Other Businesses
Door-to-door sales company to pay nearly $10,000 in fines, consumer refunds

{July 27, 2015} VICTORIA, BC – Consumer Protection BC has issued an administrative penalty and compliance order against Advanced Air Supply Inc., a door-to-door vacuum cleaner and air filtration company, for violating BC’s consumer protection laws.

A recent investigation showed the door-to-door sales company and its sole director, Jacob Douglass, had contravened several sections of BC’s Business Practices and Consumer Protection Act (BPCPA) and the Consumer Contracts Regulation by:

  • Engaging in deceptive acts or practices by representing used products as new;

  • Engaging in unconscionable acts or practices by taking advantage of senior consumers based on their age;

  • Failing to refund consumers who properly exercised their contract cancellation rights; and

  • Using contracts that did not contain legally-required information.

As a result, Consumer Protection BC ordered Advanced Air Supply to refund consumers a total of $5,139.35, pay $3,600 in penalties for breaking the law, pay $500 in partial inspection costs and immediately comply with BC’s consumer protection laws. 

“We are very concerned about the sales tactics of Advanced Air Supply,” says Tatiana Chabeaux-Smith, spokesperson for Consumer Protection BC. “In this case, we found the business specifically targeted senior customers, subjecting them to lengthy and high-pressure sales presentations.”

Consumer Protection BC also found Advanced Air Supply used questionable tactics to gain access to consumers’ homes, using surveys and prize incentives.

Click here to view the compliance order and administrative penalty in full. By law, Advanced Air Supply has 30 days to request a reconsideration of these decisions.

“This is the time of year when British Columbians are likely to see more salespeople at their doors,” says Chabeaux-Smith. “While there are many legitimate door-to-door salespeople, it’s so important to know your rights as a consumer. Remember it’s always OK to say no or to ask for more time to make a decision.” 

Tips about door-to-door sales contracts:

1. Know your cancellation rights.
 BC’s contract law gives consumers certain cancellation rights. For example, you have 10 days to cancel your door-to-door sales contract for any reason. You also have up to a year to cancel if your contract doesn’t include certain information (such as the business’s name and total price and payment terms).

2. Be cautious of down payments and keep a copy of your contract. If you’re asked to make a down payment, know that, by law, it can’t be more than 10 per cent of the total cost or $100 – the lesser of the two. You must also receive a copy of the contract at the time of signing or it’s not binding.

3. Watch out for prize incentives. Surveys or prize incentives are tactics that can be exploited by some door-to-door salespeople who want to gain access to your home and run you through sales presentations. Proceed with caution!

4.  Know who to contact if there’s a problem. Consumer Protection BC regulates the contents and cancellation rights for door to door sales contracts. Consumers with questions or concerns about door to door natural gas sales or contracts should contact the British Columbia Utilities Commission.

More tips about door-to-door sales contracts, recent enforcement actions and other consumer information is available on Consumer Protection BC’s website, www.consumerprotectionbc.ca. Consumers can also call Consumer Protection BC at 1-888-564-9963 with questions about BC’s door-to-door sales contract laws.

About Consumer Protection BC:
Consumer Protection BC is the regulator for a variety of industries and certain consumer contracts in BC. We licence and inspect our regulated businesses, respond to inquiries through our Inquiry Centre, investigate alleged violations of consumer protection laws and educate consumers and businesses about their rights and responsibilities under the law. For more information about our organization, please visit our corporate website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca. You can also follow Consumer Protection BC on Twitter @ConsumerProBC, like us on Facebook and read our blog for valuable consumer tips and resources.

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Media Contact Only:
1-888-564-9963 ext. 2824
media@consumerprotectionbc.ca

Consumer Inquiries:
1-888-564-9963
info@consumerprotectionbc.ca

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