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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Consumer watchdog encourages the public to understand their contract rights

April 10, 2024 – Victoria BC – Consumer Protection BC has banned Efficiency Solutions Comfort Services Inc. from engaging in door-to-door sales in BC until July 3, 2024, for failing to properly disclose contract pricing to customers.

Consumer Protection BC found that the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) company put customers at risk by failing to include the total price in their contracts. Disclosing the total price, plus any interest, is one of the contract requirements for any BC business selling door-to-door.

“When consumers are making a purchase, the total cost is a critical piece of information to inform their decision,” explains Tatiana Chabeaux-Smith, spokesperson for Consumer Protection BC.

Clear pricing information is especially important when some contracts for HVAC equipment include costly financing agreements with interest charges that span over a decade.

“When someone unexpectedly comes to your home to sell you something, it can create a high-pressure environment,” says Chabeaux-Smith, “You should not have to perform a series of calculations to know what you’re ultimately being charged. That’s why these laws exist.”

Consumer Protection BC encourages consumers to not feel rushed, research their options, and read the contract thoroughly before deciding about product or service sold at their door.

Tips for consumers:

  • Take your time before you sign anything
  • Research the company, read reviews, and compare pricing with other options
  • Ask for input or recommendations from someone you trust
  • Read the fine print and make sure you understand the length and total cost of the contract, including how much interest you will be charged
  • Find out if you will own the equipment at the end of the contract or if it’s a long-term lease/rental
  • Learn your cancellation rights. You can cancel your door-to-door sales contract:
    • During the cooling off period (first 10 days from getting the contract)
    • If the required information is missing from the contract
    • If you never got a copy of the contract
    • If you were asked for a down payment of more than $100 or 10% of the total price (whichever is less)

For more information, explore Consumer Protection BC’s resources on their website.

Background

  • The door-to-door sales (also called direct sales) contract laws are enforced by Consumer Protection BC and include deposit limits, contract disclosures, and cancellation rights. Learn more about the rules for door-to-door sales in BC.
  • Consumer Protection BC issued a direct sales prohibition order against Efficiency Solutions Comfort Services Inc., ordered they comply with the rules, pay a penalty, and reimburse partial inspection costs. Read the enforcement action details and the full reasons for the decision.
  • In the last three years, consumers have contacted Consumer Protection BC 467 times with questions or complaints about door-to-door sales contracts. Approximately 37 per cent of those inquiries have been about HVAC companies.

About Consumer Protection BC

Consumer Protection BC is a not-for-profit regulator responsible for overseeing certain industries and specific consumer transactions in the province. Their mandate is to license and inspect their regulated businesses, respond to consumer inquiries, investigate alleged violations of consumer protection laws, and classify all general release motion pictures. 

For more information about Consumer Protection BC, to read their recent enforcement actions, and to learn about  their inspection and complaint-handling processes, please visit their website at  www.consumerprotectionbc.ca. You can also follow them on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube or read their blog for valuable consumer tips and resources. 

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Media contact:
778-747-0303
media@consumerprotectionbc.ca