As soon as summer hits, Consumer Protection BC tends to receive an increased number of calls from consumers who have been approached about buying a vacuum cleaner. These types of vacuum sales usually occur either on the phone or through a door-to-door salesperson. There are many legitimate companies who make a living this way, but there are a few things to consider if you are approached by someone selling a vacuum.
- A common way for salespeople to get your attention is to say they are conducting an air quality or air purification survey. This leads to a vacuum demonstration and potentially a hard sell. When you run into this kind of pitch, make sure you ask lots of questions so you know what to expect.
- You may be offered a free gift if you give someone a chance to demonstrate their product or if you purchase the item. Again, make an informed decision and be sure you want the vacuum before accepting any free gifts.
- Some vacuums can be very expensive and you may be offered a financing arrangement that allows you to make payments on the product. If you decide to pursue this option, get the contract in writing, read the fine print and make sure you know the interest rate. Often the rates are very high.
- If you’ve done all your research and have decided to purchase the vacuum, ensure that the vacuum is new. Some consumers have paid a large amount of money for a vacuum only to receive a second-hand product.
Consumer Protection BC has also encountered situations where consumers are the victims of scams around vacuum sales. To avoid this situation, we recommend that you:
- Do your research and shop around. Ask each salesperson about your cancellation rights.
- Ask the sales person for some time to think about the purchase. A legitimate salesperson will not pressure you.
Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
You have rights under BC law. If you have questions about vacuum sales or any type of telemarketing or door-to-door sales, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. While Consumer Protection BC doesn’t have any authority over scams, we are responsible for overseeing certain industries in British Columbia including aspects of “direct sales contracts” (that’s the legal name for door-to-door sales contracts). If you believe a legitimate company has engaged in some not-so-great business practices, we may be able to help. If we can’t provide you with an answer directly, we will happily act as a step on your path to a solution.
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