Ontario consumer protection website launched

Apr 18th, 2013 5:11 PM

Quick passage of Bill 55 needed to protect Ontarians from door-to-door water heater sales


Media Release

(Toronto, Ontario, April 18, 2013) The Homeowner Protection Centre (HPC) has launched a new website (waterheaterdoortodoor.com) to help encourage the province to pass today’s introduced legislation on door-to-door water heater sales tactics as soon as possible. The website helps to inform Ontario consumers of their rights when faced with door-to-door water heater salespeople.

In addition to doubling the cooling-off period for consumers to 20 days, additional features of Bill 55, Stronger Protection for Ontario Consumers Act, 2013 (Bill 55) can be found in an Ontario government News Release from April 11, 2013. The concern is that until the legislation is passed, the intensity and frequency of bad practices that victimize ever more Ontarians, including the elderly, newcomers, and those on fixed incomes can continue unabated.

“HPC created this site to give Ontario consumers a voice and platform to encourage government to enact changes that offer protection from door-to-door water heater sales. This website serves an important purpose, since more often than not people aren’t aware of their rights when it comes to door-to door salespeople. This site contains valuable tips on what to look for when a salesperson comes to the door,” said Michael Lio, Executive Director, Homeowner Protection Centre.

Lio went on to say that, “Complaints about the deceptive sales tactics used by door-to-door water heater salespeople in Ontario have jumped to the number two spot at the Ministry of Consumer Services.”

Features of waterheaterdoortodoor.com include:
• An online form that allows consumers to identify their local MPP and send them a letter stressing how important this legislation is, and to encourage their MPP that speedy passage of this legislation is necessary.
• A petition to persuade all members of the Ontario legislature to work together to protect Ontario families from door-to-door salespeople by passing this legislation quickly, or enacting interim regulations in the absence of speedy passage.
• A section for Ontario consumers who have been affected by door-to-door salespeople to share their stories.

This past March, the Homeowner Protection Centre released a report about water heater rentals in Ontario. The report is called Domestic Hot Water Tanks and other Equipment: A Consumer Perspective. Included in the report were recommendations to improve the current situation in Ontario.

Since 2010, the number of complaints about door-to-door salespeople has been on the rise. The HPC study indicates that without the necessary information to assess new choices, and without safeguards and penalties to address market misconduct, homeowners who rent their water heaters are left to pay higher prices and endure poorer services.

HPC encourages each Ontario MPP to support the quick passage of Bill 55 to protect consumers from unethical door-to-door sales tactics.

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To arrange interviews, please contact:
Michael Zupanic, Environmental Communication Options, 416-972-7401, mzupanic@ecostrategy.ca

The Homeowner Protection Centre was established to advocate for homeowners and their important issues. It is a network of homeowners, builders, renovators, and home product and service suppliers who are committed to improving housing and housing-related services across Canada. The HPC is not-for-profit, and is supported through memberships and donations by homeowners and companies. www.homeownerprotection.ca