On Sunday, May 13 representatives from ‘Home Water’ were going door-to-door in Port Colborne stating that Port Colborne has an issue with chemicals in their water and asked if they could check. This was not associated with the City of Port Colborne and our water is maintained to the Provincial water standards.
New provisions that regulate door-to-door sales came into effect on March 1st, 2018. Specifically the new restrictions, enacted as part of the Putting Consumers First Act:
Specifies that certain products and services can no longer be offered or sold at your home unless you initiate the transaction (for example, by calling or emailing a business and asking them to come to your home), with certain exceptions (see below for a list of restricted products and services);
Define ‘consumer-initiated contact for the purposes of entering into a new contract’ and exemptions that may apply;
Require suppliers to maintain records of consumer-initiated contact and supplier-initiated contact;
Clarify other prohibited practices; and,
Repeal rules specific to supplier-initiated contracts for water heaters (e.g., verification calls), as these door-to-door contracts would no longer be legal, with limited exceptions.
Restricted products and services, include: furnaces, air conditioners, cleaners or purifiers, water heaters, water treatment devices, purifiers, filters or softeners, duct cleaning services and bundles of any these goods and services (for instance HVAC).
If someone shows up at your door remember the following to protect yourself from potential scams:
The list of products and services that cannot be sold or marketed door-to-door
Ask for ID – all City employees carry City-issued photo ID, will drive a clearly marked City vehicle, and will be wearing City clothing
Did you request this appointment? – City staff rarely request to enter your home without a prior appointment
If you ask a salesperson to leave, they must leave right away. If you feel unsafe, call local police
Do not rely on a salesperson’s opinion that your drinking water, or any other appliance in your home (water heater, furnace etc) is unsafe.
Never give out your personal information (i.e. an electricity or gas bill)
You do not have to sign a contract on the spot.
If in doubt, call the City at 905-835-2900 to verify the request you have received.
Should any resident feel uncomfortable with a marketer's sales approach, they should contact the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services (MGCS). The City cannot contact the MGCS to complain on a resident's behalf; the resident that was approached by the company must make the complaint before the MGCS will investigate. Their contact information is as follows:
Consumer Protection Ontario
416-326-8800 or 1-800-889-9768
416-229-6086 or 1-877-666-6545