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Tips for newcomers: How to protect yourself from the fraudster at the door

Effective April 1, amendments to the Consumer Protection Act introduced additional protections from misleading door-to-door water heater salespeople, especially against those who try to coerce homeowners into signing contracts.

While many of us know the telltale signs of the scamming door-to-door salesperson – smiling face, clip board, and official-looking uniform – newcomers and those who are new to home ownership may be less familiar with the deceptive tactics sometimes used.

Everyone is reminded to be on guard when engaging in conversation with salespeople who have arrived unannounced.

“Many of them look for new ways to catch homeowners off guard and unprepared,” says John Macdonald, President and CEO of EnerCare Inc., a leading provider of energy services and solutions, including water heater rentals.

“Anyone who has owned property for several years is likely aware of people who have been victimized, but for new homeowners limited experience may leave them vulnerable.”

Be cautious if a water heater salesperson says things such as:

“We’re from your current water heater provider, utility or local municipality.”

Companies like EnerCare, government agencies and utilities do not promote the exchange of water heaters door-to-door.

“Our water heaters are more efficient than the one you have in your home.”

There is no way of guaranteeing that the salesperson knows what type of water heater you currently have.

“We can replace your water heater free of charge.”

Hidden fees aren’t new to consumers, so be sure to read all fine print to ensure that “free” is actually free.

“We need to see your current bills.”

Never share your personal information with a door-to-door salesperson because there is no reason they would ever need to see your bill.

“We need to look at your current water heater.”

Never permit a salesperson to invite themselves into your house. If you are interested in an upgrade, or in having your unit serviced, contact your current provider and schedule an appointment.

For more on how to protect yourself, log on to at www.enercare. ca./KnowYourRights.

– News Canada

Posted: Jun 29, 2015

April 2019

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