SASKATOON – When Kassandra Agarand was approached by two sales reps at her door, offering her a brand new furnace for a low price, she thought it was a blessing. The single mother signed a contract with Ontario-based company, Secure Home Services, which promised a low-fee purchase for a term of three years.
“They told me originally the furnace would cost me $4,500 dollars,” she said.
Agarand later looked into the fine print online and discovered she would be paying more than $9,000 over 10 years.
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She says she’s now left with two choices: be left without heat or pay thousands of dollars for a new furnace.
“It’s food out of my fridge. It’s savings out of my daughter’s bank account. And I just feel robbed and disgusted by everything,” she said.
In Saskatchewan, a cooling off act allows consumers to demand a refund from a door-to-door sale within 10 days. Agarand falls under that time frame and has asked for a refund. Still, she says she’s worried about installation costs and any other hidden fees.
“We don’t know if we’re going to have to pay the money for them to uninstall or take it out. It’s the unknown that’s driving us crazy,” said Gwen Larson, Agarand’s mother.
Now, Agarand has to search for a brand new furnace to replace the new one.
“I’m embarrassed by what they did to me,” she said.
Just this month, the Better Business Bureau of Saskatchewan published a consumer alert warning about high pressure door to door furnace sales. Secure Home Services was listed as one of the companies to watch for.
Better Business Bureau told Global News it has responded to 32 complaints about the company. When contacted, Secure Home Services was not available to comment.
Matthew Barton from the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority (FCAA) of Saskatchewan says consumers should take the time and sit with a decision before agreeing to a door-to-door sale. He also recommends asking salespeople for their door-to-door sale license.
“If you’re not sure what a sales representative is telling you, get a second opinion from another company,” he said.
Agarand has filed an official complaint with the FCAA and says she hopes others can learn from her expensive lesson.