Door-to-door sales company under investigation in Alberta

CALGARY – An Ontario-based company selling furnaces, hot water tanks and air conditioners door-to-door around Alberta is being accused of using high-pressure sales tactics.

Frank Dillon owns an older home in northeast Calgary with the home’s original furnace, and recently learned it has a gas leak and needs to be replaced.

Within days of the leak, two salesmen with Secure Home Services came to his door selling new furnace packages.

“Usually we don’t talk to people coming door-to-door, but in this case we did, because the need for another furnace,” said Dillon.

Frank Dillon owns an older home in northeast Calgary with the home’s original furnace, and recently learned it has a gas leak and needs to be replaced. Global News

The salesmen offered a furnace rental program for $92 per month with free installation.

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Dillon signed a rental agreement and gave them a void cheque, but after getting a second opinion from a friend, decided to cancel the next day.

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“I had no idea about contracts or anything else. It seemed like a good deal at the time, but you should have someone with knowledge.”

Dillon later learned he wasn’t given the information necessary to make a purchasing decision: there was no sales contract with the total cost of the furnace or information on the length of the contract. He also wasn’t told he had 10 days to cancel the deal, as required under the Alberta Fair Trading Act.

The province said Service Alberta has two open investigations into Secure Home Services, which was licensed for direct sales in November 2014. The investigations come after complainants alleged high-pressure sales tactics, such as refusing to take no for an answer, rushing consumers to make a decision, and trying to get consumers to sign contracts before explaining all the details of the product.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) suggests consumers avoid making snap decisions at the door.

“Consumers have every right to take the information that they are given at that point in time and say to the door-to-door salesman: ‘let me review this, let me check into it and I’ll call you back when I’m ready to explore this further,’ when you’re more comfortable of making a decision,” said Leah Brownridge, with the BBB.

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Dillon hopes his story alerts others; he has since found another company to replace his furnace.

For consumer tips on dealing with door-to-door sales, click here

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