Chamber Offers Warning On Hot Water Tank Sales Practices

November 22, 2011

The Cornwall & Area Chamber of Commerce has a warning for area consumers. It has received a number of calls from area residents who report that high pressure salespeople are trying to gain access to their homes claiming they need to inspect hot water tanks.

The company, whose name the Chamber is withholding, is sending agents to resident’s homes with a variety of claims about inefficient hot water tanks. They ask to see the tank then tell the consumer the tank is out of date, the piping is outdated or there are other deficiencies and it must be replaced. While they may claim to be representing the consumer’s company, the real goal is to get them to switch.

As one example, a homeowner was told his five year old tank was inefficient and the salesperson led him to believe he was from the homeowners energy company. He informed the homeowner that the service and installation is free and the piping inside would be upgraded to the new standards.

The homeowner signed the contract but then — read the fine print. The contract locked the homeowner in for 15 years and the tank, worth less than $1,000 would have cost him over $4,500. He cancelled the deal.

The Chamber of Commerce wants to advise homeowners that under the Consumer Protection Act they have the right to cancel any agreement signed at the door within 10 days.

The Chamber strongly recommends that if one of these salespeople arrive at your door, do not allow the person access to your home, do not sign anything, and call your current hot water tank company to find out if they have people out canvassing.

 

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