On August 10, 2010, CBC News published an article about angry homeowners with door to door water heater sales tactics.
In that article:
“This is what they said: ‘We’re from the energy company, and we have to look at the water heater.’ They said something like upgrading it, or something like that,” Milne said.
“They fail to inform you that they are specifically not from your company. They avoid doing that… So I was immediately suspicious.”
Read the full article by CBC here, “Water-heater sales tactics anger homeowners”.
Currently there’s no law that requires door-to-door sales to state all the terms and conditions on their contract. Door to door water heater sale agents are aware of this and they are taking full advantage of it. You cannot get arrested for going to someone’s home selling anything and if you sign a contract, it is your responsibility to read it. The only thing that is illegal about door-to-door sale is that they can not misrepresent themselves or use any misleading and deceptive tactics. If you feel you been mislead – file a complaint against door to door water heater sale agents with the Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services and the Ontario Energy Board.
Things to watch out for before signing a water heater contract at your door
- long-term agreement, up to 15 years
- There is a 10 days cooling off period (you can cancel within 10 days, no question ask, it is the law)
- Contract need to be carry over if you sell your home
- Cancelation fee
If you brought something from a door-to-door sale and you felt you been cheated. There’s a law in Ontario that requires all door-to-door sales costing over $50 to reaffirm over the phone after 10 days, as well as the “No Soliciting” signs for sale at your local Canadian Tire stores.
The rule of thumb for door-to-door sale is: do not sign anything you don’t understand.
Universal Energy Corporation’s history
Let’s have a look at the past history of Universal Energy Corporation.
On March 2009, Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) ordered Universal Energy to pay $300,000 USD to cover the costs of investigation related to the commission’s probe on the natural-gas marketing of its unit in Michigan. Read it at reuters.com, Universal Energy settles natural-gas marketing probe
On January 2009, The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) said it plans to issue a $200,000 fine to Toronto-based Universal Energy Corp. and a $100,000 fine to Summitt Energy Management of Mississauga for making “false, misleading or deceptive statements to consumers.” Read it at www.thestar.com, Alternative gas and electricity providers face fines over claims
On April 2010, Ontario Energy Board (OEB) imposes conditions on renewal of Universal Energy gas marketer license. The specific license requirements the Board imposed on Universal (or Just Energy, the parent company, on behalf of Universal) relate to its marketing practices. In its Decision and Order, the Board approved Universal’s license for two years instead of the usual five years.
OEB imposes conditions on renewal of Universal Energy gas and electricity supplier license
Where to file a complaint?
If you believe you been deceived by a door-to-door sale person. File your complaint and write your horror stories to the Ministry of Consumer Services.