Overview

Consumer alerts help protect consumers from dishonest business activities. The intent of these messages is to help consumers make informed decisions and encourage research prior to making large purchases or signing contracts as there are many reputable businesses across the province offering quality and legally compliant services.

Calgary

  • Unlicensed prepaid contractor Rowan James Coleman

    Unlicensed Prepaid Contractor

    Consumer Protection Alert - Rowan James Coleman (PDF, 132 KB)

    Name: Rowan James Coleman
    Associated businesses:

    • Cowboy Country Enterprises Ltd.
    • Stetson Contracting Ltd.
    • Coleman Restorations

    The Consumer Investigations Unit is warning Albertans about a home improvement/renovation contractor – Rowan James Coleman – operating in the Calgary region. Coleman has been convicted multiple times for contravening Alberta’s consumer protection laws and has recently been charged with new offences under the Consumer Protection Act.

    He is known to:

    • take deposits from consumers without having a proper business licence
    • provide renovation contracts that don’t align with consumer protection laws
    • mislead and deceive consumers
    • fail to refund consumers when contracts are cancelled
  • Unlicensed prepaid contractor Omar Ghandour

    Unlicensed Prepaid Contractor

    Consumer Protection Alert - Omar Ghandour (PDF, 129 KB)

    Name: Omar Ghandour
    Associated businesses:

    • 1st Choice Contracting Ltd.
    • OG’s Renovations Ltd.
    • Your Custom Renovations Ltd.

    The Consumer Investigations Unit is warning Albertans about a home improvement/renovation contractor – Omar Ghandour – operating in the Calgary region. Ghandour has been charged with multiple offences under Alberta’s consumer protection laws in addition to criminal charges of fraud and theft.

    He is known to:

    • take deposits from consumers without having a proper business licence
    • provide renovation contracts that don’t align with consumer protection laws
    • fail to refund consumers when contracts are cancelled

Consumer tips

Home improvement or renovation contractors must have a prepaid contracting licence from Service Alberta.

Before you pay any money:

  • ask to see a business licence
  • establish the total cost of the project
  • have a written contract in place, stating clear project deliverables, timelines and a payment schedule.

Read more tips about working with home improvement contractors.

If you suspect a contractor may not be licensed, or is avoiding work commitments, report it at 1-877-427-4088.

Province-wide

  • nulife logo

    Licence suspension – Alberta Wide

    Consumer Protection Alert - Nulife Quality Care Ltd. | Alberta Home & Water Solutions Inc. (PDF, 140 KB)

    Name: Nulife Quality Care Ltd. | Alberta Home and Water Solutions Inc.
    Region: Alberta-wide
    Affiliated businesses: Canadian Home Improvement Credit Corporation

    The Consumer Investigations Unit is warning Albertans that Nulife Quality Care Ltd., which also operated as Alberta Home and Water Solutions Inc., is currently not permitted to engage in direct selling activities in Alberta. Its licence has been suspended until it comes into compliance with licensing and operational requirements of Alberta’s consumer protection laws.

  • Icon of a door

    Unlicensed Direct Seller

    Consumer Protection Alert - Canadian Home Improvement Credit Corporation (PDF, 127 KB)

    Name: Canadian Home Improvement Credit Corporation
    Region: Alberta-wide
    Affiliated businesses: Nulife Quality care Ltd. | Alberta Home & Water Solutions Inc.

    The Consumer Investigations Unit is warning Albertans about an unlicensed business – Canadian Home Improvement Credit Corporation (CHICC) – whose representatives have been attending consumers’ homes and offering to test the quality of tap water.

    Once inside consumers’ homes, the representatives solicited, negotiated and concluded rental agreements for the installation and long-term use of home water filtration systems. Financing of those contracts was provided by CHICC. Service Alberta has ordered the CHICC and to any employee, representative, or agent of CHICC to immediately cease engaging in direct selling activities until an appropriate business licence has been obtained.

Consumer tips – Door-to-door sales

Companies selling direct to consumers in their homes must have a direct seller's licence from Service Alberta.

Before allowing someone in your home:

  • ask for official ID and get answers to all of your questions
  • be vigilant of offers to test the water, air quality or equipment in your home
    • these ‘tests’ always conclude you need water/air purification systems or your equipment is at the end of its lifespan and should be replaced
    • this is a common tactics used by unscrupulous salespeople to trick consumers into buying products or signing contracts for services
  • verify the information with official sources (e.g., the municipality or your utility provider) before making final decisions about purchasing products such as water filtration systems
  • beware of hidden financing terms and conditions in any agreement
  • before you sign any contracts, make sure the information provided to you by the salesperson matches the information written in the contract
    • if you finalize a purchase in your home – such as agreeing to buy a water filtration system – you have 10 days to cancel that purchase
  • remember – if the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is

Tips about dealing with door-to-door sales

If you suspect unlicensed business activities, or have an incident to report, call the Consumer Contact Centre at 1-877-427-4088.

You can also report any consumer transaction as an anonymous tip. This is an alternative to a formal complaint. Call 1-877-427-4088 and follow the prompts to Report a Rip-off.

Report a Rip-off

The Report a Rip-off phone line allows you to anonymously report suspicious or potentially illegal activities in the marketplace. Report concerns about your own experiences, or about activities you have seen or heard, and that fall under consumer protection laws. Examples include:

  • suspecting individuals or businesses are operating and providing services without appropriate licences
  • suspecting individuals or businesses are offering services without or with incomplete contracts
  • suspecting individuals or businesses are offering services with inflated or extreme fees
  • suspecting one’s employer or other businesses are involved in unfair consumer practices such as undue pressure, false advertising, misleading promises
  • any other suspicion related to consumer-business transactions such as hearing about a business that took money but didn’t do the work, encountering a business that’s sharing unsolicited estimates, donation rip-offs, and more.

Call 1-877-427-4088 to make a report.

Report a Rip-off is not a dispute resolution tool, nor will the information reported through this channel necessarily lead to a formal follow-up contact or investigation.

If you believe you have more specific information to share about unfair practices or financial losses related to consumer transactions, you can file a consumer complaint. All complaints are assessed on a case by case basis to determine an appropriate course of action for addressing the issue. Anonymous complaints are not accepted.

Contact

Connect with the Consumer Contact Centre:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Toll free: 1-877-427-4088
Email: ciu.north@gov.ab.ca Consumer Investigations, Northern Alberta (north of Red Deer)
Email: ciu.south@gov.ab.ca Consumer Investigations, Southern Alberta (Red Deer and south)

Disclaimer: ‘Consumer Alerts’ serve to publically identify individuals, businesses, or specific business practices reasonably suspected of contravening Alberta’s consumer protection laws for the purpose of quickly informing the public and protecting them from financial harm. The information identifying individuals and businesses is made public only after the validity of allegations relevant to each case has been reasonably established. An individual or a business is only guilty of any alleged offences when they are found guilty in a court of law or when a decision for administrative action has been imposed by Service Alberta.