"StopTheKnocks" Campaign Launched to Urge the Province to Ban Door-to-Door Sales of Home Services

Two GTA Councillors, one from Mississauga and one from Markham, are calling for the Province to implement a ban on door-to-door sales and urge other municipalities to join them in convincing the Government of Ontario to act immediately.

Campaign encourages all Ontarians to sign the online petition calling for provincial action

MISSISSAUGA, ON and MARKHAM, ON, April 19, 2016 /CNW/ - Two GTA Councillors are launching a campaign that calls for a province-wide ban of door-to-door sales in the home service sector, including water heaters, water filtration systems, and furnaces. While in 2015 the Government of Ontario implemented new rules that imposed significant restrictions on how such door-to-door sellers could approach, speak, and close sales at people's homes, some companies in the industry have continued to mislead, misrepresent, and use tactics of fear and pressure to sell people services they neither need or want. These contracts often are sold with inflated prices and severe cancellation fees.

Isaac Rudik and Stacie Sommer are just two of many victims of Ontario's door-to-door home service sellers. They thought that the current consumer protection legislation would protect them.

"Literally the day after we moved into our new home, someone claiming to be from Enbridge showed up at our door to inspect our equipment, told us our equipment had to be upgraded, and came back the next week to exchange it," said Isaac Rudik who along with his partner Stacie Sommer moved to their new home in Vaughan earlier this spring.  "Every one of the so-called protection measures the Province introduced a year ago were broken by the fraudster that came to our door", said Rudik.  "They even went so far as to impersonate me when speaking with our original provider, and did it after the 20 day cooling off period so that we would be stuck," added Sommer. 

"Sadly, this case is not isolated", said Karen Ras, Councillor, City of Mississauga. "These sellers are thumbing their noses at the existing provincial legislation. They misrepresent their identities, pose as government safety inspectors and tell their victims that they are there to conduct so-called mandatory checks.  I've experienced this kind of behavior myself, and we need to put a stop to it."

Often these 'checks' result in the discovery of 'critical problems' that can only be resolved by replacing the water heater, filtration system, or furnace. In reality, dishonest salespeople have duped unsuspecting residents into signing up for a much more expensive agreement with significant cancellation fees.

Ras is putting forward a motion at Mississauga's Council meeting on April 27th that will urge the Province of Ontario to completely ban the door-to-door sales of home services products and services. Campbell will put forward a similar motion in Markham the following week. The Province recently took action by banning door-to-door sales for electricity and natural gas contracts by passing the Strengthening Consumer Protection and Electricity System Oversight Act, 2015.

The motion will also urge both cities to initiate a communications program to inform residents of the dangers of buying from door-to-door sellers. And both Councillors are urging other municipalities to join the call for a provincial ban.

The effort by Councillors Ras and Campbell build on the grassroots campaign that Rudik is launching through a petition on Change.org (http://chn.ge/1SmY9A8). Homeowners across Ontario are encouraged to lend their voices by signing the online petition, and encouraging other municipalities in Ontario to put forward similar motions of their own.

"This is not just a Mississauga or Markham issue, but one that crosses every community in the province, from Thunder Bay to Toronto," said Campbell. "I am very disappointed that these companies continue to engage in these deceitful practices. They do not fear prosecution under the current legislation. Homeowners must be protected. Only a total ban on their door-to-door activities will achieve this."

Added Rudik: "The province's legislation doesn't work – they need to create a ban and stop this nonsense once and for all."

One such company has been recently charged with 142 breaches of the Consumer Protection Act due to this fraudulent and misleading sales conduct.  However, previous attempts by the Province to protect Ontarians have been unsuccessful.

SOURCE Colin Campbell, Member of Council, Town of Markham

For further information: Natalie Dash, Campbell Strategies, ndash@campbellstrategies.com, 416.368.7353 ext 106

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Colin Campbell, Member of Council, Town of Markham

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