Over the past few years, more and more solicitors are knocking on residential homeowner’s doors in Ottawa in an attempt to sell hot water tank rentals.
Although door to door sales are common in Ottawa, the issue here is how the salesperson presents the information about their company. Certain organizations are showing up claiming to be from the “gas company”. They have a clipboard, a shirt with a shockingly professional logo, and will say almost anything to get into your home.
One of the more popular claims is that under the Ontario Economic Action Plan, you (the homeowner) are entitled to a more efficient hot water tank. Another common claim is that they are there to inspect your hot water tank to see if you are entitled to an upgrade.
So why has this practice continued across Ontario? The truth is that it does work… especially by taking advantage of seniors who trust people coming to their door.
The goal of these hot water tank companies is to lock customers into long term contracts. By installing a new tank, customers are often subject to an extended term of 10 to 15 years. Although this is understandable when it comes to recouping the cost for the new tank, if a new tank is not required it is unethical. These companies are extremely aggressive when it comes to convincing you about the need for new equipment, even if you are under contract with a different company (resulting if you having to pay a penalty for early termination or double fees per month).
And we should bring up the contract trapping that took place by one of the largest companies for hot water tanks in Ottawa last year. The only reason it was reversed was due to public pressure and the threatening of a class action legal suit.
How To Avoid Hot Water Tank Rental Scams:
1. If you rent your hot water tank, do not consider upgrading it unless there is damage to the unit, or it is over 10 to 15 years old, or you would like a modern option such as an instantaneous hot water tank.
2. If someone comes to your door claiming to be from the gas company, 99% of the time you are under no obligation to let them in. It is likely they are just trying to sell you something.
3. Always check the credentials closely of anyone wanting to come into your home.
At AirZone, we never trick our customers into thinking we are representing a government organization. Further, we provide honest and reliable recommendations about your equipment. If your hot water tank does not need updating, then we don’t recommend it to simply obtain a sale.
We hope these aggressive sales tactics by less than reputable companies stop in the Ottawa area, and hope that by leading by example more companies will follow our model to create a fair and honest marketplace in Ottawa.
For more information about our hot water tank rental program, please visit this link:
Check out this additional article about an unfortunate homeowner in Peteroborough that fell victim to these scams: