Utilities Kingston reminds customers of in-home sales and services policy following possible scam

Having recently been alerted to a possible scam, Utilities Kingston is reminding customers of their new rules to protect customers.

Certain products and services, such as home water treatment systems, can no longer be offered or sold at a person’s home, unless that person has initiated the transaction, Utilities Kingston said in a press release on Friday, Nov. 2, 2018. This is in accordance with consumer protection rules.

Recently, Utilities Kingston was contacted by a customer who responded to a solicitation in the form of a scratch ticket left in the customer’s mailbox. For the customer to ‘claim the prize,’ a sales person was required to attend the customer’s home for a presentation about water treatment devices. The customer was then pressured to sign a contract.

“You should know that, if you sign a contract for a restricted product and service as a result of door-to-door marketing – or due to misleading marketing materials left at your home – the contract will be considered void and you can keep the goods or services without obligation,” Utilities Kingston said in the press release.

“Utilities Kingston does not go door-to-door to sell or rent products and services of any kind.”

The company put the following policies in place as of March 1, 2018, in accordance with the Consumer Protection Act:

  • Restricted products and services which can no longer be offered or sold in a person’s home include: services to furnaces, air conditioners, air cleaners, air purifiers, water heaters, water treatment devices, water purifiers, water filters, water softeners, duct cleaning services, or any good or service that preforms or combines one or more of the above functions.
  • Businesses will be able to enter into a contract at your home if you contacted them ahead of time and invited them to your home for the purpose of buying or leasing one of the restricted products and services
  • If you call for a repair, maintenance, an energy assessment, or any reason other than entering into a contract for one of these items and the business comes to your home, the business cannot enter into a new contract with you. They will only be able to leave information about the products and services they offer.
  • Once you have a written copy of the contract, you still have a 10-day cooling-off period to cancel a contract, for the restricted products or services, for any reason.
  • If you sign a contract, for a restricted product and service, as a result of door-to-door marketing or due to misleading marketing materials left at your home, the contract will be considered void and you can keep the goods or services without obligation.

Utilities Kingston also reminds customers that if someone comes to their door to sell the above products or services, they should not be afraid to shut the door and call Consumer Protection Ontario at 1-800-889-9768. If people refuse to leave your property or you become a victim of fraud through monetary loss, call Kingston Police at 613-549-4660.

Concerned customers can contact Utilities Kingston customer service at 613-546-0000, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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