople who sometimes misrepresent who they work for or make false claims about their service,” says John Macdonald, President and CEO of Enercare Inc. “It’s up to consumers to be aware of the risks and stay vigilant when salespeople knock on their doors.”
Luckily, the Consumer Protection Act is on your side. Consumers have a 20-day cooling off period after signing a contract with a door-to-door salesperson, and companies are required to use plain language in contracts in order to improve readability for homeowners.
Enercare and other government agencies and utilities never promote the exchange of water heaters or furnaces door-to-door, but some companies do, and it’s important to be alert.
Here are some tips for staying safe:
- Never let an unknown visitor inside your home, even if they seem friendly. Aggressive salespeople often take advantage of homeowners’ politeness.
- Always check ID to verify a salesperson’s identity.
- Always read all contractual documents carefully and ask to keep a copy for yourself. If the salesperson refuses, this may be a sign of trouble.
- Never share your personal information with anyone—keep bills, bank statements and SIN numbers away from prying eyes.
- Call your current service provider to confirm if someone is scheduled to be at your home. Salespeople who show up unannounced likely will not be from your existing provider and may be pushy in trying to convince you to sign up with them.
- If a salesperson is making you uncomfortable, politely ask him or her to leave. If the person refuses or insists on entering your home, call the police.
Enercare | How to Avoid Aggressive and Deceptive Door-to-Door Salespeople