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Consumers should be aware that Ontario and Alberta have recently banned the practice of unsolicited, door-to-door sales of certain energy products and services. In Ontario, businesses cannot sell certain restricted products and services at your home unless you initiate the transaction, for example, by calling or emailing a business and asking them to come to your home.

These restricted products and services include:

•    furnaces
•    air conditioners
•    air cleaners
•    air purifiers
•    water heaters
•    water treatment devices
•    water  purifiers
•    water filters
•    water softeners
•    duct cleaning services
•    and any good or service that performs or combines one or more of the above functions

 

Exceptions if you already have a contract

If you already have a contract in place with a business, they can still contact you by phone, schedule a visit to your home for any reason you request, such as repairs or maintenance, and enter into a new contract for a restricted product or service. However, the business must tell you in advance if it plans to offer you a restricted product or service before visiting your home.

 

After you enter into a contract

Contracts that are in violation of the rules relating to door-to-door sales of restricted products and services will be considered void and you will be able to keep the products and services with no future obligations.

Businesses cannot demand payment for restricted products and services under void contracts. If you already paid for the restricted product or service, you are entitled to a refund within one year after having made the payment.

 

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In Alberta, businesses cannot enter into a contract for certain restricted products and services at your home. Businesses will only be able to enter into a contract at your home for such restricted products and services if you contact the business ahead of time and invite them into your home.
These restricted products and services include:

•    furnaces
•    air conditioners
•    water heaters
•    windows
•    and energy audits

 

Your Rights When You Sign a Contract in Your Home

Consumer protection legislation in both Ontario and Alberta provide additional rights when you purchase a product or service in your home, regardless of whether it is a restricted product or service.

 

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There is a 10 day cooling off period where you can cancel contracts that were entered into at your home. Any payments made within this time period must be refunded to you and you must return the product or service.

You may cancel a contract that was entered into at your home within one year if you do not receive a copy of the agreement that meets the requirements set out in the legislation. The requirements include a disclosure statement that is entitled “Important: What You Need to Know About Your Legal Rights”,  your name and address, the seller’s contact information, the name of the salesperson, a description of the product or service, the date and place, a statement of cancellation rights, the price of the product or service, the total amount of the product or service, the terms of payment, the currency if it is not in Canadian dollars, the dates on which delivery, commencement of performance, ongoing performance and completion of performance are to occur, and the parties’ signatures. Any payments made within the one year time period must be refunded to you and you must return the product or service.

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If you enter into a contract at your home, you can cancel the contract within 10 days without any penalty if the purchase was intended primarily for your personal or household use. Any payments made within this time period must be refunded to you and you must return the product or service.

You have up to one year to cancel a contract that was entered into at your home without any penalty if the purchase was intended primarily for your personal or household use and: 

•    the seller does not have a required license
•    the contract does not include all required information, such as your name and address, the seller’s contact information, the name of the salesperson, a description of the product or service, the date and place, a statement of cancellation rights, the price of the product or service, the total amount of the product or service, the terms of payment, and the parties’ signatures
•    the products are not all provided within 30 days of the delivery date specified in the contract
•    or the services are not started within 30 days of the delivery date specified in the contract

 

 

Any payments made within the one year time period must be refunded to you and you must return the product or service.

 

For more information please visit the following websites:

 

Ontario residents

Alberta residents