Buyer Beware for High Pressure Door-to-Door Heating Equipment Sales

Saskatchewan plumbing and heating specialists are encouraging homeowners to do their homework and take steps to protect themselves before investing in new heating equipment this fall.

The Mechanical Contractors Association of Saskatchewan (MCAS), Natural Gas Appliance and Equipment Association (NGAEDA), and SaskEnergy Network Members located across the province are warning Saskatchewan residents to properly research door-to-door salespeople and out-of-province companies offering discounted heating equipment.

“With winter on its way, upgrading to high-efficiency heating equipment can go a long way to saving money and increasing comfort, however it really is a buyer beware market when making this type of purchase,” said Carolyn Bagnell, Executive Director for MCAS. “If a deal sounds too good to be true, it often is; and no deals for heating equipment should be valid for only one day – that is just not good business practice for the industry. ”

If the salesperson for the company claims to be associated with another business or government agency, contact the organization directly to verify a relationship does exist.

“Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions, thoroughly review financing contracts before you sign, and shop around by gathering quotes from other contractors, such as your local SaskEnergy Network Member,” added Bagnell. A contractor should be able to provide a valid business license for Saskatchewan and the local municipality, proof of liability insurance, and all necessary permits. A reputable contractor will also not need to see your utility bill as they can provide estimated expected savings based on your current equipment. Estimated savings can also be calculated with online tools available on saskenergy.com.

Contractors should have a solid work history and several references available. According to Scott Grieve, President of NGAEDA, customers should learn as much as they can about a contractor’s qualifications and previous work, and check the company’s reviews with consumer agencies such as the Better Business Bureau of Saskatchewan.

“We hear of unfortunate cases where some customers have felt pressured into quickly signing agreements, or the seller falsely claims to be affiliated with local associations, businesses or Crown Corporations, only to end up paying thousands of dollars more than expected,” Grieve said. “To avoid being stuck with an unexpectedly large bill, poorly installed or outdated equipment that is not serviceable, make sure to review the entire contract before you sign it – especially the fine print, where extra costs are often hidden.”

If the contract has already been signed, and the customer feels they have been misled on the service, equipment or cost, they have the ability to halt the transaction within 10 days of signing the contract.

For a list of recommended questions to ask your heating contractor, visit www.mca-sask.com.

Click here to download a tips brochure.

For more information, please contact:

Carolyn Bagnell,
Executive Director,
Mechanical Contractors Association of Saskatchewan
Phone: (306) 664-2154 E-mail: carolyn@mca-sask.com

Scott Grieve,
President, Natural Gas Appliance and Equipment Association (NGAEDA)
SaskEnergy Network Member J T Plumbing & Heating
Phone: (306) 862-9511 E-mail: jtplumbingheating@hotmail.com