Door-to-door en­ergy sales ban will pro­tect con­sumers

The McLeod River Post - - Viewpoint - Spe­cial to the Post

Start­ing Jan. 1, 2017, Al­berta will pro­hibit un­so­licited door-to-door sell­ing of en­ergy prod­ucts to pro­tect peo­ple from mis­lead­ing, high-pres­sure sales prac­tices.

Al­berta is ban­ning door-to-door sales of:

• Fur­naces.

• Nat­u­ral gas and elec­tric­ity en­ergy con­tracts.

• Wa­ter heaters.

• Win­dows.

• Air con­di­tion­ers.

• En­ergy au­dits.

The gov­ern­ment has re­ceived well over 1,000 com­plaints about en­ergy-re­lated, door-to-door sales. Many have come from se­niors and fam­i­lies who felt tricked into buy­ing fur­naces or wa­ter heaters on the spot. In other in­stances, con­sumers felt un­re­lent­ing pres­sure to sign en­ergy con­tracts with sales­peo­ple vis­it­ing their home two or three times in one day.

“We heard loud and clear from Al­ber­tans who are frus­trated by knocks on their doors and ag­gres­sive sales pitches in their homes. That’s why we’re tak­ing ac­tion to pro­tect Al­ber­tans by end­ing ag­gres­sive door-to-door en­ergy sales.”

Stephanie McLean, Min­is­ter of Ser­vice Al­berta

“We sup­port the gov­ern­ment’s ac­tion to pro­tect con­sumers from door-to-door en­ergy sales. We know that se­niors are of­ten tar­gets of mis­lead­ing, high-pres­sure sales tac­tics and this ban will help pre­vent many se­niors from feel­ing forced into en­ergy con­tracts and pur­chases they don’t need or want.”

Gor­don Voth, Pres­i­dent, Se­niors United Now

“It’s our mis­sion to ad­vance mar­ket­place trust, and one of the ways we do that is to call out un­eth­i­cal busi­ness prac­tices. While BBB rec­og­nizes the many le­git­i­mate and trust­wor­thy busi­nesses who sell door-to-door, we hope th­ese re­stric­tions on mis­lead­ing and high-pres­sure sales tac­tics will help cre­ate a mar­ket­place where buy­ers and sell­ers can trust each other.”

Mary O’Sul­li­van-Andersen, Pres­i­dent and CEO, BBB, Serv­ing South­ern Al­berta and East Koote­nay

“The RCMP wel­comes this change. Our in­ves­ti­ga­tors have helped Al­ber­tans who have suc­cumbed to fraud­u­lent, high-pres­sure sales at their door. Real fi­nan­cial and emo­tional harm is of­ten the re­sult from th­ese tac­tics, par­tic­u­larly among vul­ner­a­ble per­sons in our com­mu­ni­ties. With this ban, we ex­pect to see a no­tice­able de­cline in crim­i­nal in­ci­dents of un­scrupu­lous, door-to-to-door sales of en­ergy prod­ucts.”

Su­per­in­ten­dent Guy Rook, Al­berta RCMP Of­fi­cer in Charge, Fed­eral En­force­ment

En­ergy com­pa­nies have mul­ti­ple chan­nels to sell di­rectly to Al­ber­tans, in­clud­ing tele­phone and on­line sales, kiosks and ad­ver­tis­ing. All of th­ese op­tions re­main open to them. Con­sumers are still able to in­vite sales­peo­ple to their homes, free from the pres­sure of hav­ing an un­ex­pected, un­wanted visit.

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