Knock knock. Beware. Why door-to-door sales are not for HVAC equipment
Think it’s safe to buy furnace and air conditioning equipment from a door-to-door salesperson? Think again.
Thousands of Canadians get deceived each year by untrustworthy salespeople coming to their door selling everything from air conditioning units to hot water tanks to new furnaces. They say they’re from a legitimate business or utility company and seem to have compelling proof – a nametag or an official-looking clipboard. But in fact they are attempting to persuade unsuspecting homeowners to purchase products they don’t need, and at an inflated price.
At this time of year they might tell you your air conditioning unit is outdated, against code, even contains dangerous refrigerants. They aim to frighten, and in some cases convince people to sign into multi-year rental or payment schemes that are impossible to get out of.
You can protect yourself by checking to see if the seller has a well-marked vehicle and asking for proper identification. Ask them to leave their business card, and advise them you will contact them at a later date once you’ve done your research. If they insist the offer is limited to that moment, this should set off warning bells. And never let them into your home unless it was arranged in advance, once their credentials have been assessed.
Utility companies and respected heating and AC suppliers rarely sell door-to-door. Similarly, if a utility is servicing an area, it will inform residents in advance, and never ask to see a bill as it already has that information on file.
When buying or renting a water heater, furnace or air conditioner, do it from a trusted store or through a licensed contractor. Make sure you have plenty of time – days even – to review the product information, the options and, most importantly, the fine print.
Consumers can learn more and locate a qualified contractor to service their furnace and air conditioning systems by going to our Contractor Locator page, HRAI You Tube channel or calling 1-877-467-HRAI (4724). All HRAI Member Contractors have been prescreened and have the required trade licenses, technical certifications and insurance coverage.
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