Home Scams

You’ve just sat down to dinner and the doorbell rings. You answer the door and an earnest young man is standing there holding a clipboard and wearing a jacket with a logo on it. The logo says Ontario Energy Group (OEG), or New Home Comfort (NHC) or any other equally innocuous semi-credible business title. He says he’s there to inspect your water heater, or your furnace and air conditioner to ensure they are compliant with current energy efficiency standards.

What do you do?

  1. Invite him in to take a look and write down all sorts of details about the interior set-up of your home and equipment;
  2. Leave him at the door but provide him with a copy of your hydro bill so he can “ensure you are getting the energy rebate owed to you by the province” or
  3. Politely tell him to get lost and close the door in his face. Do be polite – most of these salespeople are victims of their own employers.

Just remember – good businesses don’t go door-to-door. They don’t need to.

If you picked anything other than c) you are asking to become the victim of a door-to-door scam. Oh sure, they have all sorts of convincing lines. The most recent such representative to visit our home said, all in the course of a single pitch, that his company was working with home-owners in the area. Then they were doing inspections on behalf of the province. Then finally he said that energy efficiency standards had changed and based on the exterior pipes he could see protruding from the side of our house, he could tell we did not have energy-efficient equipment heating our home. When we told him he was representing a scam, he protested and claimed his business was accredited by the Better Business Bureau. I looked his company up on the BBB site – not only were they not accredited, they have been in existence for less than a year. The BBB listed the name of the CEO and indicated the company had only that single employee – which is how the listing remains the last time I checked it. By the way, an earlier version of this blog post provided a hyperlink to the Linkedin profile of the BBB-listed CEO showing that he’d gone from new university grad to Sales Executive to Director of Marketing to CEO of his own (scam) company in less than four years. Now that’s entrepreneurial! The CEO has since removed that level of detail from his public profile. Hmm, wonder why?

By the way, I don’t really endorse the BBB as a credible source. They will essentially ‘accredit’ any business that pays to join their organization. They will record complaints about businesses, but don’t have any teeth to enforce any sort of a resolution or to undertake mediation. And as long as the business owner provides a response, which the BBB then retransmits to the customer, the BBB marks that complaint as resolved and the case closed. The business response didn’t need to be useful or actually resolve the customer’s complaint mind you. In the worst circumstances, when sufficient complaints are received to cause a negative rating from the BBB, there is nothing stopping the business owner from shutting down his business and starting up again under a new name with a brand-spanking new BBB rating. What does the BBB care? They’re getting their membership fees! Don’t believe it? Check out this BBB is a useless institution article.

It isn’t even unusual that we’ve had two such scam visits in the period of two weeks. This is the time of year when our furnaces are working the hardest, and some of us may be noticing that they aren’t as efficient as we would like, or that they’re perhaps making some odd noises that could indicate they are approaching the end of life, or a potential breakdown. It seems like a prime period to send out the door-to-door scammers to see if they can convince home-owners to let them in. And who doesn’t feel sorry for the earnest young guy with the clipboard going door-to-door in cold winter weather? Do not let your sympathy blind you – this is a scam and he’s working with a script to get the info he needs to earn his commission by locking you into some scam deal with his company.

The Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services maintains a Beware List of shady businesses that have been reported to them. They have a list of over twenty names doing business in the water heater industry that are scams. Several of them have the same name located at different addresses. The same sort of result appears when you search for furnace scams. That’s great info when you’re looking up companies online that you may want to do business with – be sure to check them out first. But even if the company does not appear on the Beware List, don’t let them in your door or share any info with them. Note also that the Competition Bureau of Canada has gone after several door-to-door water heater sales companies for their anti-competitive policies and practices. Reliance and Enercare (formerly Direct Energy) have agreed to settle out of court for millions of dollars. Don’t worry, I’m sure they consider that the price of doing business.

My personal rule – one I adhere to without exception – is that if I didn’t call your company to my home for a consultation, then you are not crossing my threshold. Nor am I showing you any of my utility bills or providing you with equipment model numbers. It’s not going to happen. Just remember – good businesses don’t go door-to-door. They don’t need to.

  • BevP

    Thanks for this. We just had a young lady from Ontario Home Comfort come to our door today and latch on to our daughter … said she loved my daughter’s hair and was going to get hers cut the same way the next day. And said she was taking my daughter with her and would pay for her hair cut as well. Uh …. really? She also had a very candid conversation with my daughter, after making her way into our house, and finally ended up giving my daughter her phone number so she could text her to let her know when we got home. The clincher is, she actually came back. She told me about her conversation with my daughter and that I needed to keep being my daughter’s best friend, and that she could tell I was a good person, good mother, that she knew what my daughter was about … then she tried to sell me a furnace. Ontario Home Comfort has reached a new low.

  • Lilliane

    I signed up for a new gas furnace with

    tank less water heater. they promised that I can get out of my contract with other energie provider and will get back to Veridian and Union gas as direct provider.

    how can I out of that now?

    • http://www.patronized.ca The Underground Woman

      Hi Lilliane. Thanks for the question. It’s not quite clear what company you have signed up for the new services with. But the first thing to do is read your contract very carefully (you did get a copy of the full contract, right?) to find out the terms and conditions especially for cancelling. If you can cancel over the phone be sure to get a cancellation confirmation number. If they won’t let you do that, you may need to send a registered letter immediately telling them to cancel the service. If neither of those works contact the Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services, which I mentioned in the article, to see if they can help you out. Worst case, maybe try a consumer advocate like Ellen Roseman, who is mentioned in my article on consumer advocates. I wish you the best of luck.

    • Patronized

      Hi Lilliane. Thanks for the question. It’s not quite clear what company you have signed up for the new services with. But the first thing to do is read your contract very carefully (you did get a copy of the full contract, right?) to find out the terms and conditions especially for cancelling. If you can cancel over the phone be sure to get a cancellation confirmation number. If they won’t let you do that, you may need to send a registered letter immediately telling them to cancel the service. If neither of those works contact the Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services, which I mentioned in the article, to see if they can help you out. Worst case, maybe try a consumer advocate like Ellen Roseman, who is mentioned in my article on consumer advocates. I wish you the best of luck.

    • soinsightful

      Assuming you live in belleville or gravenhurst, these reps cant gwt you out of contracts . They aernt the account holder! If you sit down with them and call under certain circumstances yes you can *possibly* get out of your energy contract free of charge

  • OttawaGuy37

    I just want to warn everyone that SUMMITT ENERGY has been going around
    Ottawa (Avalon neighborhood in Orleans). I had someone at my door on
    July 17, 2013. He said he was affiliated with Ontario Energy Board and
    wanted to verify if I was paying HydroOne’s “new price” or “old price”.
    When he put me on the phone and they asked if I agreed to a 5 year
    contract, I hung up the phone and slammed the door in his face.
    Summitt
    Energy is a scumbag company and Carlo Cavaliere (rep no OK 1364) is a
    DISHONEST, MISLEADING, LYING ****. If he comes to your door, tell him to
    get lost and call the police.

  • Miles Duggal

    Dear Underground Woman,

    I know how important reputation is to a company’s longevity and it saddens me that you would denigrate our name without making any attempt to contact us. We are the only locally owned and operated d2d company in Ottawa. We are also the only d2d company which pays it’s agents salary/hourly so that they don’t have any added pressure-per-sale. Furthermore, we have been victims of having other agents claim to be part of our company at the door to add credibility. We truly are one of the only companies trying to do it right, and our reputation is a testament to that. We have completed about 1,200 jobs to date and have never once received any complaint from any review site or BBB listing *EVER* due to our commitment to customer service. I truly believe that you’ve mistaken our name with another and I very much wish you remove our name until such time that you have proof of any customer EVER being dissatisfied with us.

    Yours respectfully,

    Miles Duggal
    New Home Comfort
    Chief Executive Officer

    • Patronized

      Mr Duggal,

      Reputable companies do not sell their services door-to-door. They don’t have to. It was definitely one of your representatives who stood at my door and told me a series of what I consider to be deceptive stories about why he was there. Would you care to explain how your sales representatives are trained? Are you really working with homeowners in my area? Are you really doing inspections on behalf of the province? Can you really tell what kind of equipment I have based on the pipes sticking out the side of my house? I just checked your website and on it you claim to be an authorized Carrier dealer. Yet when I contacted Carrier Canada for a list of authorized dealers in my area, your company name is not among them. Your Linkedin profile shows you were formerly Director of Marketing with the Ontario Energy Group which is currently on the Ontario Consumer Ministry Beware List with two separate investigations against the company operating out of two different addresses. My blog post stays up.

      The Underground Woman

      • Miles Duggal

        Since you censored my last post I guess I’ll type this up again

        a) Some customers like to buy things in stores, receive promotions by mail, on the phone, by a referred friend, online, or even (drumroll please…) dare I say it… at the door (no way!)

        b) I’m pretty sure that the rep was not from our company, it’s not the first time I’ve heard or spotted agents from other companies trying to use our good name

        c) Yes we do work with home-owners in the areas we visit. We actually perform calls ahead of time letting people know the dates/times we’ll be arriving in the area, as well as conduct mass mailings to let people know

        d) No of course we aren’t and that’s a biased question.

        e) Yes you can tell how old the equipment is based on what safety codes were met at the time of installation. For instance if someone has black abs venting they would certainly have equipment over 6 years old since this has not been permitted for safety reasons since 2007. My last post actually linked the source here as well. I can supply it for those interested parties.

        f) The website will actually be updated in the next 4-6 weeks to reflect the change that we use Trane now, a very highly reputable brand and we are listed as a registered ‘Sales Channel’ meaning that we sell on behalf of their authorized Trane dealers/contractors. We’re the only ones permitted to use this program door-to-door due to their faith in our training process, which leads me to my next point.

        g) Unlike other companies, we have two examinations on ethics and product knowledge. Representatives train for 1 week and then must pass with a 75% score on each in order to partake in the guaranteed salary program we use

        h) I quit for a reason didn’t I? :)

        Now that I’ve answered your questions I have one for you. Wouldn’t it have been more responsible to have asked these questions to us before trying to bash us online? And a second question – why did you delete my previous reply to you, and a reply to another home-owner which I was trying to help with her complaint of another company? If you aren’t going to remove your post about us then at least give us the courtesy of responding and answering the questions you asked.

        Or, do one better and please remove our company name until we actually have a complaint for a home owner (hopefully never)! I strongly doubt this experience you had was with one of our reps.

        Thanks,

        Miles

        • Patronized

          I censored nothing. Your later comments were awaiting moderation.

        • Adee

          One of your reps showed up at my door last night, argued with me when I asked her to leave, also told me she was canvassing on behalf of the province, and that I absolutely had to change my furnace and aircon. When I told her they were new, she still tried to sell the product. She was incredibly pushy and rude, and I would never consider doing business with your company because of this. She wouldn’t even leave when I told her I was cooking. I finally took her card, told her I would research it, and contact her if I felt it wasn’t a scam. I still am not convinced it’s not. So aggravated by all of these businesses trying to come into my home.

          • Patronized

            Thank you for the information Adee and congratulations on taking the time to do your research before making a decision. Of course it is a scam and no one should be trying to talk you into replacing expensive equipment in your home before it is necessary. These businesses should all be named and shamed.

          • Salesman

            I bet whatever company you work for is a scam too! Bet it has an F in the BBB, you should watch how you patronize people, I believe in good karma and bad karma, cause one day when you get fired from your job (or maybe your unemployed) because your immature, you will one day turn around and say…I respect the door to door people because now I may have to do it! You wish you made the money I make, half a million a year, with honest sales to homeowners, if they come around your door again, don’t answer it, cause I’m sure they need walk the whole day without feeling sick to their stomach!

          • Patronized

            For those who wonder why we posted Salesman’s diatribe: his IP and email addresses resolve to a “senior energy advisor” named Flavio DiGiovanni. Flavio works at Ecosmart Home Services in Toronto. If you’re impressed by the way Flavio conducts himself in public, by all means give him a call about his HVAC systems. Ecosmart, by the way, has a B- rating with the Better Business Bureau for failing to resolve customer complaints. Ecosmart has also been fined by the CRTC for repeated violations of its “Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules.”

          • pezor

            Hey there, I was wondering if you’d ever heard of the company Canadian Standard Home Services. It seemed to me you have a lot of knowledge about these kind of scammers so I hope you can shed some light about the authenticity of this company, I don’t want to fall for any traps..

          • Patronized

            approved

          • Patronized

            Thanks for the question @pezor. I’ve not heard of Canadian Standard Home Services but a quick bit of research shows all the hallmarks of a scam heating and air-conditioning company. BBB says the company has been in business since April 2014 but BBB just opened up its file on the company in November 2015. So it’s not rated because it’s too new. The address for the company is a strip mall in North York, but although Google lists many of the other businesses in the strip mall, it doesn’t list this one. Of the three ‘managers’ names listed with the BBB, only one of them has a public profile and it’s a young lady (listed as a Mr) who has moved from a standard retail job two years ago to this company and in the past 18 months progressed from Hiring and Recruiting Specialist to Human Resources Executive to Executive Managing and Operations Director. This would be a remarkable career progression in any sort of non-scam business, but seems to be typical for the fly-by-night scam biz. Beware.

          • Joshua Howard

            Greetings @pezor & @Patronized:disqus ,

            I am the Marketing Director at Canadian Standard Home Services.
            As @patronized mentioned, we are a relatively new company. We certainly agree that there are a lot of ‘scammers’ in this industry. While we do have
            door-to-door agents, this is not our only stream of customer acquisition. Our office location, 1120 Finch Street West, is currently being renovated for our procurement, hence why we are not listed in their directory yet. We have experience working with some of the companies that mislead consumers. We founded Canadian Standard Home Services to separate ourselves from the competition. We offer a wide variety of products besides furnaces and ACs. In respect to our managers not being listed publicly, you can look me up on LinkedIn (https://ca.linkedin.com/in/joshua-howard-834ba367). As for ‘Mr. Isra Khan,’ that was a typo by the BBB. She has a university degree and deserves the title that she worked very hard for.

            Our goal is to help customers improve the comfort of their home and reduce Canadian’s carbon footprint. We are also entering in the home automation industry. Additionally, we offer water and air filtration products. Seeing how we live in a very polluted and industrialized region, I truly believe in that these products make a significant impact to the health and well being for those that use them. If you check out our website, canadian-standard.ca, you can see that we do not make any false claims and all of our statistics are backed by reputable sources (i.e. Health Canada, NRC, CDC, etc.). If you feel like you have been mislead, please contact me directly and I will ensure that the issue is dealt with in a timely fashion.

            Sincerely,
            Joshua Howard
            Executive Director of Marketing
            Office: 647.490.5120
            Mobile: 647.883.0638
            Fax: 647.490.5118

          • Annoyed

            Some of your door knockers came tonight at 8:15pm claiming to be from “Canadian Standards”, stating they needed to inspect my gas appliances, would you like our shoes off or on? Clipboard with Embridge across the top Haha. Sorry clowns.

          • guest

            Fact Check about Canadian Standard Home Servies:

            CEO is EX CON
            Sold $30,000 to RCMP officer who was undercover
            Canadian Standard Home Services is shady business built on shady deals and using shady tactics. PATHETIC.

            I know for a fact they scam customers, and the CEO himself lets it happen.

            http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/reformed-drug-dealer-grateful-for-a-second-chance-1.2517729

          • Berfie

            * you’re

          • Patronized

            approved

          • mike

            I am a salesman, have been for 15 years. I would not call myself a professional because I have so much to still learn.
            I have done door to door for a company like this. There is a difference between good and sleazy sales reps.
            This company trains you to be sleazy. Not directly. They train good tips for closing but encourage ways to pressure people into things they don’t want through confusion, or just straightforward deception which, in their heads, they can justify with the dollar made.
            Do not lump these guys with salespeople who have morals and ethics.

        • deadsexy

          Oh please you send little dickheads around door to door at like 7 o’clock at night wanting to see our furnaces and wateheaters. I had one at my door 4 days ago and was arguing with me to get into my home and when I refused he said he was going to report me for not allowing him in. Next time one of those little dickheads come to my door I’m gonna let my dog take care of him.

          • Poor Student

            Speaking as a previous salesperson (sadly) I would like to say that often times the door to door salespeople are (like I was at the time) young, poor and just trying to make rent. It isnt our fault that we may work for a crappy company (I quit because I worked there for a few weeks, had to walk around in the 40 degrees celsius weather, had to deal with people who just repeatedly slammed their doors in my face and screamed at me, my coworkers were doing drugs on the job (while DRIVING!) and I didnt get paid a cent). While I understand that dealing with pushy and often times rude salespeople is not a nice experience, there is no need to be rude or threaten to harm them. As a side note, I would highly recommend NOT working for Summit Energy, you should also add them to your list.

          • mike

            Been there too. Couldn’t have said it better myself.
            To be honest, I would rather greet at Walmart than work for summit energy/companies like them.

    • Buyer beware NHC!!!

      Mr. Duggal when your reps come to our doors and try to encourage us to rent a furnace and AC at $70 a month each, what your scamming company DOESNT say is that it is for 15 years!!! Guess what? That comes out to be $12,585… EACH!!! And that is without the increase of 3.5% a year!!! It’s a scam people!!!

      • Tony

        NHC has programs available for only 10 year terms. You are confused by another company. Regardless, you can make your own decisions, if you feel a product or service is over-priced then don’t buy it, it does not automatically become a scam. Your comment is laughable. You wanna lease a new Mercedes for $500/month for 10 years? KNOW THE FACTS AND USE YOUR OWN BRAIN!

        • Patronized

          Another sterling representation from a business that prides itself on customer service. We’ve heard from Mr. Duggal and “Tony.” We’d like to hear from others who have received New Home Comfort representatives at their doors. Let’s hear your stories. “Tony” thinks we’re confused. Are we?

      • Jawad Elidrissi-Elawad

        Actually, the unit (s) are maintained, serviced, cleaned, repaired all for the cost of the rental…and I’m getting a new unit every time standards change. If you ever lived in western Canada you would understand stand what that meens. Out there they pay a carbon tax, wich is coming to Ontario :) after the clean air act was singed..any thing under 95%, yeah you are gunna pay. A lot. Have fun with that shit. I’ll take the rental, pay way less in gas and hydro and get new shit for the next 15 years. And on top I’m going to resign haha.why? Simple, credit cards, mortgage, car payment, line of credit… cell phone bill… every thing is a rental now a days. You can think what ever you want. But that’s the truth and you know it.

        • Louis P. Castor III

          I can assure you my credit card and line of credit is not a rental.

        • NotGullible

          Jawal… bullshite.

        • Bamskies

          Even though this is 2 years old, just wanted to point out that that carbon tax they put on us isn’t “a lot” we pay about $ 1000 a year on gas. Not that crazy. A salesman to ight told me I’m paying about $8000

    • Rogan

      Before I respond to this, I want everyone to know that I know Miles personally and professionally very well. I worked with him for a long time. Miles has many positive qualities about him. Chief among them are his drive and determination. He’s the hardest working, most persistent person I’ve ever met.

      With that being said, in my opinion, his business practices are deceitful to the very core.

      Ya, that part about paying Agents an hourly wage is B.S., Miles. You advertise the job as paying an hourly wage in order to get more recruits, but as soon as the agent starts making a few sales, you switch them to Commission. And what’s the point of mentioning that you’re locally owned? That has nothing to do with the debate. You’re just throwing in cute sounding data to try to make yourself seem friendly and trustworthy. How about staying on topic?

      No, Miles, you haven’t been the victim of other companies pretending to be you. That’s just another one of your classic excuses to avoid responsibility. Any time there is a complaint from a customer, that’s Miles’ first go-to line. If the home owner has proof, such as the agent’s name, then he just moves on to his next “objection handling technique” (LIE!) A common one is “Oh I’m sorry sir or mam, Agent ABC is new to the company (even though Agent ABC has been around for months), and may not have explained it properly…. What the program is all about is…” See that? Without skipping a beat, he just goes right in the the sales pitch himself on the phone, without letting the customer say a word, because he knows he can B.S. people with a straight face like a champ. And then the home owner actually feels bad for being angry with the door-to-door sales rep.

      Another very simple and effective technique Miles uses is paying off the disgruntled customer. Yep, that’s right, just straight up paying them off so they don’t file a complaint with the BBB or file a lawsuit. He told me on numerous occasions that he’d do ANYTHING to have a perfect BBB rating because it’s worth it long-term. I’ve seen the guy give a customer a $6000 furnace to avoid bad press about the deceptive marketing “techniques”. And that’s nothing to him. He has hundreds of thousands, if not millions now, of dollars in the bank from his years of working with LivClean Home Services (Owned by Planet Energy) and Ontario Energy Group, where he would tell home owners some very clever lies. (and yes he knew it wasn’t true the whole time, so he can’t play the ignorant, innocent sales agent card).

      Lies such as:
      – “your water heating could have 20 inches of sediment build-up” even though it was municipal water and that’s impossible,
      – or how about “your furnace loses 1-2% efficiency every year”. Oh really Miles? Where did you learn that? Oh, that’s right, you just made it up. You just borrowed the idea from your years lying to people about how water heaters lose efficiency every year due to sediment build-up…on municipal water! lol. All his agents are trained to say that, even though he knows it’s a lie.

      Keep in mind that Miles makes ridiculous amounts of money on each product sold. In fact, he makes more per deal than the sales rep. Usually a sales manager or executive makes only a small amount of money per unit sold, but has lots of volume. However, his agents also make huge commissions. Now, there’s nothing wrong with making lots of money, but the point I’m trying to make is that he and the agents are not making money on volume of sales. Hardly anybody there is making good money except for him, and 1 or 2 other guys who don’t mind lying to people for a living. He has to have a HUGE mark-up on the product for this very reason. He knows it’s not easy to sell because in reality it’s not a good deal. It’s only a good deal in apparency if you believe the lie of “your furnace / AC loses 2% efficiency every year”. The vast majority of Sales are to very gullible elderly people who don’t know how to use the internet, and trust a young, innocent looking sales person.

      Hmm, what else… When Miles was working for LivClean and Ontario Energy Group, he would tell a number of very interesting lies and use some neat tactics…

      1) That the product (furnace, water heater, AC, etc) was a rental or “rent-to-own” with a service plan, and that they were signing a rent-to-own contract, even though he knew the home owner was purchasing it on credit, and filling out a loan application.

      2) He would have the agents only fill out the absolute bare minimum on the loan application so the home owner has very little time to see it. Then later they would fill out the rest of the application in the car or at the office.

      3) If the homeowner demanded a copy of the application, like I said before, the customer’s copy would be missing most of the important details. But most of the time, he would himself, and train the agents to take the home owner’s carbon copy of the application so they could not study it and see what they’re actually agreeing to. That carbon copy would just be thrown in the trash. In the customer called the agent or the office and asked about it, Miles would himself, or train the agents to lie and say they would be sent a copy after the installation.

      4) When selling water heater rentals for LivClean, Miles wasn’t Miles, he was “Chaz”. That way when the customer called the office to make a complaint, nobody would know who the customer was talking about. (This one isn’t nearly as bad as the other stuff he’s done, I just think it’s funny lol)

      Miles does not care too much about proving a good service for the customer or community. He as no real, practical, understanding of Ethics. He will, however, claim that he cares deeply about it, if he knows YOU care about it. Miles will say virtually anything to you to be in your favor. Then the next minute display behavior that goes against that. At one time there were a number of agents that quit other companies because they hated how dishonest they were, and Miles would constantly give speeches about how honest his company is. At the same time he knowingly has an agent, for months, falsifying information on the contracts and forging signatures. And only after other agents find out about it, does he fire him.

      In fact, he’ll even admit he does this to his customers and employees. In you’re a customer of his and you love hockey, he loves hockey. In you love football, he loves football. After working with Miles for a number of years, you begin to see how disingenuous he is. This is the reason he hasn’t been able to keep any of his agents or Sales Managers around for any length of time. Anyone who works for him leaves after a relatively short amount of time. And he has no real solid friendships anywhere in the business, and many enemies.

      This post could have easily been twice as long. Miles, I went easy on you. I don’t hate you, brother. I want to look out for, and protect, and serve, the people of my community, my province, my country, my planet. And that includes you. I mean it. And you’re hurting people by lying to them. And when you hurt other people you hurt yourself the most, Miles. If I see another person hurting himself, I want to stop them, out of love. It’s the right thing to do to be honest about it. Miles, there are lots of Ethical ways to make money. Go and be the great person I know you can be. You’ve got what it takes and I’ll support you every step of the way.

      • saadoyle

        NICE! I have had an air conditioner (after he wouldn’t let me cancel) for four years now, not one service call made for maintenance. Never heard from him again.

    • saadoyle

      Miles….I filed a complaint with the BBB and the issue was never resolved. I remember how bad I felt for your secretary apologizing for you saying you were on vacation overseas and would not answer your phone. I am dissatisfied. There’s your proof:)

      This company has been around for longer than claimed. Must be a new incorporation. Pretty stealth, Duggal, pretty stealth.

  • no_sales_please

    ontario home services – a young man with a clipboard a name badge from this company, as well as a shite York emblem on the right sleeve of his navy golf shirt literally tried to force his way into our house when my husband answered the door. Had he told me this last night I would have called the police.

    • Patronized

      Thanks for naming another one of these companies – Ontario Home Services. It still may be worth calling your local police service and letting them know the name of the company and the tactics they are employing. If the police receive a few similar complaints, they will often put out a warning in the local area to let people know there is a scam company in the neighbourhood. Were they trying to lock you into a new water heater contract do you know?

  • roy

    don’t ever..ever…let anyone from Ontario Energy Group into your house..or don’t even talk to them.my brother just got scammed by this company.a salesman going by the name Mohamed Ozzy Ozman ill advised my brother to replace his 6 yr old furnace, he told him his energy bill will be a lot lower after the change.the opposite was true, his bill doubled.Ozman also told my brother he would take off all third party charges he had on his current embridge bill….ne never did that. Ozman has refused to answer or return any phone calls. my brother contacted Ontario Energy Group to get help resolving the issue…they told him they can’t help. he need to speak to Ozman… Ozman would not return/answer calls.. if you are stupid enough to even consider doing business with Ontario Energy Group call me (647-709-4452) before you do so….i will give you a million reasons why you shouldn’t

    • Patronized

      Thank you for sharing your experience with us. Would you mind mentioning what city/community this salesman was working in so others in the area can be warned?

  • ITS NOT ALWAYS A SCAM – Pete

    I have an OEG tank in my home. Everything, from when a gentleman
    knocked on my door, up to this day has been done with no problems whatsoever.
    All information that the representative explained was 100% true. I checked
    everything out extensively. Note to roy: if he advised switching a 6 year old
    furnace was not likely just for savings reasons which can be huge if the machine is more than 10 years old. After doing my homework,
    extensively, I have found that there are a few other justified reasons to
    switch that most people tend not to think of (or forget after the representative
    leaves). In 2007, regulations for exhaust piping carrying exhaust from the
    furnace, water heating system and other various gas appliances was changed due
    to issues with carbon monoxide leakage. This means any piping installed after
    2007 is classified as white coloured PVC 636 piping and has been the new
    standard for all installations. The number of leaks has not been significant
    enough to make it mandatory for all residential homeowners to switch out their
    old black coloured ABS piping, however, now it is illegal to install this
    exhaust piping for any home and that must tell you something. I moved into my
    home and luckily had white piping. Next reason is the option to rent vs. own.
    Most people, just like me, my family and my friends rent their tank and it
    comes on the gas bill. Having the furnace on there too, all on the same bill,
    sorta makes sense doesn’t it? I looked at prices for the furnace rental plan
    and was very surprised. I pay $24.70/ month for a $1400 tank. The furnaces are
    around $65/month for a $4000 machine (if you include installation). Pretty
    close to the same value vs. price, if not better than the tanks. The only other
    thing that I could really see as a justified reason to switch out furnace is
    some of the new furnaces cause less allergy, dust and asthma issues. The 2
    stage multi-speed blower can provide a huge difference in the homes
    circulation. Less dust gathers since there is more circulation. My brothers old
    house was always covered in dust (31 year old single stage furnace) before he
    moved into a brand new town home community. He still barely cleans, like at his
    old place but it never seems to get even close to as bad as it did before.
    I believe having a brand new furnace and duct work are the main reasons for
    this. All in all friends, I think everyone can agree most people overreact when
    they “believe” they’ve been cheated or scamed. When people read this post I
    hope they keep in mind there are honest people like the gentleman than got me
    my tank and my cousin his furnace. And remember the scam is not the program, idea, or company it is the
    delivery of the message by the representative. Lots of scams aren’t even scams
    they’re just a few bad representatives delivering the message incorrectly or
    flat out lying to make the sale. If they are fully honest and you can benefit
    from the program whether it be through gas and electricity savings, new exhaust
    piping, no more maintenance costs by renting or less dust, asthma and allergy
    issues, you are in good hands with OEG. Verify all the hard facts about the program and
    your current situation and see if what the representative is saying matches up.
    Don’t just search Ontario Energy Group, or any other company for that matter,
    see that some people have had a bad experience and assume your in the same
    boat. If you had a good experience and you have one of the above reasons to
    change things up then than I’d say thumbs up and go for it. I hope I was
    helpful and informative for anyone curious about this topic. Cheers!

    • Home owner beware NHC and OEG

      Sounds like a door-to-door scammer to me, that sounds very much practised.

      • Tony

        This conversation is a little one-sided as whomever is the moderator has
        blocked every single one of my posts. What is the point of this if all
        of you just complain to one another about misleading and incorrect
        information. What a waste of time…

  • FurnaceIsFine

    Ontario Energy Group in Kanata, Ottawa this week. Using the coloured pipe lines. Last month it was Canadian Consumer Energy group. My neighbour ended up renting an air conditioner from them even after he realized they were scammers. My neighbour did tell me that there are rules that protect consumers against door-2-door contracts. Apparently you have 7 days to back out of a contract signed/agreed to as part of a door sale. Perhaps the site mods could confirm this.

    • Patronized

      Thanks for letting us know what’s going on in Kanata! As a matter of fact, the consumer has up to 10 days to cancel a contract signed in their home.You have to do so in writing and I would also recommend sending a registered letter so you have proof of delivery. You can get more information from the Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services page on this very topic which is at:
      http://www.sse.gov.on.ca/mcs/en/Pages/Door_to_Door_Sales_Rights.aspx
      Hope that helps!

  • No door-to-door

    A young man posing as a technician, in blue uniform with York on the right sleeve, clipboard and ID card (no picture) from “Ontario Home Services” company, tried to convince me that he is from this legal company and that I require service. He wanted to check my furnace and all air vents through out the house. I told him I don’t need his service, that I am not familiar with the mentioned company, and that I already seek service from my own provider. He was persistent and kept flashing his card and inching forward even when I kept saying no. He paused as if thinking what to do next while looking away in irritation, didn’t say anything and just left. Truly, he is no professional and suspicious. Homeowners beware and never let anybody you did not seek service from into your home, especially from this so called company! Firmly say no and close and lock your door right away. If they continue to be persistent, call the police!! Be safe.

    • Patronized

      Thanks for naming and shaming! Would you mind advising what area this company was trying out its door-to-door scam activity?

    • Patronized

      Interesting story. I checked out the company and they have a very convincing website. However, a Google Street View perspective of the ‘business’ address shows only residential homes. And, much as I don’t like or trust the BBB, when a company has an F rating with that organization, as Ontario Home Services Inc. currently has, I would take that as a warning to stay very far away. Good call.

  • blacky

    All businesses go door-to-door if they can. Bell, Rogers,reliance,direct energy, sears need I go on?! these are just a few i’ve had a my door!
    Be smart people. It YOU who allows yourself to be scammed. Think before you make a decision..its not hard. Don’t blame these people. Some underhanded but many good.
    Its your fault you blindly believe.
    Think. plain and simple.

    • Patronized

      Blacky – your experience clearly differs from ours. We’ve never had reputable companies like Rogers, Bell or Sears approach us through door-to-door sales. (Door-to-door Sears sales, really?!?). In fact, the only companies who in our experience typically attempt the door-to-door sales channel are those that are trying to pressure you to make a purchasing decision on the spot. Which is never a wise choice. And statistically, a significant percentage of people will never buy on the spot – which makes such an approach an extremely expensive sales channel, as explained by Reliance Home Comfort’s blog article on defeating a deceptive door-to-door saleperson, which you can read here: http://blog.reliancehomecomfort.com/2012/04/door-to-door-sales/
      Bottom line, yes, it’s people’s own responsibility to make informed decisions. What we have a problem with is salespeople who try to deceive or obfuscate the facts so the consumer can’t make an informed decision. Not all homeowners are equipped to deal with these kinds of scam approaches. Therefore, we are simply trying to warn and inform.

      • asdquet

        Rogers and Bell do door-to-door in apartment buildings all the time. They have for many, many years. I’ve never seen them do it outside of apartment buildings though.

      • Mumbles

        To say reputable businesses don’t go door to door as a blanket statement. Allot of sales positions make sense doing door to door.
        Allot of what people want to call scam is just honest sales people selling honest equipment. Of course they will push it on you. Rogers does door to door sales
        Mostly in Apartments though. But they do door to door sales.
        Allot of companies in product sales do door to door.
        Some are misleading some are not

        • Patronized

          @Mumbles – you believe what you wish. But you are advocating for an outdated business model. Direct sales can no longer compete with online advertising. Word-of-mouth spreads so quickly in a country as connected as Canada, that all it takes is a few badly-trained sales persons and your direct sales channel is shot. As evidenced by the popularity of this article.

      • zack

        hey patronized. i was a field rep door to door for bell myself so that part is not true, but yes most HVAC companies are scams i would deal with upswet customers daily about being scammed by HVAC, pn the flipside ive had countless customers call me thanking them for switvching them from rogers as well as countless referrals, door to door exists and is an honest living. if they atre scammers its the integrity and honesty of the indivudual or comany not all salesman….

  • vindicator

    …some scammers also try to sell electricity and/or natural
    gas contracts D2D! As I understand things – if a homeowner allows the D2D
    “salesman” to view his/her gas or electricity bills(s), then the
    scammer’s outfit can switch the homeowner over to their company- and it’s
    all legal! I am 99% sure that this is the case. As usual, the best advice –
    with any or all D2D jerk-offs, is caveat emptor – buyer beware!!!!!!!

  • Tony

    Why is it that you say good businesses don’t go door-to-door? How do you
    suppose a small business competes with large companies in this industry
    such as Direct Energy who if you had done some research would know are
    locking customers into far worse contracts of monthly payments towards
    equipment “protection plans” which are included with other companies.
    This discussion is not an open-closed book as there are many details
    that have been left out.

  • tony

    How many of you are paying Direct Energy monthly payments towards any type of “protection program” for heating or cooling? How about a carbon offset? Did you know that those are also by your words “scams”?

  • Neighbourhood watch

    I actually got a really good deal from these people, the installation process could of been better but they gave me a high efficiency furnace and i didn’t pay anything for it! I was very skeptical at first but this site gave me some assurance savingsonenergy.ca. Actually since they have came I have been saving $50 every month! Mostly because I was locked in with a third party. The person that came to my door (Jose) was able to break my contract 3 year contract where I was paying 3 times to much. Hope that helps anybody who was in the same boat

  • Mamile_rarity

    “Reputable companies do not sell their services door-to-door. They don’t have to.”

    Your words, so let me codify that. I’ve worked for over six years a registered fundraiser, and we’ve employed a number of methods to drum up support for various international charities. And to legitimize that, I’m not talking about tax-pot schemes run by 1% bankers looking to shore their cash in frivolous causes. I’m referring to legitimate humanitarian organizations like UNICEF, Red Cross, what have you.

    Over the years, we’ve run the numbers and results on various fundraising models, from phone solicitation to street marketing and yes, to door-to-door solicitation.

    As it turns out, and I’m sure this flies in the face of your main thesis, that door to door is in fact one of the last physical marketing mediums to remain effective. We’re talking about an 8-9% conversion ratio to the <1% for street marketers. Even online marketing for paid ads has a lower conversion ratio than that.

    And you can't really argue that businesses should switch to an internet marketing medium as these platforms are A) Prohibitively costly, and B) Grossly underrepresented in search traffic and relevant SERPs. Imagine how many people we get donations from for charities direct from our website and the numbers would just depress you.

    As a fundraiser for charities, I'm a deep and vocal supporter of door-to-door marketing. It's not a scam, it's just a low-cost marketing medium that scammers won't lose money on. If paper ads were more cost effective, they would be running paper ads. If anybody shopped for water heaters online, OEG and NHC would advertise online.

    They don't because there's no business in it. So you say Reputable Companies don't go door to door. I counter that neither company could avoid those models because there's no way they'd stay in business without it.

    Your knee-jerk reactionary attitude towards door-to-door belies your pandering demagogue to frustrated consumers. I get that scammers can make dealing with door solicitors frustrating and taxing. It makes my job harder, and it makes the work I do a lot harder to represent legitimately.

    I've hit the pavement and gotten nothing but slammed doors in my face when talking about the Crisis in Syria because your attitude poisons people's understanding of a fully legitimate marketing model. And i dare say that in some businesses, it may be the only thing keeping them afloat.

    So I ask you to consider the vitriol of your article. Consider how you have failed to relate scamming practices to door-to-door sales, consider that your piece is reactionary by it's very nature, and consider that it in no way teaches us anything but to remain steadfast in these childish prejudices.

    • Patronized

      Fair enough. Can I ask why your IP address (recorded by Disqus as 76.66.216.2) resolves to MDG Newmarket Inc., operating as Ontario Energy Group – a company that is listed on the Ontario Consumer Beware List and was fined $54,000 last July for violations of the Unsolicited Telecommunications Rules? I’d be very happy to debate your points, but you first need to explain how a charity fundraiser can access our blog from an IP block registered to one of the companies mentioned in this post.

      • jordan

        Ok just posting 2 cents gere but I have worked for companies like reliance in which u posted they do more door to door sales then any company ive seen ever and they go door to door handing out dont knock things so other companies cant I have worked door to door and im not a bad person just do research on the product if u dont like it don’t buy it end of story

      • Sid

        Nice catch! 😀

  • Mark19

    Kinda a little confused that you lump those scammers together with more legit sales agents who make their living door to door. Ive only had trouble turning away people who worked for energy companies and yeah i totally agree that door 2 door has a ton of scammers. But i think its a little unfair to say that all door agents are untrustworthy. Yeah definitely not always welcome but you see the same kind of aggressive sales in a lot of retail (oh god, ever go by a cosmetic section of sears?) and at the door i feel like there’s more power to shut them out.

    So maybe invasive, but all sales are like that. I think a lot of people disagree that all businesses who do door to door are bad. No one is disagreeing that the scammers arent there

    Great post tho

  • truthfully

    Being a former nhc employee ill tell u this much…garbage company. miles is a good guy but his partner is one of the worst businessmen and person in general that i have ever had the displeasure of meeting..he is the perfect example of a sleezy salesman. They treat their employees like livestock and all this bs about getting paid hourly is just that…bs they EXPECT u to get off of the hourly pay as soon as u make ur first couple sales…I wouldn’t recommend anyone to ever get involved with this company whether ur a homeowner or desperate for a job…

  • Rodik

    Direct energy used to always go door 2 door in the past and they’re considered reputable.. Rogers communication started as Rogers marketing and they would go door to door signing people up on yearly internet/cable contracts before it was popular.

    So although I’m not a fan of the way these furnace/water heaters do business. To say that reputable companies don’t go door to door is far fetched. Direct energy is simply banned in ontario, but they have huge door to door campaignns in USA and Alberta. And Rogers still goes door to door in buildings, we had a rep knock my condo door a month ago.

    A reputable business has nothing to do with door to door, it has to do with the integrity of the owner.

    Sorry that I’m not precisely talking about these companies, I’ve heard negative things about them from colleagues, but I don’t own a detached house. And in my condo, I’m tired of seeing Rogers or bell reps trying to sells internet/home phone/ cable/satellite services. Like why the hell am I paying monthly for maintenance fees! Isn’t concierge not suppose to let them in !

    • Sid

      I can speak directly for the tactics used by Direct Energy. Back in early 2000 I wasn’t aware of the complaints and went to their info and testing session in Hamilton. It seemed legitimate when they took photos for our Energy Board IDs and habded us a test. To do at home. Over the weekend. The following Monday I scored 24/25 and was one of the only ones that passed – the tests were passed to other people to correct the mistakes and the guy said we all have passed.
      I walked, not having anything else to do while job hunting at the time I at least accumulated first hand experience on how these ‘legitimate’ companies operate, which I can now pass forward to help protect others from falling victim. For everything else see my previous entry 😉

  • SpeakSoftly&CarryAStick

    Your opening story was almost word-for-word what I experienced TWICE. The most recent encounter was last friday; I live in London. I was able to sternly usher the sales rep away- although he used all of the aforementioned lines…….’we’re working with other residents in your neighbourhood’……’working on behalf of the ontario government’……’checking up on homeowners to see if their heating and cooling units meet energy standards- concerning pipes’……

    After telling him we had already been visited by someone from their company, he stared at me, then his clipboard, then told me ‘hmm oh…well your home mustn’t have been checked off; I have it here that I am to inspect…’ I cut him off abruptly and said no, I am not interested. Since he didn’t seem like ending his side of the conversation, (after I had tried to be patient and polite, all while standing my ground on my property), I allowed my doberman to finish his thought. She greeted the strange man with some authoritative barking through my glass door, and he quickly changed his tune.
    He had asked me earlier in the sales pitch if dropping by on Saturday would be a better time; it’s now Monday, and my dog and I are not anticipating any OEG drop-ins in the near future.

  • ourbigfatwallet

    I just had someone come to the door two nights ago selling donations for some charity, which likely wasn’t even registered. It didn’t seem legitimate and it was hard to get the salesperson to stop talking. I find door to door sales invasive and even rude. When I am relaxing at home the last thing I want is a sales pitch. I think I will stop answering the door if I think it’s another sales pitch.

  • danceswithliars

    just finished arguing with a clown from ” ontario energy group ” wanting to inspect our equipment. After repeatedly telling him everything was fine I didn’t need an inspection he said ” well that’s fine we’ll just report to the province and they will deal with you. ” ………..sleaze balls !

  • OEG – Absolute Scum

    Had a representative from this company (Ontario Energy Group) come by in Ottawa South today (K1V). Insisted that he needed to come in to perform an electrical safety check for the hot water and AC unit, and wanted to know if I was the home owner. I laughed and asked him what he was going on about. I don’t even have central air and I own my tank! He said “We sent out letters, didn’t you receive it?”. I told him I did not require his services and closed the door in his face.

    He seemed upset that I was on to him and I heard him say “Someone will be back tomorrow to perform the inspection”. Try me…

    I went out to the road to get the mail 5 minutes later and saw him get into his own vehicle (no company markings). It was a silver impala and I wrote down the license plate number and have reported it to police. If anyone in my neighbourhood is bothered again by this individual in the above mentioned car, let us know in this post and I will provide the license plate number and incident number filled with the Ottawa Police Service so you can attach your complaint.

    • Patronized

      Thanks for warning everyone about this happening in Ottawa South. Stay vigilant folks!

  • SL320

    I had a representative from Ontario Consumers at my door this morning. She used the usually fast talk and references to ‘checking efficiencies’. In any case, there was absolutely no way that I was going to let her into my house. Eventually, the only thing that made her leave was my threat to call the police. I actually did call the fraud squad, but they had already heard it all before.

    Later this afternoon, a neighbour had a visit from the same young woman. Based on my warnings to them, they were ready for her and there were no problems.

    As the young woman ran out of options while standing on their front porch, she eventually asked if she could come in to use the bathroom. Fortunately, my neighbours declined her request. It may seem harsh on a human level, but it is far easier to keep someone out of the house in the first place than it is to get them out once inside. No matter how much you may feel sorry for them personally, don’t let them into your home. Period.

  • Enough is enough

    Today- for the fifth time in 30 days – I had the pleasure of being interrupted by a young person with a clip board asking about my utility bill and furnace/ac efficiency. I was told that I had no I option – that he worked for the governemt of Ontario and needed to ensure I complied with current energy standards. He asked to enter my home to look at the furnace and AC and asked to see my lastest bills. As with the other individuals that have arrived at my door, I was polite and refused them entery into my home and refused to show them my utility bill. I was threatened with “if you are not compliant with our program, your utilities can be cut off”. And bullied by the kind young man- who was less kind each time I wouldn’t allow him in my home. He finally left when I told him my furnace and AC were. Year old and were obviously efficient. Not only is this a scam- they are bullies and use unethical practices to sell a product.

    • Natalke

      Well sir he broke many rules that ethical people who still do this won’t break. As an individual who goes door to door I have never lied to my clients

  • Jackie

    Ontario Energy Group is in Guelph, Ontario right now. Trying to convince me that the “energy standards have changed” and he needed to check my furnace. He approached me while I was in my driveway and needless to say, he didn’t make to the door.

  • saadoyle

    Neither are you!

  • Sid

    Thank you for this article. In Waterloo Region these door to door people cause police complaints almost daily. In one weeks time we recorded calls on scanner of police responding to agents demanding entry to see water heaters. The other day 2 of them prompted a couple cop cars to respond to the Preston area of Cambridge in response to their attempts. I recommend pulling out the phone and recording their actions (permitted under One Party Consent recording law) to forward to police. Criminal Code charges including Unlawfully in dwelling house (s.349) and Personation with intent (s.403) can be applicable. BTW this is not legal advice per se, however I am authorized by the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services as a Private Investigator and have been involved in collecting evidence and having it successfully cross-examined by opposing counsel.

  • johnnytotem

    So I just had one of these reps from oeg stop by. Thos is in eastern Scarborough (Toronto). Went to see who my brother was talking to. Overheard this ass hat asking all kinds or personal questions. I interrupted and asked what was up. He told me “I am inspecting homes to ensure compliance with the new ontario high effeciency standards” or something along those lines. Anyways im no fool. I immediately asked him if he was government. He said YES. He showed me his sorry little laminated tag like some badge. And proceeded to tell me that he was working with the government and had to enter my home to look for high effeciency stickers. I knew it was bullshit and told him not interested. He kept on. I repeated we are not interested
    He kept on. I told him he would get no sales from here. He kept on. This is one of most annoying irritating experiences one could have. I immediately started researching and found this lovely page. anyways If these come back they’re gonna get a piece of my mind and hopefully don’t don’t leave quick enough I can slug em with a shovel or something. Best of luck to all. I feel for people who have been and will be scammed by these prices.

  • Christine

    I am right now beyond sad. We have a senior citizen couple living in a house across the street that has been bamboozled by OEG. A rep from this company invited themselves into the older couple’s home by saying they were authorized by the Ontario Government. The OEG rep then proceeded to tell them that their AC and furnace were not up to government standards and needed to be replaced. They removed a 7 year old furnace that was working just fine and a 10 year old AC unit which was also working just fine. The replacement AC does not even cool their house properly and was broken down most of the summer. They were slow to get techs out to fix it and when the water heater (yeah, they got them for that too) was having trouble, instead of providing a service call, they told the (almost 80 year old) wife that she had to go down to the basement (which you access through a trap door) and adjust it herself. For this wonderful service they pay almost $200 per month and if they try to back out of the contract they will put a lien on their house. OEG assured the couple that the cost of the rental would be more than made up by the savings in energy costs. Of course, this was a line. Now this couple, who live on a tight pension as it is, can barely scrape the money together for groceries. They have no children to help them and feel embarassed that they were taken advantage like this, and have been trying to get out of the contract. OEG is giving them the runaround and have been downright bullies at times. If anyone has any suggestions on what to do, I would greatly appreciate it. This company has literally taken the food out of these people’s mouths with their lies and illegal sales tactics.

    • Patronized

      Christine – I too am beyond sad reading your story. It’s criminal that companies continue to use these tactics to scam the most vulnerable in our communities.I understand your neighbours may be embarrassed but they should also be mad, and they should take action. The first thing I would recommend they do is write to the company’s headquarters office a letter outlining all the deceptions that were used by the salesperson to make the sale and seek at least a reduction in their bill, particularly if they can show that they have in fact received no savings in energy costs by using this new equipment. The letter should show that a copy is also being sent to the Competition Bureau of Canada – and make sure they do send it there. Assuming, as I do, that the company fails to make it right, I would then have them reach out to their local newspaper consumer advocate(http://www.patronized.ca/personal-finance/consumer-advocates/). They all have them, and this is just the type of story that gets their blood boiling. It may not actually result in any help for these folks, but at least others like them may be alerted to the scam. I hope this helps.

      • Christine

        Thank you so much for your reply. I hadn’t thought of sending a letter. All their contact with them has been over the phone. A registered letter is a good way to ensure that the company has actually acknowledged their complaint. I have contacted our MPP’s office and they are going to see what they can do as well. The link you provided did not work, but I can figure out how to get in touch with our local paper. There should be a law about preying on seniors.

      • Ben Pham

        Hello Patronized,
        I am so glad that I have found this before I agreed to the furnace’s rental from OEG, as you mentiond above, a guy with OEG custom knocked my door( Windsor, ON) asked to inspect my furnace and hot water tank safety then he gave me a form to sign for new furnace that cost $70/month with goverment grant for $20/month and possible to save another $20-25/month as an efficiency furnace so turned out to be $30-40 out of pocket every month, sounds pretty good but I smell it fishy as the same time so I asked him wait for me a bit to make a phone call before I sign the form, went to my room, type google search for” OEG furnace rental scams?” and BAM lol I am here. I really appreciated Underground Woman for this helpful post, please keep it up.

        Regards,

        Ben.

        • Patronized

          @disqus_FS8QUlgd3v:disqus – Thanks for reaching out and letting us know of your experience. I’m always highly suspicious of these HVAC sales pitches claiming you’ll save $X per month due to increased energy efficiency by replacing equipment. Most of these guys have no technical HVAC experience and couldn’t calculate your current equipment’s efficiency level, much less do a comparative analysis. When they say it’s ‘possible’ to save $X/month treat that as the first half of an unspoken sentence ending in ‘but it’s not probable.’ Besides which, how many months’ worth of savings would it take to recoup spending thousands of dollars on new equipment to replace existing functional equipment? It makes us happy that we’ve offered information to allow people to take a cooling off period to think about what they’re being sold at the door, so we appreciate your feedback.

    • A Canadian Girl

      Christine try contacting the Ministry of Consumer Services, Consumer Protection Branch. I contacted them about OEG for my father.

    • Mike

      First and foremost any person(s) over the age of 65 in Ontario can get out of any contract without penalty, including rental agreements !
      Also BTW some the greatest companies in North America were started with door to door sales, so your theory or rather your opinion that great companies should not need d2d does not hold water ..Insurance, textiles, consumer products, even Bell Canada today uses d2d to generate sales. There are abuses absolutely, but that certainly can be applied to almost every business out there.

      • http://www.patronized.ca Underground Woman

        Hey Mike, writing in from Rogers, thanks for your comments but we call BS. Please provide the link to your reference for Ontario persons aged 65 and over having special super-powers to cancel contracts. Doesn’t exist, does it? Nor should it, since that would be discriminating on the basis of age, wouldn’t it? And you are right, many companies in North America did start out with door-to-door sales. That was in the age before the internet, of course, which has made such tactics uneconomical in current days. We stand by our advice to avoid buying at the door. Always do your research first. If the door-to-door sales offering is valid and competitive, you can always call the company back. No need to rush to be scammed.

      • http://www.patronized.ca Underground Woman

        @Mike – your comment that any person(s) over the age of 65 in Ontario can get out of any contract without penalty is pure and simple BS. Read the consumer protection act for Ontario, which states: The Consumer Protection Act (CPA) gives you special rights when you buy something in your home that costs more than $50 (note, no mention of a special age protection). As a consumer, you:
        (1) have the right to cancel a contract for any reason within a 10-day cooling-off period. For water heater contracts, there is a 20-day cooling-off period.
        (2) must get a written contract: under the CPA, a consumer contract has to include specific information about the goods or service and your rights as a consumer. If it doesn’t, you can cancel the contract within 1 year of signing.

        And sure, some great companies did start out doing door-to-door sales…50 or 100 years ago. Before telephones and the internet. Please feel free to remind us of a single recently-established ‘great company’ that started out with or continues to use door-to-door as its primary sales channel. Troll.

      • paendragon

        Those “great D2D companies” you brag about were all started up in the Depression of before, in the days before telephones, much less Internet.

  • Gazeebahoffin

    It’s taken OEG a long time to get to K7L. Maybe they figure we don’t have the internet yet. I no longer waste my time even trying to be polite, because they use that against you and waste more time. I just say, “No thank you” while closing the door. Or in this case, “That’s bullshit!”, because he tried to argue with me.

    A few years ago one of these companies demanded to see the utility bill from my wife. She demanded they get the hell off our front porch.

  • Jack Ka

    Just a word of caution: the Beware List referred above is ONLY FOR businesses that were CONVICTED in court. There may be a lot of small crooks who did less damage or settled out of court so you may not find them on that list. I just got a phone call from Eco Star “that they will be in the area and would like to evaluate the efficiency of my furnace. They are holding an A+ on BBB…. I wonder…. ? By the way, I could barely understand what the guy on the phone was saying… I think it is a part of the plan…

  • Eco Energy Potential Victim

    Eco Energy scam artist visited me. He started shouting & yelling at me, when I refused. He was talking about some $ 1,300 rebate. Also wanted to come inside & see my furnace & water heater. Beware of these guys, extremely pushy, aggressive, rude & confrontational. Don’t respect you, when you say NO & refuse to leave, when you ask them. Almost had to call the cops.

    • Patronized

      Approved

  • LyndaLou

    I just had OEG come by and tell me that I was the only one in the neighbourhood who hadn’t signed up for the new furnace rental program and that’s whey they had to keep coming back. After finishing with me, he went and knocked on my neighbour’s door. I guess I wasn’t the only hold-out after all. :) Thanks for this post. I thought it was a scam but it’s nice to be able to google it to find out for sure.

  • mark

    I have very simple excuse: after a few questions and hearing what they are (sometimes I am not sure since never heard of them) I tell them that I am only tenant and to give me some info on paper for the owner. They lose interest and leave quickly…

    • Patronized

      Approved

      James

      I typed this message on my phone.
      Please excuse any strange autocorrections.

  • Medi

    Guys, how can I file complain against nationwide home comfort?

    • http://www.patronized.ca Underground Woman

      @Medi – if you are in Ontario, you can file a complaint with Consumer Protection Ontario. The details on how to do that are at this web page:
      http://www.ontario.ca/page/filing-consumer-complaint
      If you aren’t in Ontario, I would suggest you google your province’s equivalent consumer protection organization. I’m confident they all have some formal complaint mechanism.

      Best of luck!

  • kenworthy2011

    Door to door salespersons from Eco Energy had come to my home when I was away last month. They lied and deceived my dad (70) to get him to sign a Rental contract for high efficiency Furnace and A/C while they were only 6-7 year old. I have received a bill added to my Enbridg bill for almost $240 per month for 10 years. How can I fight this?

    In addition, just few days after this incident, a couple of salesperson from Simpy Comfort come to sale Water Softener. My youngest sister (20) was home at the time. They put her on the phone with another agent while keep talking to confuse her. They finally have her to sign a new contract for the Water Softener. I guess these Scam Companies share the information about the vulnerable houses when they detect one.

    How can I avoid almost this $29,000 fraud? Is there any Governmental Office/Department that I can file a complain?

    • http://www.patronized.ca Underground Woman

      @kenworthy2011 – under the Ontario Consumer Protection Act (CPA) you have certain rights, especially related to door-to-door sales. As a consumer, you:
      (1)have the right to cancel a contract for any reason within a 10-day cooling-off period. For water heater contracts, there is a 20-day cooling-off period
      (2) must get a written contract: under the CPA, a consumer contract has to include specific information about the goods or service and your rights as a consumer. If it doesn’t, you can cancel the contract within 1 year of signing. I suspect you may not have received an appropriate consumer contract for either of these sales. If you want to cancel a contract under the Consumer Protection Act check out this web page for more details:
      http://www.ontario.ca/page/your-rights-when-signing-or-cancelling-contract
      If you have questions or concerns about any door-to-door experiences you have had, call Consumer Protection Ontario: 416-326-8800 (GTA) or toll-free at 1-800-889-9768.

  • SS

    Canadian Standard Home Services Absolute Scam!!!

    • BTownDude

      This is what I wanted to post originally, but I double posted by accident and the moderator allowed only my first message, which I thought was only the subject and not the whole message:

      Hello,

      I had a couple of young folks from Canadian Standard Home Services trying to sell me carbon filters for water mains today. They tried to misinform me in so many different ways that I almost signed up, but in the last minute there were too many red flags and I got rid of these people.

      1. They made it seem like they were working with Reliance, my water heater rental company. The false statement made was the water heater guarantee from Reliance will be void if the filters were not installed.They stated that the filters should have been installed along with the water heater, another false statement that I found out after speaking to Reliance later.

      2. They implied that if the filters are not installed, the water heater will be blow up!!! Really?

      3. They actually pretended to inspect my water heater. Looked over it. But I could tell they were not really doing any kind of inspection.

      4. While asking me to sign the contract, I asked them whether they are selling anything. If they are, I would not be interested. But they lied to me that there is no sales involved and it was sort of like part of my deal with Reliance and were quite vague about the question.

      5. They guaranteed that I would be saving $75 per month on natural gas bills by installing the carbon filters on the water mains. Their service would cost me only $50 a month. How the natural gas bills saving would be done by carbon filters is beyond my comprehension.

      6. They implied that by signing the white form (which is actually a contract), I’m only signing up for the appointment have technicians over. Another lie.

      7. Very forceful selling tactic. I said to them that I will first consult with Reliance regarding the need for the filters, so have the appointment from the technicians set up after one week. But they mentioned that I must do it the day after. Very bad red light here.

      8. I opted out and the salesperson was visibly pissed at me, who was initially telling me that he was paid by hour so I could take my time. Another obvious lie.

      9. Then I spoke to reliance later and found out carbon filters have nothing to do with the water heater!!!

      Stay away from Canadian Standard Home Services…

  • summ3r

    Scarborough here. A kid from Canadian Standard Home Services just gave it the old college try at my door. He tried looking as official as he could, standing on my doorstep in the cold, clutching his clipboard and waving his bit of laminated plastic i.d. at me, but no dice. When he told me that, “the furnace company sent you a notice that I would be coming to look at your rental equipment” I only felt sorry for him and wanted to ask him why he wasn’t in school.
    He still wasn’t getting in the door though.

    Aaaannd, a few hours later I had another two of them at the door. Clipboards, impressive laminated i.d.s, and one of them was even wearing a Hi-Vis vest. Lame. I told them I’d already had somebody try it today and to go away. They left.

  • Peter Thomas

    I feel like this post was made by Reliance to try and deter competition and monopolize the market. Door to door is the most effective way to build a company from the ground up, and when Reliance sends everyone stickers in the mail that say “we don’t talk to strangers” it’s just a clever way for a massive corporation to dominate the market and the consumers. Honestly, rent to own furnaces do cost more than if you bought them outright but most people can’t afford to drop money on a new unit, let alone pay for installation and repairs down the road. And it’s because there are a lot of schemey sales agents out there that the reputation of honest, hard working door to door h-vac agents is so muddled. No one wants to be scammed nor does anyone deserve to be, but just because someone shows up at the door doesn’t mean it’s a scam, you should always do your research from hard facts, not opinion pieces.

    • Patronized

      I can assure you we are in no way affiliated with Reliance or any other water heater/furnace/air conditioner seller. And if you can’t afford to buy your utility equipment outright, then rent-to-own is a perfectly valid (albeit more expensive in the long run) option. There are plenty of reputable companies that will offer to come to your home and give you an estimate of what you need and what it will cost you either lump sum or financed. But you have to call them – they won’t come to your door and harass you. It’s the disreputable ones we are warning people against. Some of which have already been pursued and fined by the various provincial Competition Boards, like as National Home Services (Ontario) and Services aux foyers (Quebec) due to misleading customers in their door-to-door pitches. There are many more who have used the same tactics, but haven’t yet been fined because they regularly shut down and pop up under a new business name to avoid exactly that outcome.

  • Be informed

    First off I’d like to preface that any and everyone should make sure they are completely aware of any and everyone that comes to their door under the guise of a certain company, any sales representative with a genuine ETHICAL AND MORAL background will NOT pressure you into anything and will RESPECT your rights as not only a cosumer but as a homeowner.

    With that out of the way I should say that while I understand that many people will have negative experiences with sales persons some of the information presented in this article is not true and is making blanket statements. I will post my experience with sales as both from a door to door sales person as well as a cosumer and you can make your own judgements.

    Now the very first heading – Good businessmen do not go door to door. This statement is factually NOT TRUE and completely puts every single sales person from door to door in an unfavorable light. Corporate giants such as Bell, Rogers, Sunlife insurance, Sears ALL do door to door sales. In light of this being an article that is supposed to be looking out for the customer’s best interest it is not only discomforting to see that such a harmful statement is being made based on the same lack of clarity it blasts sales representatives for but is something that SHOULD BE CHANGED in the article. Many corporations do door to door sales from the biggest and best of them to the most obscure, the difference is their approach, their marketing and their clarity. This heading sets the tone for the rest of the article, please change it as it puts honest individuals under said disingenuous umbrella.

    The second and third paragraphs contain VERY IMPORTANT nuggets of truth about door to door sales and touches on the most important facets of the industry. An important FACT to remember is this:

    “THE MAJORITY OF SALES WILL NOT HAPPEN AT THE DOOR” – With this in mind any reputable and honest representative will have an ID complete with a badge number and name, brochures and contact information about the company, business card and maybe even a personal contact number. It is in THEIR best interest to have these items, not yours, so you can tell that if any representative doesn’t have something that would ONLY BENEFIT THEM something is amiss. Remember, they work off commission, the only way they get paid is if they make a sale, so if the majority of sales won’t happen at the door then how will they get paid IF you call in one day without their name? Full disclosure. At the very least ID, badge number, brochures, company contact, bonus if business card, website and personal contact are available.

    Next up is clarity and this is perhaps the most important bit. This is door to door SALES. Meaning they are interested in offering you a service. If I came to the door offering you something free as long as you sign here would you take it? No! If it’s free why do you need to sign? I say this to highlight that one way or another you are paying. The difference is honest reputable sales persons will tell you EVERYTHING, INCLUDING the laws put in place to PROTECT cosumers as well as the elderly. Many people are smarter than sales persons think, some are not but the reputable sales person will not try and play upon your lack of intelligence or understanding. They WILL let you know they are providing you a service as well as any contractual agreements.

    ALL sales have contractual agreements, from Bell to Rogers, why? Because it’s sales, they do so to protect their best interests, this is neither immoral or unethical. The difference between an unethical and an ethical sale is that ethical sales persons play upon human error. They don’t try to lock you into a contact without your knowledge, they try to maximize profit by imposing penalties assuming YOU breach it. A prime example of this are roaming charges or data charges if you exceed them. That’s the company looking out for it’s own best interests but is completely logical. Unethical sales persons will try to get the sale through either obfuscation, dishonesty, misrepresentation or confusion. All in all they will play upon your lack of understanding. See the difference?

    Lastly the Government, has laws in place to protect consumers from aggressive sales persons. There are several clauses which allow you to cancel your contract. It is something that EVERY REPUTABLE sales person will tell you.

    This article is meant to inform, while I do appreciate the fact that it does want to do this blanket statements are not the way to do this. Some people are trying to make a living honestly and you’re putting forward the idea that people should be intolerant and not informed. Please structure the article to reflect this. Not every sales person is honest, but not all of them are disingenuous. Encourage people to be aware and knowledgeable, read and ask questions or else you’re guilty of the same disingenuous behavior the sales representatives you chastise so much for.

  • Mike

    Regarding Planet Energy. “Hidden” fees. Sales reps were untruthful. Showed me what my bill would
    look like without all of the “hidden” fees, even though I asked numerous
    times what it would look like with the fees. They knew what it would
    look like with the fees but failed to disclose that information (until
    it was in an email where they only showed the fees in an attachment).
    Promised my rate would never go above what was advertised. They conned me! Don’t
    let it happen to you!

  • Former D2D Agent

    Hahahaha! Actually it was Chaz Sexington, probably the single most slimy D2D sales guy in the business.

  • Neilius Maximus Hepburnius

    Has anyone heard or or dealt with Consumers Choice Comfort Services? They are going door to door in my neighborhood the past two days. They start off saying that they’re trying to get peoples money back from 3rd party providers (Summit energy). But to get your money back you have to “invest” the money you “get back” to “Improve” your home with one of their selected items ie. water filtration system.

    • Patronized

      Yes, Consumers Choice Comfort Services is another one of those generically titled companies with a slick website providing zero real info that are exactly what we’re warning about. Their indicated address shows they are located in an industrial park (but Google has no listing for them) and despite saying on the website that ‘they’ have 30 years experience, there is no indication on the site who ‘they’ might be. I would stay far, far away from this one. And a contract that says the vendor can change the terms of the contract unilaterally? That’s not even legal!

    • Patronized

      Oh, and I just checked this company’s BBB listing. Guess when it was registered with them as a Furnace Sales and Repair Services company? 7 April 2016. So it had been in business all of 3 weeks when they came to your door. Can you spell fly-by-night?

  • markiv

    is CONSUMERS CHOICE COMFORT SERVICES a scam too?

  • anonomos

    so I’m wondering, if consumers choice comfort services is one of the tags, is this another company that cannot be trusted? Let me know if anyone has experience, thanks.

  • Sandra03

    Someone was just at our door from consumers choice. She said they are going around to warn people about door to door scams. She didn’t ask for any info or to come in, didn’t try to sell us anything. She told us about some of the scams going around and how they are tricking people, even taking bills out of mailboxes to get account numbers so they can sign people up by forging signatures etc. She explained that the government is in the process of passing something to ban these utility scammers but in the mean time she was going from city to city talking to people to spread awareness about them.
    I’m not sure if her intentions were good or not, maybe after talking to us she realized she couldn’t trick us into anything and didn’t bother trying? I’ve never heard of consumers choice, who are they, what are they about, are they scammers? If they come back do I chase them off? I hate that these scams have made me not want to trust anyone.

    • Patronized

      Hi Sandra03 – yes, we’ve looked into Consumers Choice Comfort Services and determined they exhibit all the hallmarks of a door-to-door scam company. There are many complaints against them. They have no rating with the BBB because they were only registered as a business in April of 2016. And despite the fact they claim to have ‘over 30 years combined experience in the home services industry’ they don’t say with what company and what employees that experience rests. They could have 30 employees with one year experience apiece, based on that statement. I would stay far away from this one. Remember our motto – good companies don’t sell their services door-to-door. They don’t have to.

  • Bluefish

    Canadian Standard Home Services
    $59.99+HST for each of the 3 services monthly, filter, carbon etc.
    while the agent explained ( to be more accurate “lie” ), no rental fee, no extra service or any hidden, because the current enbridge bill we pay already copy that.
    But it turns out to be 120 months contract.
    To break the contract, 2 options:
    1. pay out 3 noisy equipments, $3245, $3995, $3200 + TAX
    2. pay the remaining months 120 months so far, each month $59.99+HST = $67.79 X 3 X the remaining months of the 120 months

    Agent Jeff Yu, mandarin speaking, to trick esp those mandarin speaking people. when I called the Canadian Standard Home Services, the lady told me , the agent is not with them, there is miscommunication, but since the contract is signed, that is it.

    Anyone can help me out of this insane bill ? I know I am stupid for signing the paper, but trust me, there is nowhere saying the fee anywhere, and they make you crystal clear that no hidden fee ! Watch out those door to door agents!

  • PNH

    I just had a guy at my door telling me he’s checking everybody’s hydro and gas in my area because there’s a lot of usage in this area, so he wanted to come in to look at my furnace. He was with a company with the name “star” in it. I told him he wasn’t my service provider for my hydro or gas so he wasn’t coming in. He tried to push the issue, but I told him it was a good scam, but I wasn’t buying it. As I slammed the door I heard him say it wasn’t a scam. LOL

  • claude

    nepean, just had a visit from an under 20 guy who said he was coming to inspect water meter. since i did not feel threatened, i let him in and showed him the meter and he said the water treatment plant in Vars, was not filtering some pollutants in drinking water. suggested i have installed a carbon filter that is worth 4-6K but would pay for itself through the savings. i said how can you know the savings will be consistent.. didn’t have an answer. i asked the name of the company and he called it ontario safety standards. i asked is that governmental he said no, its private which rang bells. how can any organisation pertaining to standards of any kind be private? has to be a ngo. i said i am not signing nothing until i look things up. after he left, 2 cop cars came to question him about whatt he was doing. they let him go but after i found out there is no such company of that name and the city of ottawa has no problems with drinking water

    • Patronized

      Thanks for letting us know about this. We’ve just put up a warning on our Facebook page for Ottawa people to be aware of this door-to-door scam!

  • Patronized

    Try contacting Ontario Consumer Services with a complaint about this company and its tactics (copy the company itself on the letter you send). At the very least, you should have been provided a copy of the contract you signed within the 10 day cooling off period. How are you supposed to evaluate a contract if you aren’t even given a copy?

  • RyanH

    Beware: Consumers Choice Comfort Services is a scam. My sister in Airdrie, Alberta (north of Calgary) just had a lady by the name of Jessi, working for Consumers Choice Comfort Services at her door telling her: “the government is heading up a new program, giving new energy efficient furnaces out to homeowners like you. All you need to do is pay $1000 for initial installation and then $90 per month goes back to the government for 10 years. The energy savings alone will pay for the new furnace.” The lady stressed that this is a contractual obligation between the homeowner and “the government”. I see they have no BBB, no Google registered address, a newly-registered .ca domain name, a recent address left vacant by a drilling company, no local numbers and a lying deceitful sales force. I was going to drive down there and raise hell as I live close by their office but I see this is the norm, has been for years, and authorities do nothing to enforce ethical practices – likely due to lack of chargeable evidence. I recommended that my sister report them to Service Alberta and the RCMP.

    • Ryan

      Consumers Choice Comfort Services is operating in the Toronto area as well. Two of them visited me recently. A new level of slimy. Said they were working on my street over the next few days doing efficiency upgrades on home heating systems under a program I had received information about from my gas utility. Spun a web of false implications. Said they’d been visiting all my neighbours and needed to inspect my thermostat, furnace, and get some information off my utility bill. I asked them to leave my doorstep. They did not and became more aggressive, implying that the inspection was mandatory. This recent W5 report pretty much lays out the operation of companies like this:

      http://www.ctvnews.ca/w5/w5-investigates-door-to-door-furnace-sales-schemes-that-victimize-canadians-1.3096100

  • Natalie

    Actually Rogers and Bell go door to door, there are charities that go door to door. Also it is not good to color everyone with the same brush and say they are a scam, when you clearly do not know the facts of what you’re speaking of.

  • Deb HOgan

    My 83 year old mother was recently scammed by Nation wide home comfort for a furnace that she thought she was paying $188 month for 5 years. It was for 15 years & after watching W5 & fearing the worse I checked the registry office as the show revealed a lean on peoples homes. Sure enough it was for $8760.!!! she is so distraught. Shame on the leaches who pray on the elderly. They will be old some day if they are lucky .

    • http://www.patronized.ca Underground Woman

      I would suggest your mother write a letter of complaint to the President of Nationwide Home Comfort, Mr Perry Kemp at 2 – 240 Riviera Dr, Markham, ON L3R 5M1
      It’s important that the letter be concise and factual, quoting any misleading statements made by the salesperson who signed her up for this furnace rental. Make sure you identify whether or not she was provided with a copy of the rental agreement and whether or not it specified the length of time for the contract and whether the company would automatically put a lien against the property. They should not be doing that. Send copies (and indicate on the letter that you are doing so) of the letter to Pat Foran, the consumer advocate at CTV News: pforan@ctv.ca and another copy to the Ontario Consumer Protection Agency consumer@ontario.ca . You can also call the Consumer Protection Agency to ask questions about whether and how this situation may breach consumer protection laws in Ontario 1-800-889-9768 or 416-326-8800. $8760 for a furnace is highway robbery and this company should be publicly shamed for preying on the elderly. Go door-to-door in the neighbourhood and see if any of the neighbours were also taken in by these guys and have them file complaints also. If there are enough complaints the province will definitely look into it. I wish you the best of luck!

    • Nationwide Home Comfort

      Hello Mrs. Hogan,

      We have read through your review and we believe that you have mistaken us with another company. We do not have any contracts or financing terms that span 15 years nor do we charge our customers that high of a price for a furnace. We have looked into our records for this potential installation and it cannot be found anywhere, based on the information in your post. If you can kindly contact me at 4168550755 ext.1004 or email us at info@nationwidecomfort.com with your mothers address or first and last name. We would like to help you rectify this issue for your mother because we believe in fair business practices and would like to get some additional information to help you.

  • dfsdf

    this is agent is the biggest scammer BEWARE FOLKS , i know him very well.