A Calgary father is warning other consumers to be wary of unsolicited door-to-door sales tactics after he said his son was pressured into buying a costly water filter system from Alberta Clean Water & Home Inc.
Mike Leibel said the filter itself only costs about $55 at any hardware store, but his son was convinced to pay $49.99 a month — for a term of 10 years.
“That’s $600 every year plus interest,” Leibel said.
Leibel admits his son Chris — who has since passed away — likely didn’t read the contract closely, but now that he’s gone, he’d like it cancelled.
He’s gone to Service Alberta for help.
“One way or another, this contract is not going to be enforceable,” Leibel said. “Not if I have anything to say about it.”
Global News reached out to Service Alberta to find out if Alberta Clean Water & Home Inc. has any active complaints filed against it.
Officials with the minister’s office said they do have an active investigation involving the company, which includes looking at its operations.
They added they can’t comment further to protect the integrity of the investigative process.
When asked about this investigation, Alberta Clean Water & Home Inc. told Global News it is not aware of any investigation.
It also said the cost of the rental contract included 10 years of furnace and plumbing services.
As for the contract, officials with the company said they will pay it out since the homeowner has died. The company said it will have a cheque to the family by Jan. 30, 2019.
Unsolicited door-to-door sales are prohibited in Alberta, but only for energy services or products.
The Better Business Bureau said — in general terms — it’s important for everyone to think twice before signing any contract on the spot.
“Often with door-to-door sales, they’ll say, ‘You have to sign it now.’ We say if it has to be now, just say no,” the BBB’s Shawna-Kay Thomas said.
Thomas also said it’s important all consumers ask for identification and the business licence number — then check that with Service Alberta.
Leibel plans to remove the filter and to continue to fight for the contract to be nullified.
His big worry is that if it’s not, he will have a hard time selling the property because the contract will still be on the home’s registration.