- companies allegedly using false or misleading contracts or failing to disclose the full cost of the contract;
- salespeople allegedly implying they are conducting government-sanctioned furnace inspections to demand entry in homes; and
- installations that allegedly do not meet gas installation/building codes.
The Fair Trading Act provides protection from aggressive door-to-door salespeople. Albertans should be aware that:
- With certain exceptions, Albertans have a 10-day cooling-off period in which they are able to cancel a door-to-door sales contract without a reason and without penalty.
- Before allowing a door-to-door seller into their home or office, consumers should ask to see their identification. Albertans are never under any obligation to allow salespeople into their home.
- It is essential to obtain, read, and understand any contract before signing it. Albertans can better protect themselves by obtaining estimates and comparing prices, checking the businesses’ record with the Better Business Bureau and ensuring contracts reference terms, conditions and cancellation rights.
- Albertans who decide to buy/rent should make sure they get a signed sales/rental contract that includes the company’s contact information and a detailed description of the goods or services, including an itemized price list.
Albertans with concerns about door-to-door sales can contact:
- Service Alberta’s Consumer Contact Centre at
1-877-427-4088 (toll-free in Alberta).
- The Utilities Consumer Advocate at 310-4UCA (4822) for information on door-to-door sales, or for assistance making informed choices for electricity or natural gas services. Website address: http://ucahelps.alberta.ca
March is Fraud Prevention Month across Canada. Service Alberta works with law enforcement, other levels of government and business groups to help Albertans:
- recognize fraud in its various forms,
- learn how and where to report it, and
- stop fraud before a con artist or scammer cheats them out of their hard-earned money.
More information on how to avoid becoming a victim of fraud can be found: