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

Rough sleeping encampment update

Over the summer, a collaborative cleanup and outreach team worked to respond to 83 camps

Red Deer’s up and coming rodeo star

Steer rider Carter Sahli feeling confident going into third Canadian Finals Rodeo

City takes action to help residents during postal strike

Steps to avoid late payment penalties

Red Deer Public Library’s Adult Literacy Program Receives Prestigious Literacy Award

Award celebrates outstanding achievement, innovative practice and excellence in literacy

Carmanah heading to the City on the heels of their latest single Nightmare

Victoria band performs at Bo’s on Nov. 22nd along with Hey Ocean

Federal carbon tax rebates will exceed the cost for most people affected

Officials say 70 per cent of people in those provinces will get back more than they end up paying out as fuel costs rise to incorporate the carbon tax.

Ponoka plays host to music arts program aimed at empowering youths

Ponoka Secondary Campus Grade 7s learned about awareness through song writing

$38,000 power bill in Ontario raising red flags for Albertans

MP Blaine Calkins is concerned about the potential costs of power for Albertans

Canadian troops, families take shelter in hotel after Florida hurricane

Most of the Canadians were evacuated from the military base before Hurricane Michael

Mega Millions, Powerball prizes come down to math, long odds

Biggest myth: The advertised $1.6 billion Mega Millions prize and $620 million Powerball prize aren’t quite real

2 Canadians advance to finals at world wrestling championships

Olympic champion Erica Wiebe just missed joining them with a loss 3-1 to three-time world champion Adeline Gray of the United States in the 76-kg event

Outdoor retailer MEC vows to boost diversity after online complaint

Mountain Equipment Co-op was criticized for perpetuating a white-only picture of the outdoors

Trump vilifies caravan, says he’ll cut Central American aid

Despite Mexican efforts to stop them at the Guatemala-Mexico border, about 5,000 Central American migrants resumed their advance toward the U.S. border Sunday in southern Mexico.

Rotating strike in Toronto will have ‘significant impact,’ says Canada Post

Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities.

Most Read