Array

Government bans door-to-door energy sales

Province says the ban will protect people from misleading, high-pressure sales practices

  • Nov. 25, 2016 8:56 p.m.

Starting Jan. 1st, Alberta will prohibit unsolicited door-to-door selling of energy products to protect people from misleading, high-pressure sales practices.

Alberta is banning door-to-door sales of furnaces, natural gas and electricity energy contracts, water heaters, windows, air conditioners and energy audits.

Government officials have said they have received well over 1,000 complaints about energy-related, door-to-door sales. Many have come from seniors and families who felt tricked into buying furnaces or water heaters on the spot. In other instances, consumers felt unrelenting pressure to sign energy contracts with salespeople visiting their home two or three times in one day.

“We heard loud and clear from Albertans who are frustrated by knocks on their doors and aggressive sales pitches in their homes. That’s why we’re taking action to protect Albertans by ending aggressive door-to-door energy sales,” said Stephanie McLean, minister of Service Alberta.

Gordon Voth, president of Seniors United Now said he supports the government’s actions to protect consumers from door-to-door energy sales.

“We know that seniors are often targets of misleading, high-pressure sales tactics and this ban will help prevent many seniors from feeling forced into energy contracts and purchases they don’t need or want,” he said.

Government officials also added that energy companies have multiple channels to sell directly to Albertans, including telephone and online sales, kiosks and advertising. All of these options remain open to them. Consumers are still able to invite salespeople to their homes, free from the pressure of having an unexpected, unwanted visit.

This action caps a week of government actions to improve the electricity system to protect Albertans.

They include putting an electricity price cap of 6.8 cents per kilowatt hour in place for families and small businesses on the Regulated Rate Option from June 2017 until June 2021; announcing the creation of an electricity capacity market to provide a future supply of reliable power at stable, low prices and reaching agreements with power companies to provide an orderly transition from coal-generated power to new, reliable sources of electricity by 2030 and protecting taxpayers by achieving a settlement with Capital Power, AltaGas and TransCanada Energy that sees payments to the government in exchange for the early return of their Power Purchasing Arrangements.

“It’s our mission to advance marketplace trust, and one of the ways we do that is to call out unethical business practices. While BBB recognizes the many legitimate and trustworthy businesses who sell door-to-door, we hope these restrictions on misleading and high-pressure sales tactics will help create a marketplace where buyers and sellers can trust each other,” said Mary O’Sullivan-Andersen, president and CEO of the BBB, serving southern Alberta and East Kootenay.

Superintendent Guy Rook, Alberta RCMP officer in charge of federal enforcement added, “The RCMP welcomes this change. Our investigators have helped Albertans who have succumbed to fraudulent, high-pressure sales at their door.

”Real financial and emotional harm is often the result from these tactics, particularly among vulnerable persons in our communities. With this ban, we expect to see a noticeable decline in criminal incidents of unscrupulous, door-to-to-door sales of energy products.”

efawcett@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

Team Canada dancer returns to Red Deer laden with medals

Red Deer dancer wins three silver medals and a bronze at World Championship

Local author releases brand new international thriller

Retired teacher Larry Stewart hosting a book launch this Saturday

WATCH: Servus Credit Union partners with City on new arena

City of Red Deer began final steps towards opening of Servus Credit Union Arena

RCMP search for individual impersonating a police officer

Red Deer teen pulled over by a car flashing red and blue lights

Red Deer Health Foundation raises $1.2 million through Festival of Trees

Festival of Trees enjoyed a ‘Renaissance year,’ said Foundation chair

Troubled Monk releases new spirit

Troubled Spirit vodka was introduced in early December

Google searches suggest 2017 a tough year

What were Canadians were curious about: Google searches suggest 2017 a tough year

Democrat wins stunning red-state Alabama Senate upset

Democrat Doug Jones wins stunning red-state Alabama Senate upset against Roy Moore

New fighter-jet competition to have national ‘economic interest’ requirement

Trudeau government wants to replace Canada’s aging CF-18s with 88 new fighters by as early as 2025

The top-binged shows on Netflix in 2017

Which show did you cheat on your spouse with by watching ahead?

2017 word of the year: Feminism

Merriam-Webster’s word of the year for 2017: ‘Feminism’

200 Russians to compete in Olympics as neutrals

The Russian Olympic Committee expects 200 to compete in South Korea

Researchers claim the ‘man flu’ does exist

Review of scientific studies suggests ‘man flu’ may be more intense: researcher

Trudeau appoints Supreme Court chief justice

Prime Minister Trudeau appoints Richard Wagner as Supreme Court chief justice

Most Read