I hope that you and your family enjoyed a wonderful Easter weekend! In this update, I am pleased to outline new government legislation that will ban door-to-door sales of certain household appliances and will better protect consumers and especially vulnerable residents from aggressive and misleading contracting at home.

As of 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 into their home for the purposes 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.

The new rules will apply to air cleaners, air conditioners, duct cleaning services, furnaces, water filters, water heaters, water purifiers, water softeners, water treatment devices and bundles of these goods and services.

Businesses will now be required to keep a record of how contact with the consumer entering the contract was made. All contracts signed in the home for these goods and services will have a 10-day cooling-off period, allowing consumers to cancel the contract for any reason without penalty. Suppliers must also provide a plain language disclosure document to consumers.

Please remember the following when opening your door to a salesperson:

  • Ask for photo ID and get the name of the person and the business.
  • Never share personal information (e.g. an electricity or gas bill).
  • If you ask a salesperson to leave, the salesperson must leave right away. If you feel unsafe, contact police.
  • Look at the company name on the salesperson’s business card and promotional material to ensure that it matches the company name on the proposed contract.
  • Do not rely on a salesperson’s opinion that your water heater is unsafe or should be replaced.
  • Local utility companies, municipalities, government agencies or regulatory organizations do not send salespeople door-to-door.
  • You never need to sign a contract on the spot. If you do not understand a contract, ask a family member, friend or another trusted person for advice.

You may also consult the Consumer Beware List (https://www.consumerbeware.mgs.gov.on.ca/catsct/start.do) to find out if the selling company did not respond to the ministry about a complaint or has been charged and/or convicted under the Consumer Protection Act in recent months.

I am proud of our government’s leadership on protecting consumers, which is part of Ontario’s plan to create fairness and opportunity during this period of rapid economic change. Our plan includes a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, easier access to affordable child care, and free prescription drugs for everyone under 25 through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation.

As always, my staff and I are here to support you by answering your questions and resolving issues related to provincial government services. Please do not hesitate to contact my Constituency Office in person at 300 Kingston Road, Pickering, Unit 7, by phone at 905-509-0336 or by email at tmaccharles.mpp.co@liberal.ola.org.