Cops: avoid pressures from door-to-door sellers

WELLINGTON CTY. – Complaints about door-to-door salesmen have increased over the past couple years here, and that is a sign that some businesses and sellers may be using aggressive or misleading practices, according to the county OPP.

Mark Cloes reported that water heater rental agreements or water purification systems are typically “door-to-door” agreements.

He said the county OPP reminds home owners of some simple tips to keep in mind when a salesman knocks on their door.

– Ask for identification Do not even let a salesman start a pitch until seeing a photo identification. Get the name of the business and the name of the salesman – or close the door.

– Get it in writing Ask about the rental fees, installation, repair, and extra service charges and promises, such as warranties – and get all details in writing. Make sure to keep a copy of any written material that the salesman provides.

– Do not sign on the spot If the salesman pressures to sign right away, don’t. Shut the door, or insist on more time to read and understand all of the agreement, including the fine print.

 – Know the terms Homeowners should find out how long the agreements last and if the business will try to renew the agreement automatically

– Are there any other costs? If a homeowner changes his mind and wants to get out of the agreement, what extra costs might he face? For example, will he have to pay a cost to remove the water system or water heater? Or will there be any charges for unreasonable or excessive wear or use?

– When can the deal be cancelled? Most contracts signed with door-to-door sales representatives can be cancelled by the customer within 10 days for any reason, by following a few simple steps contained in law.

Cloes said Ontario’s Consumer Protection Act, 2002 protects customers and people should be aware of their rights.