TORONTO, June 7, 2011 /CNW/ - Results of a recent survey conducted by
Pollara and released today find that aggressive and questionable
door-to-door water heater sales tactics have become a significant
problem for Ontario residents.
The online survey was commissioned by EnerCare Inc. and received 1,203
responses during January and February 2011. Pollara, a leading polling
company, was tasked with conducting quantitative research among
Ontarians to understand consumers' familiarity and experiences with
unsolicited water heater door-to-door salespeople. The report, entitled
The Truth About Door-to-Door Water Heater Sales Tactics in Ontario, was
EnerCare was motivated to commission this research after receiving
feedback from customers that they were potentially being misled at the
door and feeling pressured to sign new, long-term water heater rental
contracts without understanding their rights as a consumer or even
which company they were dealing with.
The Pollara survey results find that 41 per cent of Ontario residents
have received an unsolicited door-to-door water heater sales visit in
the past year.
"The results of this survey conclude that many consumers are feeling
pressured by door-to-door water heater sales agents," said Barry
Zeidenberg, Director of Marketing, EnerCare. "Further, consumers are
making decisions to switch providers based on misinformation or a lack
of information and we find this completely unacceptable."
Residents' experiences with these door-to-door water heater salespeople
are decidedly negative with many respondents reporting sales tactics
that are aggressive and intrusive, including asking to see the current
energy bill and saying they needed to come into the home. Of particular
interest is the fact that only 20 per cent of respondents said that
door-to-door water heater salespeople identified the company they
represented. Further, 23 per cent of respondents believed they had been
approached by Direct Energy or Enbridge - neither of which solicit
water heater sales door-to-door - and 45 per cent could not identify
which company the salespeople represented.
According to Zeidenberg, these findings are a clear indication that
water heater door-to-door salespeople are not communicating with
consumers in a transparent manner.
Other key findings include:
65 per cent of consumers who switched providers saw their monthly water
heater rental charge increase, 75 per cent of them by at least $3 per
Only seven per cent of salespeople took the time to explain all aspects
of the contract;
Only five per cent of salespeople answered all questions;
More than four-in-10 (41 per cent) residents said the salesperson was
pushy and pressured them to sign the contract;
More than half (54 per cent) of salespeople asked to see the residents'
current energy bill;
Half of salespeople claimed the new water heater would save money; and
Almost half (44 per cent) of salespeople said they needed entry into the
When asked whether the door-to- door water heater salesperson they dealt
with explained that Ontario's Consumer Protection Act provides 10 days
for consumers to cancel the contract they signed without incurring a
penalty of any kind, only one quarter of respondents said this
information had been disclosed.
"By issuing the results of this survey, it is our hope that Ontario
consumers will be on alert and, as a result, better able to make an
informed decision when dealing with these agents at the door," said
He continued: "We have no issue with consumers switching providers as
long as they're doing so because they've been presented with all of the
necessary facts and information.
"The results of this survey, however, show this often isn't the case."
Of the 34 per cent of respondents who are aware of questionable
door-to-door water heater sales tactics, 90 per cent agree that more
regulation is needed. This could include requiring salespeople to
inform consumers about key contract terms, including the length of the
contract term, fee charges to terminate the contract before the end of
the term, their 10-day contract cancellation rights, and requiring
salespeople to identify the company they represent and indicating that
they do not represent a government utility or entity.
"We have launched the next wave of our Ignore the Door campaign. This
campaign will include marketing, advertising, social media and public
relations initiatives across the province. We will continue these
efforts so that consumers have access to the information they need
before deciding whether to switch providers or retain their current
EnerCare and EnerCare Solutions Inc. own a portfolio of approximately
1.3 million installed water heaters and other assets, rented primarily
to residential customers in Ontario. EnerCare also owns EnerCare
Connections Inc. and Stratacon Inc., leading suite sub-metering
companies, with metering contracts for condominium and apartment suites
in Alberta, Ontario and elsewhere in Canada.
Pollara's survey results are considered accurate ±2.83% nineteen times
out of twenty.
SOURCE EnerCare Inc.
For further information:
or a copy of the Pollara report, please contact: