Bill aims to cool off heated door-to-door sales issue
July 17, 2013
Ontario is aiming to crack down on pushy, high-pressure door-to-door tactics – especially in water heater sales – in an effort to protect consumers and give them more time to weigh their decisions. Consumer Services Minister Tracy MacCharles introduced a bill in April 2013, which seeks to ban installing and delivering water heaters within 20 days – doubling the current 10-day cooling-off period. The new supplier would have to pay all cancellation fees if the 20-day cooling-off period is not followed.
“By focusing on door-to-door water sales, we’re taking action on an important consumer concern, and protecting Ontario’s families, seniors and newcomers when they make purchases at their front doors,” MacCharles said in a government release.
If passed, the bill would require companies to confirm sales by making scripted, recorded phone calls and to write key contract terms in plain language. With more than 3,200 written complaints and verbal inquiries in 2012, door-to-door water heater sales was the second most common source of complaints received by the Ministry of Consumer Services. The bill has passed the first reading and is expected to be up for a second shortly after the legislature resumes on September 9, 2013. It will require a third reading before it can be voted into law.