Unsolicited door-to-door sales of certain household appliances will soon be banned across Ontario, the province announced Friday.
It’s a move to better protect consumers from aggressive and misleading contracting at home.
Starting March 1, businesses will only be able to enter into a contract in the consumer’s home if the consumer has contacted the business ahead of time and invited them in for the purpose of entering into a contract.
Contracts that are in violation of the new rules relating to door-to-door contract solicitation will be considered void, and consumers will be able to keep the goods and services with no obligations.
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The new rules will apply to:
- Air cleaners.
- Air conditioners.
- Air purifiers.
- Duct cleaning services.
- Water filters.
- Water heaters.
- Water purifiers.
- Water softeners.
- Water treatment devices.
- Bundles of these goods and services.
In addition, businesses will be required to keep a record of how contact with the consumer entering the contract was made, and all contracts signed in the home for these goods and services will also have a 10-day cooling-off period, allowing consumers to cancel the contract for any reason without penalty.
Mississauga’s Ward 2 Coun. Karen Ras – who represents Clarkson and Lorne Park – introduced a motion at the municipal level back in April 2016 as part of the ‘StoptheKnocks’ change.org campaign.
Brampton and Oakville followed suit one and three months later, respectively.
Ontario is the second province in Canada to restrict door-to-door solicitation and contracts — Alberta’s law kicked in Jan 1, 2017.
Door-to-door contracts have been among the top complaints received by the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services.
If a consumer calls for a repair, maintenance or any other reason, businesses will only be allowed to leave information about the products and services they offer, unless the business has a written contract in place with the consumer and secures the consumer’s approval in advance of the visit to solicit a contract for the restricted goods or services.
Businesses will also need to keep a record of how contact with the consumer was made and provide consumers with clear information about their rights.